There is a lot of hype around about chatbots, how impressive and innovating they are. But in between all the giddiness, what are the advantages and disadvantages of chatbots?
Chatbots are indeed worth the hype and ‘fuss.’ It is not every day you find a program that can conveniently perform the job of a whole marketing team with ease and efficiency.
Chatbots are revolutionary and with over 300, 000 of them currently in existence on a popular platform like Facebook Messenger, a handful of business now appreciate them.
They are, however, not limited to instant messaging platforms. Chatbots can also be found on numerous websites today as businesses look to gain grounds over their competitors.
There is no iota of doubt that the pros of chatbots greatly outweigh the cons, but it is worth considering the advantage and disadvantage of chatbots before going for one.
As a business owner, trying to maximise productivity and at the same time reducing costs of production coupled with increased sales and profits is the ultimate dream.
Not many opportunities come that will tick all these boxes, but what if I tell you there’s one that can tick all these boxes and more; they are chatbots.
As good as they sound, there are advantages and disadvantages of chatbots which we will consider now.
Advantages of Chatbots
In examining the pros and cons of chatbots, let us first consider their advantages over disadvantages.
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of Chatbots include:
- Reduces Cost
- Improved Sales
- Versatility and Multitasking
- Not all Businesses May be Able to Use Chatbots Successfully
- Limited Responses
- High Installation Costs
Nothing shows your customers that you are very committed to their experience than being available always.
One of the biggest advantages your chatbot can offer you is being there to engage customers at any time of the day, week, month, or year.
A chatbot’s 24/7 availability is unmatched, and you will be hard-pressed to find a human employee that will be as available as a chatbot.
A customer that messages your business in the middle of the night for an urgent enquiry, and gets the answer immediately will definitely come back.
Generally, customers want all their inconveniences and enquiries to be sorted out as soon as possible.
When you are unable to provide answers when they need them, you risk losing your customers to your competitors, and this is where chatbots come in.
The availability of chatbots is unmatched, which makes it one of the numerous advantages of chatbots.
With due respect to any marketing team out there that may or may not be reading this, they are no match for a well-designed chatbot.
Having a chatbot is less expensive than having a marketing team and with the former able to do the job of the latter even more efficiently, it is a no brainer.
You need to pay the salaries of your customer support staff monthly, and this is a recurring expense that can be avoided with the use of chatbots.
Although some chatbots may cost a lot to build, the cost of maintenance reduces costs compared to the recurring wages of a team.
In fact, you may only need to spend a little bit over $10 a month to get access to all the full advantages of chatbots from some chatbot builders like Zebrabuzz and the likes.
You can also decide to have a chatbot and just a few staff for the support team. This is because some customers prefer speaking with a human customer care representative.
Some chatbots may not be properly equipped to solve your customers’ problems, so having a small support team as backup is surely a good idea.
This is one of the many advantages of a chatbot.
Consider the sales you make now without a chatbot, no matter how big and impressive they are, chatbots can double it and in some cases, triple it.
Chatbots will generate quality leads for you, and you need not be told that leads mean potential customers.
They can also be used to sell products, send updates about a product, an offer or a promo, build massive email lists.
You may think it is more like email marketing, but it is better. Chatbots can send personalised messages to each of your customers based on the content they want.
This will help customers find what they are looking for quickly.
Also, while an email marketer would expect to get about 5-10% open rate, using a chatbot greatly improves that number, and you’re looking at 70-80% open rates.
It even gets better when using chatbots like Zebrabuzz that offer up to 95% open rates; a big advantage that chatbots offer you.
Versatility and Multitasking
You will be hard-pressed to find a human employee that will willingly work in multiple areas and still run on the same costs.
Chatbots can be used in a variety of places in your business.
Advertising, customer service, customer orders, scheduling appointments, giving clients reminders are just a few of the many units a chatbot can be deployed.
Need I remind you it will not request you more money for it?
Chatbots can also respond to as many customers as possible at a time without feeling the need to rest or take a break!
There are many more advantages of chatbots. However, now that you have an idea of what they offer, it is now time to look at what they do not offer; disadvantages of chatbots.
I do not need to remind you that we are looking at both sides; that is, the advantages and disadvantages of chatbots.
Read: What are the Benefits of Chatbots to a Business?
Not all Businesses May be Able to Use Chatbots Successfully
The nature of some businesses makes it almost impossible to use chatbots.
Trying to programme all the possible scenarios that could happen during conversations with a customer could too difficult to happen.
Some businesses have far too many complexities involved to use chatbots.
Not that it may not be possible at all, but when you consider the costs of programming chatbots for such businesses as well as the possibilities of getting customers frustrated, it may be best if you simply hired human customer care representatives.
This challenge is mostly found in chatbots that are not AI-Powered. Some chatbots are rule-based, meaning their responses are limited, and this can be a disadvantage.
Customers could become frustrated when they do not get the right responses and keep getting fed what has been programmed into the chatbot.
This disadvantage is greatly reduced with AI-Powered chatbots as they are intelligent and able to learn.
High Installation Costs
Although chatbots will reduce costs for your business in the long run, the immediate installation costs can prove very expensive.
There are also costs of maintaining it, especially if you are using more complex chatbots and this adds to the disadvantages of chatbots.
Other minute reason could be that chatbots lack emotion. They are unable to show affection or sympathy, especially to customers who may crave them.
All these are the advantages and disadvantages of chatbots, and it is worth considering each one of them before taking the step to get one.