Still called conversational agent, the chatbot is a very popular computer program for online services. On the market, we find the classic model and the very powerful natural language chatbot, which is able to hold personalized conversations. Discover, in this post, the advantages and disadvantages of this technology that is becoming more and more popular in different business sectors.
What is a chatbot ?
A chatbot is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Some chatbots are designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, although chatbots are far short of being able to pass the Turing test.
Chatbots are used in a wide variety of situations, including customer service, marketing, product recommendations, and information gathering.Some chatbots use sophisticated natural language processing systems, but many simpler ones scan for keywords within the input, then pull a reply with the most matching keywords, or the most similar wording pattern, from a database.
The term “ChatBot” was originally coined by Michael Mauldin in 1994 to describe these conversational programs. Today, most chatbots are accessed via virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, via messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or WeChat, or via individual organizations’ apps and websites.
The advantages of using a chatbot
Talking about the advantages and disadvantages of a chatbot is an exercise that will allow you to make wise choices for the development of your activities. Know that in general, the use of a chatbot is advantageous in many ways.
The chatbot is a powerful tool for improving the relationship between a company and its customers. Whether it’s to inquire about product availability, or to solve specific problems, this technology stands out for its spontaneity in delivering answers to customers’ concerns. Moreover, the conversational agent has the advantage of making a company reachable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thus, users can contact your company at any time to discuss their needs. The consequence of the rapid processing of requests and the permanent availability of your company will undoubtedly be the strengthening of commercial ties with your customers.
Automation of tasks
Repeating the same tasks on a daily basis can lead to boredom and decreased performance. By adopting a chatbot, you can automate a number of processes within your company. This is very beneficial and will allow you to focus your energies on value-added services.
Collect data to improve your services
By opting for a chatbot, you will be able to collect information about your customers’ habits. To do this, simply set your chatbot to automatically record your customers’ search terms, engagements and usual purchases. Moreover, your chatbot can allow you to collect data about the quality of your services, from your users. This valuable information will allow you to improve the quality of your products, and to offer services that match your customers’ needs. In short, the chatbot is a tool that contributes to the increase of the turnover, and to the development of companies in the long term.
The limits of the chatbot
Although it is very advantageous, the chatbot still has some drawbacks.
Low flexibility capacity
Regardless of the type of technology used, the chatbot cannot have the empathy or the human know-how. Indeed, unlike a robot, a human agent is perfectly able to react and adapt to different situations. This is why we advise you to adopt the chatbot not as a replacement for your customer service staff, but rather as a virtual assistant in this service.
Thus, your conversational agent will have the role of answering basic questions related to your activities and your human agents will take care of the specific concerns of your customers. Moreover, even if the chatbot can be configured to make jokes, or deliver emojis, it cannot provide the warmth or tenderness of a human agent.
The risks of bugs
A conventional chatbot is designed to answer basic questions about a company’s business. If you adopt this conversational agent model, be aware that it cannot hold personalized discussions with your customers. The most sensible alternative would be a natural language chatbot that thanks to its artificial intelligence program is able to deliver appropriate answers to all types of questions. Except that, here again, you must not lose sight of the fact that it is a computer program. Therefore, you are not immune to the risk of bugs.
You now know more about the advantages and disadvantages of chatbots.
Overall, chatbots can be extremely useful in a variety of settings. They can free up customer service representatives to handle more complex issues, they can provide 24/7 support, and they can quickly and easily answer frequently asked questions. However, chatbots also have their disadvantages. They can be perceived as impersonal and may not be able to handle more complicated issues. In addition, chatbots require ongoing maintenance and training in order to stay up-to-date on the latest products, services, and company policies.