The discussion on whether chatbots are the future of customer service has been around ever since this technology has been introduced in the business world. Though there are no doubts about the fact that chatbots are going to make a huge impact in the coming future when it comes to customer engagement. But does that mean that human chat agents are a thing of the past?
There are many people in the industry that would actually say yes. There are certain aspects where chatbots have an advantage over human beings.
Some of these advantages are –
- Knowledge of Many Languages
Chatbots can be programmed to communicate in multiple languages so they can be used to attend website visitors from several countries.
- Can Handle Unlimited Chats
Unlike their human counterparts, chatbots can handle an unlimited amount of chats at the same time and can communicate with every single one of them effectively. Although human agents can handle multiple chats at the same time, they still have their limitations.
- Faster Response Time
Chatbots respond faster to chat request compared to live agents. An agent might be busy chatting with other customers and their response may get delayed because of it. Chatbots do not have that problem.
- Cost Effective
Since chatbots can handle multiple chats in multiple languages, many companies are replacing their live chat agents with these bots as they are more cost-effective.
Chatbots are not perfect though and they come with some drawbacks of their own.
Here are some of their disadvantages –
- Lack of Human Touch
Not all customers are going to be excited about bots. There are many that are used to having human contact when they need assistance and would like to chat with a real human being that can show empathy and be relatable. Chatbots cannot do that.
- Reply to Specific Questions
Chatbots can only help a customer if they ask the right questions. If a customer asks anything that is not pre-programmed into the bot, the bot cannot help them. Also, if a question is misspelled by the customer, the chatbot cannot understand it and cannot respond to it.
Live Chat Agents
Live chat agents have been the soul of the non-voice customer services processes. Even though technology is rapidly advancing, many believe that replacing these agents is not an option. Customer service is a field that will always require a human approach to truly satisfy any customer’s needs.
Check Out Some Benefits of Live Chat Agents
- Ability to Show Empathy
When there is a human to human interaction, there is scope for showing empathy. Empathy plays a vital role in customer service and only human agents can truly understand the feelings of the customers and relate to them.
- Improved Quality
The conversation between a bot and a human is always going to be limited. The quality of conversation between a human being and your customer will always be higher.
Just like the bots, live chat agents also have their drawbacks. After all, human beings are not always perfect.
Here are some shortcomings of live chat agents
- Slower Response Time
As stated in the advantages point of chatbots, the response time of human beings is less than that of bots
- 24*7 Availability Difficult
Since live chat agents are human beings and cannot work 24*7, there may be some downtime in your online chat.
I believe that bots, as well as live agents, are going to be important for the future of chat support services. Bots definitely add to the efficiency of the chat channel. Human agents will always be an integral part of chat support as they can show empathy, connect with customers on an emotional level and give customers a feeling of comfort.