Do Bots and AI Anger Customers? A Balanced View
By the Creative Virtual Team
There’s a widely held belief in the customer service field that bots and artificial intelligence are loathed by customers. Horror stories of unresponsive automated phone menus and clumsy voice recognition float around the web, leading some companies to believe that only human support agents will work for their customers.
How true is this idea? To find out, we need to consider the most fundamental elements of any customer support event.
The premise of automated chat agents annoying customers
Some believe mistakenly that artificial intelligence doesn’t yet have the ability to really understand what a person needs to solve their problem. News stories in this vein are published all the time; in some cases, bots have even made up erroneous facts in their responses to customers.
Speaking to a live customer support agent can be helpful – as long as you are working with a top-quality representative. Unfortunately, there have been some cases of neglect, mistreatment, or downright rudeness from customer support agents.
Both human agents and artificial intelligence virtual assistants can provide excellent service, which is why deciding on one or the other isn’t the most important question to answer for your company’s customer and sales support needs.
Why the chatbots vs. live agents debate misses the point
Whatever your beliefs about AI-based customer service, it’s important to remember that there’s only one goal in every customer support interaction: solving a specific problem or answering a specific question. Every other component of customer service is a tool to accomplish this goal.
When a customer initiates a chat or dials in to a support line, they need something. It doesn’t matter whether they chat with an automated support bot, call a live agent, ask one of their friends, or look up an answer in a company FAQ. The faster the customer gets an answer to their question, the greater their overall satisfaction.
The bottom line: time matters most for customer support
No matter what kind of product or service you offer, your main goal for customer support improvement is reducing the amount of time it takes to solve your customers’ problems. Whether you accomplish this goal through hiring a full team of support agents or relying on a sophisticated AI chatbot program is less important than how effective you are at answering the concerns of your customers.
Automated virtual assistants can help you address these concerns quickly, cut down on staffing costs, and give you a better understanding of your customer support. They can also help you ensure that your customer service is consistent with your brand messaging. Thanks to sophisticated AI, advanced conversational abilities, and the option to seamlessly handoff a support customer to a live agent, today’s AI virtual assistants provide answers quickly and predictably without angering customers – as long as you choose the right technology.