Chatbots are becoming an increasingly hot topic in today’s business industry due to their many benefits. Are you considering if Facebook Chatbots work for your business after hearing so much about them? But worried about getting it wrong? You’re not alone. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions about chatbots out there.
In this blog post, we’ll dispel the six biggest myths about chatbots in 2022. Call us the Chatbot myth busters!
Myth #1 – They replace humans
The BIGGEST myth about Chatbots in 2022 is that they replace humans. Chatbots will never replace humans. They’re built to open a conversation and given the ability to have a conversation with a human, so you don’t need to worry about them stealing your job.
Chatbots simply help get people to the point where human intervention is needed faster and that the customer and staff can be more educated. The customer can be more educated about the services, products, and the questions that they need to ask, or they don’t need to ask anymore. In turn, the staff member of the business can open that conversation, being able to see the history of questions the customer asked and be more educated with information.
This could be the customer’s answers from a quiz or questionnaire, to be able to give the staff member the ability to close more sales at a higher rate and faster level as well. Ideally your sales team or the person that potentially is going to close the sale, all they need to do is to grab the information to be able to do so.
So, the way that we describe it, is that Chatbots open the conversation and humans close it.
Myth #2 – Chatbots break too easily
While its true that any system that is built poorly will break, the thing we need to consider with chatbots is that we can create systems and implement rules or conditions in the tools that we use to ensure that when it looks like something is going wrong, they will stop trying to answer and pass that customer off to a human being.
This comes down to planning your Chatbot strategy and how you want to answer people, planning the technology that you want to implement and putting in messages that will have that ability to not create a poor experience for customers trying to be too complex.
One of the biggest mistakes we see with Chatbot building is making them too technical and the Chatbot tries to do too much and is over automated. This annoys the customer because when it does break, it creates a poor experience, completely ruling out the positives of what a Chatbot can do.
One of the things we do implement in all our Chatbot systems is what we call a three-strike rule. Because we build most of our chatbots with an AI capability built into them, sometimes when customers ask a question, it might not trigger the right answer or any answer from our AI systems. So, we prompt the customer to rephrase their question slightly, to see if that can help trigger something in the AI.
Then after two strikes of asking the customer to rephrase their question, we say ‘sorry, it doesn’t look like our system can answer that today. We’re going to hand you off to a human being.’ So sometimes it just can’t, but sometimes it’s the customers typing out long-winded questions or comments that it isn’t able to read.
The important thing that we always preface our systems is that we always offer the ability to be immediately passed off to a human support staff member. Sometimes people just want to be immediately able to chat with a human. With that comes the ability that they may not get an answer as quickly as possible as they might from one of our automated chat systems.
We can also build in rules to trigger certain negative keywords and this way we can tell if there is a problem that should be escalated. Words like ‘problem’, ‘broken’ and ‘refund’ allow us to immediately identify that this customer has a problem and offer to go straight to a human and tell our human team straight away that they should get in and help this customer.
Myth #3 – The Chatbot won’t sound like me
One of the most common things people assume is that a Chatbot will sound robotic, but we always tell people this: if you’re going to build a Chatbot, have some fun with it! Because Chatbot messages are written in a conversational manager, you can put your tone of voice and sense of humour into some of the answers. But going back to our first point, Chatbots should never replace humans, so we often tell people to create a personality for their Chatbot.
You can check out a great example of creating a Chatbot personality on our blog post about our client 6ft6, where we gave their Chatbot a name and created a cartoon. We created Chardy B, which was a play on Cardi B and she had her own personality which set the expectations and tone for customers immediately.
Myth #4 – Chatbots are just website live chat pop-ups
Okay sure, they are a live chat pop up you’re right BUT they’re also so much more than that! A Chatbot can be implemented across multiple channels in your digital presence, Facebook, Instagram DM, WhatsApp, SMS, Google, and email. So, when you build your Chatbot you can have one centralised inbox across multiple channels. You can build all those messages to say the same or similar thing across the channel no matter where that person is chatting to. What we’ve achieved with this, is creating a truly omnichannel presence where a current customer or potential customer can contact you, no matter which channel their preference is.
Some people prefer one channel over the other and some may not be part of certain social media networks, like Instagram or Facebook, so they prefer Google or SMS for instance. If we can alleviate any barriers to these conversations with people it means that they can get information faster, they can build trust with us, can have that connection to the brand and become more loyal customers in the future. The idea is that the more conversations that we can open, the more likely they will convert and become more valuable customers in the future.
Myth #5 – You can’t message customers after 24-hours
It’s true that Facebook and its properties, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, do have restrictions on policies around not being able to message certain people outside of a 24-hour window. However, there are multiple ways to be able to negate this without going against Facebook policies. Some of these things can be collecting other contact information to be able to maintain that conversation on other channels such as email and SMS. We have also implemented other solutions, such as mobile wallet notifications and sponsored messages to people’s inboxes which you can read in this blog post.
Now, if we compare this to a person visiting a website or landing page and they do or don’t do the behaviour you would like them to do, such as signing up, booking an event, or making a purchase. The difference between a Chatbot and a website is that on those other channels, you at least have 24 hours to send them as many messages as you would like (within reason) to confirm why or why they didn’t convert.
If you can provide any more assistance, answer any questions and provide a discount, or something of value to be able to get them to convert – THAT is the unique thing about Chatbots. They create more opportunities when we’re trying to get someone to do something than we want on websites. And a lot of other channels simply don’t have that possibility.
Myth 6 – You can handle messages yourself
A lot of people think that given the volume of messages they receive on Instagram or Facebook that they can handle these messages by manually replying to them. While this may currently be true for you as a business, have you considered how many messages or business opportunities you are potentially missing out on?
For instance, people have expectations around the time that it takes for a business to reply to them. People often have expectations that they will get an immediate reply if it’s a live chat system and the reason why people use channels like Instagram or Messenger is that they can have that conversation and leave the inbox knowing they will get a reply, and they don’t need to stay on the website.
However, if you don’t provide either immediate or very fast manual replies to people, that then increases the likelihood that they will go and source opportunities from other competitors. Statistics show that 79% of customers prefer real-time chat because they don’t need to wait on hold and look for their inquiry to be answered quickly.
The other part of this myth is that a lot of people may not know that they can message you via your inbox on your social media channels or that you don’t have a website live chat there. And if you offered that opportunity and prompted people to open a conversation there, you will likely get a lot more messages there.
E-Marketer discovered that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers automated chat. The usage of email systems and the time it takes to have a conversation with somebody via email is not a preferred communication channel for customers in 2022, the Customer Experience Impact Report for Oracle reported that 50% of customers only give businesses a week to respond to their question before they stop doing business with them.
Chatbots are here to stay and aren’t going to replace human beings anytime soon. They can, however, help with customer engagement, increase sales and be used by businesses of all sizes. There are also many types of Chatbots available that can be fun and mimic human conversation quite well.
If you’re still on the fence about chatbots, take our quiz to find out which chatbot is right for you!