Prepare For a Customer Backlash Against Chatbots
August 8, 2018
Chatbots, or bots for short, are programs that automate responses to social media inquiries via text chat. We first discussed this inviting technology in the post “What Are Chatbots and Will They Affect the Call Center?”
While chatbots promise to answer questions fast, facilitate communication, free customer service staff, and potentially draw customers to vendors, they could also cause problems. What if they fail to deliver as expected? If they provide errant information or point users in the wrong direction, customers will revolt, using the same social media platforms to express their ire.
While chatbots offer much to companies and their customers, as well as the contact centers that connect them, it is naïve to expect bots will perform without a hitch. Indeed, initial user reports of tapping messaging bots to automate basic transactions suggest more frustration than success among the tech-savvy users who tested them.
This implies that customer-focused e-commerce sites will need to offer an alternative when bots fail to deliver. A contact center is the ideal solution, not to replace chatbots with people, but to provide a fallback position and backup option when these self-learning, computer controlled tools learn the wrong answer and misguide customers – over and over.
While one person can make one mistake with one caller at a time, the automated nature of chatbots allows them to repeat an error hundreds or thousands of times in quick succession before human intervention can correct its misdirection. Even after fixing this initial bot problem, there comes a massive amount of human effort needed to correct this automated miscommunication with hundreds or thousands of confused or frustrated customers. While one bot could be dispatched to correct the miscommunication of another bot, will customers be receptive to this? How will they know which bot to believe? They could even dismiss the second bot as spam. No, people will need to correct any chatbot customer service errors.
This is not to criticize bots. Chatbots have much to offer and, in time, will conduct themselves with distinction—in most instances. Yet to assume that flawless execution will occur is simplistic, so a plan B must be in place. Is your contact center ready?
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706. Peter DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.
Use an Answering Service to Cover Sick Days
Unlike a vacation, which employees schedule in advance, no one plans a sick day—or at least most people don’t. In most cases a sick day is not a p...
What Is a Call Center?
If your business operates outside the call center industry, you may have trouble answering this question of “What is a call center?” But it’s an...
Implement an Agent Development Program
Call center agents, your public-facing staff, are key to your call center’s effectiveness and fuel the success of the overall organization. Successf...
Agent Success Starts With Great Training
In the call center arena, your frontline people are key to success. This starts on day one of their employment in their initial training. Here are som...
How Not to Sell Your Telephone Answering Service
There are some commonsense steps to take when selling your telephone answering service, just as there are when selling anything. Common key elements i...
Why You Should Consolidate Siloed Call Centers
It’s likely your hospital system has at least one call center, a centralized place that handles calls. This may be for a department, a building, the...
Use an Answering Service to Schedule Appointments
Some businesses and professionals live or die by the number of appointments they have each day. For them, an appointment is a billable moment. A full ...
Use an Answering Service to Cover Staff Meetings
It’s a dilemma. You want all of your staff to attend your staff meetings, but that leaves no one left to answer the phone when it rings. After all, ...