We’ve all been customers shopping or browsing on a website at some point. After some time looking through various products, you find the one you are interested in and then the thought comes to mind: I need more information.
Regardless of how much content is developed and made available on a website, visitors will always have additional questions, which is why companies are increasingly including a live chat feature on their websites in order to provide immediate customer satisfaction and help move visitors to the bottom of the sales funnel.
But, when was the last time you actually chatted with a live agent without the need to insert your email so they can “get back to you shortly”? If live chats are not live, then are they really providing customers that level of satisfaction needed? Most likely not.
Another option businesses are using to provide information to customers in real-time are chatbots. In simple words defined by HubSpot, “A bot is nothing more than a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface.” Chatbots have become a leverage point among businesses as an alternative solution to live chat. The bots use artificial intelligence (AI) to carry conversations, using text or voice commands, to answer pre-sale queries and provide customer support after a sale.
So, if you are looking to provide your customers an extra level of engagement and satisfaction which one should you use? Here are some pros and cons for each.
- Provides human interaction – agents can go the extra mile to satisfy customers and further improve their experience
- Assists with lead generation – since agents interact on a more personal level, customers are much more likely to share their contact details
- Can solve a variety of requests – agents can improvise, answer a wider scope of questions, and ensure concerns are addressed logically
- Limited multitasking – a live chat agent can only handle 2-4 chats simultaneously
- Delayed responses – agents aren’t able to immediately support a high volume of queries, leading to delayed responses
- Limited Availability – agents are usually only available during work hours
- Higher costs – live chat requires hiring and training a customer support team
- No human supervision required – chatbots can work autonomously
- Increased multitasking – chatbots can handle multiple chats at once
- Decreased response time– chatbots can answer immediately and provide real-time solutions quickly
- Increased availability – chatbots are available 24/7
- Cost effective – chatbots are less expensive than live chat and do not require a set up or installation
- Spelling errors can throw them off balance – chatbots may not be able to reference the correct answers if questions include spelling errors
- Lack of human touch – chatbots are limited to a basic set of questions and can’t provide a great level of customization and personalization
- Need to be up-kept for precise answering – chatbots are programmed for certain responses but they can’t do beyond what they’ve been programmed for unless they are updated on a constant basis
Chatbots and live chat are great ways to provide easily accessible customer support. While big enterprises might find investing in live support feasible, that is not always the case for small to medium-size business. So, if your business is considering including either feature on your website, use the pros and cons listed above to help you in your decision making.