Think back to the last time you attempted to connect with someone via live chat to get customer support or technical assistance. What place were you in the queue? What was the estimated wait time? Or was the live chat function “unavailable”? When you expect a certain experience and you receive something totally different, that is a big fail by the company.
Live chat is not a complex concept, so when you’re asked to “come back later” or “leave a message”, you instantly have a negative impression of that company and their website. So what do you do? If you’re simply looking to get information about their products or services, maybe you just move on to the next option. If you’re looking for help with a product or service you previously ordered, do you suddenly regret your purchase and look for a new solution going forward? No matter the reason, this experience is highly damaging to the brand and reputation of that company.
Live chat does have the ability to help close a sale or move a deal farther down the pipeline, if done right. Yet, 47% of surveyed customers in this report said they had a negative live chat experience within the past month. And when they do have a negative experience, 1 in 5 customers will tell their friends about it.
The typical problems customers report include:
- Support not being online despite live chat displaying as available
- Being disconnected during a live chat
- Effort required to start a live chat, particularly where there are pre-chat forms
One in every 4 customers say long wait times are the single most frustrating part of the live chat experience – they engaged with live chat to get immediate help, not wait in a queue.
The good news? The vast majority of businesses understand that providing a positive and memorable customer experience is an important priority. The bad news? Consumers are saying those same businesses are failing. 56% of customers cannot recall an exceptional experience with live chat, and 83% have given up on a live chat engagement because of the problems noted above. There has to be a better way.
Enter chatbots, which have come into the mainstream over the last few years and continue to make inroads into our daily lives. But they have their own limitations. While chatbots continue to get smarter, they are still mostly bound by a limited knowledgebase, language barriers, and a lack of understanding of their capabilities and effectiveness. In fact, only 53% of businesses say that creating a “customer-first culture” includes the use of artificial intelligence tools like chatbots.
Some companies make the mistake of completely replacing their human team with a chatbot. They believe automation can take the place of a live person and provide an equally-positive customer experience. But 86% of customers believe there should be an option to “talk to a human” when they engage with a chatbot.
Even with these issues, customers like chatbots. Among millennials, 70% report having a positive chatbot experience, and among businesses that use chatbots, 90% report that chatbots help them resolve customer complaints more quickly.
So what does this all mean?
It means that while chatbots are effective in providing a positive customer experience, they cannot, and should not, be used to replace the value of a human team. AtlasRTX has had this mindset from the beginning. “Chatbots + Humans. Better Together.” has been our motto, and it still is just as true today as it was then. Our technology is unique in the AI-powered chatbot industry because we keep the human as an integral part of the chatbot experience, allowing customers to connect with a live person and allowing employees to jump into chatbot conversations to take over the discussion and help move the customer farther down the funnel.
Our technology is far superior to the typical chatbot. Instead of loading a static database of information and only allowing the chatbot to pull information from that data set, our chatbots seamlessly connect to live data feeds or pull new information daily, keeping your content fresh and your customers satisfied. In addition, our chatbots learn from each other. As we continually make improvements to the functionality of one bot, every other bot benefits. This means your bot continues to get smarter over time without any effort on your part.
It’s clear that when implementing AI and chatbots into your company’s marketing, sales and customer service toolkit, you need technology that takes the best of automation and the best of human engagement to create the ultimate customer experience.