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Chatbots: What it Means for Customer Service

Everyone is familiar with call centers, nowadays. We interact with people from call centers at least once or twice a month when we need them to resolve issues such as services rendered, accounts, transactions, or if they have promotions to offer,etc. In short, we equate call centers with customer service.

What if we tell you that call centers will soon be of minimal use in favour of Chat Bots? What does it mean for customer service and for consumers?

Chat bots have long been in existence even before apps such as Facebook Messenger thought to bring it into the foray for marketing purposes. Apple’s very own Siri can be classified under chat bots, though it has a broader use than an ordinary chat bot, afterall.

Changing Customer Service

As mentioned earlier, call centers will be used less with chat bots. While it’s true, that there are many services that human call centers can efficiently do compared to a chat bot, they seem to be already lessened to account issues, troubleshooting, transaction issues and any other that deal with errors.

What this means is that the budget once allotted for customer service may be redirected to the implemention of chat bot instead of office space, hardware and manpower.

As mentioned earlier, Facebook Messenger has already supported the use of chat bots into the platform even allowing payments through the channel. This sets a precedent that chat bots aren’t only for serving canned answers much like an automated FAQs. With this trend, even big brands have joined in on the chat bot usage.

Examples of Big Brands Using Chat Bots for Customer Service

  • Starbucks
  • Sephora
  • Mastercard
  • Spotify

How Big Brands Use Chat Bots

Let’s take the case of Spotify, for example, and how they have used chat bots to help customers create playlists. A user is prompted in the Facebook Messenger to choose a genre of music they are interested in and the chat bot serves a curated playlist according to that selection. The chat bot then delves deeper into that genre asking for specifics. What this does is that it lessens the time for a user to choose and download a song one-by-one.

Another big brand using chat bots is Sephora. This one is specially programmed in which a user can reach out via Facebook Messenger where queries can be made. In the even that the chat bot does not have the answer to a specific query, the chat bot will then serve the user a prompt to contact customer service to be redirected to a call center for their query.

Challenges for Chat Bots

Because chat bots aren’t widely used yet, innovations, updated programs and the like haven’t been developed yet. While this is true, it’s only a matter of time before chat bots dominate the customer service field.

Another challenge is how data is applied into chat bots. This is another effect of chat bots not being widespread as of yet. Not many developers have jumped in on the chat bot bandwagon yet. The speed in which chat bots process data and how they can use data to accurately solve a query or deliver the correct output to the user’s satisfaction is another thing to consider.

While this is true now, we will find that chat bots will become a forefront in the customer service field and will even be a part of daily use in the future.


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