One of the main success factors of any digital enterprise is a convenient relationship with users. This is equally important for small startups in the early stages of development and for larger and more established companies like purrweb.com or others. Uninterrupted communication with users is necessary not only when the company rolls out any update, promotion or changes the spectrum of its activities, but also in routine daily work. The importance of feedback received from users is hard to overestimate since it helps to improve the company's service and collect unique data that helps to make business decisions.
There are many options for contacting customers. From direct email communication to seminars, webinars, and online polls. However, one of the surest and quickest ways for the customer to ask their question, and for company representatives to get any useful information or help their user is an online chat. Round-the-clock support right on the site indicates the openness of the company and its readiness to listen to the problems of its visitors.
And if there is no doubt whether an online chat is needed, the question of its implementation is still open. There are two options here – live business chat and chatbot. Which one is more preferable and useful for the company? That's what we will talk about in our article. But first, let's outline the basic concepts.
Business Live Chat
As the name implies, live chat is an online tool that allows users to communicate and ask their questions directly to a member of the customer support team. According to statistics, about 41% of users prefer to receive advice through live chat, while only 3% are ready to do this on social networks.
Even regardless of these numbers, it is obvious that live chat allows you to achieve the most customized support and, as a result, increase the number of satisfied users. According to this indicator, live chats are second only to telephone consultations, but the latter, sooner or later, will lose their positions. It is difficult to get any more specific data regarding how live chat communication affects users’ desire to return to the site and make a purchase. However, it is obvious that live communication, provided that the customer support agent has sufficient qualifications and access to data, will have a much more beneficial effect.
But there are disadvantages, too. First of all, the live chat implies the presence of live personnel who need to be paid for their job. Also, the chat should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as the user may live in a different time zone. There is an option to send chat offline at night (locally), and answer all nightly questions with the start of the next business day. However, this option may result in the loss of many customers, since by the time they receive a response, they may no longer be interested in the service or product of the platform. In addition, on average, the user is ready to wait for an answer up to one minute before leaving the chat and the site, so you need to respond to the requests quickly.
Let's see how the chatbot handles this.
Chatbots are a critical element of a successful modern business, as we live in an era when customers value not only the usefulness of a product but also the level of service that a company provides.
Chatbots are a kind of AI-powered modules that are installed on sites, apps, or messengers in order to automate customer care processes. Often, they contain a large database of all possible patterns that contain future user questions. Comparing the message received from users, the chatbot selects the most appropriate answer. If the user’s message contains grammatical errors, the chatbot asks him to repeat the question.
Another way these modules work is Natural Language Processing, which actually allows the chatbot to understand the user's language. However, such modules are much more complicated and more expensive to operate.
The main advantage of chatbot over live chat is, of course, the complete automation of the process of servicing customer requests. A properly configured chatbot is able to perform the function of an entire department around the clock. The chatbot’s response speed is also high, as it has no other triggers. During normal operation, any errors inherent in man are excluded, since the human factor is evicted.
The chatbots market is extremely promising. Forbes believes that by 2025, this segment will reach $1.25 billion.
But if both options are so good, how to choose the one that works best?
Choosing the right option
In order to direct you on the right path, we compare both options according to several basic criteria.
Live communication. Of course, live chat wins here. Nothing can replace communication with a living person. Artificial Intelligence technologies are developing very quickly, but communication with a living person hasn't yet been completely replaced.
Operability. People aren't machines, and therefore they need to rest, their eyes get tired, and their fingers miss the keys. Chatbots don't have such a problem.
Understanding Queries. You can teach a chatbot to recognize as many requests as possible, but there is always the possibility that a new, unique request will come in. Therefore, in this case, live chat works better. A person understands another person, and then he will be able to advise the visitor what actions to take in any situation.
Response to the request. In terms of response speed, chatbots will work faster. Live chat can boast of the same kind of reaction only if there always be a free person waiting for a new request from the user. And this isn't always possible.
The issue of cost. Chatbots are cheaper. Just put up with it. Despite the fact that the installation and maintenance of some of them can cost a pretty penny, keeping live personnel is much more expensive. Not only because the company may need a lot of people, but also because the manager will have to deal with the constant staff turnover and search for new employees.
In order to choose the best of two options, you need to pay attention to those factors that are of more importance to you. But there is an optimal solution that will suit almost everyone.
In conclusion – the rational solution
Use both options. In any matter where it is necessary to choose the best option from two good ones, it is better to take both. Our situation is just that. The best solution is to combine both options and use live chats along with chatbots (which will replace people on the night shift, for example).
Also, modern chatbots often have the potential for human intervention. Thus, if the observing employee sees that the chatbot cannot cope with the user's request, for any reason, he can intervene and communication will continue between two people.