Live Chat or Automated Chat: that is the question
May 17, 2013
Author: Admin
Category: Live Chat

Are you a business owner? Making your first steps or maybe already have many years of experience? Either way, you probably want to make more sales, offer better customer support, right? If yes, you might find this interesting to read and even to implement.

It is not a secret that for the commercial websites to stand out with the competition, they must add a personalized way for visitors to communicate with them in real-time. Today, customers do not want to call or email businesses, they want to receive the answers on the spot, while they are still browsing the website.

It is not a question if websites should or shouldn't add a real-time interaction option to their web pages; it is just a matter of what kind of tool fit websites' business model, resources and budget.

One of real-time interaction options is chat or also known as online chat. Online chat may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet, that offers a real-time direct transmission of text-based messages from sender to receiver.

There are two types of online chats:

  • Live Chat (or live support) - is when company live support representative is chatting in real-time with visitors to the website to give immediate customer support and information to potential clients and customers. Live support representatives are able to handle multiple chats at the same time.
    Pros: This is the most effective way to interact "live" with visitors in real-time, help them with their questions, assist them to complete the sale, support them after sale, and be there at the right time to offer the up-sale.
    Cons: If a company doesn't have resources to allocate a live support representative to manage the chats, then this type of chat is not the best fit for the company.

  • Automated Chat (or also knows as Virtual Agent) – do not need a live person to initiate and reply to chats. Automated Chat is built on the laws of artificial intelligence, and is programmed to interact with humans. It is powered by a knowledge base, which includes an extensive list of possible different questions, responses and gestures, allowing reacting and responding to human response in a relatively human way.
    Pros: It is fit for companies with no budget or more resources to invest in chat feature, but still want to know what their visitors wants to know and offer them an interactive way to communicate with the company.
    Cons: A Virtual Agent serves as a company representative are built around a specific task, such as answering customer questions on a website's homepage, or collecting marketing leads (emails or phone numbers of potential customers), collecting customer support queries, etc.

It is of course possible to combine between Live Chat option (from your desktop or mobile device) and switch to automated Chat when desired.

To summarize: YOU as a smart business owner should just pick the right option for your business and start communicating with your customers TODAY!

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