The advent of chatbots is the perfect example of how online customer interaction has evolved quite a bit in the last decade. Powered by artificial intelligence, they mimic human conversations to interact with customers. Let’s take a look at this new normal and dominant platform to handle customer queries. Chatbots can cycle through mountains of data and calculate enormous sums in just a few seconds. And they are ideal for repetitive simple tasks or questions, therefore never suffering fatigue that impacts productivity and efficiency. Most start-ups and money savvy companies looking to cut operational costs are now adding chatbots to their daily operations and sales processes. Customers are loyal to brands that personalize their service, and to some extent, chatbots are ideal for immediate responses to resolve simple queries. But customer service won’t be replaced by an army of chatbots. The most advanced artificial intelligence can mimic human conversation but not emotional intelligence. They can’t understand tone or inflection and struggle when conversation flows diverge from the scripts they have been programmed to follow. Another downside is that customers can get easily frustrated with a bot that cycles through scripted responses on a loop. Most aren’t equipped to handle complex queries requiring different levels of engagement, which then requires built-in triggers to offer a live agent. While companies in various industries have successfully deployed chatbots in work processes on their platforms, and the overall technology looks promising, most still prefer to interact with another human being who has the capacity to connect on an emotional level. The value of authentic, empathetic responses cannot be underestimated. So while their ability to constantly be in work mode could be a game changer and gives rise to numerous opportunities, chatbots still have a ways to go before they replace the human element in customer service.