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The Risks of Using Chatbots for Marketing and How to Avoid Them

The Risks of Using Chatbots and How to Overcome Them 

Developed in the late 1990s, chatbots (originally called "chatterbots") quickly became an online store's answer to providing immediate customer service. Initially, chatbots were welcomed by both e-commerce owners and online consumers. Early chatbot enthusiasts predicted people would one day be conversing with chatbots more than their family members! 

The alternative to a chatbot is live chat. The difference between a chatbot and a Live Chat is that live chat is staffed by real humans who respond in real-time, where a chatbot run by a Bot that is programmed with either a playbook or conversation-routing sometimes with some low level AI. Almost everyone at this point has had an awkward bot conversation where the bot doesn’t understand the question. The truth is--people simply prefer interacting with other humans. A CGS survey of 1000 U.S. consumers found that 86 percent would prefer to speak to a human agent instead of a chatbot. The risk of not having any chat on your website is you could lose sales; over 70 percent stated they would be less inclined to try a brand of merchandise if no human service representatives were available. 

Live Chat v Chatbots: Which One Do Online Consumers Prefer? 

Survey after survey indicates that the majority of US internet users would rather talk to humans over chatbots. Online retailers need to start using live chat to stay competitive. Customers today want a personalized experience and don't want to talk with a bot that has limited knowledge and can't answer questions. The #1 search on most chatbots is ‘human’ as people are trying to connect to a human being to help them.

Live chat can offer a friendly, personable representative who can recommend products, describe the latest sales events and offer honest advice about products and maybe even show it to you over video. Real people can persuade a customer to make that purchase by adding a personal touch and genuinely impressing consumers with their human touch. 

3 Top Risks of Using Chatbots Every Online Retailer Should Know 

Risk #1: Bad Bot Conversations 

So, what is a bad chatbot conversation? This might sound familiar to you:


This kind of customer experience is what makes someone go to a competitive brand

#2 Risk: Chatbots are Incapable of Insight Into Consumer Problems 

A recent study from Denmark found that online consumers quickly develop negative attitudes after having just one or two unproductive chatbot interactions. Consumers are more likely to be aggressive and noncompliant with chatbots. Consequently, if chatbots answer questions incorrectly and they aren’t able to get answers easily customers may try to find a real person to talk to at another business. 

#3 Risk: Chatbots are build for customer service, not for sales.

If you are looking to increase your revenue, increase average order value, shift your product mix or just increase add-to-cart value a chatbot might not be the best route. Chat bots are primarily built for customer service: package tracking, order returns, issues with the product.

Live chat brings your in-store experience to your website and helps you increase sales and profitability. Having that human connection in real-time allows customers to get product questions answered when they’re ready to buy, helping them to make their purchase and maybe even upselling them on something they didn’t realize they needed.

Avoid the Risks of Using Chatbots By Using Live Chat 

Ditch the risks of using chatbots and try Optimy. Complex sales interactions need to provide customers with in-depth, personalized information. Chatbots do not have the human expertise or insight essential for creating this kind of positive customer experience.

Optimy is a state-of-the-art digital engagement platform that can bring an in-store experience online to customers. Optimy is also a digital concierge solution that does not require you to hire more people. Instead, it allows our trained agents to pass off hot leads for your team to close sales. 

Book a demo of Optimy live chat and see your conversion rates skyrocket as Optimy turns browsers into returning buyers. 

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