Although the call center has not quite gone the way of the dodo bird, the chatbot has definitely made its presence known in the customer care industry. With every eligible company looking to automate every business function possible, chatbotting has increased in popularity. This is true even among companies without chatbots.
Earlier generations of bots were dismissed as impersonal and robotic. The modern strand of chatbot perfectly imitates the human voice. It uses AI to choose between thousands of pre-registered answers and select the appropriate response in real time. Machine learning allows the chatbot to learn from its mistakes and create an even more personalized experience with every new call.
On top of this, chatbots can sit by and learn from human customer care specialists as well. Customer service reps at many companies are literally training their replacements and talking themselves out of a job.
How exactly is the chatbot changing the modern industry of customer care?
Most companies have given up on trying to stop chatbots from taking over – the smart money is on compromise. Customer care companies are now measuring their need for human reps by the performance of the bot rather than the other way around. For the human customer service rep, the writing is on the wall.
First, the chatbot does not need a shift break. Whether you are running a small customer care department in house or outsourcing to a third party provider, you gain a considerable logistical advantage with a robot on standby. No matter when your customers call, you have a consistently upbeat and relevant response that eliminates more and more human error with every new encounter.
Second, the chatbot is more cost effective with a perfectly scalable utility. You never know when your customers will call – they call when they have a problem – and most problems don’t occur on our schedule, do they? Instead of guessing how many human staff you need at any given time, you can pay only for the responses you need with a chatbot. You never have to worry about missing a call because you do not have enough people on staff, nor do you have to worry about overpaying staff to monitor an empty phone line all night.
Third, your chatbot can serve as your initial administrator for times of high traffic. Chatbots tied to CRM systems can manage clients with perfect precision – clients no longer have to repeat their story multiple times to different customer service reps. The platform works internally as well. Many chatbots take profiles of human reps and cultivate the ability to identify which rep will best handle any given situation.
Fourth, the chatbot will reduce people’s patience for offshore customer care teams. If your competition is providing customer care in the mother tongue of its client base, with no annoying international clickovers, delays and lost signals, you will soon have to do the same or face an inevitable loss of business.
The Future of Customer Service
It will soon become completely untenable to house a fully human call center staff. If your competition is running its entire department from a low cost, high ROI chatbot, keeping a human staff implodes your relative outreach/marketing budget. The future is in the chatbot, and every company should determine how to best incorporate the technology into its call center – or find a customer care partner that has already done so.