Nowadays, nobody likes to wait. Businesses are especially aware of the impact that waiting can have on customer mood and experience. It is why many companies have pivoted to offering live chat as a support option. With on-demand chatbots and live chat, you can respond to customers’ needs as fast as possible. Chatbots vs live chat remains a hot comparison, for businesses that want perfect customer support service in 2020.
Live chat is software possessing online chat, help desk system, and web data analytics features to help human agents.
Likewise, live chat also enables some advanced tech that can further cut down on wait time.
Chatbots are software that interact with customers through online chat, with conversation through text or text-to-speech input.
However, chat-bots can be tough to implement well.
In addition, the resources they demand may make them more trouble than they’re worth.
A future focused Information Technology company can help in creating a seamless customer support service enabled solution.
Now, we break down the features of live chat, and cover the advantages and disadvantages of chatbots.
Furthermore, we look how chatbots vs live chat deliberation can make a customer support system perform better in 2020 and the coming decades.
Benefits of Live Chat
A feature like live chat allows your customers to seek support, and enables you to swiftly respond to their queries.
Quicker response will make customers happier with their experience, and they will continue using your business in future.
The longer, customers are left hanging, the less likely they will spend.
Live chat can also help with lead generation.
People prefer talking to filling out a form, and happily give their contact info to support or sales rep.
Limitations of Live Chat
The downside of live chat is that customers expect very fast support response nowadays.
Customer satisfaction with live chat is higher than any other support method — like phone, email and social media — primarily because of how quickly answers from support reps arrive.
Efficient live chat operations can require that support reps juggle multiple live chats at a time — making it much easier to mix up conversations and customer needs.
A business may also need to hire additional support workers to handle the number of queries and requests they receive.
Benefits of Chatbots
Using the chatbots is one way that businesses can handle some of the drawbacks of live chat.
Moreover, 2018 research from Gartner predicted that chatbots and virtual customer assistants will handle 25% of customer support by 2020.
As a result, this will decrease a whopping 70% of customer service inquiries on call, live chat and email.
Some chatbots can also help boost your customer service team’s efficiency by gathering information — like customer name, request, order history and even how that customer is feeling, based on the language they use.
If a chatbot needs to direct a customer to a human representative, it can also hand off data — simplifying things for your support rep.
Chatbots are also much easier to scale than customer service departments staffed entirely by human workers.
Typically, all you need to deploy another bot to live chat is a little extra compute power and storage.
With cloud computing, you can add extra computer resources with the press of a button.
All this can free up representatives to handle support tasks that require a bit more creativity and flexibility than what a robot can provide.
Chatbots are also quickly growing in popularity, and will also probably be a key component of online chat support in 2020 and the coming future.
Adopting now could provide you with a competitive edge and help future-proof your support strategy.
Limitations of Chatbots
As effective as they are, chatbots do have some notable drawbacks, that you need to keep in mind.
When deciding how your business will handle live chat, you need to balance the advantages chat-bots offer, against the technological cost of implementing them.
Chatbots are tools, but they are not workers.
Therefore, chatbots can’t replace customer service staff in reality.
Even the most sophisticated chatbots — equipped with state-of-the-art AI tech, like natural language processing, that allows them to effectively “read” English — can’t solve every problem.
These chatbots may be able to handle a wider range of requests — like updating contact info, providing tracking updates and directing customers to relevant help pages.
However, in case of complex request, more likely your chatbot will run up against its limits.
If a customer is struggling with text and wants to switch over to the phone, most chatbots also won’t be able to follow them there.
Live chat is labor-intensive, and while chatbots can help, they don’t really solve the underlying problem.
You’ll still need a decent amount of available reps to respond to customers in a timely fashion.
Chatbots also require serious technical knowledge and strong computer infrastructure to perform the tasks.
The more complex the chatbot, the greater the investment.
Nowadays, artificial intelligence powered chatbot solutions exist, but they’re harder and costly to maintain.
Most companies that use chatbots still rely on command-based chatbots, which can only handle the simplest support requests.
In any case, you may need to invest more in your IT department.
You will need to find employees that can run your chat-bots smoothly.
Chatbots vs Live Chat – What is Best for Business
In conclusion, chatbots are a powerful tool that can help make up for some of the weaknesses of live chat.
Nevertheless, chat-bots are also pretty resource-intensive, and can’t replace human customer support staff.
If you want to adopt chatbots, you should weigh the costs of the technology, against the gains they will deliver.
If you’re on the fence, it may be worth exploring how you can adopt chatbot tech right now.
It will ensure your business is ahead of the curve, and has competitive edge in 2020 and coming years.
Discuss with Techliance to explore all possibilities to help your business.