The use of live chat or chatbot can be pretty demanding for start-ups. Sometimes, you can’t afford real-time support 24/7. Both chatbot and live chat certainly come with their advantages. But it’s difficult to realize which solution is better for your start-up if you don’t contrast their performance.
Is it possible to achieve customer satisfaction by completely excluding the human factor from the support system? Read on the chatbot vs. live chat discussion below and find out if your startup should rely on live chat software or a chatbot.
Live Chat Vs Chatbot for Startups
1. Response Speed
Chatbots represent an incredible support solution if your primary concern is the feedback speed. Chatbots offer a reply within a couple of seconds, and they can also deal with more straightforward requests that your customers may have, providing accurate and precise answers.
But, businesses whose customers don’t mind waiting a bit longer to get a comprehensive, personalized, and human-like response may consider implementing live chat.
So, if the products and services you offer are highly customizable and their personalization impacts customer experience, you should consider using live chat. This way, they can easily communicate and explain any aspect of your purchase that your chatbot may not be able to handle.
2. Affordability And Cost-Effectiveness
Chatbot implementation may require significantly less money than the use of live chat, as chatbots only require a one-time investment. Introducing live support, not only do you decide to invest in customer service support software but you also invest in hiring agents.
As a matter of fact, 22% of businesses claim to achieve a revenue increase of up to 10% using live chat. Besides, people who reach out to live support are 85% more likely to make a purchase.
So, if you’re looking for a solution with a small financial investment, you can implement a chatbot system. But if you want a cost-effective solution, in the long run, consider live chat software as it provides more detailed and reliable support.
3. Impact on Quality of Communication
Chatbots are still incapable of delivering support like a well-trained live chat agent. And customers still prefer talking to actual people that show understanding and empathy as they address customers’ requests.
Besides, depending on the quality of the chatbot system, this AI-based solution may have trouble identifying your customers’ questions and requests. This may lead to increased frustrations and, therefore, decreased customer retention rate.
So, it is not surprising that well-developed live chat software provides a higher quality of communication as it creates a natural conversational ambiance and increased possibilities of personalization.
4. Handling Simple Requests
Chatbots are a perfectly acceptable support solution when it comes to simple customer requests. Not only do they provide ready-made answers in no time, but they’re also capable of handling an endless number of requests at a time.
Accordingly, if your start-up is more likely to receive simple questions that can be addressed without the human factor, then the chatbot system is the right solution.
Recommended Read: Top 6 Reasons: Why Businesses Go for Chatbots
5. Handling Complex Requests
When it comes to complex requests, if you use a chatbot-based support system, you may experience several types of problems. First of all, your chatbot may be completely unable to understand what your customer’s request is.
Secondly, it may also understand the question partially and provide inaccurate information. Thirdly, it may provide too generic feedback that won’t be helpful to your customers.
Live chat software will help you handle complex requests with minimal effort. Depending on the complexity of customers’ requests, agents can decide if they are going to:
- Direct customers to the relevant section of frequently asked questions,
- Consult knowledge base and help them solve the issue in a couple of messages,
- Start a co-browsing session and provide visual help to customers’ requests.
Live chat provides a diversity of ways of solving complex issues while chatbot doesn’t seem to fit in this kind of support scenario.
Chatbot vs. Live Chat Software – Who Wins?
Small businesses dealing with simple and generic questions and requests tend to opt for a chatbot as an affordable yet useful support system. However, businesses with a more significant number of customers usually cannot imagine their interaction with customers without customer service support software and professional agent.
In terms of responsivity, a chatbot may be a better solution as it provides faster responses. However, if your main concern is long-term cost-effectiveness, you can implement live chat.
On the one hand, even though a chatbot requires only a single investment, its drawbacks may cause more trouble. Practically speaking, with a chatbot, you have to confront the risk of misunderstanding and increasing customers’ frustrations owed to poor and inadequate responses.
On the other hand, live chat may require additional investments (employee training and salary, software purchase, etc.), but it will let you build a more stable and reliable support system.
When it comes to the quality of communication and customers’ preferences, live chat still is a better choice than chatbots. Primarily, we’re referring to a genuinely pleasant and friendly vibe, personalized customer experience, and empathetic approach.