12 May 2022
Will Chatbots Be The Death Of Web Chat For Websites?
Chatbots provide smart solutions for businesses that need to improve their customer service and web chat for website. But can it replace a human? Read more with Click4Assistance.
Chatbot services have become an important tool for many businesses and organisations. Catering to the needs of customers and clients, a chatbot function enables businesses to save time and money, and provide many customers with the solutions they need. Chatbots provide automated services, usually sitting alongside live chat functions to enable users to access further information and support where needed. But as chatbots and AI become more and more advanced, could this be the end of web chat as we know it?
The rise of the chatbot
Chatbots used to be something of a rarity when it came to customer service channels, but this has changed dramatically in recent years. According to Drift’s 2021 State of Conversational Marketing report, the use of chatbots had grown, alongside live chat connections. The use of AI chatbots has grown by 45% in the last year, with users expecting fast response times to help them stay engaged with a brand or business.
Insider Intelligence estimates consumer retail spend via chatbots worldwide will reach $142 billion—up from just $2.8 billion in 2019, signifying significant growth. They also highlight 40% of people prefer to engage with a chatbot than virtual agents, reflecting the need for fast responses and information at any time of the day or night.
Chatbots have become increasingly sophisticated, with many people unable to distinguish between talking to a chatbot or a real person. It’s something that will continue to develop as developers look to improve speech recognition technology that could be a real game-changer for chatbots.
Benefits of chatbots
What are the benefits of chatbots for businesses? Some of the key benefits include:
Enable real-time conversations
The world of 9-5 is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Consumers want to interact with brands when it’s convenient for them, and chatbots provide the opportunity for people to get the answers they need in a hurry. They no longer have to wait for an email or spend a long time on hold over the phone, they can engage in real-time conversations whenever they need to.
Provide businesses and organisations with faces and personalities
A chatbot can be the first point of contact a customer has with your business, giving you a valuable way of showing the availability of your business. From the tone of voice to the type of interactions that are available, a chatbot can bring some personality to your website.
Chatbots enable 24/7 communications, allowing you to connect with customers at any time, giving them the answers they need without having to wait around or move to one of your competitors.
Save time and money
Having fewer direct customer service queries can free up your agents’ time to deal with the queries a chatbot can’t answer, helping to provide better customer service overall and saving your business time and money.
Gives flexibility to customers
The thought of picking up the phone can be daunting to a lot of people. With chatbots, customers can reduce the stress of making calls, and get the answers they need quickly. It also helps reduce the frustration that can come with being put on hold or having to repeat information due to poor connections. With chatbots, customers can connect on their own terms, making interactions much simpler.
Provides useful consumer insights
Another benefit to chatbots is that they can help provide some valuable consumer insights, helping to inform product choice, marketing decisions and more.
Developments in automation and AI - could chatbots really replace humans?
Automation and AI chatbot services have provided something of a lifeline to businesses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, customer service areas have been under pressure, with cutbacks and high-stress environments leading to poor customer experiences, causing further issues to businesses. Chatbots have provided a cost-effective solution that helps businesses support their customers, but does it mean they have been able to get rid of human customer service agents?
There’s no denying that automation and AI have great potential to transform the customer service industry, but there is still very much a need for human interaction. Chatbots can’t react emotionally or develop a rapport - something which many customers seek in order to enjoy a positive experience. What chatbots can do, however, is clear simple queries quickly, allowing customer service agents to dedicate their time to more complex queries and better engage with their customers.
While AI and automation will continue to improve the way chatbots work, for now, it seems that they will simply complement the human side of customer service to provide the best experience possible for consumers.
Can chatbots and webchat work side by side?
There are a lot of concerns about chatbots and whether they can replace live chat functions, which also enhance customer experiences. But in reality, a chatbot can be a useful tool to save time and money, gathering the information needed by an agent to help them take over the call when needed. There’s no telling how advanced AI chatbots can become in the future, but for now, the two elements will continue to work together.
A chatbot can be useful for businesses of all sizes, helping to facilitate those initial conversations that help users get the support they need, and also continue the conversation using a real-life customer service representative. Chatbots can provide useful functions such as parcel tracking, stock queries and much more, integrating with other systems to provide accurate information quickly, something that may take a customer service agent time - causing delays to successful resolutions.
While chatbots are growing in popularity, there is still a long way for them to go before they completely dominate customer service. As a supporting tool to your live chat function, or to provide a specific service, they can bring many useful benefits to your business.
Learn more about Click4Assistance and the services we provide to help you improve your business communications.