Should I have a chatbot on my website? The pros and cons

08 Jun 23

Have you ever wondered if you should include a chatbot on your website? Do you want to know the advantages and disadvantages of implementing them?

With so much information, it can be a challenge to decide if adding a chatbot to your website is the best thing to do.

In this article we’ll dive into the world of chatbots, explaining first what they are and where they can be used, before looking at some of the pros and cons so you can decide if including one on your website is right for you.

What is a chatbot?

Think of a chatbot as a digital assistant that can communicate with your customers. It’s a computer program that provides answers, based on its programming and knowledge, to respond to your customers questions.

Behind the scenes, chatbots are built using programming languages and frameworks that enable them to understand and respond to human language. Developers train the chatbot to understand different types of queries and generate appropriate replies.

Chatbots can either function with or without artificial intelligence.

  • Chatbots without artificial intelligence

    Rule-based chatbots are programmed to recognise specific keywords or phrases and provide corresponding predefined answers. These chatbots work well for simple and straightforward interactions where the conversation follows a predictable pattern.While rule-based chatbots can be useful for handling basic tasks and frequently asked questions, they have limitations when it comes to handling complex or unpredictable conversations.

  • Chatbots with artificial intelligence

    Chatbots using artificial intelligence can be programmed to simulate human-like conversations. They analyse the words to understand the meaning behind them and generate relevant responses.AI chatbots excel as they have the ability to understand natural language, context, or nuances.

Where do chatbots feature on a website?

Chatbots can be placed on websites in various locations depending on your goals and preferences.

Possible locations include:

Pop-ups: Chatbots often appear as a pop-up window and can be triggered by specific events.

Sidebars: Some websites choose to have a chatbot permanently displayed in a corner or sidebar of their web pages.

Floating: Another common placement is a floating chat button that follows the user when they scroll down the page.

Intergrated into a specific contact page: Instead of filling out a form or making a phone call, users can interact with the chatbot to get their questions answered or receive assistance.

  • What can chatbots be used for?

    Chatbots have a wide range of applications. For instance, they can help answer frequently asked questions, provide recommendations and even help book appointments. They aim to provide quick and efficient support, save time, and enhance user experiences.

Are customers happy to use a chatbot on a website?

The use of chatbots is common with about a quarter of businesses already using them (Tidio).

62% of consumers would prefer to use a customer service bot rather than wait for an answer their requests. (Tidio)

74% of internet users prefer using chatbots when looking for answers to simple questions. (PSFK)

64% of consumers claim that 24/7 service is the most helpful chatbot functionality. (The Chatbot)

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What are the positives of having a chatbot on my website?

There are many benefits of having a chatbot on your website ranging from enhanced customer support to cost savings.

Here we talk about a few of the main advantages to both your customers and business.

  • Chatbots never sleep

    One of the key benefits of chatbots is their ability to provide instant customer support ensuring prompt responses 24/7. This can be particularly helpful in medical device where clinicians may need to access support around the clock.

  • Improved user experience

    Chatbots offer a seamless and user-friendly experience guiding users through complex processes, such as product selection.

  • Efficient handling of frequently asked questions

    Chatbots excel at handling frequently asked questions by providing instant responses based on predefined answers. This reduces the time your customer needs to spend asking frequent question so they can spend time where it matters to them. It also means that your team don’t need to spend time answering the same questions repeatedly.

  • Cost savings

    By automating routine questions, chatbots can reduce the need for humans, resulting in significant cost savings. This streamlines customer support and frees up your time.

  • Increased lead generation

    Chatbots can serve as effective lead generation tools as they engage with website visitors, collecting contact information, and qualifying leads.

What are the limitations of having a chatbot on my website?

It’s important to note that although chatbots are powerful, they still have limitations.

Let’s take a look at the things you might want to consider before investing.

  • They may struggle with complex queries

    While chatbots are effective for routine interactions, they rely on the data they are trained with. They may struggle with handling complex or nuanced queries, and they may not possess the flexibility to understand complex language structures or interpret context accurately.

  • Lack of emotional understanding

    Chatbots may struggle to understand and respond appropriately to emotions expressed by customers. They might fail to empathise as a human would in the same situation, which can be frustrating for users.

  • Initial development and training

    Implementing a chatbot requires careful planning, development, and training. Designing an effective chatbot involves understanding customer needs, defining conversational flows, and creating an extensive knowledge base. The initial investment in time and resources may be significant.

Are chatbots right for me?

Overall, chatbots are an exciting technology that have several benefits to both customers and businesses but are not without limitations.

They have become increasingly common and are likely to continue evolving and becoming more sophisticated in the future however, it is up to you to decide if implementing a chatbot is right for you.

Implementing chatbots into your medical device marketing with Podymos

Do you want to communicate more effectively with HCPs and patients though the use of chatbots on your website? Do you want to be able to deliver high-quality automated communication as part of your larger multichannel marketing strategy? You’ve come to the right place.

Podymos is a healthcare marketing agency, specialising in downstream medical device marketing.

We’re more expensive than non-specialised agencies and freelance teams because we only work in the medical device space so we have specialist knowledge and experience that other agencies may not be able to offer you.

If you want high-quality, compliant campaigns that help achieve your business goals, we’d love to hear from you. Simply leave us your contact details below and we’ll get back to you very soon for a no obligation chat.

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