Chatbots have come a long way.
From the first chatbot ELIZA which was built by an MIT professor in the 1960s to the latest Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and Alexa, the evolution of Chatbots has grown leaps and bounds due to the advancement in AI technologies and adoption by businesses and people.
However, the idea of automating Live Chat with Chatbots is not easy as you think because building playbooks for bots is a time-consuming process that demands constant improvement and maintenance.
Listed are the major pain points in building bot playbooks:
BUILDING THE NARRATIVE
Defining the rule in chatbot development is the most intricate process. The majority of bots in use today are nothing more than glorified flowcharts. Many follow a simple phone-tree like simulation. Example: A+B = C. Their responses fumble out from rigid IF/THEN scripts.
If the user query matches any rule, the answer to the query is generated, otherwise, the user is notified that the answer to the query doesn’t exist. One of the advantages of rule-based chatbots is that they always give accurate results. However, on the downside, they do not scale well. To add more responses, you have to define new rules. Further, they won’t understand the intent and context of the user’s conversation with it. For example: If you are booking a flight to London, you might say “Book a flight to London” and someone else might say that “I need a flight to London” while someone from another part of the world may use their native language to have the same context.
Consider the following scenario:
The key to fuel the chatbot’s narrative lies in maintaining a rich knowledge base. Chatbot picks and suggests solutions from the knowledge base articles. Writing the perfect knowledge base articles, and organizing the content of the knowledge base are the big pain points not just for chatbots but also for the users who are interacting with them.
Even the artificially intelligent chatbots that are skilled at detecting patterns in human language are lacking when it comes to natural language understanding (i.e. the ability to determine intent, especially when, what is said doesn’t quite match what is meant).
Consider the intricacies of…
The list goes on, and as the obstacles mount, the Subject Matter Experts or the designers are faced with a dilemma: Should projects involving chatbots be avoided?
CRAFTING A PERSONALITY
In many cases, chatbots become the first point of contact on your websites. That being said, bots should not only know how to communicate like human beings but do so in a way that your company does.
You should keep in mind the demographic, age group, and other key personality traits of the end-user the chatbot interacts with. For instance, if the majority of your end-users/customers are between 18-30 years, giving the chatbot a joyful-like persona is the best fit.
A bot’s personality doesn’t evolve in a communication.
Further, every brand uses a specific Tone-of-Voice to successfully communicate their personality to the consumer. They maintain the tone consistently across all platforms of communication such as social media, marketing brochures, websites, etc., helps establish how the consumer perceives the brand. The tone of the brand should also be transferred to the bots while designing it.
CONTENT AND FORM BECOMING OUT-OF-DATE
Chatbots struggle to keep track of all the different branches of the interaction. One of the biggest deterrents at 32% (29% US and 37% UK) was chatbots “getting stuck” and not knowing what to do next. eGain suggested that this problem, in particular, could result from a lack of focus on knowledge management used to power chatbots.
One way to overcome the problem is by collecting your customer data from the point of sale and identifying the common queries, predict sales trends, and adhere to customer profiles. Based on this information, you can formulate accurate exchanges with templates designed to match empathetic queues that get the best reactions. But constantly re-programming the content is both time-consuming and costly process.
A Few Other Problems Impacting User Experience
Chatbots that draw replies from IF/THEN scripts will run into a question or request that wasn’t accounted for. When this happens, most bots will attempt to recover by asking a clarifying question that redirects the conversation back to the safety of their predetermined responses. However, this isn’t just the terrible solution, problems arise when a bot’s corrective questioning leads to a conversational dead-end or places blame on the user, even subtly. The illusion is broken by a faulty script, and the user becomes the accused.
Some chatbots are designed to perform a specific duty with great efficiency. For many tasks, this is a good thing, but some jobs require a more sympathetic touch. If efficiency and profitability are at the core of a chatbot’s design objectives, users will feel it, for better or worse. Here, it may be tempting for Subject Matter Experts to think that compassion can be infused through politely written replies or a dose of humor. That might work, but it could also backfire if users expect a different type of interaction.
Strangely Personal Interactions
Have you ever encountered a stranger who knew too many of your personal details? Today many bots are made to behave like a human and interact as you met long ago. However, that’s kind of creepy right? If the intent of the Subject Matter Expert is to make users interact with bots in a natural, human way, then bots should be replaced with real humans!
Chatbots designed to perform specific tasks often do so quite skillfully. However, Subject Matter Experts aren’t always present when a bot’s “big ideas” are conceived. Sometimes, they are brought on board at a later stage, only to discover a baffling cornucopia of product features. Other times, a bot’s scope balloons over the course of a project.
Let’s look at some statistics to understand more about how Managed Live Chat impacts Sales and Customer Support:
Further, Consumer Customer Service Survey, a study conducted by CGS, revealed that as much as customers want speed, they still prefer human help. Customers often feel that the responses from a chatbot aren’t detailed enough and are less personal.
People like the quick response time and 24/7 access to chatbots, but at the end of the day, they want a human making the final sale.
responses from a chatbot aren’t detailed enough and are less personal.
Hence, the Zendesk survey that predicted, 70% of consumers prefer human agents to AI technologies is the more realistic outcome than the IBM survey that predicted 85% of all customer support activity will happen without a human agent in 2020.
Risks and Potential Outcomes of Chatbots
Though Bots are a major innovation in Managed Live Chat, there are more disadvantages and potential risks in everyday usage.
Bots Need Constant Supervision:
If you don’t have a supervisor keeping an eye on your Bots, you run the risk of it going rogue. It could result in unhappy customers or lost leads, depending on what your chatbot is doing.
