In the bid to optimize your customer service, one thing you will realize is that your customers prefer to communicate with your business in real-time on your website. To do this, you have 2 options available to you – live agents and chatbots.
As both are fast gaining popularity with businesses across the globe, a heated debate has been sparked – chatbots vs live agents.
Before we look at which of these two customer service strategies best fits your business model, let’s define what each of them is.
Chatbots are software that can be programmed to communicate with your customers. Programmed well, they have been proven to be able to resolve issues as well as humans.
Live chat refers to software that bridges the gap between a customer and a human agent allowing for communication to take place in real-time.
So which is best for your business? Let’s consider a few factors to help you assess which to use.
In order to best solve the chatbots vs live agents debate, we will consider some of the most important aspects of customer support you can tackle using these technologies.
When it comes to being available 24/7, chatbots trump live chat agents. Employing live chat agents to assist your customers around the clock is just not financially feasible. For this reason, chatbots are your best option for ensuring that your business is able to offer customer service 24/7.
If there is one element of customer support that helps you retain your customers, it is empathy. Since this is a human ability that can’t be simulated (even by the best AI program) live agents would be your best bet in this regard.
While it is possible for one live agent to successfully handle up to 5 chats simultaneously, taking on more compromises the quality of your customer service. In order to handle a higher volume of customers, you may have to employ another agent. That on its own is an extra cost.
However, with chatbots, scaling is easy as a bot can easily handle hundreds of customers without skipping a beat.
Good customer support is a result of understanding what your customer is trying to communicate. Again, as much as chatbots and AI are fast advancing, they can get confused by spelling mistakes as they mainly rely on keywords to be able to communicate.
Another disadvantage of chatbots in this regard is the fact that they are only able to answer first tier questions. In other words, they can’t answer questions they haven’t been programmed for.
Live agents, on the other hand, are able to guess what the customer is trying to communicate, confirm it, and tactfully move the conversation forward.
As you can see, chatbots and live agents are actually 2 sides of the same coin. Especially considering that some conversations end up being transferred from a chatbot to a live chat agent, these 2 technologies work best in tandem. Used together, your customer service will be optimized to offer your customers a satisfactory experience.
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