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How to decide between live-chat vs chatbot?

Let me shine the spotlight on a common dilemma faced by many website owners.

I.e. How do a visitor potentially find answers to their queries?

Which one serves the purpose better?

“Live chat operator vs chatbot”

With the bots becoming more popular and cheaper, many businesses are thinking twice about their traditional website engagement activities. At the same time, the higher live engagement levels brought about by live chat operators can be also critical.

In this blog post, we will try to discuss where the live chat operator could be a better option compared to chatbot and vice-versa. We will also look into a third option which we will discuss later.

As an end goal, we aim to equip you with adequate information to make your own decision about whether to go with a chatbot or with a traditional live chat operator.

Before we go further into the discussion, let’s take a look into the different options of chat services available to a business.

For a website owner, the choice of picking the right chat support tool boils down to these three options.

Live chat operator vs Chat bot vs Helpdesk tool

Okay. It’s time to better understand these three options.

As the title indicates, there are three ways of managing chat interactions. Each of carries their own different requirements and suits specific workflows. In this situation, the business need to understand their own specific requirement more than anything else.

Let’s look at the three ways of interacting with your website visitors.

As the name indicated, the live chat operator delivers 1:1 interaction with your individual website visitor. By personalizing the overall interactions, the live chat operators can bring-in a higher rate of lead conversions and customer satisfaction rates. As these needs individual operators, they are also typically more costly.

The second option would be to employ a chatbot in the website. The chatbots can be trained to answer specific questions that are most often asked by the customer. Albeit, they are mostly offering clone conversations with a majority of the customers.

You also have the option to manage website operations through the helpdesk CRM. Today, most helpdesk software’s can be integrated with multiple chat tools.In this sense, they directly feed the chat information to the helpdesk system.

Which one is really cheaper?

As discussed, a website owner has three primary options to fulfill his website engagement obligations.

In this situation, we might be tempted to state that livechat is the cheapest option between all the available options. But you need to examine the numbers more closely.

Usually, a chatbot has a lesser level of engagement with the website leads. Consequently, this leads to a lesser rate of lead conversions or even customer satisfaction. On the other hand, the live chat operator can answer specific questions and accelerate the sales prospecting.

With this in mind, it takes more number of website visitors to acquire each prospective lead. In this situation, it can take more time to achieve a higher lead conversion.

 

In the end, it’s obvious that the better chat tool would help you run a better form of your business.

What goes into deciding the best chat tool for a business?

Generally speaking, a business owner is already need to sift through a number of conflicting decisions on a daily basis.Even then, the task of picking the right tool for customer interaction can seem really daunting.

In this situation, the business owner need to first understand his specific requirements.

For example, let’s showcase some typical examples of a chat interaction.

  1. After acquiring a website lead, a chat interaction may be required as a part of the pre-sales process.
  2. A customer can also utilize chat conversation to resolve certain post-sales queries.
  3. In e-commerce websites, a customer can try chat option for learning more about product or ask for similar products.

In each of these circumstance, the chat conversation may carry different context of requirements. In other words, the chat interaction may require different skill sets to fulfill customer goal or expectation.

In this situation, let’s directly compare the different chat options available within the website.

Live chat operator vs Chatbot

Yes. This is the most intriguing comparison.

A live chat operator requires a human agent to handle each individual chat interaction. Meanwhile, a chatbot is an AI-based software that can simultaneously handle relatively infinite number conversations.

At the same time, the AI-based chat software is usually to severe limitations at its few conversation paths.

For example, an AI chat software is primarily focused at giving answer to specific customer queries. It lacks the necessary sophistication to understand specific customer queries or issues.

Let’s take a look at a genuine chat interaction given below.

Although we have made necessary changes to ensure confidentiality, I believe that you can get the idea of the problem with a chat interaction.

The chat bot didn’t necessarily simplify the task of finding the right solution, but just redirects the visitor towards the path of more research.

In this place, a live chat service operator can provide immediately actionable steps to initiate a customer solution.

Moreover, a valuable lead would be likely looking for a sales person to give immediate answer to his or her queries.

With this in mind, you can say that live chat is a much better option if your chat services actually related to pre-sales process.

Live chat operator vs Helpdesk software

Let’s have a side-by-side comparison between a helpdesk software and live chat.

Most operating business would have a customer support team who in-turn uses a helpdesk software. A helpdesk team usually needs to handle all the inbound conversations that include chat, email, SMS, phone number and other 3rd party channels.

In this situation, it’s tempting to just add redirect all website interactions to customer service operatives. This would  incrementally raise the workload of your customer service team.

And, this brings us to something that i call my pet peeve about the way businesses are managing their leads.

While having to manage all customer interactions, the customer support team may not be able to respond to leads within the mandatory five minutes mark.

In this situation, a live chat operator will be always more effective than a helpdesk team member.

Chatbot vs helpdesk

A chatbot takes on visitor interactions on behalf of your business. Meanwhile, a helpdesk team interacts with your visitors on a 1:1 personalized basis.

During the normal course of day, a chatbot can find many applications throughout various customer service scenarios. It can act as a screening device to filter-out all the easily resolvable customer problems.

In this situation, the helpdesk team can start responding to only the complicated issues that require manual intervention.

Now, let’s consider the case of lead interactions.

If the chatbot can’t answer specific questions during lead interactions, it may lead to inevitable visitor drop-off. On the other hand, the helpdesk waiting time can also be a determent to customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

Most businesses could have conflicting decision to make “when it comes to deciding how to interact with your website visitors?” There are three options available – live chat operator, chatbot and a helpdesk team. All these have their own advantages and disadvantages.

A live chat operator could be best utilized for improving lead conversion. A chatbot could act as a primary screener for your customer service queries and a well-equipped helpdesk team will be able to manage and resolve your customer complaints.

At livprop, we are a team of outsourced live chat agents who can expertly engage and communicate with your website visitors. We have a track record of improving lead conversions by up-to 500%. You can sign-up for a free trial or verify the efficacy of chat operations.

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