Live chat vs. chatbots – how do I pick what’s right for me?​

Live chats​ Chatbots

In the past, if a customer had a question, they would simply reach for the phone. Thanks to technological advances, customers’ means of establishing contact have expanded many times over – these days, things can be done quickly and, above all, online. Live chats and chatbots are two ways in which your customer can get in touch with you via your website. But what are the differences? What are the best tools? And even more importantly: what is the best solution for your company? We will clarify all of this for you in this article!

The supreme discipline of customer communication​

Product quality, user-friendliness, loyalty programs: there are many ways in which customer satisfaction can be sustainably increased. Yet the most important aspect is and remains customer communication. Whether it’s questions about the product, the service or more complicated issues: with the help of target-oriented and insightful communication, you will achieve increased customer satisfaction. The nature or even art of customer communication should be considered and anchored in every company, as there is a fine line between a positive and negative snowball system. If it is positive, you will ideally attract even more customers through word of mouth or online reviews. If it is negative, you lose customers and have to pull out all the stops to avoid spiraling storms of negative press. This makes it all the more important to think about how to offer customers the best possible way to communicate online: by integrating a live chat or by creating chatbots? And what is actually the difference here?

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Please contact us to arrange a free appointment.More info

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Please contact us to arrange a free appointment.More info
Live chats​ Chatbots
photocredit: Rodion Kutsaiev | Unsplash

Familiarize yourself with live chats and chatbots!

Both variations have one fundamental thing in common: they enable your customers to get in touch with you online and are applications that you can add to your website. As the name suggests, live chat is a chat between your customer and an employee who is sitting in front of the computer at that very moment and responds individually to the customer’s questions. The employee helps to solve complex problems and deal with precisely those issues that require a personal touch. These staff members need to be well trained and prepared to be able to respond to the emotions of customers and the complexity of their requests, which is why it usually falls within the remit of customer support. Chatbots, on the other hand, are software solutions based on artificial intelligence and natural language use. When configuring the chatbot, ready-made answers to simple and repetitive questions as well as predefined processes can be integrated that do not require or necessitate human intervention.

Live chat or chatbot – the right choice​​

The right choice of one of the two applications has become a key decision in customer communication. As always, both variants offer advantages and disadvantages when compared, but the question of all questions for the choice can be broken down into one: how can I best help my customer with my offer? In order to answer this, you need to engage with your team and do a little research into what has happened in the past to find out whether similar and repetitive issues or more complex problems make up the majority. Also consider whether there are any problems that require empathy and understanding. If this is the case, the human component of a live chat is essential. If you do not consider this to be important, it is worth taking a closer look at the differences between the two variants.

AI-supported and human chats: the biggest differences​

The main differences between live chat and the chatbot can be summarized in these five main aspects: response time, availability, costs, experience, and scalability.

One of the great advantages of chatbots is of course the mantra “AI never sleeps”. A chatbot is therefore available around the clock, as opposed to the business hours that employees adhere to in live chat. This means that the chatbot is also available to international customers in particular, for whom limited availability could be a problem due to the time difference. In perfect symbiosis, the response time of both models also plays a role. While live chat employees naturally take the time to answer questions individually, there may be waiting times during busy periods. A hurdle that has to be overcome with the use of personnel, but that does not exist for a chatbot.

Speaking of personnel: the cost of specialist training and salaries is a key factor that plays a major role in the economic choice between the two options. The live chat employee is valuable in terms of training due to their experience, especially when it comes to more sensitive customers and/or topics. A chatbot, on the other hand, falls into the resource planning category in the run-up to configuration, but no longer incurs immense costs once it goes online.

Those of you who have just raised your hand at the keyword “valuable experience” will nod in agreement. Whether online or offline, experience is an aspect to be valued when we are talking about employees. They can make the most of this experience when participating in live chats. At the same time, don’t forget the capabilities offered by artificial intelligence: once deployed, the chatbot also gains knowledge from input and can optimally use the collected customer data to solve problems. It does this a lot and, above all, quickly, which makes it highly scalable. A chatbot can handle an unlimited number of repetitive requests and activities. When it comes to automated appointment booking, for example, it can easily expand your customer base.

Live chats​ Chatbots

Many providers, one possible solution: SalesIQ from Zoho

You can see it, and we can’t hide it – the advantages offered by chatbots are piling up. Soon, even the weighting of the human component can be replaced by the continuous improvement of artificial intelligence, as it becomes easier and easier to humanize and sensitize AI. If you look at the market, many providers rely on these future-oriented standards. One tool that understands exactly which sales-boosting functions are needed, especially in relation to sales, is Zoho SalesIQ.

Zoho SalesIQ is the perfect extension to your website when it comes to bridging the gap between marketing, sales, and support to create customer loyalty. SalesIQ is the analytical brain that tracks the online behavior of customers and prospective customers and makes the findings available to your CRM and marketing. Speaking of prospective customers – almost nothing recognizes them as quickly as SalesIQ and uses a chatbot at exactly the right moment. And this goes by the name of Zobot.

Zobot – on a mission to build customer loyalty

Zobot and Zoho SalesIQ go hand in hand. While SalesIQ tracks all data and forwards it to Zoho Crm, Zobot is the helping hand when it comes to customer retention. Whether its recurring inquiries about special products or appointment requests: Zobot passes everything on to the customer exactly as you have told it to. You can use a codeless bot creator to develop your individual flow, which follows for standard requests. The flow can be executed on the entire website or on any landing pages. All that is needed to feed it is a logic that is naturally based internally on experience in customer exchanges. This allows you to create an action for each process step. It is important to store flows for each scenario so that the customer does not end up in a loop. However, Zobot pays attention to this and, together with SalesIQ‘s data collection, is continuously learning. The current queen of AI is also joining the IT ranks: ChatGPT. The tool can be easily connected to SalesIQ to give you even better input in building the flow.

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A decision, a conclusion or rather just in need of advice?

And how are you feeling? Ready and willing to make a decision? If so, we’ll give it a thumbs up! If not, we are ready to help you! It’s easy to get lost in the jungle of software and AI can feel daunting at first. We are therefore more than happy to advise you in codafish style. Together we will take a look at your company and your status quo, and as a Zoho partner we will configure the software that is best suited to your needs and implement everything according to your wishes and requirements. ​

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