Like any customer service solution, chatbots will never be universally loved. However, there are many customers — especially in the younger generations — who love chatbots and are happy to use them in certain situations.
In 2018, Forbes.com ran the headline “It’s time for a reality check. Chatbots are killing customer service.” The article looked at the results of a survey that seemed to echo the general feeling around the customer service community.
However, the truth is more complicated than that. Let’s look at good reasons why you should implement chatbots alongside your human customer service.
1 – Bots are not human
Believe it or not, one of the reasons why people like bots is because they are not human. That means they are never tired, bored, or annoyed when handling questions that the customer may consider dumb or simple.
Customers who are introverted, socially anxious or very agreeable may feel more comfortable talking to a bot. For them, contacting other humans to deal with their problems can feel pointless and annoying, especially if they have a simple need.
Self-service options like chatbots give these customers a way to solve their problems without having to bother someone else.
2 – Bots save customer’s time
Making a phone call takes time. Emails often go without a response for days. Bots, however, are always online and ready to help. Speed is a major concern for customers and a major reason why they choose bots over humans.
A survey of 1000 US customers found that 54 percent of them would always choose a chatbot over a human if they knew it would save them ten minutes.
3 – Bots can be precise
The nature of programming and machine learning makes it so that bots can be very good at answering common questions and requests. The more common a request, the bigger the chance a bot will be able to handle it with precision. Customers are aware of that.
Surveys show that customers prefer using bots when they have a simple and easy request. Those can include asking simple information such as the company’s phone number, work hours, email, etc. Or simple requests, such as asking prices of services or setting up appointments.
For more complex requests, however, customers prefer talking to humans. They are aware that humans can understand more nuance and respond more accurately in complex scenarios.
4 – Bots are a text-based option
Another major reason why people love chatbots is the fact that they are available via text. Millennials are not fond of phone calls and will avoid it making them as much as possible.
Your human customer service should be available via text as well. What becomes clear looking at surveys is that clients are happier when they can choose how to interact with your company — be it via a chatbot, text messages, social media, or making a phone call.
The aforementioned Forbes article ends with the suggestion that companies take a hybrid approach to customer service. An approach that involves customers being able to contact humans when bots aren’t being sufficient. Ideally in a way that also gives your customer service representative the bot’s chat history, so that the customer doesn’t have to explain everything again after being directed to a human.
Implementing such a system may sound tech-intensive, and it is. However, chatbot integration with customer service across platforms is a feature that many CRM systems provide, making this technology accessible without the need to expand your IT department – or even have one at all.