Adding live chat to your website or webshop is a delight for customers. For them it’s an easy way to reach out to your business and ask questions. It helps your business to turn website visitors into leads and to drive more sales. Live chat is also an easy way to increase CSAT scores and that will positively impact brand perception. There are many live chat solution providers out there and implementing a live chat solution is easy. It’s just a matter of putting the embed script to your website and off you go.
Things to consider about using live chat for your website
However, before you implement live chat there are a couple of things to consider. Offering live chat to your customers raises expectations. If these expectations are not met, it can hurt your business more than it offers.
Bad live chat experiences occur when customers have to wait too long for a reply. They have to keep their browser open in order for you to reply to them. These situations happen, for example when you get overwhelmed with customer conversations you need to answer. Live chat also requires you to be always ready. Even when you’re busy doing something else or even outside of business opening hours.
There are live chat solutions that show a customer whether somebody is available to answer or not. But if that means that 99% of the time nobody is available, it isn’t much of a great help.
Live chat automation to the rescue
To make sure you as a business owner don’t have to be available all day, there is a thing called live chat automation. It’s your first line of automated support and helps you answer customer questions, 24/7. What it does is simply replying to customers on behalf of your company, using a chatbot. You as a human being and business owner can always take over the conversation from the chatbot, mute it and handle the customer request. So in a way it brings you flexibility whenever you need it and obviously it’s a huge time saver.
There are many types of chatbots or live chat automation. From very rigid chatbot flows that don’t offer a customer much flexibility to very human-like chatbots that understand natural language. We’ve written another article about how flow builders actually ruin the customer experience and what to do about it. Long story short, go for the Conversational AI driven, intelligent chatbots that can handle human conversations.
Training the live chat automation engine to make it smarter
Automating conversations using intelligent chatbots is done by using something called Natural Language Understanding or NLU. It’s the technology that makes a chatbot smart. Learn more about how NLU works here. An NLU engine can be seen as a little kid and needs to be teached. The more it knows, the better it can answer customer questions. However, this also takes a lot of time.
At Table Duck we’ve trained the NLU engine for you. It contains a large set of pre-trained questions or intents. You only have to select the ones you want to activate and fill in your answer. That’s a huge time and money saver.
Limitations of live chat automation
There are also limitations to live chat automation. Although the technology behind it made huge progress over the years, a chatbot can’t understand it all. Hence, that’s why a fluid handover to a human agent is important. Depending on the type of business you’re running, you should be able to automate and resolve between 30% and 60% of all customer conversations.
Savings when using live chat automation
Let’s calculate how much time and money live chat automation can save you. We assume you have a great business with around 3.000 conversations or customer enquiries per month. Each conversation takes about 5 minutes to handle, so in total 15.000 minutes or 250 hours are spent on handling customer conversations. The average wage is $ 20 which makes the total costs of handling customer conversation about $5.000 per month (250 hours x $ 20). As mentioned earlier, live chat automation saves you on average 30% to 60% which equals $1.500 to $ 3.000 per month. That’s a great saving for any small to medium sized business.
The calculation above alone is a saving and doesn’t include the positive effects of increased CSAT scores and impact on brand perception. It will be harder to calculate but you can imagine what 24/7 great service does with your sales.
Many live chat automation providers offer a free trial. At Table Duck we have a 14-day trial, no strings attached. So go out there and test!