It’s an exciting time – chatbots are finally here and their popularity is growing. In fact, the size of the chatbot will likely grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024. All this at a compound annual growth rate of 29.7% for the forecasted period. This is big, big growth.
While building a chatbot can be simple, and there are plenty of great tools that can help build one, there are some common challenges most businesses face.
Luckily, we know what common chatbot challenges business face, and how to solve them:
Challenge 1: Recognizing the value chatbots add
There are a lot of really great reasons to have a chatbot. We can think of at least three benefits chatbots can bring to your business.
But it’s not uncommon for businesses to launch a chatbot for the sake of launching one. When this happens, it can be challenging to see what value a chatbot can even contribute. How do you identify this?
Start with what you know. Research which support enquiries your team most commonly handles, and equip your chatbot to deal with these questions.
Doing this allows you to gradually move repetitive tasks from your customer support team on to your chatbot.
This achieves two key benefits – first, your customers will receive instant support, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. Next, your customer support team will receive fewer of the repetitive questions, which goes towards improving their efficiency – and even job satisfaction.
Once you equip your chatbot to handle low-value/high-volume enquiries, start gradually introducing progressively more complex customer support tasks. Before you know it, your chatbot will be supporting the teams that support your customers – which brings the most value.
Challenge 2: Understanding customer messages and intents
There are two main types of chatbots, based on how users interact with them. These are simpler keyword, and more complex conversational AI chatbots.
With simpler keyword bots, there’s no challenge; users have a list of keywords they can choose from, which guide them through the conversation. Intent-based chatbots, however… This is where things get challenging.
Getting machines to seamlessly interact with humans using natural language has been a challenge ever since Alan Turing practically invented modern computing.
We’re a little bit closer to that goal than we were in the 1960’s with ELIZA, but there are still some challenges businesses face.
To program a chatbot to talk to your customers, you need to know what your customers want to talk about. Learn about the most frequently asked questions your customers are asking. Then, research phrase variations of these questions. The expert recommendation is to train chatbots to understand at least fifty phrase variations.
This is no small task, of course – which is why most chatbot platforms have experts on hand to assist clients with building up databases of phrase variations.
Challenge 3: Chatbots as the sole touchpoint
Chatbots are great, but they don’t have superpowers. While you’ll find they can, in time, handle most of your customer interactions, there are limits. So how do businesses deal with surprise customer questions their bot hasn’t been programmed to handle?
Seamless human agent takeover can save your bot from embarrassment, while also helping your customer.
Cloud contact centers can come equipped to deal with these situations by switching to a human agent best trained to handle specific customer question types. The interaction is kept on-channel, which preserves conversation continuity and context, resulting in positive customer experience – same channel, full context.
Got questions? Get Answers
Making chatbots a part of your customer service strategy is strongly recommended in 2020. Doing this increases agent efficiency, lowers contact center costs, and also improves customer satisfaction. Talk to our experts about getting Answers for all your customers’ questions.
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