Online Chat vs. Chat Bots, Which Comes Out on Top?

by Rudy on July 3, 2019 in Customer Acquisition

OK, here's a pretty common everyday problem for website visitors. For a moment, let's just imagine that you're a website visitor. So, just put on your customer hat for just a moment. You're on live chat but don't get an anywhere near an immediate answer to the question you're dealing with. And, to add insult to injury, you're asked to submit your email address and they'll be getting right back to you.

It can be really annoying when you require an immediate answer and can’t get it. So, you will either leave that site in favor of some other one or you actually end up sending the email and expecting a reply sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, it's usually later.

Amazing Technology

Now, you're wearing your website owner hat. Live chat is a bit of amazing technology but it has to be implemented properly if it's going to be successful at helping you with moving your visitors to the bottom of your sales funnel quicker.

The problem is that when your live chat function is not receiving sufficient attention, it can easily end up leading to some serious customer dissatisfaction. So, the question about live chat is whether it actually gives your customers the level of satisfaction that they’re really looking for? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding “no”!

According to Chatbots Magazine

Let’s ask Chatbots Magazine and see what their expert opinion is on the subject. According to them, Chatbots are computer programs powered by Artificial Intelligence that allow you to interact with your customers using a chat interface.

They were first created for the purpose of bridging human limitations and could be the next generation of AI for improving the daily experience. The magazine also says that Econsultancy reported 79 percent of consumers saying that they preferred the functions of live chat based upon the fact that there's no waiting on hold. Obviously, they would prefer to have their questions immediately answered.

OK, so some fairly sophisticated chatbots are quite responsive, however, they’re still extremely limited as far as what they can actually do. The fact is that a chatbot simply can’t provide any more answers beyond what somebody has programmed it to say. And, often the answer you get is totally unrelated to what you were actually asking. It's kind of like a baby learning to talk, you know, monkey-see, monkey-do.

Let’s do a comparison test: 

CHAT​​​​​​​​​​​BOTS

  • Chatbots don’t require human supervision to function.
  • Chatbots can chat for hours without any form of human help.
  • Chatbots are extremely fast and effective when questions are simple and repetitive.
  • Chatbots can multi-task.
  • With one unified interface, chatbots are easy to set up.
  • Chatbots are cost-effective.

LIVE CHAT

  • Unlike chatbots, live chat personnel can think outside the box.
  • Many customers prefer some human contact when they have questions.
  • They're not thrown by spelling or grammar errors like chatbots.
  • Live chat personnel can think for themselves and have emotions, whereas chatbots can't. (Not yet anyway!)

The Results:

OK, so what's the verdict? Well, if you have the financial resources, obviously live chat is the best option for making your customers feel special and satisfied with the answers they receive. However, when you look at the chatbot potential when powered by AI, the future looks pretty bright. Although they probably won't replace real live human beings anytime soon, they can help you with saving time, money, and energy. So, the verdict is that chatbots are cheaper but live chat is more personal. So, it looks like they both win in their own way.


And, as the last word here, according to Sundar Pichai/ CEO of Google Inc.“I think, in the long run, we'll evolve from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world in computing.”

Author: Rudy Labordus

Rudy Labordus is an Internationally acclaimed author, marketing strategist and speaker. He has been instrumental in helping launch and develop several multi million dollar businesses around Australia and excels in developing innovative, strategic and creative solutions that produce exceptional results for his clients.

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