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Do you know how chatbots are changing what we know about customer experience?


Businesses are embracing advanced technology and artificial intelligence to improve production. AI has more benefits than just streamlined manufacturing, though. With the use of a chatbot, employees and consumers can get information quickly and reliably. The chatbot makes inquiries easy and instant without wasting anyone’s time.

A chatbot is a visual or auditory messenger that replies to a user’s questions and comments. Programmers can “teach” chatbots with AI different responses and new ways to answer questions. The customer experience, or CX, is different when engaging a chatbot rather than a real person. The chatbot cuts straight to the point with readily available information, whereas employees may take time. There are pros and cons on both sides.

The CX can range from good to bad, depending on the chatbot, business and customer. The experience alone is different from speaking to a human.

Human mimicry

Conversing with a chatbot has a lot of similarities to talking to a real person. People who are unaware that they are speaking to an AI may assume the bot is human. Expensive chatbots like Siri or Alexa can mimic the way humans speak to make the conversation feel as genuine as possible. Fooling people into believing they’re speaking to people raises ethical questions no previous generation has had. The rise of AI is making way for a social disconnect of human conversation.

However, AI doesn’t fool everyone. Chatbots use keywords from user input to form a reply. Depending on the question or presentation, the chatbot may respond incorrectly in an obvious way. A customer could become frustrated when trying to make the chatbot answer a simple question. The CX threatens to suffer from AI interaction. A human representative should always be available to help with problems the chatbot cannot handle.

If a human must always be available anyway, the chatbot may seem redundant. However, AI can still handle basic or tedious inquiries, contacting humans for input rarely, if at all.

Relating to people

The chatbot connects to the company’s computer system and can see all the client’s information. By using the business’ data, the chatbot can create a personalized experience for the customer. The AI should have access to billing information, inventory, past requests and complaints. The CX can improve if the chatbot has all the information available.

Quick and easy answers for basic information is the pinnacle in CX. Generation Z, the youngest generation, looks for business to be streamlined and instant. A chatbot works best for this generation because of the speed and ease of use. A chatbot provides high-quality information without wasting time, making AI the customer-service experience of the future.

Gen Z values CX above most other things in transactions, including prices. Adapting to new technology like chatbots allows younger customers to help themselves. Make sure the chatbot is mobile-ready to evolve with the growing trends.

Better than social interaction

A chatbot can always be available, even if a problem occurs over the night or on a weekend. Users don’t have to wait for available agents or deal with a tired employee. The chatbot automatically answers all issues to multiple users simultaneously, and is patient during explanations. For users with anxiety or little patience, a chatbot cuts through the need for human conversations.

On the other end of customer service are the company and employees. In addition to answering questions with more accuracy, the chatbot can always be available. Chatbots free up time an employee takes responding to customer service calls. With the employee free, they can focus on more important tasks requiring more skills and less tedium. The employee can then learn new skills and climb higher in the company.

Machines taking human jobs has been a concern for decades. The problem is, progress isn’t always easy. Allowing a company to become more modern may mean downsizing employees, which no one is happy about. No specific formula exists for modernization and keeping employees. Every business is different, and will face different challenges when considering automation.

Catching up

Modernization and automation make business run more smoothly, but implementing the technology can be costly. Businesses will save money in the long run on using resources efficiently, especially human ones. Each bot’s programming will be different for the need, so there will be time involved with the procedure. However, the rewards for focusing more on automation can be astounding if introduced correctly.

Assuming money is no object, there will still be challenges when chatbots can’t understand basic inquiries. Businesses valuing their human assets will be critical to implementation, as well. Focusing on enhancing, rather than replacing, workers can please your employees and consumers.

For the most part, customers are already used to speaking to bots. Bringing them into your business means you’re becoming modern, not futuristic. Gen Z, especially, prefers using bots for basic needs. When the CX benefits, so do the company’s reputation and business as a whole.

Nathan Sykes is the editor of Finding an Outlet, where he writes about the latest in technology and business. Be sure to follow Nathan on Twitter @nathansykestech.