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A person chatting with a chatbot. Text: Chatbot reality check: debunking 7 common myths to rethink virtual agent performance

Launched a chatbot for your business and it’s not hitting the mark? 

Before you decide to toss it aside, along with all the time and investment you’ve put into it, take a pause. We challenge you to dig deeper into why it’s not performing as expected.

Myth #1 – Switching platforms will deliver better performance

Every platform has its strengths and weaknesses. So, before you swap it out and replace it with a new tool, instead, dig into your virtual agent’s performance with bot analytics, and optimize it through effective bot management practices.

“A mediocre platform managed well is going to deliver better results all day long than the best platform in the world managed badly.”

Myth #2 – In order to save money, customer experience must suffer

Chatbots are gaining traction as a means to deliver quick and affordable customer service. However, not all conversations should be handled by a bot. By monitoring the quality of customer experience, it’s easy to find out when the bot can add value, versus which conversations are better handled by a live agent, giving the best of both worlds.

“If the bots are well managed they’re 1/5 to 1/10 of the price of live chat, so the savings are significant. You can see why everybody is motivated to drive into this world! Many times our clients said, ‘You know what, I just assumed I’m gonna save a bunch of money, but my customers aren’t super happy.’”

Myth #3 – Exit surveys are a good measure of how customers feel about their bot interaction

Surveys often suffer from low participation rates and predominantly negative feedback. Much better to capture sentiment from actual chat conversations, using AI, for a more accurate barometer of customer experience.

“The assumption is that you can measure the satisfaction users have with an assistant or a bot using surveys. Everyone uses surveys. But I think most people don’t want to admit that surveys are better than nothing, but not much better.”

“There’s two things you care about. One is how effectively did I solve the customer’s problem? Number two, is how did the customer feel? I gotta manage these two things together. I can’t do one in isolation or the other – I need to understand them both.”

Myth #4 – Containment is a solid measure of bot performance

Measuring containment will give misleading results if not considered in context. High containment may mean some users were trapped, unable to get the answers they came for. It also fails to capture whether the customer redirected their query to higher-cost support channels. Conversely, low containment may indicate that the bot was not effectively utilized. 

It’s much better to examine the customer experience across both bot to live agent interactions, to see the full picture of how well your bot is performing. 

Myth #5 – A high NLU rate is a good measure of bot success

On its own, the NLU rate only tells you how well the bot is responding to the intents it already recognizes. True bot success can only be determined when you flush out those other topics – you know, the ones your customer are asking about, that the bot hasn’t yet been trained for. Find them, and fix them, and you’ll be on your way.

Myth #6 – You need a team of data scientists to analyze chatbot performance 

Data scientists can be too far removed from the actual needs of chatbot operators. Have you ever tried to explain why you need intent performance analysis and transcript search or ask them to prioritize your project over some other enterprise project? The best approach to quickly identify and resolve performance issues is to equip the bot team with the right tools and data and let them roll up their sleeves.

Myth #7 – Chatbot usage always stalls or declines

Contrary to the belief that flat or declining volume is inevitable, and caused by poor experiences, well-maintained chatbots will actually increase in usage. Make your bot easy to find, and put in the effort of continuous upgrades, and you’re sure to create stickiness with customers that want to come back. 

“I probably talked to 100 bot teams in the last year, and most of them will say ‘my volume is pretty flat, or declining’. And they assume ‘well – that must be because our chatbots are a painful experience’. But we’ve seen the opposite. If it’s managed well, then customers start to come back. We’ve seen many of our clients double their volume over the last year. You’ve got to make it more prominent! You’ve got to make it easy to find the bots!”

[Infographic] The truth about chatbots: debunking 7 popular myths

Check out the infographic version of this here.

Go from bot myths to bot magic with chatbot analytics

The key lies not in the platform itself, but in effective management, regular optimization, and understanding the right metrics to measure success. Remember, a well-managed chatbot can significantly cut costs and enhance customer experience.

Want to see how this works in action? Book a demo of our Operations Center chatbot analytics software today, and discover how you can harness Conversational AI to deliver better customer experiences.

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