Why would businesses employ hundreds of customer service representatives when they can drastically reduce this amount with an investment in the latest technology? Well, that is a question many are asking themselves as online discussions using artificial intelligence or pre-planned discussion routes are becoming more common with ecommerce chatbots.
Advantages of Using Chatbots
It’s What People Want
In a May 2016 study by myclever, it was found that nearly 50% of UK internet users would use a chatbot or virtual assistant if the service was available to them.
Further to this, 4 in 10 said they’d use a chatbot to forward a query on to a human. Whereas a third of those surveyed said that they would buy basic items like clothes or food using a chatbot if possible.
Streamlined Business Processes
Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, plus a number or text messaging apps have these capabilities and could help businesses streamline their processes considerably. After initialisation, less staff will be required to fill customer service roles, and therefore a business may save money in the long run.
This is both good news for the customer and the business, as these chatbots will be able to direct a user to a product, saving the customer scrolling through multiple pages and products, therefore making a company money faster.
All it will do is ask some simple questions, such as what they’re looking for, size, colour etc. before providing a URL and directing the user to payment options.
The beauty of chatbots is that customers have someone, or should we say something, to talk to at any time, any day, whether the physical store is open or not. Help is on hand, whenever it is needed.
Disadvantages of Using Chatbots
No Human Interaction
Although chatbots are capable of recognising millions of words and configurations to provide a user with the most accurate answer possible, most are still unable to provide conversation skills that a human naturally provides.
Some may prefer this short and to the point approach, but others will find it less personable and somewhat cold.
Loss of Jobs
Yes, fewer employees will save companies money, but this isn’t good news for the staff who will lose their jobs. Unemployment levels could rise and these employees will have to find jobs elsewhere.
Cannot Complete Complex Actions
Chatbots work by recognising certain key phrases and provide pre-set responses to these. They cannot register and respond to complex questions, and are unable to carry out compound activities.
For now, chatbots would only be suitable for jobs such as acting as a virtual assistant, answering customer service questions such as FAQs and revealing the latest news and updates.
What is Your Opinion on Chatbots?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on chatbots, whether you currently use them for an ecommerce business or not. Tweet @Figaro_Digital.
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The Figaro Digital Digest: 26th August 2016
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