Chatbots vs Forms
Why or Why Not Contact Forms
Let’s start with the incumbent, contact forms. Forms have been the main structure for user experience for quite some time. Users are familiar with contact forms and most importantly, they understand how they work. Contact forms also do require any thought or response, the user just has to fill in basic information. They are simple.
However, forms do not create a personal experience, nor do they give an instant response. Forms prompt the user to fill out information, instead of providing it. In addition, forms commonly have to be searched out; they do not pop out at you immediately like Chatbots. A study of different types of web forms showed that contact forms have an average conversion rate of just 1% (ventureharbour.com). This means they usually are not successful in gaining the information they were created to obtain.
The Inbetween: a Pop-up Form
Pop-up forms can be the best of both worlds in select cases. For example, if a user is not looking for an immediate request a pop-up form could be their best option. This is because pop-up forms allow the user to fill out their information without needing to navigate away. They can stay on their page of interest, fill out the quick form, and continue their search. Pop-up forms are also a great option for sales. If your form is a promotional deal or coupon, a pop-up could be an effective way to gain users’ attention. Chatbots are still more personal, but pop-up forms are a solid alternative.
All About the Chatbots
For some users, chatbots are uncharted territory. Although they have been around for a while, many users do not understand how they work. Users do not like uncertainty and tend to stick to what they know. However, I promise you chatbots are nothing to be afraid of. In fact, chatbots create a more personal experience, give users instant responses, and do not force users to navigate to a different page.
Chatbots enable a conversation with the user and 58% of users say chatbots have changed their expectations of customer service (smallbizgenius.net) . They can usually answer any question and they can do so in seconds. Chatbots have the advantage of appearing immediately; the user does not need to locate them. They can also schedule meetings, and some can even recognize voice messaging. More importantly, they do not require the user to fill out fields of information. They are there to assist the user, not demand information from them. Chatbots are advancing each day and are the conversational marketing tool of the future.