Customer service is not what it used to be. We, the customers, want fast assistance immediately. The time when we had to wait 5-7 business days to get an answer on a simple query is long gone.
To be fair, most of us don’t even remember the last time we had to interact with an actual agent over the phone. Instead, we use Twitter, Instagram, contact forms and live chats.
And if all that wasn’t enough, there is a new kid in town – chatbots. Sounds like a bit of a futuristic movie but there is an actual artificial intelligence that reads and replies to your message in real-time
Are chatbots putting an end to human interactions? Or is live chat still the preferred method of interaction? Let’s dig into that
So what are Live chat and Chatbot?
Live chat is a simple website plug-in that enables your customer support to chat directly with visitors on your website. What’s more important, your agents can reply instantly to enquiries, propose solutions and convert visitors to loyal customers. Live chat is operated by actual people, using a platform in real-time.
Chatbots, on the other hand, are using AI to read and understand enquiries and predict answers or show the most relevant ones. The advantage of chatbots is that they are fully automated and can replace people, thus it can reduce costs and can provide a competitive advantage.
What is the best option for your business?
First, it is important to think about how you position your business. Do you want to service people as fast as possible or do you want to spend more time explaining and going into details? This is the main differentiation between a chatbot and live chat.
There are also possibilities to combine both live chat and a chatbot into one solution. For example, when the user is replying in negative language, the chatbot can be programmed to propose to connect the user to a real agent instead.
Pros and cons
Here is an overview of the various pros and cons of a live chat versus a chatbot.
|Personalisation||Might be lacking consumer purchase history||Can retrieve consumer history|
|Cost||Platform costs + agents||Platform + dev support|
|Efficiency||Can provide solutions to complex requests||Can be trained to provide solutions to complex requests but requires knowledge|
|Capacity||Hard to answer several chats at the same time in a timely manner||Easy to handle as many chats as you want simultaneously|
|Pleasure of interaction||Ability to provide contextual responses based on reactions||Provides predetermined answers|
Best tools for Live Chat and Chatbot
There is a variety of tools available to support your business depending on subscription and business needs. Below we list some good examples of tools we’ve worked with and which we absolutely love.
You can’t get confused with this one – the name says it all. LiveChat is obviously a live chat. LiveChat is providing an integrated platform that can be used on both desktop and mobile.
This platform can be accessed via mobile and be used by multiple agents at the same time. Recently LiveChat also started using Facebook Messenger bot as part of their services.
Similar to LiveChat, PureChat allows you to be in contact with prominent customers and answer questions instantly. What’s even better is that PureChat offers a free version with unlimited live chats, unlimited users, and full customisation. This tool is ideal for a new business or a freelancer that is looking for fresh customer experience at no cost.
ManyChats is designed specifically as a chatbot for Facebook Messenger.
It helps you welcome new users, send them content, schedule messages and automatically respond to specific keywords.
What’s good about ManyChats is that it has an 80% open rate – who wouldn’t check their FB messages? Give it a try and see how your conversions sky-rocket.
Chatbot – transforming industries
It is true that both live chat and chatbots are revolutionising customer service, but in fact, chatbots are completely transforming industries. Here are some of the biggest winners of this transformation.
By using chatbots, retailers are reaching out to potential customers in a more conversational setting – ‘Did you find what you are looking for?’, ‘Did you find your size?’ etc. Chatbots can then browse quickly and in real-time about each query.
Thus they are increasing interaction and engagement with customers, while also providing great customer support. Adding a chatbot can help you understand what customers are thinking in real-time, plus it builds another touchpoint for a conversation with them – and this is a great advantage.
Probably the best use of chatbots can be seen in the banking sector. And why not? Queries in this sector are mainly short and well structured, such as bank account information and balance information. It can also provide forecasts about future cash flows or expected expenditure, financial advice – and thus enable customers to make better decisions about their finances.
The way we travel has changed so much in recent years. Millennials are always on the go and always on their mobile. Their preferred method of communication is texting and they are browsing for their next hotel just to instantly book it on a travel platform. What better way to engage with them than through a chatbot? With an automated chatbot, the hospitality industry can communicate with millennials (and not only) in their preferred channels and in real-time.
Both live chat and chatbots are good tools to increase efficiency and improve customer service. Which one you should choose depends largely on how you position your business and services.
What we are certain of is that if you need help implementing, tracking or managing a chatbot, we are here for you!
Drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out.