You’re starting to run into them more and more in e-commerce: chatbots.
Those little bubbles that pop up in the lower right-hand corner of your screen.
And they’re becoming automated, just like phone systems. Just type this or that in, and you’ll get a list of links and suggestions that hopefully will fix your problem.
But, should you even use chatbots in the first place?
Well, take a look at some of the pros and cons so you can evaluate chatbots for your own purposes:
1. Pro: They Help You Reduce Labor and Scale Customer Service As You Grow
Chatbots are available 24/7. When your customers type in certain keywords, they can direct your customers to an answer with no interaction with human customer service reps at all.
They don’t need a break. Their service quality never declines. They always do exactly as they’re designed.
They save you a lot of money that you’d otherwise have to spend on personnel.
2. Con: They’re Not Great at Handling Complex Complaints
Yes. Chatbots can handle simple return issues. For example, your customer was delivered a broken or defective item. Yeah, a chatbot can help them return for a refund or replacement.
But for more complex and highly emotionally charged complaints, human reps offer the best touch.
Maybe you set up your chatbot to handle the simplistic return issues and then refer your customers to your human team when matters become more complex.
Chatbots shouldn’t cause any degradation in the quality of your customer service.
3. Pro: Chatbots Handle Boring, Repetitive Tasks Well
Humans get tired and worn down. They have stressors in their own lives that change their emotional state. So they can make mistakes with routine customer service tasks.
Not so a chatbot.
It does the same work with the same quality every single time. So, it won’t botch a simple customer service issue by having an annoyed or rude attitude. Ever.
4. Don’t Use Chatbots If You Think They’re Not a Good Fit
Chatbots don’t necessarily make sense for every company. Your customers may not be the type who want to interact with a chatbot. They may prefer the human touch.
For example, if you have older customers, they’d probably rather have a human helping them out.
Other industries make customers feel more comfortable when they use human reps. For example, customers would much rather talk to a human about private personal matters such as their finances or health.
Yes. Chatbots can be a great addition to your customer service team. But they’re not a magic pill solution. They need to be used in the right context.
And now you have more clarity as to when chatbots can be a good fit.