MDS Brand Blog

Downfalls of Automated Chat Services

Posted by Marine Dealer Solutions on Dec 19, 2016 12:58:19 PM

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Automated chat services have been used for years by businesses of all kinds. They have been deployed as a means of reaching out to massive client bases in what is supposed to be a cost-effective manner. Most of us, however, have been on the receiving end of an automated service of one sort or another and can each attest to its shortcomings.

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Here are some of the downfalls of an Automated Chat Service

  • Reliability
    Automated chat services are prone to breakdown and malfunction. These issues are frustrating and time consuming for both the business to resolve and for the customer on the other end. An inconvenience like that could reduce website visitor count and ultimately, many sales opportunities.
  • Likability
    Automated chat inherently lacks personal communication and can be very robotic. Most users who aren't computer savvy will perhaps not appreciate such a feature. It is wise to at least offer email or phone support in addition to automated services.
  • Affordability
    On paper, automated chat services may seem more cost effective than hiring a live chat support team, but choosing that route can prove to be more costly in comparison. An automated chat service can cost a fortune to design, fabricate, and install. In addition to the start-up cost, automated systems need regular checking, and a higher level of maintenance and updates than a manually operated system. Considering that, along with the generally low degree of flexibility that comes with automated systems, it can make for a very inefficient use of customer response resources.
  • Success ratio
    Automated chat services often do not deliver much quantitative success. The odds of transforming a visitor into a customer is reduced as most automated chat services would provide only stored data.
  • Worker displacement
    One major disadvantage associated with automated services is worker displacement. Reducing job opportunities is often viewed as a very negative business choice in the eyes of and hearts of customers. Even if it does prove a smaller expense for a business, the customers may choose to find a business that puts people before machines.
  • User Experience
    Arguably the most important factor to consider when weighing the differences between manual and automated chat systems is the user’s experience. As mentioned above, an automated chat system can only operate to the extent of the data put into it. This makes for a significant lack of flexibility and can hinder the opportunity to meet and exceed a customer’s expectations. Buyers and potential buyers can have very complex questions or concerns that can only be properly addressed by a having a fluid conversation with a live person. There is simply no chat technology that comes close to the unmatched adaptive capabilities of people.

Though automated technology is becoming increasingly versatile, it is not a perfect one-stop solution to customer response and can often create a disconnect between business and the consumer. Nothing fully replaces the flexibility and flow of a human conversation. If an automated system is integrated, it is wise to retain some level of live contact in your customer response strategy as it is key to attaining the personability required to fully delight your customers.

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Topics: Live Chat, Marketing Tips & Tricks