Data Handling on Bot Platforms:
Depending on what your bot does, it might end up collecting some pretty valuable and personal information. That can include Geo-location or addresses, account information, payment information, full legal names, and other information useful in stealing an identity. So the wealth of data your bot is collecting makes both the chatbot and your database a target for hackers. You have to make sure you do whatever is necessary to protect that info.
The Need to Protect the Chatbot itself:
Any vulnerabilities on the chat system could be used by criminal hackers. For example, if your chatbot accepts files or attachments, like a photo or copy of a bill, that system could be used to upload a virus. That virus could then infiltrate the database, or even add coding to the AI where it forwards future info to the hackers.
Bots are too mechanical and have High Error Rate:
As mentioned before, bots are pre-programmed by designers and can handle user queries based on the conversational flow chart. If something unexpected which was not fed to the bot happens, the performance gets affected. Further, they are just software systems and cannot capture variations in human conversations in particular emotions and sarcasm. Thus resulting in a high error rate and less customer satisfaction.
Lack of Individuality and Generic Conversations:
Though with the help of NLP (Natural Language Processing), bots can behave like humans with end-users, they do not have their own personality so tend to come across too generic in conversations. As there are no feelings and emotions, it becomes critical to interact with humans clearly identified as a bot.
Most Bots Fail the Turing Test:
“A Turing Test is a method of inquiry in artificial intelligence (AI) for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human being.” Most of the bots do not pass this test risking conversations will be left unfulfilled. Bots might be highly intelligent, but they can’t think of themselves on their own which ends up in failure.
Chatbots can’t be entirely relied on for Lead Generation
While most bots could only suggest a product or service to people who have asked a specific question relating to them, potential customers and clients usually need a lot of details before they’re confident enough to give you their personal information. They need to know what you have to contribute, why they should trust you, and what they can foresee in return from their investment. Thus assuming bots would generate sales qualified leads is a long shot.
Not all Businesses can use Bots
The biggest con with Bots is that not all businesses can use them. Some businesses are far too complex for chatbots to be practical. By trying to program all of the different questions or possible scenarios in such a circumstance would be costly. Also, the hours it would take would make such an undertaking unfeasible.
So, the big questions that linger in your minds are:
- What experience do I want to deliver to my website visitors and existing customers?
- Do you eventually want ALL your sales and customer service handled by bots?
- In what ways can you program the bot to be more conversational?
- How do you want your website to work in the future?
- Can your ideal sales process function without human involvement?
CaaS or Conversation as a Service reduces time in building the narrative for bots and increases lead conversions as it involves Human Interaction by professional trained Online Sales Reps.
The USP of CaaS is to provide friendly and experienced support to web visitors using professionally trained Online Sales Reps (in other words, Online Sales Executives).
The Online Sales Reps nurture the visitors to the website’s objective (Booking demos, signing up for free trials, obtaining sales qualified leads, etc.) thus increasing revenue and providing engaging customer service and assistance to existing clients while also reducing website bounce rate.
How Does CaaS Work?
Training Human Executives Professionally
Since the biggest problem with the Chatbots is narrative building and crafting a personality, CaaS uses Online Sales Reps who are trained with your Sales Brief and FAQs for a friendly and professional conversation. Further, every new brief or improvement can be communicated to the Online Sales Reps and customers in a few minutes.
Nurturing Leads to Conversion
Throughout the conversation with your website visitors, the Online Sales Reps build trust, connect and get information that qualifies the lead as specified by the company.
24/7 Instant Support
A study from Forrester Research found that 57% of customers abandon their purchase if they can’t get their questions answered quickly. With CaaS, your customers will be able to get their answers instantly. Further, Online Sales Reps work 24/7, 365 days across the globe and assist customers round the clock on your website.
Analysis of the Market
If there is one medium that can tell you what your customers are thinking and what they have to say, that is the customer themselves. The Chat history of CaaS contains all chat transcripts. It is great to see what your converted Lead conversations look like but there is a goldmine in non-leads too. See what the non-converting customers had to say, all inside the ‘chat archives’ page.
The Human Touch
Human interaction is key to excellent customer relationships. Forrester Research study also found, “Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.” When companies use Chatbots on their website, the loyal customers feel they are not being valued, as the brand is making them talk with a robot.
Here are a few snapshots of how the Online Sales Reps of CaaS makes a friendly conversation with your website visitors and book demos in your sales team calendar:
Let’s be clear, chatbots aren’t all bad.
Some are quite useful, especially if you’re looking for a yes or no, write a report, or turn your lights off. Others, while not particularly utilitarian, possess a certain charm that causes us to ponder the outer limits of bot-human banter.
CaaS (Conversation as a Service) provides a better Human-to-Human solution with your website visitors. It is not only easier to build but 100% Human, Personal and Goal Oriented.
Chat Metrics offers best-in-class CaaS. We Help SaaS Businesses Get More Qualified Leads, Booked Demos And Signups. Our clients testified they were able to get an average increase of 98% in leads/per day and reduced the overall cost-per-lead acquisition costs by 25%.
To see if you qualify for our 25% guaranteed increase in conversions, or if you like to learn more about CaaS, visit us at www.info.chatmetrics.com
If you qualify, you could also avail of our current offer, 25% more leads in 30 days or 100% money-back guaranteed. Click here to read more.
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This article is created from the following sources and personal inputs:
- The Chat Crash – When A Chatbot Fails By Micah Bowers, Designer
- The Problem With Chatbots By Kristi Cunga, Designer And Junior Art Director
- Chatbot Scripts: A Step By Step Guide From Streamcreative
- My Pain Points Writing A Telegram Bot (In Python) By Joesph Turian, Chatbotsforlife
- How To Write A Script For A Chatbot By Ben Beck, Marketer
- Why Chatbots Fail (And Why Natural Languages Are Hard) From AI Multiple.