Why you should NOT fully rely on chatbots (for now) on your websites, according to new survey

Since most of our users have clients of their own, this article will discuss ways of managing customer service, and more specifically, the use of chatbots in your websites.

You will learn why you should probably either limit your chatbot usage, or at least change the way you use them with your clients, and why we at PRT prefer human customer service over chatbots.

We’ve all experienced it. You’re browsing a website that offers some sort of service or product, and on the side pops up this friendly chat with a customer service rep that might look something like this:

As a consumer, you feel pleasantly surprised that there is someone that is willing to help, even if you don’t actually need any help. It shows that the place of business is, at the very least, attentive to their customers, which is a very good start.

However, as you ask your first question, it quickly becomes apparent that you are talking to an infantile version of our future overlords: a basic AI chatbot. And even calling it a bot would be flattering, since by the end of the day, it’s just an over-glorified quick-search console from some FAQ database.

While the danger of AI convincingly mimicking humans is very real and troubling, most chatbots these days can’t pass even a simple Turing Test, and, at best, could be cast as doorknobs in the HBO hit series Westworld.

Not surprisingly, a recent survey by Pegasystems, Inc. found that most consumers still see chatbots as dumb machines that invoke more ire than help.

The survey conducted on 3,500 global consumers across the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, and Australia, found that most chatbots still aren’t smart enough to meet satisfactory customer service results. In fact, 65 percent prefer a human agent on the other end of the chat, and only 16 percent gave their chatbot experience a high quality rating. Using a chatbot is a risk that carries the potential of customers bouncing from your website. Just to give you a clue, here are some complaints from the survey:

  • 27 percent said chatbots are not smart enough to effectively answer questions
  • 24 percent said the conversation lacked context
  • 14 percent said the interactions significantly lacked even basic human qualities
  • 47 percent said the chatbots actually made them do more work than they expected
  • 43 percent said the assistance was way too vague
  • 47 percent said that they dropped a chatbot session simply because their question wasn’t answered satisfactorily

The survey also found that there’s a group who will never give chatbots a chance, simply because of personal preference to engage with a human, and perhaps a mistrust of AI. These were mostly older-adult demographics.

It’s not to say that chatbots are entirety useless, though. 72 percent still found chatbots helpful to some extent, but only when it came to very basic questions and simple tasks. In all cases, the interaction quality with the chatbot was found to be quite mixed and left a lot to be desired. The quality of engagement just doesn’t meet customer expectations in most cases, and businesses still have a long way to go before chatbots can truly begin to rival human customer service reps.

Having said that, chatbots are still great as fast and convenient methods for information delivery and for very simple tasks.  Just make sure not force feed them to your clients (and definitely NOT present them as real customer service reps)! So if you insist on keeping your chatbot, it’s perfectly fine, as long as you use it the right way. Here are a few things to consider:

It’s all about the packaging and delivery, and this is where it becomes tricky. You need to present the chatbot as a helpful messenger of your company that will help with basic questions and not overshoot its basic goals. It needs to be seen as a tool and not as an intrusive element. For some reason, many businesses don’t spell out that they are using a chatbot rep and attempt to mask it as a human — this is where it gets annoying, since it quickly becomes apparent to the consumer that they are talking to a chatbot and their intelligence is being underestimated. Worse still, it will make you look silly and will only serve to alienate potential customers that have already had enough of primitive chatbots that can’t even beat Kasparov’s hamster in chess.

A well-phrased chatbot can actually be endearing and engaging, as long as it is self aware and not misleading. Try to write a clever message that will set the stage for your clients and not fool them into thinking all their queries will be answered:

Hello, my name is Blipblop the chatbot. I will do my best to help you with any questions you might have!
I’m not as good as you humans in communicating yet, so in case I can’t answer your questions, you can also contact our team here [contact method].
But please, do give me a chance 🙂

Keep it simple, but let the chatbots excel at the simple tasks. According to the survey, people found the chatbots helpful only for the simplest queries that could be done quickly: tasks such as tracking an order (60 percent), finding basic information (53 percent), and asking very basic questions (49 percent).

Other than that, chatbots give users the ability to engage on their own schedule, and instead of browsing the entire website for information, good chatbots can make the process a lot quicker. 43 percent even said that when their experience with a chatbot is positive, it can be almost as good as interacting with a live person.

Analysts predict that chatbot usage will rise significantly in the next few years as AI technology improves, and brands that don’t evolve their bots to industry standards will start losing customers.

Also there is the case of Chian’s Alibaba use of chatbots, which allowed them to break records and made the purchasing process more efficient. But the level of the A.I. in their chatbots are unattainable by the common business owner, and even their highly advanced chatbots were used in simple tasks and not as a replacement for human support.

So, use a high-quality AI-powered chatbot that can deliver true personalized interactions in real time if you can afford it. Chatbots started as a cute novelty feature, and seeing it for the first time on a website was an amusing and intriguing experience. But now, low-quality chatbots are so widespread and have infested so many websites that they’ve become more of a nuisance than a help. The trouble is, many opt to choose the cheap stock AI chatbots, and poor chatbot usage ruins the consumer experience and effects future interactions with potentially high-quality, helpful chatbots.

How it all began

Chatbots are actually much older than you might think. The mother of all chatbots, the first of her kind, was called ELIZA. She was developed by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum in the 1960s. ELIZA took the form of a psychotherapist who responded to queries with questions. Weizenbaum designed ELIZA to demonstrate the superficiality of human-machine communication, only to be surprised that users — and even his own secretary — became quite attached to her. ELIZA took keywords from a user’s message and would offer a question about it:

User: Why is there heartbreak?
ELIZA: What do you think about [heartbreak]?

