The way in which consumers interact with brands is changing. As a brand, you can no longer provide one-way conversational lead forms and expect the consumers to fill them. In fact, using a traditional contact form can sometimes be a nightmare. Consumers spend time providing information, but they’re unlikely to get the response they are looking for, especially on their schedule. So instead, brands have to provide consumers with better and effective ways to engage with them and, in the meantime, ensure they have complete control over the conversation.
So, as a business, what should you be doing?
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s impossible to avoid the rise of chatbots. Chatbots are often used to simplify customer service and perform other business-related tasks such as recruitment. Case in point, the success of virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, where people enjoy interacting with technology more naturally than they do with web forms.
Chatbots and lead forms are both tools that help businesses collect customer information. But chatbots make the process more convenient and less intrusive. But it does not nullify forms all together.
Can Chatbots Replace Forms?
While both chatbots and forms are helpful tools for your company, it’s important to understand when to use each one. For example, a chatbot can be set up to provide an immediate response to web visitors. Alternatively, if there is no need for speed, having a form allows you to gather more information about your visitor’s needs. Of course, the more information you have about your visitor’s wants and needs, the better you will be able to help them.
On the other hand, Chatbots are great for lead generation because they can open up a two-way conversation with potential customers. This increases the chances of getting qualified leads and closing more deals. If you have a service that will always have the same set of questions, or if your users are similar enough, then you can create simple rule-based chatbots to replace your traditional forms. They are a practical option that betters the new customer experience.
But innovations and advancements don’t stop there. With the rise in technology, chatbots are no longer limited to pre-programmed responses or a set of rules that they had to stick to. With AI chatbots, businesses can interact with customers even more efficiently. Though AI chatbots might not be as advanced as human-based customer service, they offer quite the upgrade to lead forms and rule-based bots. These AI-bots can learn from their conversations with customers, making recommendations specific to each user’s needs.
Rule-based and AI-based bots both have their advantages and disadvantages. Rule-based bots are cheaper, faster, and easier to build than AI bots, but they will only work within your set parameters. But if you want to offer your users something beyond those parameters, you’ll need an AI bot.
Chatbots Over Forms – The benefits.
Imagine visiting a business website and being very impressed with its offerings. You want to know more, but all you have is a lead form with so much to type in to get your questions answered. So you fill out the form only to find out that you don’t even know when you will hear from the business. Doesn’t that feel odd?
Research shows that the average response time on digital leads is 17 hours. So, if that’s the case in the above scenario and I am your lead, sorry, you have lost me as a potential customer because more than half the leads choose the vendor who responds first.
A chatbot can answer customers’ questions about the products you sell in real-time. You can also customize each interaction with your customer, which gives them an experience unique to them. A chatbot also allows you to segment your audiences, qualify them, and focus on the leads that matter.
Also, many users prefer not to speak to human customer executives and enjoy dealing with chatbots. The main reason is the ability to control the conversation and the comfort of leaving the chat whenever they like. Wouldn’t it be mean if you hung up on a human executive?
Chatbots Over Forms – The very few downsides.
Chatbots and web forms each have their pros and cons, and there are very few reasons why a web form may perform better than a chatbot. Chatbots provide a more natural way to engage with your customers, but they can be unpredictable. Because you never know how long the conversations can go, and in some cases, it can take more time than filling a form.
Chatbots are also a tool that many people are unfamiliar with. People are most comfortable using what they have already used.
Should Chatbots replace your forms?
Chatbots are becoming an increasingly popular option for customer service and lead capture. They are easier to use, faster to respond, and more personalized than traditional forms. But, deciding between the two can be difficult when you consider all of their benefits and shortcomings. But, it’s less about which one is better and more about how we use them together.
The goal of most conversational interfaces is to decrease the time and effort it takes for users to better engage with your business. While chatbots are great for specific use cases, forms have their place. It all comes down to the context of your business and what’s best for your product and audience. The right choice depends on each situation, but both can be used effectively.
Creating a user-friendly experience is the top priority for any business. After all, the easier it is for a customer to interact with your business, the better. Yes, chatbots can replace your web forms, and it’s not a bad thing, but forms still have their benefits. So, what’s the best way to go about this? Should you have live chat functionality on your site or stick to forms? We leave it to your decision.
But if you need expert help, feel free to connect with us.