One of the best features of online customer support is through chat. And, when it comes to chatting, there is a competition between Chatbots vs Live Chat. Both are great, and businesses should consider adding at least one of them if they didn’t already. They are both great ways to provide support for your customers. It happens that delivering excellent customer service is also the #1 way to increase your customer base.
But, which is the better option for your business? Chatbots or Live Chat?
In this detailed article, we will look at chatbots and live chat to see what customers love more today. This way, you can make a better decision about which service to choose for your business.
Choosing Chatbots VS Live Chat
Both of these services are great for your company’s customer service. Let’s look at the critical differences between the two so that you can decide what’s best for your company:
Chatbots Are Fully Automated
One of the greatest appeals of chatbots is that they are created with AI. Meaning they can complete interaction with your customers without needing any human intervention. Chatbots are far more efficient than human interacting… They can even help with completing routine tasks. Bots are also a great way of serving as a medium between the customer and a live support agent. Your chatbot can, for example, ask preliminary questions to your customer. The answers can help a support agent prepare for their interaction with the customer. Plus, chatbots, of course, are always online. And bots can still interact with your customers as they please.
Chatbots Can Multitask
As we mentioned in the previous point, you can use a chatbot to perform multiple tasks. Chatbots are great for understanding the customer’s needs. But also great for passing this information on to a live chat support agent. You can also design a chatbot to fulfill tasks. I.E., if a customer needs to cancel and order and request a refund. For instance, you can set up a bot to automatically cancel the order and send a refund without a human having to get involved. Of course, a chatbot will be able to fulfill these tasks faster than a live chat agent. If you run an eCommerce business or one that may have to perform tasks on a customer’s behalf… you may wish to strongly consider using a smart chatbot.
“We’ll Have to Put You on Hold…”
This is something you never want to hear when you are chatting with a live chat agent. It can significantly frustrate the customer if they have to wait for long periods. This is where a chatbot can come handy as it can immediately attend to a customer’s needs. Your live chat response time depends on how many live chat agents you have and their level of expertise. The latter makes all the difference in how quickly a live chat agent can resolve an issue. Unless you have a multitude of live chat agents, it is unlikely that you will be able to have 24/7 support. This is guaranteed, but if you use a chatbot.
The Human Touch
So far, you’ve seen the massive benefits of using a chatbot. But one of the most significant drawbacks is the lack of human touch. Have you ever called a customer service line and been annoyed when you’ve had to deal with an automated message. At the same time, you just wanted to speak directly to a human being? This need to interact with a human extends to chatting online. Sometimes the customer intuitively knows that a chatbot will not understand their issues in the way that a human can.
If your questions are more nuanced, then only a human can help you. Chatbots have their place and can help solve quick problems. But if your customer needs their concerns addressed in detail while having loads of different questions… it may be best to have a live chat agent speaking to them. Chatbots sometimes fail to understand human interaction. While chatbots are sophisticated and able to understand keywords. Many bots may get confused if the customer makes spelling errors… Plus, they may have issues understanding nuance, idioms, and other colloquialisms of the language.
If your customer is frustrated, a chatbot is unlikely to calm them down. Often, when a customer is upset at your company, it is essential not only to resolve their issue. Nope, you also need to show that you are sorry and care about their concerns. Failure to do so may cause you to lose a customer. For this, you will need the human touch. You’ll need a sympathetic voice to help this disgruntled customer. This cannot be done by a chatbot. You may want to consider having both a chatbot for quick tasks and a live chat agent for more complex resolutions.
What’s The Cost?
As with any business expense, you want to make sure that you get value for your dollar. Especially when choosing between Chatbots Vs Live Chat. While prices vary, many chatbots can be set up for $2,000. Once they are set up, the cost of upgrading them is minimal. You can also find a developer who can possibly make a chatbot for an ever lower cost and maintain it at an affordable price.
But what about the cost of a live chat agent? This really depends on what you want to offer. Obviously, an experienced chat agent will expect a much higher price, and it may be challenging to negotiate with them. An entry-level chat agent can be hired at a lower cost. You will, of course, have to give them proper training to ensure that they are effective.
For a live chat agent, you also have to factor in how often they will be working. If you are on a budget, you may have to limit the live chat hours. Now, if you can add a chatbot in addition to a live chat agent. You can inform your customers that a live chat agent is only available at certain hours… But a chatbot can speak to them at any time!
What Humans Can Do
Customers still prefer human interaction. It is easier for a human being to understand the plight of another human being! Especially if your customer wishes to form a relationship with your brand (as one would with a banker or a broker), then having a live chat agent is a must. A live chat agent is also more likely to turn your new customers into repeat customers. If your customers feel that they can always handle their issues with the aid of a great live chat agent, they are more likely to stick with your company.
A live chat agent is also more likely to increase conversion rates. If you have prospects inquiring about your company, they are far more likely to be sold on your brand by a live chat agent than a chatbot. Remember, you want your brand to have a personality. While a chatbot may be more efficient than a live chat agent most of the time. A live chat agent can bring out your brand’s personality through their own personality. If you want your bot to do the same… You still need to make sure you’re the one reviewing it too.
What are the challenges of getting started between Chatbots and Live Chat Agents?
With a chatbot, all you have to focus on is preparing the guidelines beforehand. Once the chatbot has been set up, it is ready to go. You can always reconfigure it later to give it extra capabilities. With hiring a new live chat agent, you may have to provide them with extensive training… even if they have prior experience. Plus, your policies may always change. As a result, you may have to always have re-training sessions and protocol info sessions. If your company sells a service or product requiring technical knowledge… expect your training sessions to last even longer! (The latter from experience!)
Training sessions will also entail necessary procedures, how to interact professionally with clients, how to resolve issues, deal with irate customers, etc… These will likely be time-consuming. If they are not, you may not be taking your training sessions as seriously as you should. It is also beneficial to create a training manual and/or a set of training videos to help your live chat agents whenever they are stuck. This, of course, will also take time to prepare and may need regular updating.
The Verdict: Chatbots VS Live Chat
You’ve read the debate between Chatbots VS Live Chat. It’s up to you to decide whether you want a chatbot or a live chat agent. You may even choose to go with both of them – as they both have their advantages. It’s one of the reasons why we boast a support rating of 4.9/5 stars! And that’s what “CM” does, it caters to both needs; Chatbots AND Live Chat. Whatever you choose, make sure you give importance to customer service, though. Customer service is the lifeblood of any company – regardless of industry. Focusing on keeping your customers happy and putting their needs first is sure to keep their loyalty. Why not check out what we have to offer for your brand? Take a look at our Clever Messenger pricing!