Barry Coleman, CTO of Agent.ai
In a world gone mad with launching chatbots for ordering pizza and spinning up cocktail recipes, businesses must realize that a chatbot alone is not a panacea for customer service. In fact, many chatbots are a flop when it comes to addressing complex customer questions. But businesses are not getting the message. In February, Facebook Messenger boasted zero bots, but by November, there were more than 34,000.
That said, chatbots speak to a trend in customer service that cannot be ignored: People want access to self-service support tools wherever and whenever they want assistance. These tools offer an opportunity for businesses that need help scaling their customer support teams and offloading some more straightforward questions from their contact center queues. A survey conducted by Aspect Software Research found that 44 percent of U.S. consumers ages 18-65 would prefer a chatbot if the company could get the experience right. And that’s the key: the experience.
For businesses exploring how chatbots can support their customer service goals, and even those that have already deployed bots, here are five things that customer support leaders should keep in mind as they look to chatbots this holiday season:
Industry analyst firm TMR estimated the market size for chatbots to be almost $1 billion by 2024. Given the explosion in interest in the technology and the sea change in customer service expectations being driven by millennials, this isn’t a bad estimate. But to truly engage customers and deliver quality service, the key is not just adding a chatbot to the mix, but finding the medium that allows you to deliver the fastest, highest-quality responses in real time.