Chatbots are becoming a sought-after feature for companies to include in their customer service strategies.
In 2020, we can expect the AI chatbot market to really start booming.
While AI chatbots are great for business and deliver many benefits, however, they also come with a number of challenges.
Here are 5 common challenges marketers and PR professionals face when creating AI chatbots.
Often, businesses simply want to jump on the chatbot bandwagon without really having a plan for the bot in place.
If the chatbot does not serve a point, if it’s not actually useful to the user, it will simply be taking up space.
Often, chatbots are relatively cheap to make, but some AI chatbots can cost thousands of dollars.Full disclosure: My company MobileMonkey offers a free chatbot builder for marketing and customer service.
There’s no need to spend loads of money to create a chatbot. Instead, take the time to truly consider how a chatbot can add value to your customers’ online experience instead of simply treating it as the next cool thing.
Your customers and your budget will thank you for it.
The success of AI chatbots comes with how effectively they integrate with your other business software and systems.
Chatbots that don’t have a method of collecting user data to share with these other systems are effectively useless.
It’s important that the AI chatbot works using the marketing, sales, or Facebook Messenger funnel method, delivering the customer to the best end result.
This means that the bot needs to be built from the bottom up: what is the end result, and what are the dialogue options that are going to lead the user there?
The most important part about ensuring that a chatbot seamlessly integrates with your other business software and systems is the fact of customer service.
If a customer goes to your chatbot for assistance, and their data is lost because the chatbot is not integrated with anything, that customer will likely not receive the best possible customer service from your business.
Chatbot integration is necessary for top-tier AI chatbot functionality and the best customer service possible.
Another challenge one might face when creating an AI chatbot is that of bias.
The main purpose of chatbots is to collect data from users and customers so that this data can be used to increase engagement, expand reach, and multiply conversion rates.
Data needs to come from a reliable source and be unbiased in nature.
If the data that the AI chatbot is collecting is not coming from a reliable source, disaster ensues.
This has been seen in a number of places:
TayBot is a great example of a bot being plagued by algorithmic bias.
Microsoft’s TayBot was released on Twitter, where it was intended to pick up on language from other Twitter users.
Of course, Twitter users can be quite awful, and this lead to TayBot learning the language of racism.
While some of the bot’s rants online were humorous (as it was a bot, after all), it really just highlighted the concerning nature of how people act online.
After it became clear that the bot was only getting worse, Microsoft cut the cord and pulled it from the platform.
COMPAS (standing for Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions) was quite different than TayBot and significantly less humorous.
Though not quite an AI chatbot, COMPAS was a computer program powered by AI, intended to be used by a US court for risk assessment.
What ended up happening, however, was COMPAS mistakenly labeled black defendants as likely to reoffend at a rate almost twice that as white people.
This instance gave pause to a number of people, especially in a world where the US justice system isn’t exactly revered for its impartiality.
In order to prevent learned bias in artificial intelligence, some businesses have started programming an internal code of ethics in their bots.
So instead of the internet actively teaching an AI chatbot to be racist, its creators can actively teach it morals; i.e., giving it its own set of rules so that it won’t be affected by outside bias.
In the world today, customers are more protective of their data than ever.
With chatbots, you need to ensure the safety of this data by making the bots hack-proof and ensuring that they are only collecting relevant information.
If your AI chatbot is asking your customers irrelevant questions, the customers are likely going to trust the bot, and therefore your company, far less.
Building brand trust is an important part of gaining new leads and new customers, so maintaining security even with your AI chatbot is an important step in building better business.
We’re not quite in a world where AI chatbots are humanoid robots that can detect emotion in a human’s response.
Even while some AI chatbots use natural language processing, it’s still not 100% effective — as was evidenced by the TayBot created by Microsoft.
The reality is, AI chatbots lack empathy and this can lead to customer frustration.
Not being understood by another party leads to complicated communication, and that does not change simply because they other party is a chatbot.
If the bot is bad at communicating because it cannot understand how the customer is expressing their feelings through text, then it can lead to some difficult interactions which can ultimately result in the loss of a lead.
There’s not much that can be done about this now, other than ensuring that the bot follows a detailed dialogue procedure.
By setting up FAQ chatbots to recognize certain words, it will be easier for the bot to help the customer in the most efficient manner possible.
While Challenges Exist, Bots Are Still Beneficial
Despite the various challenges and considerations that come with creating a chatbot, marketing and PR professionals should still develop this technology for themselves in the new year.
The most important thing is to pay attention to the details when building a chatbot.
Ensure that the AI chatbot is following a detailed communication funnel with options for customers to push the conversation forward in the manner that they choose.
Otherwise, let the bots do the work and enjoy the benefits, including:
- Instant customer communication
- Highly personalized messaging
- And increased engagement and conversions
A few bonuses to get going with AI Chatbots…
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So I created a special bonus area for you.
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