To bot or not to bot – the promise and pitfalls

Chatbots are a consistently hot topic in customer (CX) – and rightly so. According to Gartner, by 2020, daily interactions with chatbots will be normal, and 30% of internet browsing will be done through a bot, rather than a screen.  

Our clients are exploring ways to improve both the guest experience and operational efficiencies in a variety of ways – from notifying a traveler when an upgraded room is available to setting push notifications on package delivery milestones.

As companies move to embrace this technology they often find that there are many options to consider – all of which are constantly subject to change. Here’s a “bite-sized” primer on what our clients have experienced in this space.

Not all bots are the same 

It’s true that not all AI is created equal. Bots differ, markedly, in the amount of coding they need from humans to work well “going off script” if need be, answering customer queries without handing off to a human. To brush up on the basic three types, this article is a good place to start. 

Beware of the promise of bots 

It all sounds great at the beginning – lower costs for you, more efficient service for your customers. But like any new technology or channel, the promise is great – but the risks are also very real. Remember who you are working to create value for at the end of the day – the customer. If not done well, chatbots are “just another channel,” and we all know what happens when you add another channel without retiring others. Costs go up, not down. 

We’re at the beginning of the beginning 

This space is going to evolve enormously in the next few years. It’s good to dip your toes in, but I’d recommend being flexible and keeping your options open. At the same time, it pays to watch what is happening on the edges of the market for inspiration and direction.  

At the end of the day, chatbots should be adding value to your customers – and this doesn’t necessarily mean just in handling your standard frequently asked questions (FAQ) responses. I'm here to help you sort through the best channel mix to help you engage most effectively – and profitably - with your customers. 

Beyond the call center – the value your partners should deliver

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