The benefits of integrating a chatbot in your customer support strategy vary from offering a 24h full support service for your customers to delivering relevant answers in real time. They can make processes work more efficiently and bring great results to your business. Due to these advantages, it may seem that customer support bots can solve a wide variety of issues and save your business from a lot of human resources by automating a part of the customer support duties.

We know that technology may be great for delivering you cost efficiently and time efficiently results, but do not make the mistake and assume that it is the solution for everything that comes in.  Does the scenario of spending huge amounts on acquiring software that does not do the job you want sound familiar to you? Or that it does not fully remove the human need into using it? How can these things happen when bots promised such great results? Why is it the opposite?

These questions may illustrate not only the frustration, but also the phases of understanding how support bots really work and what their real impact on poor customer support service is. In order to have a wider picture of this situation, let’s look at the following elements that characterize chatbots.

Customer support chatbots are tools

One important element that businesses tend to forget is the fact that customer support bots are tools. In other words, they represent pieces that are part of or can be integrated in a greater strategy or process. Their impact can be seen in how the overall customer support process works with them up and running.

For instance, let’s look at the following situation. You are a small business which provides an eCommerce software. You also offer support for customers who buy your service. Due to financial restraints, you were not able to provide 24h customer support. For this reason, you decided to purchase a customer support chatbot and to integrate it in your strategy. In this way, you managed to offer 24h support service for your customers to handle certain issues. Notice that this may come without hiring new people in the department.

This situation shows that chatbots are very useful and have some features that bring great benefits to businesses. However, your business had a customer support department which functioned really well and offered customers the answers they were looking for. The only element that was missing was that it did not function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By bringing a chatbot on board, you managed to fill in this gap and to improve your customer support service.

Chatbots cannot work alone

Chatbots may have some great features, but their value decreases considerably when they are the only customer support method used.  First of all, a support chatbot is  a software that is created to simulate human interaction and to deliver the answers customers need. The answers they offer are based on a documentation of a product or service that someone gives to the bot. There are situations when people address questions that are out of the bot’s area of expertise. In the case where the bot is the only customer support tool used, your customers may not receive all the time the information they need.

Chatbots complement customer support representatives, FAQ sections and other support methods. They have certain limitations which do not allow them to fully perform the entire work. For this reason, it is essential to think of them as part of your customer support strategy.

Customer support chatbots are an important piece of the puzzle, but they are not enough to construct the entire picture. As it can be observed, they are not sufficient to solve the problem of poor customer support service.

The user experience while dealing with companies could be much better even without chatbots. And, it could be much worse even with chatbots. It all boils down to what the intent is.

Poor customer support service can be fixed by understanding what people are asking for and adapting your strategies to satisfy their needs and meet their expectations. It consists of a complex process that takes patience and time in order to see results.

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