Expert interview: the rise of chatbot technology

Chatbot technology is shaking up the world of live chat software. With its promise of alleviating resource challenges and offering intelligent support, chatbot technology is causing ripples of excitement across the customer service landscape.

But will it really revolutionise the industry? Or will customers ultimately refuse to speak to a robot? We asked our marketing director, Howard Williams, what the future holds for chatbot technology.

 

All quotes can be attributed to Howard Williams:

Chatbot technology offers a wealth of benefits from a customer service perspective. It’s no surprise, then, that it has recently enjoyed widespread popularity among digital retailers. The technology gives businesses the opportunity to set intelligent responses during out-of-office hours to ensure that no customer queries go unanswered.

 

Despite their benefits, the customer service capabilities promised by chatbots are not without limitation. While bots can deliver customer service in a very literal sense, there are still a large number of tasks that require the human touch. For example, humans will understand that the essence of effective service is to deliver the information a customer needs – which may not necessarily be what they request.

 

The biggest hurdle that chatbot technology faces is that of improper implementation. Companies should use it to complement service teams, rather than replacing them. Bots may perform well during out-of-office hours but, instead of automating chat itself, it is far more effective to automate the processes that allow customers to be connected to the right representative. This is more of a job for live chat software, such as WhosOn.

 

While they may be heralded as a customer service revolution and a digital retail game changer, in reality chatbots are simply repackaged automation software. By referring to them as bots or chat AI, many businesses fall under the impression that they can replace existing customer relations. This is not the case.

 

As with most things, striking the right balance when using chatbot technology is essential. Bots certainly do have a place in customer service teams, but it is by offering additional support rather than replacing human support.