Chatbots & Live Chat | A Sprint to Sublime Customer Service

Feb 16,2019 by Shashvat Vats

The ambiguous nature of technological trends and dynamic customer preferences have made it quite tough for businesses to yield a prolific performance. Customer support has been a paramount weapon when it comes to factors that make a business successful. That’s why a good chunk of every organization’s investment contributes to the customer support division each year.

From the time when customers started getting assistance on the telephone to the present time when AI-backed chatbots are clearing the doubts of customers, a massive paradigm shift has occurred. In the sector where human interactions mattered, machine learning languages are creating a firm presence of their own.

So what if the chatbots are not able to understand deep human emotions, brands are content with the ability of these AI-based apps to provide uninterrupted and fair customer service standards without any human intervention. The race to get the best customer support has started already. Facebook acquired the AI-based startup Ozlo in the year 2017, while Google also bought Onward, another AI-based company in 2018 with a vision to provide a smooth experience to the customers.

While the experts predict the global chatbot market to touch the $1.34 billion mark by 2024, a lot of doubts still float in the customer service market. Like, are chatbots really better in offering customer service than live chat? Can the human touch be swamped by the super competencies of technology? Let’s talk about these uncertainties and explore the scope of AI in customer service.

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Live Chat: Pondering the human touch

Remember the movie Terminator, where machines were on the rise and AI was so powerful that it was eager to weed out humanity from the face of the earth? That Hollywood flick in the early 90s seemed like a splendid fantasy. Today, machines are actually replacing humans in different aspects of life. For instance, customer service.

Chatbots have become an inevitable reality for customer support. Whether you like it or not, you are most likely interacting with a chatbot when you are reaching out to a business on the web. While some of the businesses still prefer live chat agents to assist the customers, chatbots are eventually clearing up the queues.

Live chat is considered as the most influential and effective way to satiate the needs of customers. Why? Because, we, as humans, are known to supersede the machines in one quality; emotional intelligence. Even though AI is able to interpret human responses and mimic suitable replies, it is still not able to comprehend human emotions that are involved in the communication. The human proficiency in reading tone, language, and emotion in speech has still not been acquired by the chatbots. From the customers’ point of view too, it’s quite frustrating to deal with the bots who only provide limited options bound in a loop.

Even though chatbots are getting implemented in a majority of corporations, most of the bots still redirect the sophisticated queries to human agents. Doesn’t matter how vastly glorified the growth forecast of chatbots is, the reality is that the replacement of a human’s emotional intelligence is still far away.

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Chatbots: The Next-Gen Avenue

No company ever wants to compromise on the quality of customer service. The benefits of live chat are many but human limitation is perpetually pushing organizations of all sizes to choose chatbots.

Before we dig deeper into this topic, let’s first have a subtle comprehension of what chatbots are. A chatbot is a computer program bolstered by artificial intelligence that enables you to communicate with customers through a chat interface. These chatbots are known to run on pre-programmed rules.

The most fascinating factor is that these chatbots don’t require any human intervention to resolve customer queries, which is a major game-changer for businesses. Also, a chatbot is never going to get tired, frustrated or stressed, factors that hamper the performance and efficiency. In addition, the requirement to offer 24*7 customer service also favours the chatbots. Chatbots have the tendency to be in work mode without any friction, making them a fantastic choice for enterprises looking to serve their customers day & night.

For the e-commerce companies, chatbot has emerged as the ‘Hero’ because of its ability to remember the purchase history and customer preferences. Chatbots recall these details in microseconds and offer extremely relevant suggestions to the users on the website. This means that without repeating the same information again & again, customers will get products according totheir preferences. As a business, this is probably the best service experience to offer to customers. Better response rate, round-the-clock assistance, and enhanced service standards are the factors that bolster the case of chatbots in the customer service sector.

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AI: Is it enough?

Customers are vital for businesses. All the efforts and technologies are evolving just for one thing; to make the customer experience better. So, it becomes quintessential to consider what customers want.

As of now, customers are more inclined to live chat because of the involvement of an actual human. When the customers get frustrated or agitated, they do not want to interact with a bot that only offers limited responses and scripted replies. Instead, customers expect an empathetic behavior from the customer service of an organization.

Artificial intelligence allows machines to learn from past experiences, adapt to modifications and perform tasks that a human does. But when a customer comes up with an issue that is more complex and requires emotional intelligence, AI fails miserably. The fact that AI is still a few miles away from understanding the true nature of human emotions tips the scales towards live chat, at this moment.

Still, Artificial Intelligence and apps based on it, like chatbots, are not just offering responsive and above-par experiences but are also offering a cost-effective benefits to the businesses that seek a consistent and never-ending support system for their customers.

Chatbots are promising but the inability to read between the lines and create an emotional level connect always puts humans as the biggest rival vis-à-vis AI when it comes to delivering prodigious customer service.

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