AI Chatbots in Customer Service Join The Conversation as A Booming Industry Faces Scrutiny | Explained – News18

6 minutes, 33 seconds Read

In recent years, there has been a significant surge in the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots by service providers across many sectors and this trend further accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic. While these chatbots offer advantages such as round-the-clock availability and speedy responses to basic queries, concerns have been raised regarding their efficacy in handling complex issues and the challenge of accessing human representatives when needed.


World’s Leading High-rise Marketplace

By nature, such chatbots often rely on pre-programmed responses, which can limit their ability to comprehend nuanced questions or provide tailored solutions. This limitation has led to frustrations among users seeking more personalised assistance, particularly in scenarios requiring intricate problem-solving.

Furthermore, the process of connecting with a human agent through chatbots can be cumbersome, involving navigating through multiple menus and enduring lengthy virtual queues. This can intensify customer dissatisfaction, especially when urgent or sensitive matters are at hand.

One such consumer from Noida told News18: “Chatbots do not really offer great help. The scopes are very limited. They can help with generic queries like ticket details from PNR or telephone bill details. But in certain contexts, they do not understand your queries. So, it’s great to have but can do without it too. Human agents offer better help any day.”

In contrast, another consumer from Delhi said that she has found AI chatbots helpful. “There are times when you need some basic help but waiting for the representative becomes frustrating,” she said.

However, a Bengaluru-based consumer expressed a preference for human interaction. “Chatbots acting as FAQ sections frustrate me. What’s the use of a ‘chatbot’ if it can’t engage in a conversation or understand my concerns? I’d rather speak to a human on the other end who can listen and address my issues. That’s why I opt for calling customer care if there is an option, instead of initiating a ‘chat’ with a ‘chatbot’,” the consumer said.

Experts in the field have offered insights into the evolving landscape of AI chatbots in customer service. Amit Vasistha, founder and CEO of GALF, underscores the shift in banking operations towards a more technology-centric approach, with automation playing a significant role in customer servicing. However, he cautions against over-reliance on chatbots, noting instances where automated responses may fail to address the root issues, necessitating human intervention.

“While the original intent might have been to get connected with customers faster, better, and consistently, it comes with opportunities where the real problem recognition at times doesn’t happen leading to customers going to and from the digital desk to get a correct response. It is some time before the bots get trained and get better using AI and ML. The truth is that human intervention can never and shouldn’t be ever abolished. Even if it means charging a premium for that,” he added.

Amit Prasad, founder and CEO of SatNav Technologies, expresses scepticism regarding the effectiveness of AI chatbots. “AI chatbots claim to be super efficient and on par with call centre agents but in reality it is almost like a scam being perpetrated on unsuspecting customers. When we are giving business to a services or goods provider, whether a bank, an insurance company, or even an online retailer, they are duty-bound to give us support too. Bots give vague, canned answers,” he said, adding that there should be regulatory intervention to ensure that customers have the option to directly engage with human representatives, even if it comes at a premium.

Sachin Panicker, chief AI officer at Fulcrum Digital, acknowledges the challenges faced by initial iterations of AI chatbots, emphasising ongoing efforts to enhance their capabilities.

“Traditional chatbots were typically limited to responses that have been explicitly programmed into them. This means their ability to handle queries was confined to the scenarios anticipated by their developers. In contrast, generative AI chatbots use grounded large language models to generate responses in real time. They aren’t restricted to a fixed set of responses; instead, they can create new, contextually relevant responses to each input. This flexibility allows them to handle a wider range of queries and engage in more natural, fluid conversations,” he said.

Despite the criticisms, there is recognition of the potential of AI chatbots to streamline customer service operations. Generative AI chatbots, in particular, are noted for their ability to simulate human-like conversations and handle a broader range of queries. However, concerns persist regarding the accuracy of AI-generated responses and the ethical implications of indistinguishable human-machine interactions.

As the debate over the role of AI chatbots in customer service continues, stakeholders emphasise the importance of striking a balance between automation and human interaction. The efficiency and scalability provided by chatbots are undeniable. However, it’s crucial to recognise that they shouldn’t entirely supplant human involvement. Doing so also risks causing a significant increase in unemployment and prolonging the time it takes for individuals to find new jobs after reskilling.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts