3 Reasons Why Chat Bots Can’t Replace B2B Chat Reps

Olin Hyde
November 8, 2016

Customer service is an integral part of most successful B2B companies. So if you want to become a market leader, you need to make sure that your B2B support arm is solid. Otherwise, you’re going to lose customers.

But some B2B companies use chat bots instead of people to provide customer service. These automated programs are usually affiliated with terrible marketing websites trying to sell you bad products.

But thanks to changes in technology some now believe that chat bosts can help B2B firms because they can better replicate humans. The world of B2B would change with automation, but the fact is this arena isn’t ready for chat bots quite yet.

Below are the three main reasons why the B2B arena isn’t ready for chat bots:.

Chat bots are computer programs that hold conversations using auditory or textual methods. They can simulate human conversations fairly well, but few, if any, B2B companies use them for customer service. Here’s three reasons why:

  • Lack accuracy

One of the big differences between B2C and B2B is that accurate customer support is considered far more important in B2B. You could put your company at risk if you lose a client through poor customer support.

That’s because B2B companies are usually relying on fewer clients to generate revenues than B2C entities. So accuracy in conversation is paramount to helping these companies.

Chat bots, however, aren’t accurate enough for B2B customer service. Tests conducted with the most sophisticated machine learning platforms only achieve a maximum 85% accuracy rate. The majority of commercial solutions perform well below this rate.

If your agent was only right 70% or 80% of the time, you’d fire that agent. A good agent must be right at least 99% of the time or you’ll lose business.

B2B influencer Jay Baer says, “If it feels like there are more complaints than ever, and that you’re spending more time and money dealing with negativity and backlash, you’re right. That alone should tell you can’t take a risk by implementing a chat bot. The monetary savings you can make are not worth it”

The only way to keep happy customers is to be right all the time. And chat bots simply aren’t up to it just yet.

  • Don’t integrate well

Everything about B2B marketing and customer service today is about integration. Technology professionals have been promoting this philosophy results for many years.

For example, most software solutions are geared towards being easily integrated into your company. Integration in your B2B company reduces overhead.

Most chat bots today can’t be integrated. Instead, they act independently of existing customer support platforms. Those chat bots that can be integrated take a lot of work and practically negate the benefits of having a bot in the first place.

For example, a bot may not mark which responses are from the bot, leaving the agent to go through the conversation to find out what was said before engaging customers in live chat or over the phone.

A lack of integration means you may as well not have dealt with the bot solution to start.

  • User experience is poor

You have to be careful when dealing with customer support. As B2B expert Tim Allen says, “Keep this person in mind when pulling together any content or carrying out any type of marketing activities.” Allen’s quote also refers to making changes to your customer support options.

It’s well-known that the B2B arena don’t adopt new technology as quickly as the B2C industry. While many in  B2C are content with automating customer support with chat bots, the B2B industry is different. They still want a professional human relationship.

And for B2B customers the user experience offered by bots is confusing. There are many customers who don’t even understand the difference between live chat and bots.

But don’t waste your time fretting over it. Instead, focus on getting around it by simply not implementing chat bots in the first place.

History has shown, for example, that even in supermarkets when someone can’t decide between a human cashier and a robotic equivalent, they’ll nearly always go human. It offers a better user experience.

Last Word – Will Chat Bots Day Ever Come?

B2B firms may very well use chat bots one day, but the bots will have to improve. They’re not accurate enough, efficient enough, or good enough to fulfill high customer experience expectations.

Chat technology will have to move forward before bots will ever be considered acceptable for B2B companies. In the meantime, sellers should continue to rely on live chat methods and focus on building human relationships via customer support.

This approach provides a better experience and that’s what B2B customers want.

Do you think the world of B2B will welcome chat bots in the next five years?

Further Reading

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July 10, 2020
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November 22, 2019