Chatbots, yes or no?
Did you ever talk to a chatbot? No, it is nothing dangerous neither a hotline but a kind of robot responding to your questions instead of a human being. It is also known as talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, IM bot, interactive agent, at least this is what Wikipedia says. We can say that it’s like a real computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods with the peculiarity that it can respond to your enquiries and sounds like a magic chat, because you know that on the other side you are not talking to a human but with an virtual person.
Currently chatbots are widely used as part of instant messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, for sales and marketing, guest loyalty, customer care purposes. Regarding this last issue a chatbot is exactly “helping” or better replacing a customer service manager. Well, it’s true that with a chatbot you have the opportunity to give the client a real time feedback, without waiting the manager’s shift to start, making customers happier and satisfied. A customer who will certainly come back or at least remember of you next time he’ll need the same service and product, gaining retention and loyalty.
The question is, are we asking ourselves what this will bring to? Are we really sure that all customers are really enjoying a virtual assistance? Wouldn’t they love to receive a more personalised, heart-felted reply instead of a virtual one?
If we consider only costs saving the response is very easy, managers all love chatbots for their companies. They do not have to spend money on a extra salary no more. They actually save up to 30% using this new communication method. Then we have the trends, if our competitor uses a chatbot, why don’t we use it too? Otherwise we are behind the times and we risk to lose clients.
On the contrary if we start to reflect on the human side we maybe would like chatbots had never been invented, sons of this excited, impatient and nervous age where there is no more relax and willing to wait but wanting everything immediately. They are with no doubt a help, but they should also keep being a help not a substitute of a person. This should certainly be the real innovation.