Apps vs Chatbots

February, 2017

As apps become more sophisticated so do some of their negative points. Whereas Chatbots are becoming more important for contact centers.

Applications that are downloaded to smartphones provide the user with functions pertinent to the companies that supplied them. For example, a utility company will provide options that allow the user to; view their bill, make a payment, etc.

Unfortunately, customers’ eagerness to download apps has cooled. This is partly due to the size of apps. Apps have become more sophisticated and their storage requirements have increased considerably, while users are becoming more selective with how they use the space on their smart phones.

Also, if a customer uses an app infrequently they are likely to become annoyed if they have to spend precious time searching for a function they need. The app may have been improved ten-fold, but this is lost on an annoyed customer who has to click through several pages to find what they are looking for.

Possibly, the most damning of all is the effect an app can have on the battery life. Many apps run in the background downloading news updates, which eats away at the available power.

Customers who don’t use apps still have several methods they can use to contact the company including; phone call, email, sms and chat. People are increasingly shying away from voice with its endless IVR menus. Email is often considered too slow. Chat is becoming more popular and the features it offers richer.

Cue the Chatbot! Chatbots are becoming very sophisticated with analysis of the text enabling answers and suggested links to be automatically supplied to the customer. Buttons can also be embedded in the chat conversations which guide customers quickly to what they need. Furthermore, a transcript of the conversation can be automatically emailed to the customer at the end of the Chat conversation.

As contact centers embrace multimedia and agents handle a mixture of media sessions a well-designed Chatbot can manage the start of chat conversations. It is often difficult to determine whether it is a human or a Bot on the other end of the conversation! If a chat conversation exceeds the capability of a Bot it can be seamlessly transferred to a human agent along with all the relevant information so the customer continues to be handled appropriately. The beauty of Chatbots is their ability to continuously learn. Investing time and effort wisely on Chatbots can greatly reduce the volume of chats a human agent has to handle while also building customer confidence and loyalty.

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