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Chat & Chatbots: The Customer Support Story

Chat and Chatbots have become a topic of much discussion as organizations endeavor to pivot and continue to provide an outstanding customer experience (CX). The need and desire to move to an omnichannel approach to allow additional ways for customers to interact with the Service Desk and other departments have become increasingly necessary.

We will explore and try to eliminate some of the confusion around chat and chatbot technology and functionality. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. There are many options and technologies available, and it can be confusing.

Why are we chatting about chat?

As Digital Transformations take center stage, another buzzword in the industry comes to the forefront: omnichannel and the omnichannel experience. What does that mean?

Omnichannel operations focus on the entire customer experience—not the customer’s individual experiences on different channels. This means that no matter how your customers or constituents are consuming your content they expect a seamless experience across all platforms. As the number of touchpoints is increasing, so is the need for seamless integration from one touchpoint to another.

What do your customers expect?

Number one on the list is a unified experience. According to UC Today, 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods.

What’s the difference between a chatbot and chat?

In very general terms, Chatbots are NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ML (Machine Learning) based, but that’s it, there’s no human on the other end.​ Based upon the AI engine used and many other factors, some work great some, well, let’s just say, they can be interesting.​ They can do simple tasks, such as look things up, return records, create a basic record, activities like that. Live chat systems may begin by using some of the Chatbot steps, i.e. showing you knowledge articles, etc., but then they route you to a human agent where you can real-time chat and work on your issue.

Does it really matter?

Ask yourself:

· What experience are you trying to provide?​

· What experience is the customer expecting?​

· Do you have the resources (i.e. personnel) to cover a chat channel?​

· Do you have a plan?

There are other bot technologies out there. Many are used for automation, have NLP and ML technologies, and are used for things like automation.

Customer Experience

When deciding what type of customer experience you want to provide, there are many options you need to take into consideration. Here we point out the differences in customer experiences when it comes to chatbots versus live chat:


· Simple​

· If you pick a good one, it should work well​

· Requires minimal technician effort​

· Basic​

· Takes time to get good at answering questions​

· Available 24/7

Live Chat:

· Simple​

· Human on the other end​

· Very interactive​

· Can provide the front-end Chat Bot like auto assistance​

· Requires technicians to be in queues to address queries​

· Only available when there are technicians

What is Omnichannel?

Once again, we wanted to reiterate what omnichannel is and how providing this experience can help elevate your organization. Omnichannel experience is when you provide multiple ways for a customer to interact and receive service. For example:

· Phone​

· Self Service Portal​

· Chat Bots​

· Live Chat​

· Email

In conclusion,

Remember – It is not just about IT anymore – we may have HR, Facilities, Security, and many other departments that could benefit from an omnichannel approach.

Bots are happening, you cannot avoid them. Talk about goals and determine what your plan is to leverage bots and when using tools that allow for human interaction are best for your organization. For more information or to discuss your options visit

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