Imagine that your sales team could interact with visitors whilst they explore your content and learn about your products. It’s not a pipe dream, it’s reality. A must-have for every business, live chats and chatbots allow you to be one step ahead of the competition, making the exchange with your customers instantaneous and hassle-free. Continue reading to find out how your business can benefit from them too!
There are many ways to deliver great customer service, some of which require you to truly think outside the box. Just like our personal communication has adapted to digital forms of communication over the years, customer service too has changed. When people reach out to you now, they expect almost instant replies to their pressing issues and concerns. Online live chats and chatbots are proving to be very useful tools when it comes to meeting customers at the first point of contact: Your website.
Having a great product is not enough. If your website is slow to load, or difficult to access, you’ll lose customers. If people can’t find what they came looking for, they’ll go to a competitor. But what is great customer service on the world wide web? We’d say it’s valuing your customers’ time and attention, following best practices, providing helpful resources, and always thinking ahead in order to exceed your customers’ expectations.
- Live chat has higher customer satisfaction levels than email support and traditional phone support
- 90 per cent of customers said the “Live Chat” button gives them confidence that help is there if they need it
- 51 per cent of customers prefer live chat for multitasking purposes
Taking work off your team’s plate and helping to keep your customers happy, investing in live chats and chatbots can help to ensure your business’ success in the long run.
Should You Use Chatbots or Live Chat?
You may have encountered different types of customer support services in the past while browsing online. It’s fairly common for websites to have chatbots or live chat features these days, since chatbot and live chat technology have become more accessible and affordable over the last years. Currently, 23.37 per cent of American websites and online stores have a chatbot installed, compared to 4 per cent in Australia. As you see, we still have a long way to go!
But what exactly are chatbots or live chats? How do they work and what’s the difference between the two?
What are chatbots and live chats? How do they work?
Live chats and chatbots are characterised by pop up features or little icons in the bottom corner of your screen when you visit a website or app.
Chatbots take most of the work out of your hand. They are pieces of software that use artificial intelligence (AI) to answer your customers’ questions or queries and help them find a solution quicker. Using natural language and being able to mimic a human conversation, chatbot software is extremely advanced.
They usually work through a Natural Language Processing (NLP) system which allows the bot to answer a question based on the input the user has given them. To do so, the chatbot first analyses the user request and identifies the user’s intent. When that has happened, the bot then returns the response it has deemed appropriate, based on a text that has been predefined by you or data stored in your enterprise system.
This process may appear simple, but in practice, things are quite complex.
Live chats are covered by your customer service representatives in real-time. Instead of spending an hour being stuck on a hotline, your customers can interact with your team live and instantaneous.
Users can initiate a conversation by clicking on the little chat box and leaving a message for your customer service team. It very much looks like instant messaging.
Source: The Iconic
Why Are They Valuable From a Marketing Standpoint?
Chatbots and live chats make your customers feel like they’re interacting with you directly. When they walk into a physical shop, customers usually get to speak face-to-face with a salesperson. This conversation can help you as a business establish rapport and trust. Which will help you seal the deal and make a sale. Online, things work differently. There is no cheerful shop owner welcoming customers with a big smile on their face.
This is where chatbots and live chats can step in to create a more personalised experience. Whether customers communicate with a customer service representative or an AI – in many cases the two will be indistinguishable to the customer, instant messaging gives them the feeling that their time is valued.
Thanks to these chat options, they don’t have to sit around and wait for an email response.
According to SuperOffice, via live chat, your audience could get a reply in as little as 2 minutes. For a customer support email to land in their inbox, they may wait for up to 17 hours.
What are the Benefits?
- Live chat and chatbots can drive up to five times more conversions.
One of the greatest benefits of using chatbots and live chats on your website is the increased potential to make a sale. According to eMarketer, websites who use live chat see, on average, about 35 per cent more people making a purchase online after using a live chat.
- Live chat and chatbots help improve customer loyalty.
Instant responses and immediate solutions to their questions are a delight for every customer. It gives them more confidence in your products and services when they can chat with someone on your team. Even better, 48% of customers are more likely to return to a website that is equipped with a live chat option.
- Live chat customer service is up to 30 per cent cheaper than phone support.
With one chatbot, you could be serving thousands of customers at a time. This means that a single bot could quite possibly replace several customer service agents on your team and save you a great deal of money. Not only that but using a chatbot will also ensure that all of those customers are having a seamless and uniform experience.
- Chatbots reply immediately and are available 24/7.
In a globalised world, many businesses have customers that are spread across countries and continents. Operating in different time zones can make communication slow and difficult. Others have a lot of customers that like to do their shopping late at night or on weekends. With a chatbot, that is no longer a concern. Representing your customer service 24/7, they’re there whenever and wherever your customers have questions or concerns.
- Live chat and chatbots allow you to record customer data and optimise services.
Improve your customer experiences through data collection: Chatbots may be experts at answering queries but they’re also pretty skilled at collecting data. These visitor metrics can help you improve your marketing strategy and draw in more traffic that’ll create even more leads.
What are the Cons?
Having great customer service available around the clock can positively impact your customer satisfaction and loyalty. Whilst live chat options often stick to the normal nine-to-five window, and don’t reply to inquiries outside that timeframe, chatbots can engage in endless conversations, no matter the time or quantity of chats. When choosing the live chat option, your business needs to provide all customer service team members with the proper training. Every person replying to inquiries needs to be competent, empathetic and able to understand the needs of the customer.
If the nature of your business requires simple questions to be answered fast, with little human intervention, chatbots are the way to go. But keep mind that bots can’t empathise. If your response comes across as cold and uncaring, you could have a situation on your hands and sooner or later, have to deal with negative feedback. Luckily, this can be prevented by paying extra attention to your copywriting efforts.
If human touch and humour are important for you and your customers, live chat solutions will help you to boost customer satisfaction with more personalised conversations.
How can you add one to your website?
Let’s start by saying it’s easier than you may think! Once you decide on a solution that’s right for you – Hubspot has a list of great live chat and bot options, you just need to copy and paste a piece of code on your website. Alternatively, you may get your web developers or marketing team to do this for you!
If you have any questions or concerns about getting started with chatbots or live chat options or need help with the design and development of your website, please feel free to contact us anytime! We’d love to hear from you!
Anchor Digital, your partners in climb.