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Chatbots vs Live Chat: How to Have a Balanced Approach?

Arvin Singh

Arvin Singh

Digital transformation is exciting – as a solution provider, we get it. It is no wonder we idealize the digital era, it’s almost like the American Dream; people who believed it, believed that anything is possible.

The Route to Ideal State

” In computer science, an ideal “intelligent” machine is a flexible rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal. “

Truth is, even though efficiency is one key characteristic we often associate with technology, the technology itself requires time and resources to develop. Taking the first step to adopt the technology can be difficult, especially if there are legacy systems in the company. After all the effort devoted to sourcing for the provider and finally getting the seal of approval, managers may be inclined to think: “it’s showtime”. In reality, projects take time before deployment, and businesses have to work closely with the providers to fine-tune the technology with sound business logic. At this stage, there are plenty of factors that are within your control, and just as much which are beyond. Many businesses which are not project-ready will grow impatient and be daunted by this process. While no provider can promise *MAGIC* at the snap of the fingertips, most providers are ready to hold your hands and move the project towards it.

What can I do if my Chatbot isn’t perfect yet?

Even with the increased adoption of AI chatbots, customers will continue to ask questions beyond the training sets and human agents are necessary to monitor complex questions closely. While the Chatbot’s development is in progress, a useful interim solution which businesses can implement is “live agents”. Live agents are great substitutes who can continue bridging the gap between the project and the ideal state; live agents help by labelling incoming conversations with customers, which improves the AI’s performance overtime with a wider and realistic training dataset. The reliance on humans then decreases overtime as the AI Chatbot’s expertise expands. This way, the customer service agents can focus on other aspects of their job as they offload repetitive chat to their AI colleague overtime.


Other reasons to use Live Chat Integrations

Humans enjoy talking to human agents who can understand them better – contexts and sentiments. Often, human employees are empowered to make judgment calls for negotiations and resolutions.

Live Chat is good. AI Chatbot makes the system more effective!

Remind me again why I need AI chatbot since the live chat is so good? AI Chatbot can handle multiple queries at a time, works 24/7, has no personal emotions except the personality it is designed to have. Living in the digital realm, actions taken by AI chatbot can be documented, tracked and analyzed.

3 Key Takeaways for the human agents

To many existing contact center (specifically call center) agents, taking on live chat can be seen as job upskilling.

1Improve agent efficiency and performanceLive chat agents who are trained to handle live web chat are better at multi-tasking than their traditional call-only counterparts. Statistically, call center agents can only handle up to a maximum of 3 concurrent chats, while live chat allows an agent up to a maximum of 5 or even more (for experienced ones). Agents perform better, with shorter Average Time In Queue, Average Handle Time and higher Service Levels.
2Become trained in multiple channelsAn agent who is trained in more than one communication channel has an edge over the rest as they have the flexibility to select the appropriate channel to resolve a customer’s enquiry or issue. He or she also becomes a more valuable asset to the company as he can be dynamically staffed to handle multiple channels.
3Future-proofing of skill setBeing in the frontier of technology can be frightening, but empowering. For the human agent, working with and training AI chatbots future-proofs their experiences; this value-adds their resume as they are now equipped with the skills to manage technologies like natural language processing and machine learning.

3 Key Takeaways for the human agents

Chatbots do not eliminate jobs; they enhance your output. Think of them as your new colleagues which requires monitoring and guidance. When trained well, they can do much more than a full-fledged headcount for your business to achieve greater efficiency.

Implement AI Chatbots but do not shy away from Live Agent- especially in the budding phase!

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