Why is a website chatbot different from live chat, and why do you need a chatbot?
In this article, I’m going to describe the differences between a classic live chat and a modern website chatbot.
Live website chat functionality is an established way of communicating with customers. It saves money for businesses, and customers say they love it.
By one measure, 73% of customers said they were highly satisfied with their live chat experience, compared to 44% of people who use the phone. There’s little question that live website chat is a key customer communications channel.
But what happens when the human behind your live chat is not at their desk?
Website chat – without the human
You might have heard about the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP). These technologies combine to help computers communicate with people in increasingly conversational ways.
One way in which AI and NLP work well together is chatbots: the ability of a computer to read and understand text typed by a human and to respond meaningfully. In fact, chatbots can maintain entire conversations.
Imagine how useful that would be on your website: a chatbot that talks to your customers without the need for human help – 24/7, 365 days a year.
So, website chatbots are an excellent alternative to live chat. In many ways, chatbots can be even more responsive than humans, and website chatbots never take a day off.
In other words, with chatbots, customers can get the response they want, when they want it. It’s a clear advantage in the chatbot vs live chat argument.
What can an AI bot for a website accomplish?
An AI bot for websites can accomplish more than you may think.
Most customer requests are rather similar in shape and with a bit of programming the chatbot website’s make use of can accomplish a lot, particularly when aided with the latest in AI technology.
Here are a few examples:
- Complete orders. Your chatbot can smooth out glitches in order processing. If a customer is stuck and unable to complete an order your chatbot can save the day.
Whether it’s completing a hotel booking or helping with a food order, website chatbots can successfully step customers through the tricky parts of order processing and ensure that your business captures the revenue.
- Assist customers. Customers always need help – that’s why the focus on customer support is so important. Chatbots can provide assistance with completed orders, help customers complete returns, and answer a plethora of common questions.
An interactive chatbot for website use has another advantage: while customer support agents need to locate and read customer data before responding, chatbots have instant access to a customer’s entire history as if it has known the customer all its life.
- Collect leads for follow-up. Chatbots are highly functional but a chatbot cannot fully replace a human. However, chatbots can engage with customers sufficiently to establish a hot lead that humans can follow up. Without your chatbot, the lead may simply have moved on to a competitor.
Now, keep in mind that your interactive chatbot for a website can accomplish all of the above around the clock. It never needs a rest, it never falls ill. And it never complains….
Benefits of website chatbots
Let’s take a closer at the benefits of website chatbots.
Chatbots can scale to answer unlimited queries
Live chat has a fundamental restriction: the number of customers you can help with live chat is limited by the number of humans that can respond to live chat queries.
Chatbots do not face this restriction. Yes, chatbots have other restrictions – there will always be some queries that chatbots cannot answer.
However, for a large proportion of customer questions, chatbots can deliver useful, accurate resolutions.
For common queries, chatbot functionality offers unlimited scalability at a spectacularly low cost.
It’s easier to retain customers when you can respond 24/7
Large companies can hire support staff that works around the clock. For most medium and small businesses, 24/7 support is simply not realistic.
Without around-the-clock customer support, businesses will simply lose money: customers can’t complete orders or get so frustrated with unresolved concerns that they never return.
Website chatbots can provide a fix in a large proportion of customer care cases. And even if your chatbot cannot resolve a customer issue it will alleviate a customer’s concern to at least some extent.
Crucially, chatbots can ensure you capture orders that would otherwise be captured by a competitor.
Your business can save money with chatbots
As we said earlier, many customer requests are very routine in nature. Chatbots can process these routine requests at a fraction of the cost of a human operating a live chat client.
Furthermore, chatbots are much more responsive. Customers don’t need to wait in a queue for a human operator and don’t need to wait for humans to ruffle through customer information and rustle up a response.
Chatbots are cheap and chatbots are responsive.
How to make a website chatbot
Winning the chatbot vs live chat argument really isn’t hard. However, website chatbots can do more harm than good if the implementation is not done carefully. Here are a few things you need to think about:
- Spend sufficient time programming and training your website chatbot to make sure it delivers a great customer experience, you don’t want to turn away customers because of an incompetent chatbot.
- Get feedback on your chatbot: ask your customers to complete a short survey that gives you insight into how your chatbot handles queries; surveys will help you continuously improve your chatbot’s service.
- Design a smooth handover between your chatbot and your live agent: where queries are unresolvable by a chatbot, live agents need to take over effortlessly, not start all over again with the same questions.
- Pick a chatbot provider with sufficient experience to help you implement an effective website chatbot, and with the technology backing to deliver the AI-driven capabilities that make the best chatbots so effective.
Of course, at Xenioo, we’ve implemented more website chatbots than we can count. Our chatbots have won new business for our customers, saved stacks of money, and kept customers happy.
Why not start your website chatbot journey with us by getting in touch so that we can show you what great alternative website chatbots are, and help you get a top-performing website chatbot on your site.