Remember the time when you would find an actual, living, breathing human on the other end of a webchat? We now see chatbots assuming that role at a steadily increasing pace. Chatbots have been around for quite a while now. And they’re growing in popularity as time passes.
The competition between live chat and chatbot has evolved into a collaborative situation over time. Businesses now understand the importance of integrating live chat within their chatbots.
Significance of chatbots
A whopping 70% of millennials have had positive interactions with chatbots. 75% of online customers expect to be taken care of within 5 minutes of initiating an interaction.
But with the average wait time to talk to a customer service agent on a call being 11 minutes, there’s a lot of highly dissatisfied customers. On the other hand, the average wait time to start a conversation with a chatbot is about 45 seconds. Nobody wants to waste 11 minutes on something that can be done in 45 seconds.
Another statistic that stands out is that nearly two-thirds of customers tend to come back to a website and resume purchases after having interacted with a chatbot.
Chatbots can save you money. Consider this, collectively around 265 Billion customer support requests are answered annually by spending $1.3 Trillion! Call centers are notoriously expensive, they increase business costs tremendously.
So as businesses are moving away from the call center industry, they have also been experimenting with chatbots. As experiments go, some chatbot platforms like Engati have seen incredible success and some others have failed.
Why Live Chat?
Gartner predicted a long time ago that businesses would manage 85% of customer interactions without human intervention, by 2020. IBM has also reinforced this prediction.
At this stage, there are 2 kinds of chatbots:
- Rule-based chatbots that answer a specified set of questions.
- AI-based chatbots like those built on Engati can answer more ambiguous questions.
Both types of chatbots perform best when you ask questions whose answers can be efficiently extracted from a database. These are called ‘tier 1’ questions. (eg.: What time does my flight start boarding tomorrow?)
But they may not fare so well when it comes to understanding and answering complex questions. The integration of a human agent would simplify this process of answering such questions. That’s the beauty of live chat.
Access to training data defines the relative power of AI-based chatbots to a great extent. As one might imagine, the richness of the source material and the quality of chatbot responses are directly proportional. Some chatbots can even answer questions from context generated during previous conversations.
Live Chat vs. Chatbots: Questions that matter
With Facebook opening its Messenger app to private developers in 2016, a rapid adoption of chatbot technology was noted. Companies were not just about to pass on a chance to reach out to all of Facebook’s 1.5 Billion consumers.
In the early stage of adoption, there were many attempts, ending in both successful and unsuccessful outcomes. These initial test runs established some benchmarks for determining success and failure rates of chatbots.
One can draw a lot from this collective well of experience; early adopters and new innovators alike. One of the insights gleaned from this was that customers felt better about interacting with a chatbot when they knew that they had the option to converse with an actual human, if and when they needed it. The option of using live chat reassures customers that their queries will be answered and there won’t be any confusion involved.
Here are some important questions for you to consider before looking for a chatbot solution for your business.
Does answering fact-based questions eat away your precious time?
Ever got tired of having to answer the same questions over and over? Repetitive actions like this make your customer service executives cranky. Engati customer support chatbots can easily retrieve data that has been stored in a database and answer simple, repetitive questions over and over with the same enthusiasm every time. Then you can include a human agent through live chat, just to handle the more complex questions.
A customer support chatbot will solicit information with questions, making users more likely to give out information. The airline industry is one of the fastest adopters of chatbot technology owing to the nature of small, information related queries they receive.
Does your customer service response time annoy your customers?
On average, a human being takes 15 seconds to respond to a customer query. When you have a bigger customer base, you will end up employing a bigger customer service force. On a larger scale, the 15 second wait times add up and form a queue of customers waiting to get assistance.
Chatbots built on the Engati platform reply almost instantaneously and engage the customers from the first interaction. Also, unlike human agents that can handle only 4 to 6 chat conversations at a time, chatbot engagement is scalable.
Are you collecting data from customer service interactions?
A human agent servicing consumer calls is less likely to remember the location, consumer query type and also produce a correlation without help from some powerful integration tools. A chatbot is capable of recognizing online trends and reporting back to your company.
When you pair the conversational data with visitor location on a website, companies can customize the conversation experiences for individuals and increase conversion rates.
Are you trying to reduce customer service costs?
When it comes to cost reduction in a high-volume customer service center, chatbots could be the answer. Chatbots can considerably reduce the cost of customer service but also require a back-up option to answer complex questions.
Compared to the $7-$15 per hour charged by live agents, chatbots built on the Engati platform are definitely cheaper. Also, the time and cost implications of rolling out a chatbot are much cheaper as compared to setting up a 24×7 customer support channel. Chatbots can help you cut down on the training, management and turnover cost on top of the hourly expenses.
How scalable is your customer service operation?
Only a handful of really powerful AIs have come close to passing the Turing Test. So, completely replacing human agents with chatbots wouldn’t be the best of ideas.
Instead, integrating live chat with chatbots to involve human agents when required has proven to be more desirable by users. It helps manage customer expectations with chatbots and even exceed customer service expectations. In other words, chatbots can help scale your customer service operation.
How complex are your customer service conversations?
When dealing with complex queries, users would be more comfortable using live chat with an actual agent. Chatbots may not manage to comprehend certain questions. For example, a consumer might be looking for a product variant not offered by a certain brand, and the chatbot is unable to recognize this.
While chatbot can emulate a human conversation and accomplish simple tasks, human assistance is clearly beneficial in helping the bots handle more complex tasks. Familiarity with the subtleties of human-to-human interactions is necessary for on-brand communication. Chatbots are not yet able to process human emotions and nuances perfectly and that’s where live chat comes in. Integrating live chat into your chatbots gives you a power-packed combination that is greater than the sum of their individual capabilities.
Shep Hyken Speaks
We interviewed Customer Service & Customer Experience expert, Shep Hyken. Here’s what he had to say.
Chat is developing as a credible communication channel between businesses and their customers. Chatbots cannot flawlessly duplicate human behavior. But, the good news is that chatbots don’t need to disguise themselves as humans to succeed. Customers actually prefer to know that they’re communicating with a chatbot. It’s even better when they know that they have the option of communicating with an actual human through the live chat feature.
If you liked this blog, you can check out our other blogs here. Chatbots can be hard to build from the ground-up, Engati offers a platform that allows you to build your own chatbot in under 10 minutes. Engati platform offers live chat integration with your chatbot. Sign up for a free demo to learn more.
Why are live chat enhanced chatbots important for customer engagement?
The average wait time to start a conversation with a chatbot is about 45 seconds on the other hand, the average wait time to talk to a customer service agent on a call being 11 minutes. And if complicated queries are involved, a human agent could be roped in through live chat. Thus, customer satisfaction is boosted.
How fast is customer service response time with chatbots?
Chatbots built on the Engati platform reply almost instantaneously and engage the customers from the first interaction.
Do chatbots reduce customer service costs?
Chatbots can considerably reduce the cost of customer service. Compared to the $7-$15 per hour charged by live agents, chatbots built on the Engati platform are definitely cheaper. Chatbots can help you cut down on the training, management and turnover cost on top of the hourly expenses.