Finding innovative ways to improve customer service has become a vital point in determining the success or failure of a business. Currently, two basic ways of communicating with customers include chatbots and live chat. Some businesses will prefer using live chat software for communication, while others choose chatbots. The question is: Which is better for your business?
Let’s take a look at how each of these works.
In 2011, Gartner had predicted that by 2020, 85% of customer-based interactions would be managed by AI-powered chatbots. Given the fast-growing popularity of chatbot apps, this could be true. Chatbots are basically apps that interact with customers through a chat interface. They operate in accordance with the way they have been programmed. Currently, there are two kinds of chatbots. Command-based chatbots are chatbots with basic programming. These are capable of answering very limited questions. AI-based chatbots are more sophisticated. Their advanced programming allows them to answer more complex questions – see more about the chatbot framework here.
It can be said that chatbots have paved the way to advanced digital messaging. Given the importance of messaging in today’s world, one can understand why chatbots can help open new opportunities and enhance the way businesses interact with their customers.
Understanding Live Chat Software.
Live chat software is a tool used by companies to interact with prospective and repeat customers. Unlike chatbots, a human agent is present on the other end of live chat software. They chat with visitors on the company’s website in real time. Live chat software has helped numerous companies improve their customer services. A competent live chat system possesses many features. It has the ability to see what a customer is writing in real time. It allows customization according to website design, monitoring of website traffic, and preparing reports on the quality of customer service. Furthermore, it allows a secure exchange of information and lets a virtual agent manage things when human operators need to rest.
Live chat software helps move new visitors down the sales funnel and allow for successful conversion. According to a study, 73% of the customers visiting a website prefer live chat, while 61% prefer email. This is because live chat allows for a quicker exchange of information.
Why Is Live Chat Superior to a Chatbot?
You may be wondering, if it’s only a matter of speed, then why aren’t chatbots superior to a live chat software? In some ways, they are. However, there are many reasons why a chatbot is not the best tool for customer service. This is because not every question that a customer may ask will have a pre-programmed answer. Some problems will require an unconventional solution, which can only be provided by a live operator. Interacting with a chatbot can make your customers lose interest as well. People require the human touch to remain engaged. A chatbot cannot provide that. Another basic point that works against a chatbot is that they are more sensitive to spelling errors. Most customers do not write queries that are also grammatically correct. While these can be deciphered by a human operator, a chatbot may get confused and fail to answer the question properly.
While work is being done to design more sophisticated chatbots, it will take a lot longer before they replace live chat completely. Even if more advanced versions get introduced, we can assume that live chat will still be a necessary component for providing customer service.