The Pros and Cons of AI Chatbots

AI chatbots are becoming more common with 80% of businesses projected to use AI by the end of 2020. Chatbots possess many useful features that can aid a company in many different ways. Given this, more and more businesses are jumping on board with these virtual assistants. But that may not always be the best idea. Here are the pros and cons of AI chatbots.

The Pros of AI Chatbots

AI chatbots have several valuable benefits. They are extremely useful in the right environment. And when utilized correctly, they can greatly benefit a business.

1. Quick Customer Response

Chatbots are available 24/7. This allows online users the ability to interact with customer support outside of normal business hours. This comes with no additional cost as man-hours will remain the same. No matter the time or question, consumers have access to the answer.

2. Can  Be Used For Multiple Purposes

Whereas employees generally specialize in one area, AI chatbots are multi-purposed. While around the clock service is the most useful function, they can be used in other ways such as advertisement.

3. They Reduce The Cost Of Labour

AI chatbots drastically reduce company costs by allowing a program to answer customer issues rather than paying an employee to do the same. Many customers have the same questions and it is unnecessary to have a person continuously give the same answers when a program can do it instead. By 2022, AI chatbots are projected to save companies around 8 billion dollars annually. Compared to the 20 million dollars in savings in 2017, this projected growth is exponential.

4. Customer Satisfaction

When customers seek help, they are mainly concerned with problem resolution. AI chatbots help make this happen. 8/10 customers report their interaction as a positive experience. The more satisfied a consumer is, the more like they are to continue working with that company.

The Cons of AI Chatbots

While AI chatbots have benefits, they are not without their problems. Here are some of the more common complaints customers have with AI chatbots.

1. They Have Limits

Unfortunately, AI is still quite limited. While leaps and bounds have been made in this area, chatbots are still unable to understand plain speech. Because chatbots work off of keyword analysis, they can be tripped up by language barriers. Problems that would give a person no issues can cause a chatbot to fail in providing a solution. They also struggle to understand complex problems and can only aid in simple solutions. In essence, they can answer simple questions, but they can’t work with the customer to solve complicated issues.

2. They Can Be Frustrating

Although many consumers report positive experiences with chatbots, they can still be frustrating. Whether popping up when you visit a site page, or the inability to understand and answer your questions, they can be more of an annoyance than a help. This is one reason 35% of consumers are uncomfortable resolving issues without a human agent present.

3. They Are Costly

Although they reduce labor costs in the long run, they have a heavy upfront cost. Depending on what you need from your chatbot, you’re likely to start around $40,000. The more sophisticated your chatbot is, the closer you move to $300,000. Due to this cost, it’s crucial to identify exactly what you need and know what you’re paying for.

4. Not Always Beneficial

AI chatbots are more beneficial for some companies than others. Not all businesses need an AI chatbot. A smaller local business with a smaller client base probably doesn’t get as many questions as a big corporation. So it’s more beneficial to hire someone to answer calls as they come. Larger corporations have a hard time answering all the calls so a chatbot helps smooth out the process. Simply put, the cost outweighs the benefit for most small businesses.

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