Attempts to integrate chatbots into a system or initiate any kind of digital change can encounter hurdles along the way. However, it’s often internal resistance that can prevent a fully integrated system from being introduced, rather than protests by irate customer. In fact, it’s more likely that users are quite happy to access your various departments, information portals and hubs using digital channels. Where you may encounter the strongest kick-back against the concept, though, is in the upper management levels.
Reasons such as how effective chatbots are at responding to queries, how aware users are of chatbots, and the costs involved are usually tabled as reasons not to move forward with a channel shift program that incorporates chatbots. So here are a few eye-opening statistics that may help you to convince your management team that chatbots really do represent the future of communications between large organisations such as local councils, and the public.
1. “Not enough people know what a chatbot is”
Response: According to figures published by ubisend in 2017, 57% of UK consumers now know what a chatbot is, and how to interact with one. This means more than half of the population are already familiar with the technology, with that number increasing all the time.
2. “Callers would rather talk to a real person”
Response: In the past, that may have been the case, especially when chatbots and automated telephony was impersonal, robotic, and (to be honest) not very good. Today, according to HubSpot, 48% of consumers would rather get in touch with an organisation or company via live chat.
3. “People just aren’t interested in chatbots”
Response: HubSpot also found that 57% of consumers like using chatbots because they offer an instant point of contact that’s accessible 24/7, 365 days a year.
4. “Take- up of chatbots in other sectors has been low”
Response: According to research by Foye in 2017, the banking sector is set to automate up to 90% of their interactions with chatbots by 2022, which means that far more customer interactions with banks will be via chatbots. Other sectors (particularly in finance and insurance) are estimating the same levels of market penetration through the use of chatbots.
5. “Most users like other channels to interact with organisations”
Response: research by ubisend found that currently, 21% of users regard chatbots as the easiest channel through which to make contact, with that number predicted to increase dramatically over the next four years. Those who disregard chatbots as a channel could be alienating a growing percentage of customers, reducing the effectiveness of channel shift implementations and effectively ‘clogging up’ the other channels.
6. “It doesn’t represent a cost-effective use of funds or a good ROI”
Response: Cost and cost savings is always the big one, but even here there’s clear evidence that the correct use of chatbots could save local councils a huge amount of money every year. Juniper Research found that the savings across all industries and public sectors in the UK who incorporate chatbots into their omni-channel solutions could be as high as £6billion a year. With a more streamlined and effective system in place, chatbots could represent an exceptional ROI, especially as proportionally, the development and integration of chatbots into a pre-existing digital system is relatively cheap.
7. “It takes a long time to see any ROI”
Response: Targeted marketing at the launch to capture the ‘low hanging fruit’ should resolve this issue very quickly. By identifying the most commonly used channels and revising them first, you should show a quicker take-up and a more immediate ROI by reducing the costs of the traditional channels (those operated by real people rather than chatbots).
8. “It takes a long time to implement a full chatbot system”
Response: It needs to be reiterated to management that you don’t have to do a ‘clean sweep’ and implement chatbots into every channel at once. In fact, this could be detrimental to the end result, leading to confusion and even potentially damaging the council’s reputation with its users. Implementation can be a gradual affair, which also gives you a chance to gauge the effectiveness of the chatbots you’re using, and allow for any course-correction earlier in the process, rather than carrying out an expensive and time-consuming wholesale review further down the line. A trickle-down implementation process rather than a ‘grand launch’ is infinitely preferable, as there may be some channels that don’t fit easily into your chatbot shift.
More questions? Our expert team will be happy to answer them.