Should You Build a Chatbot or Outsource to a Live Chat Service?

Customers prefer to communicate with a brand via live chat. That’s a fact you probably know. But in implementing your live chat service, should you build a chatbot or outsource to a live chat service? Is one really better than the other?

No need to scratch your head over this conundrum. Here’s what you need to know.

To Build or to Outsource Your Live Chat Service - 5 Things to Consider

Before you run ahead and pick one over the other, here are a few considerations to help you make an informed decision concerning your web chat method.

1. Outsourcing helps you focus on your business

One of the best advantages of outsourcing your live chat service is the fact that it allows you to focus on the more important aspects of your business that need your attention. 

With your customer support on “autopilot”, it’s easier for you to scale your business.  

2. Building your own bot gives you more control

The biggest advantage of building your own chatbot is the control it gives you over design and functionality. A custom made bot can be customized to offer services in a slightly different way, giving you the edge of being unique and offering specialized customer support.

3. Outsourcing is cheaper

Outsourcing your live chat services is always cheaper than building your own chatbot. Particularly when using a live chat service like Smith.ai, you only pay for “relevant chats” thus ensuring you only pay for chats that have an impact on your business.

4. Chatbots have limits

No matter how advanced an AI-powered chatbot may be, they all have one common weakness - they all have a limit when it comes to functionality. For instance, they lack:

  • Empathy. An essential element needed in customer support.
  • Intuition. Chatbots rely on keywords and machine learning. This means there are some complex situations they may not be able to handle. 

The limited functionality of chatbots requires that you always have a live agent to take over when a situation throws your bot off.

5. A custom-built chatbot needs regular maintenance

Technology is evolving at such a fast pace that a breakthrough today can easily become obsolete tomorrow. This is where the danger of building your own chatbot lies. If you don’t have the technical knowledge of ensuring that your custom-built chatbot stays current, you will either:

  • End up with a redundant bot
  • Spend more on ensuring your chatbot stays current

Building a Chatbot vs Outsourcing Your Live Chat Services

So which is better for your business between building your own chatbot or outsourcing your live chat services? For most businesses, outsourcing is a more sensible option. But for businesses with the human resources to build and maintain a custom-built chatbot, building their own is more practical.

Get a Free Trial of Smith.ai Live Web Chat

It's time to try live chat on your website. Just one new client captured via chat can pay for a year (or more) of Smith.ai's live web chat service. We provide fully staffed live website chat with professional agents. Outsourced live chat is best for small businesses like law firms, e-commerce businesses, IT consultants, financial planners, property managers, realtors, and marketing agencies (to name just a few!).

Our live agents are highly skilled and can answer common questions about your business, qualify new leads, schedule appointments, take payments, and more. You stay in the loop when chat transcripts are sent to you after each conversation and logged in your CRM. There's no setup fee, services are month-to-month with no annual contract, and plans start at just $100/month. Learn more and get started with a 10-chat / 30-day free trial!

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