A new Chat feature won’t change anything

Businesses are prone to daydreaming and believing in magical solutions (which, ironically, is not what enabled the business to be what it is today). At one time it was Social Media monitoring that was supposed to be the “game changer”. Now it’s chat.

Every website you visit has a chat box immediately popping up, with an attractive face telling you that you matter. If you think customers and visitors matter, focus on finding the fastest and most painless route to resolving problems. Unfortunately, automation rarely does that.

And the worst thing to do is to install a chat bot. I think the problem with chat bots (both user-side and business-side) is succinctly captured in a blog post by Ankur Singla, Founder and CEO of Tapzo. My favorite excerpt:

The chat bot irritated the users no end (our data science team built a large set of training data, but coping with Hinglish, SMS lingo, vernacular language to write a general purpose chat bot becomes a 5 year science project very quickly). Breaking up across different channels didn’t make the task any easier.

So, if you are a business thinking of venturing into this territory — don’t. Instead, focus on the basics and make sure you are actually solving customers’ problems rather than pretending to.

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