Robots are already here – well, at least the very essence of them.
In fact, during the past few years, they’ve started to play an integral role in the customer service industry. Here they come to life as chatbots, which is short for chatter robots. These cheerful characters are now in charge of the automation of the service, and many people are already impressed because chatbots can help them accomplish a lot of things.
Craving for pizza? A chatbot will take your order and have it sent over immediately. Going on holiday? It will quickly book a hotel reservation for you. A chatbot will also get you a movie ticket, or eagerly schedule an appointment with your doc. And there’s no longer need to wait in line because bots are available to immediately address your concerns.
Companies are also really appreciative of the benefits of automated customer service as it can improve many areas of their operation. Chatbots, for example, are capable of acting as agency representatives during live chats. Research bots, in their turn, can help brands keep up on the latest trends. Meanwhile, retail-store service robots are transforming the commercial side of things.
The Reality of Automated Customer Service
The benefits of automation in the customer service industry certainly sound great. However, issues and questions persist on whether automated customer service can actually keep it up for the long term.
For one, today’s chatbots have limited abilities. They follow a set of rules and respond only to parameters that had been encoded to their database. If a question is asked outside of it, the software won’t work as intended.
Rules-based bots also aren’t yet intelligent enough to enter into human-like conversations. Their operations lack subtleness and leave customers dissatisfied upon realizing they weren’t talking to a real person after all.
Access to data
Perhaps the biggest challenge in developing efficient chatbots is the lack of access to big data about human interactions. You see, the software needs to learn how humans interact to be able to act like one of them. At the moment only a few companies hold such big data. This means that the majority of businesses, for now, are not able to build chatbots intelligent enough to pass for humans.
Automated Customer Service Applications
Regardless of the challenges, the development of a smarter chatbot continues. Here are some examples.
1. Voice chatbot
- Voice-based chatbots can be accessed via mobile devices and allow users to accomplish tasks hands-free such as those dealing with recipes.
- Chatbots can respond to verbal commands, such as opening a website or software application.
2. Text chatbot
- Text-based chatbots on websites can direct visitors to the pages they are looking for.
- Customer-service text bots are able to answer frequently asked questions in an interactive and fun way to keep potential customers engaged.
3. Email chatbot
- Intelligent software can be added as an extension to email inboxes to help answer users’ emails.
- Machine learning applications in email inboxes can recognize unanswered emails and quickly create natural responses on behalf of the user.
4. Customer service robot
- Customer-service robots employed in public places such as airports can provide directions for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
- Retail-store service robots are able to answer customers’ questions allowing employees to focus on other tasks.
Chatbots have a long way to go before they become intelligent enough to be an integral part of our lives. But development will continue in the field of automated customer service until we finally see human-like AIs being adopted in various sectors and industries.