Times are changing and so are the ways that customers interact with companies. In our fast-paced world, traditional methods of phoning or emailing a company are becoming outdated because of slow response times.
When a customer has a question, they want an answer now. If they can’t find the answer quickly on the website, they will likely move on to a site that has the answer rather than waiting around for the first company to get back to them.
To combat this problem, more and more companies are incorporating live chat sessions or chatbots into their websites.
In our fast-paced world, traditional methods of phoning or emailing a company are becoming outdated because of slow response times. Click To Tweet
With both options available it’s logical to ask what’s better, live chat or chatbots? In today’s post, we look at both of these options and explain why we think you need to employ both into your marketing strategy.
Walk a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes
During the development of your internal business practices, it’s easy to only look at the bottom line and make decisions based solely on this metric. You want to implement online features that won’t break the bank and will increase your ROI. But are the features you select good for your customers as well as yourself?
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your business and to only see things from your side of table. But if you want your online business to flourish and increase your conversion rates, you need to align your needs with your customers’ needs. This means finding a balance between what you want versus what your customers need in order to complete the transaction.
The goal of instant communication services, such as live chat or chatbots, is to reduce and/or eliminate friction points during the transaction. If the customer has an objection or encounters a hurdle, you want to be there immediately to address the situation.
A study conducted by Forrester Research found that 57% of online customers were very likely to abandon their purchase if they could not find the answers to their questions quickly. If you don’t want to run the risk of losing 57% of your potential customers because they encountered a hurdle, it’s important that you offer them assistance when they need it most.
Why Live Chat and Chatbots Are a Winning Combination
If you want to truly offer exceptional customer service, incorporating both live chat and chatbots are the way to go. The stats back this up as 73% of consumers say that live chat is their preferred method of communication. Furthermore, live chat has a 92% satisfaction rating.
While live chat is quickly becoming a requirement, chatbots help bridge the gap when live chat isn’t always possible. Here are some reasons why a combination of both should be used.
24/7, 365 Day Service
Unless you are a very large company, the cost of employing enough people to offer live chat service at any hour of the day can be staggering. While a live agent can answer inquiries during normal working hours, a chatbot can be used to answer basic inquiries and provide additional information during the off-peak hours. This ensures that every inquiry receives a response immediately.
Another advantage in using this combined approach is the ability to screen your inquiries. If a chatbot is used to initialize contact, it can be programmed to answer the basic questions that your company receives all the time. When a unique inquiry comes in, the chatbot can then pass that customer on to a live chat session so the customer receives a personalized response.
This approach maximizes the benefits of both options. The chatbot can answer the same monotonous questions over and over without getting bored, while the live agent can help answer the more complex questions and objections.
The Ability to Multi-Task
As your company grows, the amount of online traffic you receive will also increase. With this increased traffic comes the possibility of multiple inquires coming in all at once.
If you only have one live agent to answer your inquiries, they could become quickly bogged down by trying to juggle multiple conversations at the same time. A chatbot, on the other hand, can respond to any number of inquiries that come in all at once.
If used in tandem, the chatbot can handle the initial wave of inquiries and then forward the harder questions on to the live chat. Since the majority of inquires have simple answers, the initial wave is quickly filtered to an amount that a live agent can easily deal with.
While there are proponents for both sides of the live chat or chatbot debate, it’s easy to see that a combined approach can increase your online efficiency and conversion rates. If it’s in your budget, offering both will change your business for the better.
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Jolene is a strong operations, compliance, and paralegal manager. She also loves to research and write about business as well as personal topics that help others.