Technological advancements and the world in general, are now moving at a quicker pace than ever before. Businesses are employing various technologies and processes in order to match customer needs and improve their experience. In current times, one of the most effective ways of improving customer service is by deploying Artificial intelligence powered Chatbots.
One of the key benefits of chatbots is the freeing up of customer service agents from mundane tasks so that they can take up other important tasks thereby boosting productivity and efficiency. This can also help in reducing customer service costs, offering ease of operation in new geographies with speed and scalability, and most importantly providing a 24/7 service to customers.
While these are certainly great benefits, use of chatbots is also fraught with challenges to do with ethics for its use as these can help shape a customers’ views about their trust in the organization.
The subject of chatbot ethics is complex and includes a variety of areas like security, data ownership, misuse, and transparency.
Bots can easily be designed to simulate human interaction, so much so, that a customer may not even realize when they’re speaking to an artificial agent vs an actual human customer service representative. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the company to reveal to users that they may be conversing with a chatbot as opposed to a human.
Customers are definitely smart enough to distinguish between chatbot or human interaction. On the customer side, there is no expectation that the chatbot would have all the information on-demand, the least they expect is transparency about the virtual identity.
A little preface about the chatbot, how it can help, which data it stores and for what reason, can help make the procedure more transparent. Companies should also integrate the choice for users, to associate with a human in the event of further questions and/or emergency to emphasize trust and security.
Before deploying a chatbot, companies need to ensure that the chatbot is not serving your business goals at the expense of your customer’s interest. In order to customize a user or customer’s experience, recommendations should be based on the personal preferences of the customer rather than the company’s business interests. This is to say that the ethical thing here would be to uphold customer interests first.
Upholding customer interests would entail, selling products based on customer feedback, satisfaction and enabling the chatbot to adjust recommendations accordingly.
Chatbots gather a great deal of significant data from the consumers and ownership of this information can be an intellectual property issue. For instance, who would have rightful ownership of any new IP created with the help of a chatbot? The chatbot creator or the bot user. Companies should provide clarity and be transparent on the ownership of data collected by the chatbot. This can be done by providing the company’s terms of service to users and ensure they agree with it.
There should be a straightforward convention to avoid any spamming or misconduct on the part of the user by ensuring that the conversation is aborted promptly when such behavior is detected. Similarly, chatbots ought to be worked in to react impartially or aborting if there should arise an occurrence of oppressive or abusive language/conduct by users. A heightening reaction to such practices through human mediation ought to be provisioned in the event of any anti-social practices.
Given our highly connected world, the protection of personal data is of high importance. All chatbot builts should offer its users the option to keep their information private or be able to delete their data. Therefore, any and all data gathered by the bot and imparted to different frameworks should be clear to the user’s and should have their knowledge and consent.
Despite the fact that chatbot technology is advancing quickly, the ethical issues related to privacy and consent should evolve as well with its development.
Ethics has to be a center thought of any action carried out by a business. With chatbots still in a phase of relatively early stages, the revelation of new ethics issues is probably going to continue. Chatbots are the future of customer service and several companies have recently started to comprehend their significance or understand their complete functionalities. Organizations should keep on learning from a new conversation and assemble their core values and moral ethics. If you’re unsure of incorporating all the above-mentioned ethics, starting by providing consistent transparency is the basic.
If you’d like some personalized guidance on following and incorporating chatbot ethics, feel free to get in touch with one of our Artificial Intelligence and chatbot experts for a complimentary consultation.
Exploring chatbot solutions? Learn more about Acuvate’s enterprise-ready chatbot builder platform, BotCore.