You want to make sure that your customers are satisfied, and one of the best ways to do that is through speedy, reliable customer support. No matter what industry your company operates in, you can’t afford to miss calls or take too long to respond.
Moreover, quality customer service will help you retain loyal customers and foster brand loyalty.
However, paying for a team of live chat agents can be an expensive endeavor—you have to pay each agent a salary while they’re on a call or handling a chat conversation. So how can you ensure that you’re offering the best support possible without breaking the bank?
The answer may depend on the nature of your company’s relationship with its customers and the kind of products or services it offers.
There are many different solutions out there; some companies opt for AI-powered chatbots while others go with live chat agents.
While they may seem like polar opposites when it comes to serving customers, both options can be cost-effective ways to address the needs of your consumers—it all depends on what factors lead you toward one solution over another.
What is Live Chat Support?
Live chat support is online customer service that uses real-time messaging to help customers. Instead of calling or emailing businesses, customers can just open a chatbox on the website and type out their questions.
A live chat representative will then respond in real-time. Live chat is commonly available 24/7, 365 days a year, which allows you to provide service when your customers need it most—even after hours and on holidays.
Instead of waiting for an email reply or call back, live chats let you address issues at the moment they arise.
This keeps the customer happy and shortens the amount of time it takes to resolve their issue so they can get back to what they were doing before—buying products or services from your company!
As opposed to AI Chatbots that are programmed specifically for one topic (like ordering pizza) Live Chat Support provides general customer service in real-time with an actual human being on the other side of the chatbox (instead of automated software).
This means that any question about any topic can be answered by one agent without having them having knowledge across multiple subjects (like ordering pizza AND how much are tickets to see The Beatles).
What is an AI Chatbot?
At a basic level, an AI chatbot is a computer program designed to mimic human-like conversations with users in an interface that looks just like a Live chat interface.
It mimics messages as if it is a human, or sometimes, it would reveal that it is just an AI to the user.
It conversates by using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) software that has been programmed to understand customer queries, draw from its database of knowledge and then automatically offer the most appropriate responses.
The conversation can be as simple as answering a user’s question or as complex as helping them find the right product recommendation.
So why do businesses need AI chatbots? Well, they are the perfect solution for organizations looking to automate certain processes to improve efficiencies and free up staff time so they can focus on other tasks.
They also provide organizations with affordable tools which help them scale their business while keeping costs under control at the same time.
The majority of companies have come to recognize all of these benefits, which is why live chat use has increased across all industries in recent years.
Here are a few advantages of AI-based chatbots, and how it helps businesses:
1. The true 24/7 support
Live chat agents can get tired, bored, and moody. AI chatbots don’t need sleep or coffee breaks. They will always be ready to serve your customers no matter if it’s 3 am or high noon.
2. Multi-channel availability
Live chat agents can focus on a single channel at a time. AI Chatbots are available on a variety of channels including Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Telegram so that customers can choose the most convenient way to contact you.
3. Less expensive
Do you know how much money you spend on live chat support every month? The average cost of one live chat agent is around $3,600 per month. AI chatbot technology is much more affordable, costing about $800 per month for a basic plan.
4. Faster response times and higher customer satisfaction
AI-powered bots respond to customer queries instantly with no delays. In turn, this leads to an increased level of customer satisfaction and loyalty to your brand.
5. Immediate ROI
AI Chatbots give you an instant ROI as they are able to process hundreds of requests simultaneously while also providing personalized service which means they will never make mistakes when dealing with your customers.
AI Chatbot vs. Live Chat Support: Key Differences
The differences between AI chatbots and live chat support are key to determining which will be right for your business.
A chatbot is a computer program that can automatically carry on conversations or answer questions about your company’s product or service.
A human user interacts with the bot through text or speech, as if they were talking to another person.
Chatbots can automate processes, freeing up human resources to take on more complex tasks.
Their answers are often limited by their programming and ability to interpret language, but they can provide customers with 24/7 assistance without forcing them to wait around while a representative is located and briefed on the issue.
Live chat support services (often just called “live chat”) also allow customers to interact with another person in real-time using text messages sent through an app or website.
However, unlike a chatbot that runs on artificial intelligence, live chats are performed by a real person who can respond directly and effectively to problems that go beyond what the bot was programmed for.
The standard of the day
Why do AI-based Chatbots lag in terms of adoption? Why don’t bigger organizations want to make use of this wonderful software to pull the plug out of support centers that cost millions of dollars in maintenance?
There’s no doubt that chatbots can do some things incredibly well. They’re great for fairly simple queries, for example — stuff like “what’s the weather like?” or “when does my flight leave?” But once you get into more complex territory, they tend to fall down pretty quickly.
AI chatbots have been hyped up in the media as a solution for customer service departments, but they’ve yet to deliver the results that they promise. The most significant issue with AI chatbots is that they don’t deal well with unpredictability.
If a customer comes to them with a question that isn’t part of their programming, they can’t provide an answer. They also lack empathy, which makes customers feel like they aren’t being heard. This can lead to frustration and even anger among consumers.
Live chat support is a great way to connect with customers because it uses human agents instead of AI algorithms for communication. This means live chats are able to understand complex questions and provide thoughtful answers that reflect the qualities of human empathy and compassion. As a result, customers feel like their needs are being heard and understood by real people who care about them.
Most companies report that human interaction still plays a key role in customer support. This is because customers often want to discuss issues or complaints, and a chatbot isn’t usually equipped to handle this kind of scenario.
As such, most companies opt for hybrid solutions that combine chatbots with live agents so that users have both options available at all times.
The Impact of Real-World Context on Automated Response Systems
The way a live chat support agent reads a conversation with a customer is vastly different than how an AI would interpret it. Human agents understand sarcasm, they know when to read between the lines, and they can consult databases outside of their own knowledge base to help customers resolve complex problems – all things that AI chatbots simply cannot do yet.
But if you teach your automated response system how to handle less complicated issues, you free up your human agents to deal with those more complex problems.
Ultimately, live chat support and AI chatbots are not competing business operations. They work best when used in conjunction with each other.
Live chat agents can handle complex customer issues while AI bots help customers with simple queries like “I don’t know why the phone is dead” and you always want them to take it in for service at the nearest center.
With AI chatbots, you can offer support 24/7 without needing to be interrupted. However only for a certain extent, after which human help becomes the best help.
Usage of both mediums can help your organization save costs, as well as provide an unparalleled experience for your customer. It is a win-win situation.