When visiting a modern company’s website, it’s not unusual to be greeted by a floating chat window somewhere on the screen. These chat windows exist to answer your questions and improve your customer experience, and the source of the responses determines whether you’re interacting with a chatbot or someone live.
What Exactly Is a Chatbot?
Internet chatting is far from a novel concept. Many businesses have live chat windows that allow you to speak directly with a representative on the other side. This lets businesses answer common questions and make appointments without the time and effort required for an email or phone call.
Chatbots often look like live chat windows, and they typically use a similar interface. However, a chatbot does not have a real person on the other end. Instead, questions that are typed into the chat window will be answered by program. When certain words or phrases are recognized, the bot will respond with scripted messages that point customers in the right direction.
As chatbots get more advanced, it can be difficult to tell whether your questions are being answered by a bot or an employee. Some companies combine the two services by having a live representative enter the chat after the bot has handled the easiest questions.
What Exactly Is Live Chat?
As we’ve mentioned, live chats are no new concept. Allowing customers to speak directly with an agent or representative is a practice that has been around for quite some time (2002 to be exact). These chats make real-time problem solving simple while also mitigating lengthy phone calls or email chains.
The goal of this form of communication is to provide another option for customers to reach customer service support without speaking directly on the phone. Instead of waiting for an email response users can send a message in a chatbox, and then wait for an agent to respond to them.
How Chatbots Help Your Customers
The main benefit of chatbots is that they improve your customer service while reducing the labor required from your staff. Chatbots are known to increase conversion rates and overall customer satisfaction by providing a service that your future clients are desperately looking for.
Chatbots are popular because they’re easy to use. A chatbot can be programmed to recognize an impressive number of terms; more advanced chatbots can even be designed to mimic an actual human conversation. Many chatbots also display a list of available commands for customers who need additional direction.
An important part of conversion optimization is making sure that visitors can find the answers they need as quickly as possible. Chatbots help customers navigate your site and guide them to individual products or resources. Some companies prefer to have a chatbot window on every page, while others program the bot to appear when a customer lingers on a specific section or shows difficulty with the site’s navigation.
Does Your Business Need a Chatbot or a Live Chat?
Adding some form of chat to your website is a good way to communicate with your customers in the modern era. However, the decision of whether to use a bot or a live representative really depends on your business model.
Chatbots are the ideal choice when your customer service representatives tend to spend a lot of time answering the same simple questions. Chatbots are great at conveying universal information that applies to all customers, but they can’t usually be programmed to handle complicated individual situations.
Live chat is a good choice if you want to have real conversations with your customers in a digital environment. Live chat can reduce call volumes and even increase your overall sales. However, if you notice that your chat team is always copying and pasting the same answers, you might install a bot to handle some of that load.
For many businesses, the best option is to combine bots with real chat. If you don’t want to hire a live representative, the bot can prompt customers to provide an email address for communication at a later time. More solutions will become available as the technology progresses, but the focus will remain on simplicity and ease of customer interaction.
Start a Conversation with Your Clients
Chatbots and live chat are important communication tools that open up new levels of client interaction. Contact the marketing team at Precision Creative to discuss adding chat features to your website.