Chatbots are one of the hottest topics in the technology world today. We read and hear a lot about it, including some misconceptions.
The interest for bots is not going to slow down: a study shows that 80% of businesses want chatbots in the next 2 years. To implement them properly, companies should be aware of their real potential and limits.
Like any new technology, chatbots arouse hopes and fears. Now that companies are integrating it in their strategies, we can better understand how it is beneficial for both companies and customers.
To help you implement your chatbot and know what to expect, we have gathered 8 of the most common myths about chatbots. We have called out experts to debunk these myths.
After reading this article, you will know:
- When the first ever chatbot was created
- How chatbots empower customer care agents
- How long a chatbot implementation usually takes
- And much more!
1. Chatbot is a new technology
|“Many people think that chatbots have only been around for the last 3 or 4 years. In fact, the first chatbot, ELIZA was created in 1966. I myself, have been working with chatbots for nearly 15 years and the Loebner Prize, which is awarded to the world’s most humanlike conversational AI, was first held in 1991. Although chatbots are becoming more mainstream and available in many more devices now, they are certainly not a new technology.”|
|Steve Worswick |
Senior AI Developer | Pandorabots.com
2. All chatbots are the same
|“Well designed chatbots have distinctive flavours. This will be more obvious in the future. With rapidly advancing innovation, bot authors will be able to focus as much on the experience as the use case.Expect an explosion in contrasts in behaviour, personality, voice and bot graphical UIs as bots become hidden in plain sight in every aspect of our lives.|
|Sylvain Perron |
Director | Botpress.io
3. Chatbots will destroy jobs
|“Chatbots are regularly seen as threats by customer relation agents. You must understand that they will take the lead on first level requests but you should also assume that they’re empowering agents by giving them the opportunity to focus on second or third level requests that require the ability to mediate (which bots can’t do).”|
|William Bailey |
Head of Strategic Partnerships | Smartly.ai
4. All chatbots are based on AI
|“The best chatbots are simple. They ask questions and suggest answers, instead of relying on freeform conversation: the reality is most people prefer to be guided through a conversational experience. It’s simpler, faster, and gets things done. The most successful bots achieve the most meaningful business results by guiding the user through the conversation, from “Get Started” to getting an answer to their question.|
5. Chatbots are only available on Facebook Messenger
|“Chatbot existed even before Mark Zuckerberg was born, today businesses are using chatbots in their mobile apps, their live chat support as well. Being the world’s most popular social platform, Facebook Messenger chatbots no doubt are popular but certainly not the only one. In fact, the world’s most popular and intelligent chatbot, Mitsuku, was not built for Facebook Messenger. Mitsuku has won Loebner Prize for most human-like chatbot just in 2016.”|
|Usama Noman |
CEO | Botsify.com
6. To provide a good customer experience, a chatbot is a must-have
|“Facebook Messenger is the new way people contact brands. Last year 330 Million people interacted with a brand via Facebook Messenger. Yet somehow, many people today hesitate before adding a chatbot to their Messenger, fearing that this may “break” the human relationship they have with their audience. |
Chatbots won’t be replacing a good customer experience, but can definitely help augment it by automating the easy questions, giving direct access to information and provide instant services.
7. Building a chatbot is easy
|“It’s easy to believe that chatbot is a plug & play technology. But technology is equally important as human resources in the success of your project. |
Having built more than 300 chatbots, we now know that you need to push at least an initial 60 to 120 hours of work to set up a project; and a recurring 10 to 50 hours a month to continuously grow the knowledge base and polish the NLP layer of your chatbot.
Without this man power, even the best technology ever will fail.”
|Luc Truntzler |
Associate Director | Inbenta France
8. During a single conversation, it’s not possible to interact with both a chatbot and a human agent
|“Talking to chatbots on one side and to human agents on the other is the worst customer experience. The future of customer experience lies in hybrid chatbots which take the best of both worlds; human and AI agents in the same conversation to both increase customer satisfaction and maximize ROI.”|
Thanks again to our chatbot partners who contributed to this article! These insights should help you better know chatbots and the best practices around them. If you want to learn more about chatbots, you can read our related articles:
Originally published Oct 10, 2018, updated Dec 30, 2022