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Are customer service chatbots the future?

May 13, 2020
Learn how to motivate call center employees in 4 steps

Blog

Are customer service chatbots the future?

by | May 13, 2020 | Customer Experience

Is customer service chatbot the ultimate future?

If you think this article is going to talk about how robots will replace humans by the end of 2025, I’m sorry to burst your bubble but it’s just the opposite. Artificial intelligence (AI) and customer service chatbot have a long way to go in terms of the competencies that humans possess.

Yes, it’s true that chatbots can help customer service teams cut operational costs by up to 30%. Additionally, we can’t deny the many perks of chatbots for customer service considering they don’t need to eat, sleep, or ever take a holiday. Unlike their human counterparts, AI ai chatbot for customer service will work seven days a week, 24 hours a day — all without a drop in performance level.

Chatbots have now become an indispensable part of our daily lives. That being said, I’ll go out on my limb and say this — they are not ready to take our jobs.

Customer Service Chatbot can’t empathize with humans

The thing that keeps humans from losing their jobs to chatbots is their sentient ability to express empathy with fellow humans.

A Customer service chatbot can do everything with surgical precision. It is more objective than all the world’s scientists and their empirical data combined. But even with all their AI-powered robotic precision, customer service chatbot remains just that — our trusted sidekicks. They are our digital assistants whose job is to retrieve data, optimize processes, and save us time so that we can do our jobs better.

Chatbots are bundles of digital algorithms. Similarly, customer service chatbots are trained all data sets of past customer interactions and other defined best practices that it has to follow. They crawl to the deepest crevices of the digital universe to give us data that would take us ages to pull if we were on our own. No matter how artificially intelligent chatbots are or how smart their algorithms may be, they are not emotionally intelligent like we humans are.

So why are we using chatbots for customer service?

As per IBM, Chatbots are most widespread in the customer service function. By design, customer service is where people come to have a heart-to-heart discussion to solve their problems.

Customer service people are therapists or first responders of the business world. They have to deal with the rawest human emotions all the time. An AI chatbot for customer service or a customer service chatbot in general lack one thing that is far from reality, the EQ!

So why have customer service chatbots been integrated where emotions fly wild and there is minimal room for miscommunication?

Simply because the majority of requests in customer service teams are repetitive in nature and chatbots are great at automating repetitive tasks. Hence, customer service chatbots help companies save time by streamlining the process of dealing with repetitive tasks.

So you see, even when customer service chatbots are not capable of expressing empathy, they contribute directly to help their human masters follow up with real emotion where due. This gap is narrowing more and more as advancements in AI are made at an alarming rate. In a CCW study, it was found that 84% of companies believe that AI chatbots will become more important for communication between a customer and business.

AI is becoming more intelligent

The AI chatbot customer service is rapidly taking over the industry and data scientists are making giant leaps to improve the existing technology of natural language processing (NLP), Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL) and emotion synthesis.

These improvements are helping AI chatbot for customer service improve their understanding of human sentiments.

With NLP, you can train your chatbots to understand the actual, non-literal intention of what a customer is saying. You can program the bots to respond to customer queries in a natural way

by giving them examples of interactions that they might encounter. The more examples they are exposed to, the better their quality of response becomes in the future.

chat bot in action

An example of a chatbot using NLP to interact with a customer.

Image source

SSML is similar to NLP but in the context of voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa. Voice bots use SSML to understand speech instructions they get via a voice interface and process them back into a text-to-speech response.

voice interfact

The sequence of action that takes place when you interact with a voice assistant.

Image source

Chatbots powered with AI, ML, or deep learning are perhaps the most advanced in terms of mimicking human responses as they self-train and are relatively independent of human intervention.

One of the best examples of an AI-powered bot that mimics human empathy well is the Insomnobot-3000, developed by Casper Mattress.

GIF insomnobot

GIF source

As the name implies, Insomnobot-3000 is an AI-powered chatbot that can keep company with those who struggle to fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning.

It’s a chatty text-based chatbot that is active from 11 pm to 5 am, the time when most insomniacs suffer from sleep deprivation. You have to subscribe to the service by texting a message to the company.

The bot is programmed to chat just like a human so that the users don’t feel like they are talking to a heartless robot. It learns your preferences over time and strikes casual conversations — ranging from your weekend plans to what’s your favorite midnight snack. These interactions are empathetic and make users feel at ease.

Make your customer service chatbots count

The examples we discussed above make one thing clear — customer service chatbots can try to mimic empathy, but at the end of the day it still takes a human to pull Pinocchio’s strings. You have to train customer service chatbots and program them to take up a human personality so be sure to pick the right humans to develop the personality of your bot.

You can delegate the repetitive, mechanical tasks to chatbots so that they can engage with customers outside of your regular business hours.

When it comes to handling crucial issues that require human judgment, make sure there is a seamless hand-off from chatbots to a human service agent by ensuring that a real person is just a step or click away.

Chatbots and AI are as much a part of your customer service and AI customer service chatbot teams up as human agents but they have a long way to go. For the time being, imagine your customer service chatbot as interning with their human counterparts until they learn the ropes and become mature enough to handle complex situations on their own.

Our take on customer service chatbot

We at ContactPoint360 strive to deliver innovative and efficient solutions. Above all, we understand the human element of empathy is paramount and when we curate solutions, we never undermine empathy. In instances where we deploy customer service chatbots, we ensure that is it to enhance the experience and not eliminate the human touch. ,Our customer support solutions will help you deliver customer satisfaction with ease and excellence. We leverage customer service chatbots to enhance the way we deliver our service by improving efficiency, saving time and creating exceptional customer experiences

Jessica Johnson
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