We live in a world where access to information is unlimited and the need for faster customer service is more prominent than ever. With the 48-hour reply time frame for emails and long waiting lines on the phone, it is no wonder why more people prefer to use the channel that saves time and provides anonymity – chat. It is the solution for people’s impatience when it comes to receiving answers to their questions and for companies it is also the perfect push for making a sale – fast enough to dispel any doubt the customer may have. The increasing use of chat raíses the question which type of chat is better for customers and companies – chat bot or live chat?
Why are chat bots gaining so much interest?
The use of chat bots is spreading. These intelligent conversational systems are one of a kind when it comes to speed, availability and costs. The chat bot can help many customers at the same time and provide visitors the answers it is programmed to give. Furthermore, AI chat bots get better the more interactions they have with customers. Having the chat bot available 24/7 is also very convenient because you can support your customers non-stop. When you take the relatively low costs into consideration, you can imagine how the use of chat bots will spread even more in the future.
Is the chat bot all sunshine and rainbows?
There are aspects of chat bots, however, which are not yet developed and are still important for a great customer service experience. Not being able actually understand the customer can result in loss of sales and lead to frustrated customers. Another thing that occurs frequently is that visitors know their question can’t be answered by the chat bot, so they don’t even bother using the channel, which may lead to losing customers to competitors. Research by RichRelevance also shows that 40.7% of consumers find being answered by a chat bot “creepy” rather than “cool” (27.0%). Even though AI chat bots are updating themselves through interactions, they are currently far from being able to compete with the human brain.
What can live chat add to chat bot?
Live chat operators can come to the rescue when chat bots are not delivering the support that is needed. While a live chat operator sometimes may not be as fast and inexpensive for the company as a bot, being able to understand the question is priceless when it comes to generating sales and improving the customer experience. Even if operators don’t know the answer right away, they can always make a quick search or ask for help from their colleagues rather than just repeating the same given phrase. Certainly, the conversion rates are much higher when the customer receives proper support. When the customers are satisfied, they come back and will praise you.
How to get the most out of both?
Having all this in mind, perhaps we should aim for the golden middle, the hybrid chat. chat bots can handle the questions they are programmed for; they can answer basic, first-line questions. For more complicated cases, they can still be useful by quickly gathering the essential information from the customers and then transferring them to live chat operators, who can contribute with their human qualities to the experience. This may turn out to be the best practice for higher conversion rates and better customer experience reviews. Having both a chat bot and live chat operators can still provide lower costs and a 24/7 availability, along with happy customers and increased sales.
What to keep in mind when implementing your bot and live chat
Keep in mind that clear communication is key. It is important to notify visitors when they are communicating with a bot and when they are being transferred to a human operator. Also, communicate from the beginning that a live operator is available when the chat bot is not able to answer their questions. This eliminates the risk of visitors not bothering to ask their question. Concluding, a hybrid chat allows you to use the qualities of a chat bot and ensures that visitors will always be able to get a proper answer to their question. Try not to look at the impairments of these innovations, but combine their qualities.