Chat Bots Aren't Enough; We Need The Human Touch

Wes Wise, Ytel |  

New technology brings new opportunity, but new technology is not a catchall to your customer service and internal communications problems. There is something to be said for the automated marketing and administration processes that are taking the business world by storm. However, until tools such as chat bots truly obtain an independent intelligence of their own, your customer service will still require a human touch.

New technology brings new opportunity, but new technology is not a catchall to your customer service and internal communications problems. Until tools such as chat bots truly obtain an independent intelligence of their own, your customer service will still require a human touch.

Does this mean that the company should not use chat bots at all?

Absolutely not. Incorporate chat bots specifically, and automation in general, wherever you can. However, do not expect the current generation of chat bots to take the place of a human customer service representative. The goal you should look to is saving your human capital for truly unique situations that require some discernment. Read more about another option, live chat, here. 

When are chat bots most helpful?

Over time, you will likely be able to identify common threads in your customer service queries. Chat bots can be used to automate the company's response to these queries. For instance, a late delivery complaint may be answered with a standard "20% coupon off of the next order." Chat bots should be able to move the customer to a specialized page with an information grab for the coupon. You may also be able to attach your chat bot directly to your CRM to find the relevant customer information and deliver the coupon to an email address. This may save your employees 15 to 30 minutes that can be put towards more creative pursuits.

When is the human touch necessary?

Expecting a chat bot to be able to handle an extremely irate customer is a bit out of reach at this phase of technology. Customers who are in the same industry or in your vertical line may even use the same technology as you. If this is the case, you risk offending them, because they know that you are not giving special attention to their problem. There is also very little that a chat bot can do if a situation is truly unique. In this case, the chat bot should be programmed to deliver the message or transfer the call to a human employee. A human employee should be on call at all times to take these kinds of queries.

What good is a chat bot if I still need humans?

Just because you can't use a chat bot for 100% of your customer facing problems doesn't mean that it has no place in your operations. As a matter of fact, analyzing the successful interactions that chat bots have with your customers may actually improve their performance over time. You will be able to input more nuanced phrasing into your automated answers. You will be able to identify common threads more precisely. Your employees will also be able to better understand when they should completely override the chat bot and correspond with the customer directly.

Some businesses completely eschew automation technologies like chat bots. Others try to overuse them in order to save manpower. Do not fall into either extreme. The chat bot is certainly a technology that is worth looking into. However, it must be monitored and analyzed in order to produce its best results. The only way that you will be able to accomplish this is through your "old-fashioned" human capital.

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About The Author

Wes Wise, Ytel

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With a knack for technical writing and a focus on frontend development, Wes works on a variety of Engineering and Marketing projects at Ytel. As an UI/UX developer, he’s constantly following design trends, principles, and frameworks to implement the best solution for the task at hand.


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