As the economy continues to change, the old “one customer at a time” growth model no longer works. Businesses can’t afford to staff at the level needed for one-to-one conversations with every lead or customer. Conventional methods of scaling aren’t working either. Today’s buyers are too savvy to be persuaded by one-way message blasts and scripted bots that do little more than route them to overwhelmed Customer Service Reps.
All this comes at a pivotal time for companies. Atop looming economic challenges, budgets are tightening, and customer expectations for brand interactions are growing, leaving revenue teams across industries with overwhelming workloads and fewer resources.
At this critical juncture, organizations need all the help from technology that they can get. Yet many companies are opting to fight tomorrow’s battles with yesterday’s tech—traditional chatbots. With the breakneck speed of tech advancements, it doesn’t seem like that long ago when these were cutting edge. Today, however, not only are they behind the tech curve, but they can cause numerous problems for your team and actually work against revenue generation.
Let’s explore five reasons why the traditional chatbot is a thing of the past, as well as the alternate options for next-gen Conversation Automation that are available now. What is currently possible, and what should companies expect from Revenue Digital Assistants?
#1 Chatbots Leverage Outdated AI
If you’re like most people, you’ve interacted with chatbots on a website and can attest to their very limited scope of conversational capability. Imagine asking your customer to deal with the most rigid, myopic member of your workforce that you can think of, and then multiply that times 100. That’s the experience you’re giving them with a standard chatbot.
The most recent AI platforms, on the other hand, have dynamic message generation capabilities trained by billions of real-world interactions on the most advanced language models available. Furthermore, their understanding of your customer can be informed by data from your own systems, such as CRM. All of this gives them the ability to quickly interpret open-ended questions and dynamically generate responses—just like a human.
Consequently, these Revenue Digital Assistants can function alongside members of your team. They can engage in highly personalized dialogues, and-—unlike scripted bots that try to force people down a predefined path—they are capable of determining the best next action for the specific lead or customer. Their extensive training enables them to persuade customers throughout buyers’ lifecycles, leveraging sophisticated segmentation and data from previous interactions across the enterprise to deliver a highly personalized customer journey.
#2 Chatbots Aren’t Scalable
Customers and prospects need assistance, but the standard chatbot isn’t capable of understanding real-world human interactions. It basically routes people to a human-in-the-loop once it gets a vague idea of what they want. Consequently, rather than helping, chatbots likely add to the burden of thin-stretched teams by sending them a hodgepodge of questionable prospects and frustrated customers. Clearly, this approach is not scalable.
Modern Conversational AI platforms, by contrast, act as integrated team members taking on time-consuming tasks that Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams have traditionally performed manually. They can be trusted to execute business objectives autonomously, increasing the capacity of their human counterparts to focus on strategic activities.
#3 They’re Channel and Use-Case Specific
Chatbots, due to the primitive nature of the AI models they’re built on, are typically configured for certain specialized points in the sales life cycle. They’re usually limited to one channel, such as website chat, and can only engage leads when they’re on the website. Once the customer leaves the site, the conversation ends.
The newest advances, however, allow intelligent digital assistants to engage every lead, prospect, and customer in unscripted conversations through multiple channels, with authentic, AI-generated website chat, SMS, and email.
#4 Chatbots Limit Your Capabilities
Following up on the last point, rather than expanding your capabilities, traditional chatbots tend to limit them. Instead of freeing your people, revenue-generating teams often find they must build their processes around the limits of their chatbots, constantly stepping in at the early stages at which these technologies hit their limits in terms of understanding the customer.
More robust Conversation Automation solutions, however, can autonomously answer questions across any channel, in any language, at any point in the customer journey. This gives them the ability to assist the customer or lead much further along their journey and allows your team to place their focus on the latter stages of the customer journey.
#5 They Don’t Generate Revenue
We’re at the point now where standard chatbots have been deployed on most sales-oriented websites to help capture new leads. But for the reasons we’ve discussed, they’re delivering an experience so far below what customers now expect that they’re more likely to turn leads sour than they are to generate revenue.
To meet customer expectations and deliver revenue, true Conversation Automation solutions must replicate human-like, two-way conversations—autonomously answering open-ended questions, connecting visitors to the right resources, and setting follow-up meetings. This, in turn, yields the potential to increase productivity, lower costs, accelerate the velocity of leads in the pipeline and multiply staff efforts.
In sum, companies must deliver personalized, back-and-forth, human-like conversations to their contacts at every point in the customer journey. Otherwise, they’re leaving revenue on the table.
Want a deeper dive into what Conversation Automation can do for your business? Dive into our Essential Guide to Conversation Automation: The Best Way to Engage Customers and Win Revenue.