February 10, 2018
Problems with Chatbots Today
Chatbots are poised to revolutionize customer service as we know it. With advancements in artificial intelligence, they only get better with time. They help streamline initial contact with consumers, sell products and even improve the employee experience internally. However, recent surveys from Nasdaq Globe Newswire reveal that chatbots still have a long way to go. When it comes to utilizing virtual assistants, chatbot silos represent the biggest hurdle for consumers.
Chatbot silos essentially cause the lack of integration between chatbots and human services. Chatbots.org conducted a study in the US and UK to survey consumers who used a chatbot within the last 12 months. The article highlights some of the key findings from the survey.
Repeating Information to Human Agents
The top complaint consumers reported was needing to repeat information to a human customer service agent after already mentioning it to the chatbot. The lack of continuity defeats the purpose of the chatbot in the first place and is the biggest frustration for consumers using virtual assistants. Chatbots, when leveraged correctly, can assist with the initial line of questioning that can direct the customer to a specialized customer service agent or to a specific department.
Lacking Knowledge or Empowerment?
The second common frustration among consumers with chatbots is lack of knowledge. When a chatbot gets stumped over seemingly simple questions. This may have to do with the way the bot is programmed. If done the old way, “AI” entailed a data dump that the bot would scan. If it couldn’t find a pre-programmed answer then the result would be nothing. True AI is built with neural networks that makes probabilistic assessments and can infer answers more autonomously. Over time, the AI improves with more interactions and data. They can even begin to specialize in the product or field relevant to the website with the proper knowledge management.
Overall, the survey reveals that over 53% of respondents still don’t find chatbots that effective. These perceptions are most likely derived from one bad encounter with a bot that the consumer didn’t find helpful. Younger respondents tended to hold a better perception of bots than older respondents. This may be the result of more frequent use of chatbots and virtual assistants. Either way, the global adoption and perception of chatbots is improving. Companies interested in introducing chatbots onto their platforms should look at these survey results when building and managing their bots to create the optimal consumer experience.