There’s five common causes that drive many bad chatbot experiences. But it’s not the chatbots fault. There’s a lot of human decisions that impact a chatbots performance and the customer experience. And there are numerous trade-offs to be made. Having greater understanding into the common reasons for bad chatbot experiences just might help you to avoid a lot of pain.
Chatbot is the most complex area of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is also the area where solutions vastly differ from one to the next. You might have heard of a chatbot not living up to expectations or you’ve experienced it yourself. But why do experience vary so widely?
You can easily point to five common reasons why bad chatbot experience occur.
- Poor chatbot solution
- Learning omission/poor
- Wrong Chatbot Generation
- Chatbot Hype
- Wrong Desired Business Outcome
Poor Chatbot Solution
Chatbot is an exploding space. In the most recent few years, both established and start-ups, have launched their own chatbot offering. There are hundreds, if not thousands of companies that want to sell you a chatbot for your organization. When a new product is exploding, there will always be a corresponding issue of “buyer beware”.
Very few people that are responsible for the designing the customer experience have experience with chatbot technology.
I mention CX leaders because they are the ones that often own the chatbot or they own the consequences of a bad chatbot. When a chatbot does not deliver the experience customers want, the ripple effect can be disastrous. Deflecting and complaining customers are obvious, but the impact to employees can be as severe. CX professionals ultimately have to own the consequences of chatbot failure – one way or the other.
Not having CX leaders own the chatbot is a pitfall to avoid.
There are two separate topics about learning, that are important for you to know. The first is simply, that you need to improve YOUR learning about chabots. It will help you to avoid many of the frustrations you’ve been hearing about. So, take the time to learn about the chatbot best practices.
The other learning relates to teaching your chatbot. If you’ve been told that when a chatbot is an Artificial Intelligence Chatbot (AI chatbot) that all you need to do is build it and deploy it, that’s wrong.
Artificial Intelligence needs to learn. You can dramatically decrease your failure when deploying your chatbot by giving it a good head start. You have to train it, feed it data, and nuture it.
The solution you use (or build) will make all the difference in your ability to grow your chatbot to maturity. Is the process simple?
Ask yourself these questions about teaching your chatbot:
- Does it require a lot of programming?
- How will low/high volume impact learning?
- How long will I need to nuture it?
- What support do I have?
The time it takes for your chatbot to learn can take a few weeks to a few months. This variance is somewhat impacted by volume but more importantly it is impacted by the quality of your chatbot solution.
Wrong Chatbot Generation
Currently, there are three different generations of chatbots. Each can deliver business value. But scalability is a common problem. A 1st Generation chatbot is a very simple rule-based engine. You have very common questions, you can program very simple answers. These are easy to build and easily bought.
The promises may appear to get broken when a 1st Generation chatbot is pushed outside it’s boundaries. This can happen by expecting it to do more or by the customer thinking or expecting it to do more.
The 2nd Generation chatbot can do more. It leverages Supervised Machine Learning in addition to it’s rule-based construction.
The 3rd Generation chatbot adds Unsupervised Machine Learning in addition to Supervised Machine Learning and it’s rule-based construction.
3rd Generation chatbots are able to provide a customer experience that does not require as much customer effort to get problems solved faster. And we all know customers want speed. Speed is the primary driver for higher customer experience scores.
The reality is we all operate in an always on world. Your customer wants what they want, when they want it. And if you don’t provide it, they will go find it.
It’s all the rage! Do you have one?
Media of all types and every analyst firm and consulting firm tells you, you got to have chatbots. Okay…you do. Customer experience is your competitive battle ground. And with the proliferation of mobile devices ,you need chatbots as an integral part of your digital transformation.
But all of this hype about chatbots has a slew of negative consequences. You end up experiencing pressure from all over.
One of the biggest pressures you might experience is from your executive leaders telling you, “I want this now.”
When you have that kind of pressure, you try to deliver. Anytime you need to make a decision in haste, it comes with a lot of negative consequences as well. None of them good. That is something everyone experience.
Wrong Desired Business Outcome
What do you want to accomplish with your chatbot?
ALERT: Does your goal match with your customers’ goal?
Let’s assume for the sake of this article that your expectations match with your customer.
Let’s focus on customer effort. We all know that effort is a huge contributor to referrals, loyalty and retention. So, you want to make things easy for them, correct? Definitely.
So, if your customer is using your chatbot to inquire about your products, do you want to make is easy for them to purchase them? YES
Then a 1st Generation chatbot will not deliver upon the promise.
Would like to give your customers the ability to do multiple transactions that might be unrelated to ease their effort? YES
Then a 2nd Generation chatbot will not deliver upon the promise.
Setting the Right Expectation
Too often a failure to live up to promises starts with getting the expectation right.
Your best bet is to know and understand these five common reasons as to why chatbots might not live up to you or your customers’ expectations.
Ultimately, the promise that must be kept is between you and your customer. So take control of AI before the alert is about you.
- 5 Causes Underlying Bad Chatbot Experiences – Click to Tweet
- “You can easily point to five common reasons for chatbot failure.” – Click to Tweet
- “Chatbots are a hot topic – buyer beware.” – Click to Tweet
- “CX leaders need to be the ones to own the chatbot.” – Click to Tweet
- “Allowing your chatbot to be owned by IT increases your risk.” – Click to Tweet
- “Decrease chatbot failure by giving it this head start.” – Click to Tweet
- “These are 5 common reasons why chatbots might not live up to expectations.” – Click to Tweet