When it comes to delivering high-quality online customer service, response time is key. Customers want to get their questions answered as quickly as possible and, for that reason, businesses looking to heighten their game will want to provide chatbot or live chat solutions on their websites.
Though chatbots can fulfill the demand for instant replies, they definitely can’t replace human interaction - one of the most critical aspects of high-quality customer service. Let’s talk about the differences between chatbots vs. live chats and how to use both to answer questions and maintain a positive rapport with clients.
What is a chatbot?
Chatbots are, by definition, computer programs or artificial intelligence built to conduct conversations with people, in this case, via text messages. When talking to a chatbot, your customers are speaking to a machine, which can process sentences and use data from its own database to provide automated - also known as “canned” - answers. Take a look at the pros and cons of a chatbot solution for your business.
Can address multiple issues at once;
No need to hire customer service representatives;
Customizable answers sent instantly;
Replies precisely as intended, no quality deviations;
Extremely efficient for frequently asked questions.
Limited number of canned answers;
Unable to address unexpected customer questions;
Can leave customers frustrated (and is unable to prevent that);
Lower chances to retain customers;
Doesn’t provide human interaction.
What is a live chat?
A live chat is a platform which allows your customer service representatives to interact and speak to visitors on your website, usually through text messages or audio calls. This means that your prospects will be talking to one of your employees, which must be trained to provide a personalized customer service experience while taking into consideration your company values and goals.
Can provide a personalized experience and show empathy;
Can address unexpected issues and questions;
Can stick to customers throughout the entire buying journey;
Higher customer retention rates than chatbots;
Can adjust to customers’ demands and diminish frustration.
Not always available (unless you offer 24 hours service, which can be costly);
Your business may need multiple representatives, which can be costly;
Possible deviation on customer service quality;
Doesn’t reply automatically (on average, is slower than a chatbot);
Can’t address a large number of customers simultaneously.
Which is better?
As you can see from the pros and cons of each solution, each of these options works best in different scenarios. In reality, it’s impossible to predict every single question or problem your customers may face. Thus, not providing human interaction has a much higher chance of leaving website visitors feeling frustrated.
According to research done by Forbes, customers prefer chatbots and enjoy using them, but only as long as using them saves time, which isn’t necessarily always the case because chatbots are unable to adapt to every situation.
However, this doesn’t mean that live chat is necessarily better either. In fact, the best scenario is to combine both approaches to provide a quick, precise, and yet humanized customer service experience.
Combine the best of both worlds
Moreover, the best online customer service solutions, such as JivoChat, allow you to make use of canned responses and proactive invitations to automatically approach visitors browsing your website, all of that while having a human customer service representative in charge of the entire experience.
In this way, you are able to mitigate the cons on both sides, meet customers’ demands, and leverage customer service to boost your sales and get ahead of your competitors. Don’t miss the chance to get to know more about JivoChat and learn how to increase your revenue by connecting with clients where they are.