A new but lasting role for chatbots in customer care

Human or bot customer care

More and more companies are implementing chatbots in customer care. This type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will come to play an even bigger role in 2017. But even though they cannot (yet) replace human contact, chatbots have evolved to a level where we can no longer ignore them. As arguments from the past no longer apply, now is the time to embrace bots in customer care.

Integrating bots in existing chat interfaces has become increasingly popular over the last years. In line with the bot’s rising popularity, its list of demands continues to grow. Companies now need to be present on platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line and Telegram. And don’t forget about Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon Echo. As a result, chatbots need to be able to not only answer different questions correctly, but also to answer them in a way that suits the customer and suits the platform. Quite a challenge.

Arguments of the past 

This brings us to the most outdated preconception on bots. Customers ask for personal and human contact. Each customer prefers a different form of communication and each conversation can evoke different emotions. Adapting to these variables is something the first bots did not exactly excel in. Standard scripts and standard answers; customers could easily notice when they were speaking to a bot instead of to a human. This led to irritation with the customer. So, customer care departments pushed bots aside and stayed true to their original forms. 


It is true that it is not an easy task to integrate bots who act human and offer the same level of customer care as your ‘flesh and blood’ employees. After all, companies like Google and Apple have spent many years improving AI and still haven’t provided full coverage of tasks with AI. Moreover, customer care employees are able to give more attention to complicated issues. Therefore, it will take a lot more for bots to give the same full experience and answers for all questions customers may fire at your customer care department. But even though bots can still not replace the human employee, the bots’ capacities have grown notably since we’ve first used bots.

Bot and human as a team

Since first entering the online world, chatbots have become self-learning and continue to get better and better at imitating human behavior. As a result, the difference between employee and bot has decreased. Bots ask the same questions employees would ask, and they provide personalized responses. And if human interference is required, a good chatbot will be sure to let you know. For instance, when the bot can no longer generate a proper response. This way, you can rely on bots to handle first contact with customers.

With chatbots, depending on the user scenario, 50 to 60 % of the customer questions can be answered. And as the AI behind bots becomes more intelligent and sophisticated, this number will only become bigger. But even in spite of this growth, the human customer care employee will remain irreplaceable.

As technology keeps evolving, bots now offer more benefits and have overcome previously mentioned preconceptions. By using chatbots in combination with customer care employees, customers can receive responses more quickly. The simple tasks can be handled by the bots, relieving some of the pressure on your employees. This released capacity can be used to solve the more complex issues and matters. The combination between chatbots and employees will quickly prove indispensable.

Next to the improvements in bots and AI, allowing more efficient customer care, there are more technological developments you may no longer ignore. Because with the growing number of platforms your customers use to contact you, how can you keep up with their expectations to be able to reach you anywhere at any time? Read all about the Customer Contact Tool GIN, which allows you to communicate with all customers on all platforms via one dashboard.




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About the author

Charlotte van Raak is content marketer and makes sure our readers always have interesting blogs to read about how to engage with customers. During the day, she answers 1K questions in her role as communications advisor. At night she preferably sleeps.

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