Chatbots vs. forms. It’s a debate that may never end. This post compares a chatbot vs. a form to help you decide what is best for your situation.
Average read time: 6.5 minutes
- Static forms are good for some situations, but have higher abandonment rates.
- Chatbots create a more natural experience for visitors, which leads to higher completion rates.
- Conversational forms create a nice balance between the functionality of a static form and the natural feel of a chatbot.
You’ve seen the debate online. Chatbots vs. forms, which is better?
Chatbots are better than forms.
No, forms are better!
It’s like listening to two sports fans argue with each other, and neither person is 100% correct.
So, we wanted to give you a more balanced opinion with this post.
We’ll compare chatbots vs. forms to discuss their advantages and disadvantages. This post lets you know which is best for you based on your situation.
So, let’s get into it.
Chatbots vs. forms: which is better?
In this section, we’ll detail the advantages and disadvantages of chatbots and forms. Each has its pros and cons, as well as specific use cases.
So, knowing what each does well can help you make the best decision.
Here's what we'll cover:
- What are the advantages of forms?
- What are the disadvantages of forms?
- What are the advantages of chatbots?
- What are the disadvantages of chatbots?
What are the advantages of forms?
- Familiar to people
- Interactive forms reduce abandonment rates
- Limits errors from customer responses
One of the most significant advantages of forms is that people recognize them. Everyone has filled out a form before, and it’s natural to us. And they’re a crucial part of lead generation.
Plus, web forms have gotten smarter.
With the introduction of conversational forms and conversational marketing (which Hubspot has made famous), forms have become more interactive and entertaining. In fact, companies have gotten very creative in how they use conversational marketing.
We'll discuss conversational forms later in the post, so be sure to read on 👀.
Interactive forms have also increased the number of people who complete lead forms on a website. Abandonment rate (as this is called) was one of the largest disadvantages of static forms.
But, interactive forms have fixed that.
Also, you can tailor your form fields so that your users fill out the form exactly how you want.
Dropdowns, radio buttons, and checkboxes make this even easier. This removes the chance of a user providing a response that isn’t understood (which occasionally happens with chatbots).
What are the disadvantages of forms?
- Static forms are boring
- Doesn't interact with customers like a chatbot
- Not an instant response
So, first, not every form can be a conversational form.
And static forms are boring. Just think of the last static form you filled out. Do you even remember what it was?
You may not have even completed it.
And you’re not unique. Abandonment rate is one of the biggest disadvantages of static forms.
In addition, a user has to interact with your form. It doesn’t reach out to the visitor like a chatbot.
It’s not a proactive form of marketing, which means missed leads.
Lastly, there’s nothing like the instant thrill of receiving a response.
Sadly, with most forms, all you receive is a “Thank you for your submission. We’ll contact you as soon as possible.”
We can’t deny that chatbots provide more enjoyment in this area. You know it’s not a human, but the feeling of chatting with someone is similar.
What are the advantages of a chatbot?
- Greet website visitors immediately
- AI helps chatbots adapt answers
- Chatbots are flexible
The primary advantage of chatbots is their effect on your site visitors as soon as they arrive.
A little bubble pops up on the screen with a friendly greeting, instantly creating a positive impression for a visitor.
Like a live chat, a chatbot is prepared to help visitors find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently.
Plus, many chatbots use AI to instantly adapt and respond to visitor responses for better data collection.
This creates a better customer experience than a form.
Lastly, chatbots are excellent for a variety of purposes. They can support, walk customers through a sales flow, answer basic questions, and be a simple messenger.
A chatbot’s flexibility is its greatest strength.
What are the disadvantages of a chatbot?
- Conversational AI is limited
- Chatbots need forms sometimes
- Can lead customers in the wrong direction
While we listed AI as a strength, it also comes with a disadvantage. Conversational AI is still relatively new, and it’s not anywhere near perfect.
Think of a time when a chatbot didn’t know how to answer a question. What did it do?
It probably referred you to a form to contact the support team in many situations. So even chatbots rely on forms from time to time.
And occasionally, chatbots will send visitors in the wrong direction. As we mentioned, AI in this area isn’t perfect. This leads to errors. Even a small typo could confuse a chatbot.
For example, if a customer isn’t clear on what they're looking for, the chatbot may lead them to the wrong solution. And a wrong solution means a dissatisfied customer.
You don’t want dissatisfied customers.
Are conversational forms better?
Conversational forms are excellent for increasing engagement, lowering abandon rates, and raising conversion rates. In fact, marketing automation could lead to a 400+% increase in leads!
So, there’s enormous potential for your website by using conversational forms.
And it makes sense. It combines the best of chatbots and forms to give a fantastic user experience (with a good design, of course).
And there's a plugin that's best for conversational form design 👇.
Did you know you can create conversational forms easily with Formidable?
We mentioned how well conversational forms do. And one plugin makes it extremely simple to make a conversational form.
Your conversational form can be on your site and capture leads in a few minutes and a few button clicks. No coding experience is necessary. You just need a mouse and a computer.
But we’re assuming you already have that if you’re reading this.
Formidable doesn’t only do conversational forms, though. It’s much more than that.
Here are a few more features you may find interesting:
- Quick and easy form templates
- Thousands of integrations (Mailchimp, Zapier, and more)
- Powerful PDF add-on
Check out our full list of features to see everything that can benefit you.
But, let’s look at what’s best for you: chatbots or forms.
Which is right for you?: Chatbots vs. forms
So, is there one solution that will work for everyone?
No, there isn’t. It all depends on your situation.
There are situations where chatbots are better than forms. And there are situations where forms are better than chatbots.
When to use a chatbot
- Chatbot vs. contact form. A chatbot is more personal than a contact form. So, have a friendly chatbot greet your visitor to capture their email address or phone number.
- Landing pages. A static landing page form is dull. However, a chatbot guiding your customer through a customer flow in real-time is much more engaging (and effective)!
- Onboarding. Need to onboard someone to a platform? A chatbot can guide them through the process with pre-set responses. This results in higher completion rates.
When to use a form
- Customer service/Customer support. A chatbot can help with customer service, but eventually, a customer will need a form. So, just direct them straight to a form to save time.
- Order forms. Customers are used to filling out a standard form (like a Google Form). Therefore, stick with what the customer knows. A simple order form is perfect for website orders.
- Surveys and Feedback. Chatbots are great for this also, but a conversational form is a top option in this situation. You lead the user straight where you want them, and you get the feedback you want (and need)!
So, depending on your situation, it may be best to use both options on your website for different purposes.
Forms and chatbots offer many features that make them useful. Take advantage of them the best you can.
🤔 Did you know?
Building a conversational form with Formidable Forms is easy! A few clicks, and you have a conversational form capturing leads for your website.
Ready to get started with conversational marketing?
In the sea of people saying chatbots are the ultimate option, we aimed to give you a more balanced view.
Both options are great for automated marketing. You just need to determine what’s best for each need. Today’s post helped you understand chatbots and forms and their best situations.
If you’re interested in conversational forms, learn how to build a conversational form in WordPress today! And one plugin makes it straightforward.
Formidable Forms makes creating conversational forms (and other forms) easy with its simple interface. Designing a conversational form has never been easier than with our simple drag-and-drop builder.