Live chat is annoying as hell. It disrupts user experience with popups or distracting movement in the corner of the screen. Chatbots are spammy, in part thanks to their early adoption by shady mail-order bride services. (When consumers first encounter chatbots in the context of “Sexy Eastern European Singles In Your Area Online Now,” using them for legitimate businesses hardly builds trust.)
Whether bots or live, their widespread adoption fails to consider consumer trends: namely, millennials hate interacting with people. When we need something in a retail store, we will approach someone. If someone approaches us unsolicited, we will experience mild to severe panic, pee ourselves a little, rapidly scan the area for the nearest exit, and assess whether we’d rather stay in the conversation long enough to end it and finish the errand, or make a mad dash out of the store to go home to buy the thing online instead. Y’all think we’re glued to our phones, but the minute that thing rings and we actually have to talk to someone? Whoops, dropped my phone in the pool.
Meanwhile, baby boomers seethe when confronted with automated phone menus. I have heard my mother-in-law speak to machines using terms that remind me just how important it is to stay on her good side. I’ve seen mild-mannered grandpas become downright abusive. They want to talk to a person, A REAL PERSON! And they don’t want that person to be outsourced! They want to speak to the manager! Can I speak to a REAL PERSON FROM YOUR COMPANY? is the rallying cry.
Worst of all, when I try to research the benefits of chatbots, every blog I come across reads like it was written by a chatbot. On the bright side, I am not afraid of artificial intelligence. (Spoiler alert: I will be spoofing these posts in short order.)
Live chat supporters represent their product more effectively, at least. This post is really good, replete with statistics and information. Sure, it supports a trend I don’t like, but it does so with facts and helpful information. I respect that. It would appear I am going to have to live with live chat, until more people like me fill out more consumer surveys and tell companies to knock it the fuck off.
You hear that, companies? I hope your bounce rate quintuples if you put one of those damn chat windows on your page. We are the silent majority! Well, I don’t know if we’re the majority. It’s hard to tell, ’cause we’re silent. We block ads and mute commercials and stop going to websites that blast us with marketing junk. Good luck selling to us, suckers.