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When to use chatbots vs live chat

If you're making use of chatbot and live chat solutions in your conversational marketing strategy, you're already well on your way to ensuring a happy working relationship with new and existing customers.
When to use chatbots vs live chat

That said, while these solutions are especially effective when implemented in tandem, they aren’t interchangeable. There are times when using a chatbot is more effective than live chat (and vice-versa!). 

Response time matters

In the digital arena, customer satisfaction rests largely on instant gratification. If a potential buyer doesn’t find what they are looking for almost immediately, they have zero qualms about moving on to another service provider. It’s not personal! Until you’ve made it personal through conversational marketing.

Chatbots and live chat can intercept a potential buyer’s journey on your site at exactly the right time. They ensure that buyers' needs can be met timeously, and that they rarely have to wait longer than five minutes for their questions to be answered.

Yesterday’s sales reps engaged with leads over a number of days, usually corresponding over email or telephonically. Today’s sales reps engage with leads in minutes. They get involved in the buying cycle sooner than ever before, booking a call with a potential buyer before the competition has had a chance to check their mail.

So are you part of the 7% of companies that respond to leads in five minutes or less? Or are you part of the 86% of companies that aren’t utilising the right technology to get in touch with leads timeously?

Why chatbots are necessary

While live chats offer increased personalisation – an actual human being driving the conversation – it’s not sustainable for a company to rely on live chat agents alone, especially when it comes to scale. As your company grows, so does your website volume and chat engagement. But with this in mind, the truth is that live chat agents won’t be able to meet every single web visitor’s needs, especially if you aim to:
  • Scale instantly, without restraints
  • Manage your existing staff contingent 
  • Engage with and capture leads outside business hours

In the digital arena, your web traffic (and even your business) can grow exponentially without you needing to grow your staff contingent to keep up with the increased business. With chatbots, you can avoid the added pressure on your sales reps and keep them focused on their core responsibilities while tending to your incoming leads.

The benefits of live chat

While the benefits of chatbots are obvious for business owners, you cannot underestimate the impact of human interaction when it comes to high-value website visitors.

What’s a high-value visitor? A repeat customer who may have purchased from your business in recent months, or a known business or account that’s been assigned to a particular sales rep. A high-value prospect may also be a site visitor who is nearly ready to seal the deal. 

These types of leads or accounts need the right person to expertly answer their specific questions with the added convenience of little to no lead time. High-value visitors will appreciate the combined speed of live chat with quality responses from an engaged team member.

Up your availability

Your live chat agents will never be available 24/7 – it’s humanly impossible. Regardless, this logic won’t stop potential customers from getting frustrated at your lack of availability. 

This is why chatbots work so well alongside live chat agents. When site volume is at a high or your team has clocked out for the night, chatbots are the perfect safety net. They can also detect when a question is out of their depth and will therefore notify your team when it's time for them to take over a conversation.

Chatbots also detect high-priority leads through account-based marketing tools, and will notify the relevant team member once a high-value lead logs on to your site. Pretty cool, huh?

So what’s the key difference between live chat applications and chatbots? The fact that they aren’t the same thing! The power lies in using both AI-driven chatbot with live chat functions concurrently, enabling them to effectively work together to respond to queries, engage and capture leads and support sales reps so that your team is able to work efficiently.

26 Jan 2021 07:12


Chatbots are an evil! Companies promote themselves as really being in touch with the consumer but fob you off to a chatbot. I have yet to have a chat bot have the ability to assist me. NEVER has a chatbot been able to solve anything for me - and led to endless frustration with the various organisations I have attempted comms with.
Posted on 27 Jan 2021 09:22