Idea Factor Blog

WHY AI & Chatbots Make Me CRAZY!

chatter-teeth

My recent experiences with artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, especially those used for CUSTOMER SERVICE, have left me feeling irritated rather than amazed — and I don’t think I’m alone.

 

How do I hate AI? Let me count the ways:

 

THEY Want to Talk Your Ear Off!

If I chat with a human being, I can express complex issues and speak in long, content-rich paragraphs. The person is able to decode and parse what I say, even when there is more than one thought involved. This makes my interaction more efficient.

Chatbots, on the other hand, aren’t able to consume a firehose of human language. They keep coming back and asking question after question. It’s like a chatty neighbor who keeps talking and talking when you have work to get back to. With chatbots, there is a lot of repeating and “did you mean this?” chatter. They have to be walked through a problem while a person can hear the whole problem and break it down themselves.

I ran into this with Visa Card support. I needed to ask what seemed like a simple question about my account. It was the type of question a human could (and did) answer in less than a minute. The VISA chatbot, however, couldn’t understand my question and kept responding with more and more irrelevant questions of its own in a vain attempt to understand what I wanted. I finally had to ask for a human.

 

Chatbots Take More Time Than a Human

Since chatbots are so inefficient in their “speech” they take a lot longer to find a solution outside the most common ones. That would be only mildly annoying if they offered a single interaction such as “What can I help you with?” followed by a “Is this what you are looking for?” answer and then a pivot to a human agent if it didn’t resolve your issue. I also find the voice extremely condescending in it’s over-zealous desire to sound like a human.

Unfortunately, that’s not how they work. Instead, they continue to ask questions until you give up. Sometimes, they don’t give up even when you demand a human. I recently went to the Verizon Wireless customer service chat expecting a human. It was obvious I was speaking to a chatbot — it kept making really silly suggestions — and I demanded an agent. The chatbot persisted until I asked for an agent THREE TIMES and then it sent me into the chat queue. The question was more complex than the chatbot could handle but it wouldn’t give up. The chatbot wasted my time before finally getting me to an agent that could help … two minutes later.

 

It’s Not About Service — It’s About Costs

Chatbots leave one with the impression that chatbots are not intended to front-end a human interaction or gather information to make that interaction more meaningful. Instead, it is pretty obvious that chatbots exist to keep you from speaking to a human. They are just like interactive voice responses (IVR), which also exist to save costs by keeping you from a human, only they require more effort.

It’s much easier to say a simple command or press “1” on your telephone keypad (although, in all fairness, I do find myself yelling “Agent!” at the IVR voice recognition a lot. So I guess I hate IVRs as much as chatbots.)

What makes the cost shift obvious is the implementation of most customer service chatbots. They don’t ask for some basic information (account number or product model) which could then be used by a human agent. Instead, they try to solve the problem and keep doing that even when it’s out of its league. This is just an IVR jail, only with more typing.

In the end, when I am answered by this level of technology, I’m left with a very firm impression that this company does not want my business.

Ahhh – how great it is to have OPTIONS!

 

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com

 

 

A Healthy Sales Pipeline

Sales-person-busy

 

Healthy Sales Pipelines Eliminate the Peaks and Valleys of Sales Goals

Achieving your monthly sales goal can be stressful…

 

 

Maintaining a healthy Sales Pipeline is the key to a consistent and predictable sales performance. It is the best indicator of your sales team’s health. Having a bigger Pipeline is not necessary, it is important to have the RIGHT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES in the funnel. Your Sales Pipeline is your key for evaluating, managing and improving your sales process and sales team, hence the importance of making sure that it is constantly filled with new opportunities.

 

Problem is that most Sales People are really good at the ‘sales part’… creating relationships, answering objections, preparing quotes and closing deals, but not so great at the opening the door part.

 

And for good reason. The skill set of the Sales Rep and the Business Development Person are completely different.

 

If you want to bring new life to your Field Sales Team, give them the kind of leads that make them bounce out of bed in the morning.

 

How?

Use your Business Development Team to:

  • Source a list within the verticals that you have experience in
  • Identify 2 to 3 key decision maker titles
  • Obtain the names of the people under those titles
  • Send them interesting direct mail
  • Follow up with a phone call to create interest and awareness around your service and product offerings, source for pain points and book a Face to Face meeting for your Field Reps (This usually takes more than 10 phone calls, hence not a good use of the Field Rep’s time)
  • Send the Field Rep the date and time of the meeting, the insights gathered during the conversation, as much information as possible about the Key Decision Maker they will be meeting with, and any other Key Influencers identified along the way.

It’s a Sales Opportunity — all tied up in a bow!
If your sales rep is NOT FIRED UP by that kind of Qualified Opportunity… we can re-direct you to a site to help find the Perfect Field Rep … wink wink.

Wishing you a healthy pipeline and terrific sales.

 

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com

 

 

Winning a Business Excellence Award

Awards gang

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to tell you…winning the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award was so much fun!

 

We’ve had the pleasure of winning global awards for our White Glove service offerings but somehow the local one was more rewarding.

It was Oscar-like.

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Are You Keeping Your Sales Pipeline Full?

Leads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER delivering Qualified Leads in North America for three decades now — the biggest area of weakness we see is an empty pipeline.

What happens?

It’s simple.

As the qualified leads are coming in — the folks in your sales department are struggling to keep up with quotes and the business of SELLING.

More leads?

No no! We are too busy!

But suddenly the new clients are on board and there are no new leads so sales begin to slump. Now you have two time- frames that will slow you down:

  1. The start up time to launch a new lead generation effort
  2. Your average time to close

Our recommendation?

Slow — but steady.

It’s really important to make sure that there are always a steady stream of new opportunities to increase your chances of WINS and also to stop the gap between any customers you may lose along the way.

Hope the advice of our experience is of value to you in your decision — making process.

Happy Selling!

 

Cheryl Cappellano

www.idea-factor.com

1-866-384-2158

58,514 Qualified Leads produced for our Customers…oops…is that 2 more?

2.5 Million Brand Advocates assisted through our Gold Standard Call Center

 

Change is good

girl with cowboy hat

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you just have to admit to your mistakes!

 

I’m embarrassed to say that I have turned into my Old Auntie.

You know the one.

The one that you talked about behind her back.

About how she watched too much news on TV.

How she was becoming afraid of her own shadow.

How I would NEVER watch all the shows that she does because if I did I would NEVER leave my house.

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