Chat is a real person that interacts with website visitors
- Effective for Customer Service, especially dealing with orders, shipments and related topics
- Requires staffing that is either dedicated to it or available for frequent interruption of work
- Coverage 24x7 is difficult
A bot is machine controlled and leads a visitor through a scripted routine
- Identifies a visitor's purpose
- Collects visitor information
- Routes visitor to a specific person or team for action
- Able to transfer a visitor to a real person for chat, if an organization is staffed for it
- Excellent for replacing contact forms, routing efficiently and improving response time
- Capable of qualifying a visitor as a lead, and routing them to the sales organization
- Handles hundreds of simultaneous visitors
- Always available - 24x7 - website visitors are engaged at their convenience
Bots are configured with a combination of actions:
- message - display a message to the visitor
- question - ask a question that is multiple choice, free form or both
- skill - collect data that will be stored in the contact record
- branch - choose a path based upon data or visitor response
Bots, especially for lead qualification, must be scripted to convey value to the visitor while determining value to the company. A bot that greets a visitor with "Hi, may I have your email" is much less effective than a greeting of "Hey, can I tell you about the potential benefits of our custom solutions in the marine industry?"
Not every website visitor is really a viable prospect, so you don't want everyone's email address or phone number.
Just the ones that count.