Many business owners are looking for ways to automate and streamline their customer service experience. To do this, entrepreneurs invest in chatbots or answering services, or a combination of both. To see which service is right for a business, it is fitting to look at the pros and cons of chatbots and answering services to make an informed decision.
The Pros of a Chatbot
Chatbots can streamline the customer service experience. Chatbots can answer questions in easy-to-understand language, and they can help customers find solutions quickly. Instead of having to wait for several hours to receive help, chatbots can provide answers to most queries. Entrepreneurs who invest in chatbots find that they experience a considerable profit increase as customers are satisfied when they can receive help instantly. Satisfied customers turn into brand loyalists.
Chatbots can also streamline marketing campaigns. For example, chatbots can be programmed to advise customers about new promotions and remind customers about useful features that they can use to get the most out of the brand. Chatbots can also be programmed to engage customers by asking them simple questions which are designed to pique their interest in products and services.
Chatbots can also be cost-effective. Rather than hiring a large customer service team to handle common inquiries, chatbots can be programmed to assist customers with such issues.
The Cons of a Chatbot
There are some cons to using chatbots. There are some customers who prefer to talk with a live agent because they want that personal human touch. Chatbots are not able to provide this interaction on the same level as human beings because it is impossible to program a machine to engage in such complex interaction. Also, when customers experience problems that fall outside of what is commonly experienced, a chatbot is unable to solve these as they are too intricate. Chatbots can only be programmed to work with a limited set of questions and responses, and these will not address all problems that customers face. If customers cannot get their problems solved, they will be unsatisfied and do business with a competitor. Customers appreciate it when they can bring a complex issue to the table and receive a solution.
The Pros of an Answering Service
Answering services, like chatbots, help to streamline a business. Customers can call the company’s number and receive help with any issue from live agents. Even the most complex issues can be solved.
Answering services are also a cost-effective solution. Rather than hiring a team of in-house customer service agents to answer questions and solve problems, these duties can be outsourced which will save business owners a considerable amount of money.
Answering services can also be on call around the clock. Even when customers have questions or experience problems in the middle of the night, they can get the help they need. When customers can get help with even the most complex issues no matter the time, they will be satisfied and be loyal to the brand for years to come.
The Cons of an Answering Service
While answering services are an outstanding customer service solution to implement, there are a couple of cons that must be considered. Firstly, answering services are not going to be subject matter experts. Answering service personnel field calls from numerous companies, making it impossible to train these agents on all aspects of the business. Secondly, answering service agents are not going to necessarily know the ins and outs of what is happening at a company. In-house staff will need to update answering services frequently so they can provide accurate information to customers if they need to inquire about specific employees or company processes.
For the best results, it is strongly advised that business owners consider using both a chatbot and an answering service. Both solutions together will make for an outstanding customer experience because one will make up where the other lacks. When hiring an answering service, however, it is essential for business owners to make sure it services the geographic location of the company. For instance, if a business is in Florida, then the company owner needs to search for a virtual receptionist in Florida to make sure he or she finds an answering service that will meet all business needs.