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Chat Bots & Automation: The Good, Bad & Ugly

Tyler Holliday, Ytel |  

Chat bots are a conversational UI tool that allows companies to automate their interactions with customers and leads. With strong advantages and disadvantages, it's typically a controversial choice for organizations to begin using chat bots to interact with their audience. Find out why in this post! 

With strong advantages and disadvantages, it's typically a controversial choice for organizations to begin using chat bots to interact with their audience. Find out why in this post!

Why Trust a Chat Bot?

  • Constant availability Chat bots are available to interact with customers 24/7. In addition, they can interact with a customer immediately, regardless of how many other customers are requesting interactions at the same time.
  • Reduced need for human support - With chat bots, companies don't need to hire nearly as many people to interact with customers, saving on both money and space. Chat bots don't require training or health benefits, and they don't take sick days!
  • Improved analytics - Chat bots can collect large amounts of data, allowing the company to learn more about the nature and quality of their interactions with users.
  • Faster handling of high volumes of requests - If you have a high volume of requests, having chat bots handle some of them can dramatically reduce wait times and frustrated customers.

The Flaws of Chat Bots

  • Short-term expense - Although chat bots may cost less than human personnel in the long run, the up front costs can be substantial. This is particularly true when you invest in chat bot software with advanced machine learning capabilities and other perks.
  • Risk of poor user experience - The user experience can be very positive in some cases, but it can also be negative when the user asks the bot to do something it wasn't designed to do.
  • Lack of humanity and emotion - Unfortunately, chat bots cannot mimic or understand human emotions yet. For this reason, chat bots may not function well when users attempt to display certain types of emotions in their messages, such as frustration or sarcasm. This leads to poor outcomes and added stress on the user.

The Bottom Line

No type of technology is perfect. Chat bots have both advantages and drawbacks, so it is important to consider every aspect of their use carefully before employing them. In addition, it is a good idea to test chat bots extensively before unveiling this new technology, and you should also continue to monitor consumers' interactions with chat bots even after making them available.

This technology is likely to improve over time, but until it is perfected, careful design is essential. Avoid trying to make your chat bots capable of handling all requests. Instead, allow them to specialize in the types of requests you handle most often.

Humanize your chat bots as much as possible, and be sure that humans are always supervising so they can catch any errors or serious problems.
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About The Author

Tyler Holliday, Ytel

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Tyler is fueled by the power of imagination and has a passion for connecting businesses to their customers and prospects through authentic marketing. Some advice he gives to other marketers is keep things simple, and always follow the golden rule… Measure what you market.


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