Are Chatbots the solution to a positive customer experience?

AI, chatbots and machine learning are undoubtedly driving change within every single industry and will for certain lead to more job losses. But other experts predict that it will also bring us whole new roles and titles that don’t even exist yet, each of them needed in tandem to the robot workers.

In December, the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney suggested that 15 million British jobs could be taken by automation over time. It comes alongside news from Capita, the huge company who other companies outsource work to, showing it was pushing to use robots and artificial intelligence more and more within its business, after announcing it will lay off 2,000 workers.

For me, though, there’s one thing that can never be replaced, and that’s the human touch.

Chatbots versus humans on customer experience

This piece from VentureBeat looks at the argument between using chatbots and humans for customer service. It makes some interesting points around how technology can drive customer purchasing but how real people are the key to converting them, especially when the AI can’t answer a particular question.

And that’s what we do at iAdvize. We use technology and humans for the smartest solutions. Our bank of flexible experts know and understand the areas they are available to chat about on behalf of a business – and they earn extra cash for doing so. It’s a win-win.

They are passionate advocates for their niche interests, about the products they enjoy and love and they have experiences and real stories that no machine learning can ever reproduce. This means they are best placed to be available to consumers to guide them through a purchase or troubleshoot an issue, in a way that no Chatbot or traditional customer service rep can do.

For example, imagine you’re someone who works all day and wants to buy a birthday present late in the evening once you have relaxed after your day. You spend time doing your research and then get to that point of purchase only to have another nagging doubt that can’t be swayed by online reviews.

You want to ask a human for advice but your friends and family are asleep. And posting the question on social media won’t necessarily get an instant response at that time of night. You can’t call most online stores’ customer service lines because they are closed. And the chatbot that could answer your question in a fully human-interactive way is still yet to be invented. So you go to sleep without making that purchase.

ibbü, the on-demand pool of human experts 

However, with iAdvize, the process is different. Companies have access to expert advice on hand 24/7 to offer to their customers. This expert converts that purchase in seconds, being a human voice helping the consumer through the final stages of the process.

We call it ‘ibbü‘, and this is our take on ubiquity. All of our products help companies advise the consumer wherever they are and whenever and at any time of the day or night. And that ultimately produces extra revenue that otherwise may have been lost. A customer who has received advice from an ibbü expert is 10 times more likely to purchase an item.

We vet and train all of our experts to ensure they know the company and its products inside out and crucially they are not paid on commission. They are paid purely to converse with customers. That human touch is something technology can never replace. Even the most human-like of chatbot is still not a human. It will always be AI no matter how good the programming behind it.

So while digital will always have a role to play in terms of bringing two sides together when they need to talk and gain an answer, only companies that emphasise human interaction alongside futuristic tech will be the ones who can convert humans to buy or take an action.

And thankfully it will be a long time before we as humans are brave enough to let technology make our purchasing decisions for us.



Dominic Cross

Dominic has been working in technology sales, marketing and management for more than 25 years helping companies deliver growth across numerous international markets in direct and indirect sales organisations. As Chief Revenue Officer at iAdvize, Dominic is working with the senior management team to define and execute the international expansion strategy.

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