Do Chatbots Improve Customer Experience?
Shep Hyken’s Take

christian montes

Host
Christian Montes
Executive Director of Sales at NobelBIz

It’s a favorite question among customer support experts: do chatbots really improve customer experience or do they make it worse? Well, Shep has a few thoughts about that. He seems to suggest there’s a lot of potential for good and for bad when using chatbots.

christian montes

Guest
Shep Hyken
Customer Service & Experience Expert

Christian Montes:

Going back to chatbots, I know that’s been a big thing everyone’s talking about for some time now.

Do you think that they’re ready for primetime? Do you think that they’re used in the right way today?

Short Answer? It Generally Depends on the Type of Chatbot and How You Use It

This article is part of our podcast series. Listen to it here:

Shep Hyken

Some chatbots are really good. You have to recognize – by the way – even lower level chatbots. The chatbot right now is good for the easy question: “Where’s my package? Did it ship? What’s my bank balance? Did you receive my check?” Those are easy questions.

But again, I’m going to say what I said before: have an easy fallback. You need to just simply – assuming you don’t have the sophisticated chatbot, if at any time you say “I want to talk to an agent” – it should seamlessly transfer you to an agent or let the agent pick up where the chat left off.

The bot can say: “I’m gonna transfer you to George who can help you!” – you get the idea. That’s great. There are some bots out there that will automatically recognize this customer’s confused and will automatically do it for me. So I think they’re getting better and better.

And here’s what’s amazing: even a few years ago I was being called by companies who said “let us create a chatbot for you.” And I go: “well, here’s what happens, people come to me and say are you available for this date to come and speak at our event?” And I want to be able to talk to them about what they want. They said: “we’ll create the sequence of questions” and I said, “no, it needs to be more personal.”

And somebody actually created the script for me. The way the bot worked, you don’t actually have to go through the script in order. The bot knows what the customer’s asking, it’s very intuitive about that. Still, I was amazed at how inexpensive it was. It was like less than $100/month to have that technology. You just had to be able to set it up the right way.

Christian

Well, it sounds like if used properly, it’s very convenient and definitely can reduce friction. But if it’s done improperly it obviously creates a huge amount of friction.

Shep

Oh my god, it’s a mess! Right. And I just read a great stat yesterday. It’s not so much about whether or not there was a problem. So many times we talk about the percentage of people that will leave you because of bad customer service. But it’s not that one bad thing that will happen, it’s more about what happened after it was handled, or how it was handled. The promise to get back that didn’t take place. The lack of response or the slow response. That’s what was the problem – not the issue or the complaint that started it.

Summing Up

So, what’s your experience with chatbots? Ever been frustrated with one? Or maybe you’ve been surprised at just how smooth the experience went. Either way, we’re eager to hear about it in the comments so feel free to leave a message.

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