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Bad To The Bot: Is Your Chat Bot Hurting Your Customer Service?

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Core Tip:Chat bots are becoming all the rage in online customer service, however, before boarding the bot boat, there are several
 
Chat bots are becoming all the rage in online customer service, however, before boarding the bot boat, there are several perspectives companies should consider.  
 Bad To The Bot: Is Your Chat Bot Hurting Your Customer Service?

A chat bot by any other name is still not a human
 
Many companies are attempting to use a chat bot and make it appear like there is a human present driving the conversation by calling it a “live chat” or giving the bot a name. Customers can easily detect they are not speaking to real people and often don’t appreciate the facade. This can diminish brand loyalty and trust in a company. 
 
Chat bots are becoming all the rage in online customer service, however, before boarding the bot boat, there are several perspectives companies should consider.  

A chat bot by any other name is still not a human
 
Many companies are attempting to use a chat bot and make it appear like there is a human present driving the conversation by calling it a “live chat” or giving the bot a name. Customers can easily detect they are not speaking to real people and often don’t appreciate the facade. This can diminish brand loyalty and trust in a company. 
 
Time out! 
 
Chat bot response time to customer inquiries is critical throughout the human-computer interaction. The challenge with engaging with humans online is that users need affirmation that there is processing or action occurring. If a customer types in a question and there is a significant delay in receiving any response, it is just as frustrating as being put on hold or hearing elevator music, or worse, being subjected to repetitive ads that reinforce that customers are waiting an excessive amount of time. However, on the phone, hearing any sound reassures the caller that although they may be forgotten, they are still connected. Thus, hope remains alive of getting service.  Chat bots on the other hand are not as patient waiting for their humans during a conversation. If you can’t get your credit card out of your wallet fast enough or go find that other required information it asks you for to complete your transaction, it will time out and you will need to start over. 

What’s on the menu?
 
Chat bots can be a powerful tool to help customers resolve issues at any time and from anywher, but they should be deployed with transparency and honesty to users. Customers will appreciate knowing up front what scenarios a bot can handle versus setting expectations that they can solve everything. No one wants to spend time only to find out the issue they needed addressed is not on the bot’s menu. Finally, there’s no shame in saying that “Dot” is a bot and not a human.
 
 
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