The truth about free chatbots
Thought Leadership

The truth about free chatbots

September 21, 2020 by Brooke Granovsky

Managing enterprise IT is getting more complex every day. 

Naturally, IT teams are interested in reducing the number of vendors that they must deal with. The primary goal of reducing vendors is to take some complexity out of the process. Fewer solutions to deploy and operate gives the team some time and agility back, so they can begin to take on the large-scale digital transformation projects that are the priority of the C-Suite today.

This has led to the rise of some impressive and broad ranging platform companies that offer a wide variety of software-as-a-service offerings, from Customer Relationship Management to Enterprise Resource Planning. 

The promise of these companies is convenience, a one-stop shop for all your technology needs. Leverage the massive platform, and grow with add-on tools that, in theory, will help you reduce the pressures on your maxed-out teams. One platform, multiple use cases, that will help run the business in a more efficient and agile manner. This is what digital transformation is supposed to be all about. That was the promise.

Read on for the reality.

All technology is not created equal

When COVID-19 hit, our reality changed, and this change extends to support teams. The reality of what CX platform solutions can and cannot do also changed, as it became clear that many of these platforms may be too good to be true. 

These platforms, as powerful and awesome as they are at their core capabilities, are not equipped to solve all your technology needs. 

When the pandemic hit, the impact on customers was profound. The “new normal” for customer service teams in eCommerce is that every day they are dealing with Cyber Monday or Black Friday levels of customer inquiries, according to data from more than 1.6 million customer conversations from Ada. Customer conversations exploded as high as 145% above Black Friday volume, and have maintained Black Friday levels of activity through early July. 

Why suite solutions fail 

Free conversational AI chatbots that are added to CRM platforms almost always prove unable to meet the moment. 

The convenience and efficiency of the platform add-on never materialized because the conversational AI tool did not have the robust features of stand-alone solutions on the market. The promise was right, and the cause was just. Quickly and easily deploy a new solution that will alleviate pressure on your overworked customer service agents. 

The reality was that this platform solution takes 3-6 months to deploy even a basic FAQ. The promise of alleviating pressure on live agents cannot be delivered upon, and every day they are left to deal with Black Friday-level inquiries. At this time of high anxiety, the customer relationship is changing. A positive customer engagement gets chatters an answer quickly and intuitively, not necessarily from a human agent first. Customers today expect brands to use technology to serve responses and progress conversations in a timely and efficient manner. They are looking to automation first, and not getting quick resolution of common questions is yet another source of frustration.

3 conflicts that prevent free chatbots from meeting support needs

Fundamental Conflict: The CRM platform has likely solved your CRM issues exceedingly well. What it has not been able to do is be all things to all people across your IT organization. For starters, these solutions are based on seat licenses, so their AI chatbot has no incentive to leverage automation and reduce the pressure on live agents. A purpose-built conversational AI chatbot solution from Ada, for example, is designed for that sole purpose, to quickly alleviate pressure on live agents, putting automation first.

Limited Features: Another limitation of the add-on platform chatbot is the lack of ongoing feature development. These tools are far from the platform’s core business, and they lack the richness of purpose-built conversational AI solutions. An area where this most obviously manifests itself is in multi-lingual support capabilities - there are more complexities being deep in the CRM system and they are also building Natural Language Processing based on tickets that exist so the nuances in language are more pronounced. Most important, they provide adequate support for a very limited number of languages.

Knowledge Management: Platform solutions are not focused on knowledge management for conversational AI at the front end. For knowledge and content to be easy to update, the tool needs to be built from the ground up. That is why Automated Customer Experience platforms have emerged as their own market category today.

You need a conversational AI partner in your chatbot

An automation first strategy built with Ada’s conversational AI is the right solution to meet the immediate needs of anxious customers, and to alleviate the intense pressure on live agents. This is all we do, it is our obsession. The difference shows.

It starts with the fact that Ada is a no code solution and does not require the involvement of IT to deploy and operate on an ongoing basis. There is a profound difference between being able to operate on your own and being dependent on a stretched and stressed IT organization with many conflicting priorities. With Ada, you are in control.

By using Ada, within three months you can reduce 30% of inquiries that require a live agent, freeing them to focus on more complex, high value customer inquiries. Within six months, Ada fully delivers on the promise of AI to generate more conversations with 80% of customer inquiries solved quickly, with high satisfaction. Giving customers the option for on-demand self-service instantly improves customer satisfaction.

New features and capabilities are always in development, with emphasis on enabling automation, integration, and global scale with the industry’s most powerful Natural Language Processing, allowing us to serve customers in more than 100 languages. 

Learn more about the way forward to chatbots

Reach out to us to learn more about what a purpose-built chatbot can do for your business.



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