Today, we are observing the evolution of chatbots as they inch their way further into the customer support presence of many businesses. But will they ultimately replace real chat agents and be fully responsible for responding to live chat queries? This is a complex question, and the answer is multifaceted.
The short answer is: No, they won’t replace real chat agents any time soon. But the distant future is more difficult to predict.
Chatbots can “learn” as they go, meaning they continually gather information and grow their ability to answer basic questions posed by customers. When someone visits your website and asks a basic, common question, chatbots can provide immediate answers based on what they “know”—i.e. the data available to them. However, they are still limited in the sense that they can only answer basic questions.
When chatbots are employed to answer basic questions, businesses can maintain a smaller support team which saves resources. You can let the bots handle the basic, easy-to-answer questions, while your support reps focus on more advanced help desk tickets.
This means you’ll need to hire fewer support agents. However, you’ll need to ensure that the real chat agents you do keep on the payroll are highly-experienced and skilled at resolving more complex issues. You’ll no longer need to hire low-level agents to handle basic support questions.
Chatbots are limited to answering basic questions. They can’t resolve complicated, user-specific issues. On the other hand, live chat agents can. They know the product, the customer, and can dig deep into an issue to find a resolution that fits the needs of each unique customer. If your company is using help desk support that provides dedicated help desk group functionality, the quality of your customer support increases further.
Dedicated help desk groups are segmented teams of support agents that specialize in a specific product or service rather than fielding support issues about every product or service you offer. By leveraging them, you ensure that customers receive advanced support every time and never have to communicate with a new agent that doesn’t understand their issue. Learn more about dedicated help desk groups.
Chatbots are here to stay. They will continue to evolve and become more adept at resolving customer support issues. However, the hype surrounding chatbots and AI, in general, remains overblown and overly optimistic.
There is still a clear need for real chat agents to handle complex support issues, and chatbots won’t be able to fill that need in the near future.