Even though Nicole asked me if I had any questions it quickly became clear that it was not Nicole asking me. It was in fact a robot. It even became apparent that the robot was not there to answer my questions, but simply to tell me that someone (maybe Nicole?) would get back to me.
Providing your customers with this kind of experience damages their trust in your brand and in the communication channel itself because their expectations were not met. So, next time they need assistance, they won’t use your chat. Additionally, every time they are confronted with the same experience in the future, they will become even more resentful of it, putting them at a higher risk of churning. I call this the chatbot backlash.
This year, we will see more customers wanting a real human being to help them and growing distrust and dislike for chatbots in general. Customers want to feel valued instead of deflected. Those that get frustrated with underwhelming chatbot experiences and struggle to reach a real person will eventually churn.
How can you apply this?
Even though chatbots bring a level of risk to your customer experience, there could be certain situations in your business where implementing one makes a lot of sense. If you find this is the case, be thoughtful about where you place your chatbot within your customer journey. Consider the different ways it could affect your customer experience and how your customers might feel getting assistance from a bot. Be sure to test it thoroughly before deploying it and pay close attention to customer satisfaction in the coming days and months after.
3. Magical to practical AI
Like with any new technology, initial expectations of what artificial intelligence could achieve were quite inflated. Over the past year, it has become increasingly obvious that AI is not magical or flawless, but rather an imperfect art that needs humans to teach it. It’s not as easy as pressing a button. In Gartner’s Hype Cycle we are currently at the Peak of Inflated Expectation with some businesses already realizing the AI isn’t as magical as initially thought.
This year, I believe even more companies will move away from the inflated expectations of AI and start to move from magical to practical AI.