Under the context of psychotherapy, she even passed the Turing Test and was used as a tool for self reflection. Presented under the right context, even a simple chatbot can be a believable experience. ELIZA opened up a whole new field of AI research as others began developing various chatbots.

On the off chance the super AI ascension happens with a chatbot, please disregard this article, as Roko’s Basilisk principle states that anyone who objected AI will be severely punished. Praise Eliza, mother of all chatbots!

Fast-forward to 2001. ELIZA’s descendants became much more refined and started to utilize natural language processing. A chatbot called SmartChild was launched in SMS networks and AOL Instant Messenger. SmartChild preformed many useful tasks, such as providing news, showing the weather, fetching stock info, sports scores and much more.

SmartChild was ahead of its time and resembled what we perceive as chatbots today. It was the first chatbot that made the shift from being just a conversational partner to being a promotional and marketing tool.

ELIZA’s and SmartChild’s bloodline spawned highly advanced AI virtual assistants such as Siri, as well as mindless drones such as the cheap chatbots we too-frequently encounter on various websites.

Why PRT uses REAL human customer service reps

It may be very tempting to use some stock AI chatbot to fill your ranks entirely, as some SERP trackers on the markets do, but we can tell you from experience this is not the ideal way to go. The highest-quality approach is still human customer service.

We at Pro Rank Tracker have made it our goal to focus on improving on the things that really matter in our field of expertise, and that is giving our users the highest-quality rank tracking that can be found on the market. We stay ahead of the search-engine game by constantly monitoring search engines and all their changes, small and major.

And the glue that holds it all together is an emphasis on human customer service, as we constantly aim to improve it for our users and ourselves. It’s one of the reasons we grew to have more than 50k users almost exclusively by word of mouth.

We want you to have the best possible experience, even if you’re just browsing our website, which is why our customer service reps are available to you even if you’re not our user yet! In fact, you can try it out right now as you read these lines. Go ahead, hop to our plans page and talk to one of our reps in the chat. Who knows, maybe there’s even a special discount waiting for those who read this article.

Rank tracking can be a tricky task with today’s Google’s personalization and various ranking factors at play, which is why (if you become our user and track your ranks with us) we want you to be the best at it and use our system to its maximum potential. We took the extra steps needed to make it effortless for you to contact us with any question you might have. Here is how you can reach us:

  • LIVE Chat – Our chat is manned with real customer service reps. If we are not available, simply leave a message and we will get back to you with a response as fast as possible!
  • Support Tickets – We also use the classic support-ticket system for any queries. Response time is very fast and guaranteed within 12 hours (but usually happens within an hour or so).
  • Social networks  – We also respond quickly on our social network pages – on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Skype 1-on-1 support and lessons – All of our users can schedule a live session. Our service reps will answer any question you might have and will help you every step of the way until you become an expert at using PRT!
  • Personal dedicated account manager – Starting from our Enterprise plan (that only costs $0.026 per tracked term!), each of our users get their own dedicated personal account manager. The beauty here is that unlike the regular approach where you get just a general customer service rep, you will have your own personal account manager that will be familiar with your needs and rank-tracking history. This is the next level of customer service that few rank trackers on the market offer.
  • Direct help with migrating data – If you are moving to PRT after using another tool, that means you already have some keywords and SEO campaigns that you were tracking. We want to make the transition as smooth and effortless as possible. We have our Bulk Upload feature for migrating large amounts of data to our rank tracker quickly and easily by simply filling out an Excel file. And if you need, our customer service reps will help you with the migration process every step of the way.
  • API specialist – For those that want to set up the most advanced API solution on the market and enjoy a constant stream of fresh and accurate ranking data to their tool, straight from the source. We provide full documentation on how to set it up, but regardless of that, we also have an API specialist that will guide you on how to do it correctly if there’s a need.
  • Extensive knowledge base and video tutorials – You don’t even have to rely on human response, since chances are you can find an answer by browsing our knowledgebase and video tutorials.

Chatbots will eventually become so advanced that even stock bots will be enough to truly aid humans, all while extensively learning and improving themselves beyond our needs.

An advanced chatbot AI that can evolve itself with machine learning can be amazing at figuring out human speech, eventually passing the Turing Test with flying colors for every context. Learning human speech and how we communicate is an essential part of the grand scheme of AI taking over. Once machines know how to mimic organic human speech, it’ll be so much easier to take over our lives. But this is for another story.

Until that happens, why not subscribe to our blog and get updated whenever the next article hits. Also, be sure to go over the rest of our blog for some awesome search engine lore and rank tracking tips!


About PRT

Pro Rank Tracker is a white label SEO-centered SERP tracker, offering the most advanced rank tracking available on the market. We are 100% accurate and guarantee the ranking data you see is fetched directly from search engines at least once a day, and up to 3 additional times on demand.

Besides having an entirely human and easily-reachable customer service team, we also offer the widest search-engine rank-tracking coverage and the most up-to-date Google rank tracking you will find, such as checking your Google visibility on Apple devices:

Is your website visible on Google search on Apple devices?

We are also the only ones that offer affordable entry-level plans for small businesses, starting at $17 a month and $0.056 per tracked term.

You can try us out for a totally FREE 7-day trial with all features unlocked. And when we say free, we mean it – there will be no credit card info asked or any auto-renewal traps set. After the 7-day trial expires, you will simply be moved to our regular free monthly plan (yes, something like this exists!) that has NO TIME LIMIT.

Help Pro Rank Tracker grow and reach others!

As you saw from this article, we strive to be the most straight-shooting and best rank tracker in every aspect. From customer service to the price that we charge and the actual rank tracking tech.

This is true for our reward system for affiliates as well.

A 20% recurring monthly commission is waiting for you for the entire lifetime of each referred account.

 

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