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Pros and Cons of Chatbots

Understand the Pros and Cons of Chatbots

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Executive Vice President

I needed a carpenter to do some custom stuff at home. I looked around for a carpenter but couldn’t find someone immediately.

I downloaded the app of a home services company. I browsed everything under carpenters and couldn’t find what I wanted in their productized service offerings.

However, they had an option to book a carpenter. He would visit your place, and based on the work, he would provide a custom quote, and you can get started.

I booked that option and made the payment.

I had the option to book the time slot as well. I did that.

An hour before the scheduled time, I wanted to reschedule it, which the app allowed me to do. After that, a carpenter was assigned to my work.

He promptly reached my house on time.

So far, so good.

Here is where my ordeal began.

I explained to the carpenter what I needed, and he immediately said that this isn’t something they take up as work. He mentioned that and left.

I paid 188 bucks for this visit to be told they don’t take up such work.

I made the payment and felt cheated by the service offering.

What Is the Resolution?

I opened the app and went to their support section. Once I clicked on that, I was greeted by a bot named Lucy.

I explained my problem to Lucy, and the bot empathized profusely (pun intended). Then, the bot asked me a question about the phone number of the carpenter who attended the service.

I did not have it, and this was a dead end.

The conversation wasn’t moving forward, and I was stuck. However, the ticket was left open.

The app or the bot did not offer me any alternative suggestions.

I went and googled as to how I could get this resolved in that app.

I was asked to go to the ‘My Bookings’ section under ‘My Profile’ and initiate a conversation. I did that, and I was redirected back to Lucy. I met with the same dead end.

Out of frustration, I closed the conversation, and it asked me for my feedback. I gave it a single-star rating as I could not leave a zero-star rating.

Immediately, it displayed a message asking if I wanted to talk to a human agent.

I took that option and started conversing with a human agent.

She understood the problem, ensured that I got a refund of the money I paid, and took my feedback on what could have been done better.

The writing on the wall was that the organization wanted to do good for the customer and would continue to have me as their customer.

Now, let us come to the part on whether chatbots are good or bad for your business.

In my example, the bots weren’t helpful and almost lost a customer for life. I am sure they have lost many such customers to date.

Chatbots definitely have a huge place in the customer experience function. However, it cannot be used blindly across all possible scenarios.

It would help if you defined where chatbots can be good and where it may not be an appropriate solution.

What Are the Advantages of Chatbots?

Information Retrieval

Chatbots can quickly and accurately answer common customer queries such as product information, operating hours, and policies, saving customers and agents time.

Appointment Scheduling and Reminders

Chatbots can assist customers in booking appointments, rescheduling, or sending reminders for appointments, which is especially useful in healthcare and service-based businesses.

Order Status and Tracking

Customers can use chatbots to inquire about the status of their orders, track shipments, and receive real-time delivery updates.

Password Resets and Account Management

Chatbots can guide users through resetting passwords, updating account information, or performing routine account-related tasks.

Lead Generation and Qualification

Chatbots can engage website visitors and social media users, collect information, and qualify leads based on pre-defined criteria, helping your sales focus on high-potential prospects.

What Are the Disadvantages of Chatbots?

Technical Support

Chatbots may struggle with highly technical or intricate issues that require in-depth knowledge or troubleshooting skills. On the contrary, chatbots can end up frustrating the customers with such requests.

Emotionally Sensitive or Delicate Situations

I am stuck in a hospital where my cashless medical claims are not approved. I reach out to my insurance provider and imagine a bot handling my request.

Chatbots lack human agents’ empathy and emotional intelligence, which can lead to poor customer experiences.

Customized Financial Advice

Providing personalized financial planning or investment advice often requires an in-depth understanding of customer’s unique circumstances and goals, making it a challenging task for chatbots.

Legal and Compliance

Legal issues, contract negotiations, and regulatory compliance often necessitate human expertise and judgment, as chatbots may not fully understand the nuances of legal language and context.

With our experience of having helped more than 1,500 customers worldwide in their customer experience function, we realize the value that chatbots can bring to your business.

However, you have to be cognizant of where it would work and where it wouldn’t make sense to invest in chatbots.

We always suggest this to our customers.

When there is a doubt, always provide the option for your customers to reach a human agent at any time during their interaction.

This would solve 100% of your use case challenges regarding whether something is a good use case for a bot.

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