AI Chatbots: Is the New Tech Worth the Hype?

woman typing

Since online shops are replacing stores, there’s bound to be someone at the counter. People face problems while shopping and it was easy enough for the desk person to solve their queries. But with online shopping, the traffic is immense. Each year, Amazon ships around 2.5 billion packages. It’s not feasible for customer service executives to handle all the problems via calls.

It’s the same case with most companies. Industries like retail, IT support and services, and education need to interact with customers. They’re hiring customer service managers every day, but the calls keep increasing. Replying to these problems is a matter of reputation, and they can’t afford to let customers go, so that’s why Chatbot was created. But should you invest in it?

What is a chatbot?

Imagine you own an electronics store called Tech Tools. As the owner, you have plenty of tasks to finish. But attending calls to take orders is equally important. So, you get yourself a chatbot called Techy, which interacts with customers on your behalf.

This Chatbot lives in a cloud, which uses Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence to process what a person is saying and convert it into a language that a computer can understand. You tell your requirements to the medium, which transfers the information to the cloud.

But only understanding words is not enough. The Chatbot is responsible for accurately providing information or even placing orders if the need be.

Suppose a customer place an order for 12 computers from your store. They pay and then receive a text saying they’re out of stock. This creates a bad impression in their mind. To avoid this, the cloud is connected to a system of a database from where it gathers information about the availability of the product.

Assuming you have 35 computers in stock, the database system will inform the cloud, which in turn alerts the Chatbot, and it places the order. If not, it displays the message saying that it’s not in stock. All this while you successfully finished two of your meetings without being disturbed by calls.

Each time a customer visits your website, Techy pops up, and the customer can ask basic questions to him, like price or time of delivery. Techy can easily answer these questions, and you won’t have to pick a single call.

 woman typing on her phone

Different Chatbots available in the market

Chatbots are the most trending tech tools these days. Different companies use different ones based on their budget and workload. You can get one and automate the whole system of customer service. Here are some brilliant options that you can choose from:

  1. Snatchbot
  2. Reply
  3. SAP conversation AI
  4. Bold 360
  5. Vergic
  6. Many Chat
  7. Flow XO
  8. HubSpot Chatbot Builder
  9. Inbenta
  10. Watson Assistant

All these chatbots are fairly similar, but the efficiency varies. You can select one with a more human approach. Some let you create your personal interface for conversations. Consider other factors like maintenance, as you will need to do that.

Can Chatbots completely replace humans in Customer Service?

The chatbot industry is estimated to reach $1.25 billion by 2025. This means that they’re catching up on most industrial sectors. But will they replace humans?

We all need human interaction. When you walk into any of the shops in a mall, you encounter customer service agents everywhere. Some are there to help you find clothes, some help with make-up, and some whip up snacks to try. All these aim at selling the product, but warmth is still there.

With chatbots, this is impossible. No matter how trained the robot is, it can’t provide a feeling of appreciation and satisfaction. But this is the case with the physical shopping experience. When it comes to online shopping, chatbots can replace customer service agents to some extent.

It depends on the query. Chatbots are perfect for providing facts and easy answers, but humans are required to handle complex situations. Customers face all kinds of problems that can’t be treated by a bot.

Moreover, shopping is not the only place where chatbots are used. Chatbots can’t ever replace humans in the healthcare sector as they use staff with basic training in handling patients. In retail, chatbots prove to be efficient substitutes to humans; it’s only a matter of buying and paying.

No one can deny the benefits of a chatbot on a website. But chatbots won’t replace humans now, but we can’t be sure for later. With advancements in Artificial Intelligence, they are becoming proficient in understanding human language and replying with grace. It’s only a matter of time when they’ll be talking on the phone, and we won’t be able to differentiate. With AI dominating the fourth revolution, there’s no telling what all robots will do. This is just the beginning.

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