When it comes to utilizing chatbots, there are plenty of resources out there to tell you what you should do, our own blog included. But as with anything in business, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know best practices. By learning from the many common mistakes made by others, you can hopefully avoid going down the same wrong paths with your own chatbot initiative. That said, let’s dive into a few of those common mistakes below.
Not Gauging Need
Chatbots are great, but only if you’re using them the right way and for the right purpose. Adopting this technology just for the sake of it isn’t going to produce sustainable ROI, if any at all. To be successful with chatbots, you must first identify what you are trying to accomplish and what the desired end results should be.
For instance, are you trying to automate a simple process or are you looking for something more sophisticated, interactive and that will learn and improve over time? This will help you choose the right platform and strategize a plan for implementation.
Focusing on a Single Use Case
One of the trickier things about chatbots is that they are capable of far more than many business leaders realize. Unlike other packaged software and SaaS products, which are typically designed to meet a specific business need, the more a chatbot system learns, the more use cases it can take on.
For example, as a Q & A bot answers questions from customers and/or employees, its company knowledge and language understanding grow. As a result, the same core technology can be trained and used for a variety of different instances, thereby multiplying its value. If you limit your approach to just one or two use cases, you also limit the potential return you can achieve.
Overlooking the Human Element
With so much emphasis on training chatbots, it’s easy to forget that your human users also need to be brought up to speed. According to recent data, 43% of people who haven’t used chatbots yet are merely unfamiliar with the technology. And these aren’t tech illiterates, either. 65% routinely use SMS and 61% Facebook Messenger. They simply haven’t been exposed to chatbots nor given adequate guidance for their use.
Furthermore, even users who are familiar and comfortable with chatbot technology may need a reminder that it’s available. For instance, if a user only interacts with the IT helpdesk two or three times a year, they could easily forget that self-service bots are at their disposal. This is another powerful reason for leveraging bots for multiple use cases.
And on the other side of the coin, it’s also important not to overlook the value of the human connection. A shift to 100% chatbot support, for example, could result in frustration and backlash from end-users. Ideally, a bot-human relay should be established through which escalation from machine to human occurs when necessary.
With investment into chatbot development expected to top $1.25 billion by 2025, it’s clear that this technology is here to stay. Realizing savings and other benefits from chatbots, however, requires the right training and implementation. Knowing what mistakes to avoid, such as the three key areas above, can prevent your organization from having to deal with costly consequences.
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