We’ve all been there…
You need an instant response to a query, but you just can’t get it. It’s not the best feeling. the moment of reception, the realization that you have to start looking for another service, or that you have to wait an indefinite period of time (perhaps days) before your question is answered.
It’s this feeling that’s the motivation behind instant customer service inventions like live chats and chatbots. You may not even realize it, but you are probably familiar with these tools and have most likely used them several times. They are embedded plug-ins that appear on websites as pop-up messages similar to social media.
They can be found in the corners of browsers and traditionally look like this until you click on them.
So if they look the same and provide the same functionality… how are they different?
Live chat tools
When you use a live chat channel, it means you’re talking to a real human agent. These usually exist in the built-in chat popups you see on websites, but they can also be found on business social media (for example, there are examples of customers chatting with agents via facebook messenger, Skype, etc…).
It is a simple process. you ask them questions via a pop-up or messenger channel, and if you’re lucky, there will be someone sitting at the desk on the other end who will answer your questions immediately. In most cases, however, there is no one ready at the other end, such are the 9-to-5 staff availability limits. Then a good live chat system will ask you for your email. address so they can reply. you at the next possible moment.
A chatbot is software that automates and simulates a conversation with humans, typically through messaging apps or as an embedded feature on a company’s website.
What does it mean in plain English? if you use a messaging app like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to message your friends, you can also add “artificial” contacts to chat with. These contacts are not human, they are computers (or “bots”) and allow you to chat with them about the company or product they represent.
Why are Chatbots beneficial?
No human control
Chatbots allow businesses to automate elements of their marketing, sales and support. Most service-based businesses use sales and support people to take care of their customers and answer customer questions. Chatbots can guide customers to what they are looking for.
No more “off hours”
Chabots fulfill customer requests 24/7 with absolutely no human intervention. Meaning your business being contacted out of hours is no longer a concern. This can be important because it can save your employees countless hours on the phones or computers answering questions and inquiries. This time can be reinvested in tasks that require a human touch.
Able to integrate
If you’re concerned that a chatbot won’t be able to handle more complex customer inquiries, you can integrate it with live chat. How this works is so your team member will be notified when a query cannot be answered by the chatbot alone so they can step in and complete the conversation.
Moreover, bots can handle monotonous, repetitive tasks and never complain. A recent study shows that 80% of customer inquiries are resolved by Chatbots without human supervision. Another study found that the average human attention span fell from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2017. So, communicating with your customers instantly 24/7 is now more important than ever.
International customer base? No problem. Your Chatbot provider should offer you multiple languages (Chatamo suggests 104). Meaning your bots can talk to customers all over the world, all at the same time.
Chatbots enable businesses to better understand their customers with real-time insights from the valuable data they collect.
Customize your forms
Turning impersonal forms of your business into informative conversations (in the form of a chatbot) is a great way to streamline your customer experience.
This is an easy-to-implement strategy that allows you to learn key information about your prospective customers through automated messages on social media. A user simply sends a message to the bot to start a conversation, and instead of filling out a tedious web form, they answer the chatbot’s questions.
These great features are unique to Chatbots. So for us, we believe that chatbot technology has an advantage over live chat.
But before investing in one, it’s important to do some due diligence. There are many impressive chatbots on the market right now that offer a wide range of features, but there are also an equal number of less useful chatbots.
So, before choosing any one, think for yourself. What kind of clients do I have? What types of messaging channels do they use? What languages do they speak? What kind of questions do you need answers to? And choose a chatbot provider that has the functionality to handle all these factors optimally.
And the next time you go to use a chat tool on a website, see if you can practice whether you’re talking to a human or a chatbot. If it’s a smart chatbot, it might take some time to figure it out.