Until a few years ago being available to your customers through email and replying within 48 hours was standard practice. In today’s world, the speed of human communication has reached new levels where this approach would not satisfy customers anymore.


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Text messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, are the apps that people are using for fast-paced and direct communication with each other. With these apps, messages are being exchanged not within days but seconds.

People have gotten used to this kind of interaction. For this reason, customers are hardly willing to wait for hours to get a response from a business anymore.


Customer expectations have changed

If I have a question right now, then I want to have it answered immediately and not tomorrow. Timely responses are a general expectation that customers hold towards businesses.

Satisfying these customer needs is the significant challenge that businesses have to address in their customer support of today. By now many different tools have been developed to help businesses to tackle this endeavour.

In this article, we are going to be introducing the benefits of two very useful options for businesses to directly communicate with their customers: Live chat systems and chatbot technologies are enabling the direct and immediate interaction that customers are accustomed to in their everyday lives.


How can you benefit from a live chat?

Live chat is one of the best options to provide quick questions to customers. It’s especially powerful for small and medium sized enterprises to take the first step towards conversational interfaces. 

The main advantages of a live chat:

More conversions and sales: Using live chats is increasing sales by about 20%.  They work as direct sales assistants and are helping in the process of customers spending more money per transaction.

Lower Costs for employees: Compared to call-center agents, employees can handle multiple customers at the same time through live chats.

More credibility and customer satisfaction: A live chat is putting the customer in direct contact with a business. Through this, a personal connection is developed leading to stronger and more authentic relationships.

The human touch: Humans are empathic beings. If a customer is experiencing a problem, he often wants to be seen and understood by the person he is dealing with at the moment.


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Some examples of businesses using Live Chat features well

Amazon: If there is any trouble with an order the quick and effective live chat that Amazon offers is going to help a customer within seconds. This availability is one of the significant success factors of the online retailer.

Shopify: If the FAQs don’t have the right answer for you, just open up a chat and a technical or sales assistance will be right at your side.

HP & Dell: Both hardware manufacturers know how hard it can be to decide on which model to get. Live chat assistants are available within a few minutes.

Live Chat integrations are not only a good solution for big enterprises but especially for small businesses as direct and personal communication is critical. Onlim offers a live chat solution specifically for small and medium sized businesses. Find out more about our live chat product here.


What are the best use cases for Chatbots?

More and more businesses are already using the benefits of chatbots to enhance their customer support and their sales.


The most important benefits of chatbots

No chat limitations: Unlike their human counterparts, chatbots can have an unlimited number of conversations going on at the same time.

They are multilingual: For a chatbot, it does not take years to learn a new language, it is a matter of minutes. This is as long as it takes to upload a new language pack to the system. Once content is provided in different languages, the chatbot can potentially speak 20 languages or more.

Answers are instant: A bot does not need to think about its answers. Any information is instantly available for the customer.

Effective use of resources: No office, no breaks, and no salary. Once set up it does its job, it supports employees and frees up their time for more complex tasks.

24/7 availability: Bots are available around the clock. Making sure that customers can get the information they need at all times of the day.



Examples of companies that are using Chatbots in a smart way

Starbucks: The coffee behemoth uses chatbots to take and fulfill orders. Just sending a voice or text message does the job.

Whole Foods: With Whole Foods chatbot customers can look for recipes. Using emojis instead of writing the products works like a charm too.

Mastercard: Mastercard’s chatbot makes it very easy for customers to get their transactions and account balances shown.

Here two of our own examples (in German):

WienEnergie: BotTina is the innovative service chatbot of Wien Energie. She answers all your questions if you are moving, to your online invoice, to register for gas and energy and more.

Tamaris: Tamara, the customer service chatbot of Tamaris helps you find your way around the online shop. She explains how to return your packages, how to use a voucher, what to do if your package is damaged and more.

Chatbots are very well suited to help with automating processes. Orders, simple questions, and appointments are some of the tasks where chatbots shine. 

While a live chat is definitely a good option for some businesses to adapt to the changing customer needs, chatbots are especially suitalbe for businesses with many interactions per day.

In most cases, it makes sense to use a mix of chatbot and live chat. That’s also what we implement for most of our customers.

If you want to learn more about the tailor-made Chatbot solutions that Onlim offers, look no further but here.

Live Chat vs. Chatbot - What's Right For Your Business