The 21st century has brought a significant change in the way people communicate. Today, we use applications and chats more often than phone calls. Messengers are the most popular applications that we download to our phones. This is a lesson for business—investing in new technologies such as live chat and chat bots is the best way to maintain communication with the client.
How chat moves your client-business communication to the next level
We are used to getting immediate answers. Just enter the appropriate question in the window of the most popular search engine in the world, and in a moment there are millions of answers.
The habit of fast communication also affects business. Chat services are one of the hottest trends. What makes customers eager to use this form of contact? The answer is simple and multi-faceted:
- The answer is almost immediate
- Chats are a more efficient way of getting information
- Some clients don’t like speaking on the phone
- You can chat wherever you want (work, public transport, coffee shops etc.)
- Chat means an ability to have better conversation control and a capacity to return to message content later
- Nowadays chats are characterized by good and fast adjustment to their interfaces
The Business Battle: Human vs. Bot
There are many reasons why live chat is a popular communication tool. It gives customers the opportunity to get help and ask questions during business hours. Its main advantage is ease of use, friendly interface and quick processing time. At the same time, chat also facilitates the work of customer service departments by providing the ability to have conversations with many people at once and to check the live data of the customers who are asking for support.
A friendly and fully customizable interface is quick and easy to implement on the page. The message icon that appears in the lower right corner is a well-known element of the site and encourages you to contact the company.
Implementing chatbots on your page is easy thanks to the tools provided by Synerise.
Types of chat: session based, proactive – what else?
There are three main types of live chat: session-based chat, asynchronous chat and proactive chat.
1. Session based chat - used by companies to solve one-on-one customer problems; client and agent must both be online and connected in order to chat. The chat conversation ends if one side chooses to finish it, but once it has ended, it cannot be reopened.
The main disadvantages of this solution are the waiting time for assistants or their unavailability online.
2. Asynchronous chat - designed to solve the problems of session-based chat. Even when one side of the conversation isn’t available, messages can still be sent, received, and continued, just like on Facebook’s Messenger.
3. Proactive chat - Proactive engagement - the latest trend in chat software. While session-based chat and asynchronous chat need to be initiated by client, proactive chat can invite customers to chat automatically, based on applied rules and conditions. This is where AI comes in.
What are chatbots and how can we use them?
Customer care is not only a domain of human interaction. According to Gartner, Inc., 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020. That's why it's worth looking at chatbots now.
What are they? Computer programs powered by Artificial Intelligence allow clients to communicate with you via a chat interface. We can distinguish two basic types of chatbots: the first uses a set of rules provided to it, the second is more complex and uses machine learning.
Many chat solutions treat chatbots as one of their functionalities. Before you start a conversation, you choose a topic, and the system decides whether to connect you to a live assistant or a bot. The same system decides whether the chatbot can answer the questions and whether a person should help.
Chatbot: an intriguing history and a bright future
The first chat was ELIZA, an artificial psychotherapist. It was created in 1966 by Joseph Weizenbaum at MIT as an attempt to implement the Computer Med Medial Communications project. It turns out that psychiatry is the field in which chatbots were born. There are also some Polish inventions in this field— a medical chat bot called Teresa was created in 1977 at AGH in Krakow and, like ELIZA, was pretending to act like a psychiatrist.
Today, chatbots appear mainly on the websites of companies offering services, like Ania, a virtual assistant from IKEA, or Oscar, Air New Zealand’s chatbot. It will tell you where to go on vacation and what to pack in your suitcase!
The more people who chat with it, the more it learns, growing smarter every day. A multiplatform solution, accessible by all devices and constantly developed—this is a perfect example of a chatbot! The statistics speak for themselves: the bots work “on more than 460 different topics, with 2,500 sessions on average per day, in solving approximately 75% of their enquiries”.
Even if today chatbots might be treated as an interesting and fun addition to a site, in the future it will be full-fledged messenger apps responsible for advanced content search, comprehensive online store service and expertly selecting information on the web and synthesizing it into knowledge.
The main differences between live chats and chatbots
How do you choose the right tool and adapt it to your clients and their needs? See our comparison of live chat with chatbots and decide which solution to implement for your business.
Along with the growth of mobile and social media apps, chat is a necessary tool in your portfolio when it comes to engaging customers and converting them to buyers.
In a world where Siri and Cortana are everyday tools for many people, the growing popularity of chatbots should not be a surprise. According to a report by Grand View Research Inc., global chatbot market is expected to reach USD 1.25 billion by 2025, growing by 24.3%.