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To Chatbot or Not? The Good and the Bad Behind the Use of the Virtual Assistants in Customer-Centric Businesses

Head of Business Analysis, ScienceSoft

4 min read

Editor’s note: Chasing the trend, businesses introduce chatbots to their workflows. However, they may not affect processes in a positive way. Read on to explore chatbot benefits and challenges that you’d better be informed of prepared by Tanya. Should you plan to empower your business with a custom chatbot, ScienceSoft offers comprehensive application development services and builds responsive and reliable virtual assistants that are sure to succeed.

Gartner lists chatbots among the top five techs in 2020 that will generate the most significant improvements to customer experience. ScienceSoft’s experience in chatbot implementation also proves they can be a helpful tool to improve different kinds of B2C interactions. Still, before one makes plans to develop a chatbot, they need to study its feasibility as chatbots can make both positive and negative impacts on customer service quality. Let’s take a closer look at both sides.

How do chatbots bring value?

Mostly, ScienceSoft’s customers go for chatbots to get the following benefits:

  • Streamlining processes.
    • Chatbots help find the needed products/services among the piles of info on websites, in the data repositories, etc.
    • Chatbots simplify the complicated processes for customers by splitting them into clear steps. For example, they can re-formulate questions from complex forms (insurance, medical service, etc.) and auto-fill them using a user’s answers.
    • Chatbots make handling simple customer requests (product order/service scheduling) a matter of seconds.
  • Increasing availability.
    • Chatbots answer at any time.
    • Chatbots switch to any (pre-defined) language.
    • Chatbots can work under any load (with the right architecture).
    • Chatbots free service agents for more complex requests. Thus, one of our clients managed to reduce service agents’ workload by 47%, which allowed for increased quality in handling specific requests.
  • Extending marketing opportunities.
    • Chatbots send notifications about new products or services, mention a product or a service that may be useful for customers at the right time in the conversation (product/service cross-selling).
    • Chatbots remind customers of other useful functions in the app, inform about current promo codes for purchases, etc.
  • Helping understand the targeted audience better.
    • Chatbots gather the required info about customers during the conversation.
Would you like to increase sales and foster customer engagement?

ScienceSoft’s team can help you advance company – customer relationship by improving both customer experience and service agents’ productivity with a powerful and intelligent chatbot.

How do chatbots fail?

The main issues with chatbots software I’ve encountered can be categorized into the following fields:

  • Improper targeting.
    • I don’t advise our customers to use chatbots to handle complaints. The chatbots may be perceived as a method to keep a customer away from a live service agent. Thus, the customer driven by a critical problem will be further frustrated.
    • Older generations may mistrust or be unwilling to use a virtual assistant.
  • Inability to understand.
    • Chatbots (even powered with an AI platform) recognize a limited number of queries while there’re numerous variations for even the simplest requests. Needless to say, chatbots can hardly identify non-implicit requests.
    • Chatbots easily get confused with non-specific questions or spelling/pronunciation errors.
  • Technology aspects.
    • Chatbots may respond slowly if searching through a large set of data or being overloaded with requests. However, the right architecture (mostly, cloud-based) can handle any amount of data and temporary spikes.
    • Chatbots are subject to privacy concerns since most chatbot platforms are controlled by large corporations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft, which may gather user information.

How does your business feel about chatbot development?

Personally, I am always enthusiastic about empowering customer services with chatbots experiences and support companies in their decisions to implement business chatbots. However, I strongly recommend considering business aspects (what kind of transactions you want to hand over, what kind of customers you target, etc.) and a chatbot’s technical capabilities. If you’d like to know my opinion on your particular case, let me know.

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