As the business world embraces technological advancements at a faster rate than ever before, customer service is seeing some major changes and companies are competing to stay ahead of the game.
Among the lead generation and customer service tools that have gained popularity over the last few years, there are 3 major players that have stood out – Live Chat, Chat Bots and Intelligent Chat. Many people have questions about these three chat technologies and how they actually differ from each other in terms of quality of service, cost efficiency and ROI.
Also, people often get confused about the real differences between Chatbots and Intelligent Chat, not realising that one is much more advanced than the other. Before we delve into the details, let’s discuss what separates Chat Bots from Intelligent chat.
Chatbots work according to a set of rules, interacting with customers via a chat interface. This technology uses FAQs or a set of predetermined questions and answers to engage with website visitors. It can only respond to specific keywords and it’s limited in its ability to interact with customers. On the other hand, Intelligent Chat is a bot which comprises natural language processing. This means it can interpret what the user is saying even if there are syntax errors or misspelled words. It operates by understanding the meaning of sentences rather than relying on a set of keywords, and it is much more similar to human reasoning than Chatbots.
What is natural language processing?
Natural language processing(NLP) is an area of artificial intelligence that studies the interactions between humans and computers. It is aimed at interpreting and understanding the real meaning of human language.
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of these three technologies:
Advantages of Chatbots
- Cost efficiency: One of the first benefits of implementing a Chatbot service is the cost efficiency associated with this technology. It is more reasonably priced than its counterparts i.e. Live Chat and Intelligent Chat.
- No human supervision for customer support-based chat: Another important benefit of Chatbots is that for customer support -based chats they can function without human supervision, thus automating the process of customer support.
- Multiple Chats: Chatbots have a greater capacity to interact with several customers at one time. This multitasking function is important to consider when choosing which technology works best for your business.
Disadvantages of the Chatbots
- Restricted by specific questions and keywords: One of the main areas of disadvantage when it comes to Chatbots is the fact that they lack the ability to interpret what a customer is saying. Since they work based on FAQs, they can only respond to a specific set of questions. The bot will not be able to respond accurately if a question contains a misspelled word or if it is not specific enough. This can increase customer frustration and result in the customer looking for solutions or services elsewhere.
- Lack of human touch: Chatbots are extremely mechanical in their approach and lack the human touch, which is an important element of customer support. Also, unlike human chat agents, Chatbots are not able to memorise past conversations; as a result, the user may be required to type the same query repeatedly, which can increase customer dissatisfaction.
- No lead generation: Chatbots do not function as lead generation tools, and unlike Live Chat they cannot serve the dual purpose of addressing customer queries and generating new business.
Advantages of Intelligent Chat
- Natural Language Processing: Compared to Chatbots, one the biggest advantages of Intelligent Chat is that NLP allows the bots to understand context and have more ‘human’ conversations with customers, thus increasing the quality of customer support.
- No human supervision needed: Another benefit of Intelligent Chat is that it functions without the support of humans, thus reducing the amount of resources required to run the technology.
- Multilingual and not restricted by spelling errors: Additionally, Intelligent Chat has the capacity to be programmed to understand multiple languages, thus it can be implemented across borders. And very importantly, it continues to communicate even in the presence of spelling or syntax errors, thus ensuring that customers are not left frustrated.
Disadvantages of Intelligent Chat
- Mechanical or robotic: Even though Intelligent Chatbots have the capacity to express compassion and they are able to interpret non-specific customer queries, they are still limited in their interactions. Without an actual human engaging with customers, there will always be a slightly ‘mechanical’ or robotic feel to the conversation.
- Expensive and difficult to implement: Intelligent Chat is a fairly new technology and as artificial intelligence continues to evolve, there are likely to be further developments. It still has a long way to go before it can be successfully implemented across businesses. Also, the amount of training needed to operate this technology is much more compared to Live Chat.
Advantages of Live Chat
- Human Interaction: One of the biggest advantages of implementing Live Chat for your business is the fact that your customers are interacting with an actual human, thus ensuring that their questions and concerns are addressed in the most logical and efficient way possible. The human element of Live Chat makes it indispensable to businesses that want to forge meaningful relationships with customers right from the start.
- Emotional expression and empathy: Another benefit of Live Chat is that chat agents can address all customer concerns without hesitation and ensure that the customer does not get frustrated or leave the chat midway due to ‘mechanical’ answers. The capacity for emotional expression and empathy, which is missing in Chatbots and intelligent chats is important differentiating factor of Live Chat.
- Better quality customer support: Live Chat offers a superior quality of customer service and it is without a doubt more efficient and effective as a customer support tool.
- Lead generation: Perhaps one of the most important benefits of Live Chat is the capacity for lead generation. Chat agents are trained to engage with prospects and address all their queries and questions. Because of this interaction with an actual human customers are much more likely to share their contact details and willing to be contacted by a sales agent. The mechanical nature of Chatbots makes this challenging and often puts off visitors who would be much more receptive to a human chat agent.
Disadvantages of Live Chat
- Training can be time-consuming: Live Chat requires training of chat agents before they are ready to provide customer support. This can often be time consuming and expensive.
- Cost factor: Overall, the implementation of Live Chat technology will cost more than Chatbots, making it a slightly more expensive alternative.
While a Live Chat service is one of the best ways to improve your customer support and lead generation efforts, setting up an in-house Live Chat team can be an expensive and cumbersome process. Not only do you have to spend on recruiting an entire team of chat agents, you also have to invest in infrastructure and training. Furthermore, the in-house team would not be available to take chats over weekends, at night or on holidays.
The ideal solution to overcome this challenge and enjoy the benefits of Live Chat is to partner with an experienced company such as CommVersion. CommVersion provides 24/7 Live Chat support and have helped clients increase leads by upto 50%. We don’t ask for a long-term commitment or set up fee. You sign up and we will start sending you qualified leads right away. If you would like more information about our service, get in touch with us today.