Live Chat vs Chatbot: Choose The Right One For Your Business


The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the way businesses interact with customers. Only 30 years ago, it was almost unimaginable that you would chat with a Bot. Customers’ expectations have changed, the way of communication has changed. It has also changed the business and customer relationships. What used to be mostly transactional is now moving towards conversational relationships. 

The rise of chat software and chatbots is one of the primary reasons for businesses in building stronger relationships with customers. According to marketing experts, 85% of customers will manage their relationships without humans. 

One study from the tech giant Oracle suggests that 80% of businesses can now see the benefits of using chatbots while interacting with customers. 

Yet, many are skeptical about using a chatbot on their website. It can confuse you when choosing between Livechat and Chatbot for your business. Both have their pros and cons with delivering an exceptional customer experience. 

What is Live Chat? 


Live Chat is a dynamic tool for businesses to engage with their customers. You can connect and respond to the customer’s problem quickly. Most of the Live chat Software offers features like chat transcripts, canned responses, automatic triggers, to increase your productivity. You can interact with multiple customers simultaneously. 

Chat software is a more efficient method of communication than email or calls. Customers these days don’t wait for long back-and-forth emails. One agent can only provide support to one customer at one time, thus increasing the wait time. 

Importance of Live Chat

Live Chat has revolutionized the customer support & sales industry with real-time support. For most people, it is a preferred channel of communicating with businesses. According to reports, 70% of customers are likely to return to your business who interact with Live Chat. 

Live Chat is an important customer service tool that provides the highest customer satisfaction when compared to other tools like email and phone calls. 

Live Chat helps you to improve important metrics like average resolution time or first response time. 

Features that make Live Chat in demand are: 

Easy Handling of Complex Conversations: 

For some queries, you might require discussion, further elaboration and even collaboration from other departments. Using Live Chat, support agents can easily handle complex problems seamlessly. 

Multi-Tasking With Ease: 

Support agents can easily multi-task using chat software. It can handle various customers and issues at a time. You can identify the chats (issues) and route them to the right agent (team) for better support. 

What are chatbots?


A chatbot is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) software simulating human conversation. We can use it for messaging apps, smartphones, for customer helpline calls. 

A chatbot works in two major steps:

    User request analysis

    Returning the response 

User Request Analysis

In the first step, a chatbot analyses the user’s request. It identifies the user intent and gets the relevant entities. If you’re not able to understand the customer’s request, how will you be able to respond? 

Returning the Response

After identifying the user’s intent, the chatbot provides the user’s request. It can send a 

    A generic/ pre-defined text

    A text from the knowledge base containing various answers

    Some contextual information according to the user-provided data

    Data from the enterprise systems

    A question by the chatbot to further understand the user’s query 

Importance of ChatBots: 

Chatbots help in streamlining interactions between businesses and people. It helps enhance the customer experience. Chatbots provide companies with alternative ways to improve customer support. It improves operational efficiency by reducing the cost of customer service. 

A chatbot needs to be effective and budget-friendly. For a chatbot to become successful, we need humans for configuring, training & optimizing. 

Bots can work across different platforms seamlessly, like websites & apps. You can build or choose a bot that is suitable for your business.

24*7 support: Bots don’t need rest, it can provide 24*7 support. 

Easily scalable: Bots are scalable easily when it is a sudden rise in traffic. It can provide answers to customers’ FAQs. 

Fast and accurate: Chatbots can respond promptly with accuracy. It improves the customer experience.

How to choose between Live Chat and Chatbot? 

Live Chat and Chatbot are important channels to engage with your customers. Both the tools can work together to provide you with an enhanced customer support experience. Go through the points for deciding what suits your business the best. 

Response Time

Customer expectations have changed quite a lot over the years. One of the major factors for customer satisfaction nowadays is fast response time. According to a popular study, 59% of customers are likely to buy from a business when the response time is under 60 seconds. 

As the old saying goes, “happy customers equal a successful business”. Every second count, one of the primary reasons for customers leaving your website is delayed response. 

With Live Chat, you can empower your customer support team by:

    Using canned responses for quick answers

    Providing real-time support & sales help

    Route chats to the right team for better support

    Bots can engage with customers 24*7 for answering common FAQs. It also ensures your customers don’t have to wait much. 

Benefits of ChatBots: 

●    It is available for providing prompt answers to common questions, pre-qualifying leads & collecting customer information.

    When customers get stuck on some specific page like product or pricing, chatbots can start the interaction.

    Bots can keep customers engaged when traffic is heavy or the support team is not available. 

Keep your business requirements in mind when deciding between chatbots or Live Chat. 

Important Points:

    If your business depends on providing a quick response, say within 30 seconds, a chatbot is an ideal fit for your business.

    If your customers prefer to talk with a human agent, then Live Chat is a better choice.

    You can use a chatbot for starting a conversation and then routing the complex queries to agents. 

Cost-effectiveness: 

Businesses need to cut costs for increasing business revenue. Live Chat offers exactly the solution, it empowers your agents to connect with customers in real-time. It prevents sales funnel drop-outs, thus providing you with better ROI. 

One study by Juniper Research suggests chatbots will save more than $8 billion per year of sales drops. LiveChat is better than chatbots for saving customer service costs. 

These additional costs can go towards employees’ salaries, training or building infrastructures. 

Easily scalable during high-traffic: 

Bots can process endless requests easily and effectively. You can scale up without extra cost. 

Better With Repetitive Tasks: 

Bots are better at handling repetitive queries and tasks. You can automate to engage with customers.

Chatbots provide you with a seamless experience along with reducing resources and costs. 

Important Points:

    If you have a small business or a start-up, then a chatbot is for you. It helps automate a business without requiring many resources.

    When your customers are looking for a detailed answer to their queries, Live Chat is a better option. 

Availability: 

Gone are the days when you can afford to be available for a fixed time for customer support. Customers expect you to be available 24*7. Businesses can’t risk making their customers wait with so much competition. 68% of customers will switch to your competitor when you don’t provide full-time support. 

Chatbots can provide support 24*7 support with no human intervention. You don’t know at what time customers may try to reach you. For a successful business, always be prepared. With chatbots, you can deliver full-time support. It increases customer satisfaction which can make them a valued member of your business. 

When you use automation for support and sales, you can:

    Provide relevant & effective answers to customers. You can decrease the support ticket’s number.

    Send qualified leads for sales and support help. When the support team is busy or not available, bots can engage customers. 

Important Points: 

    Providing good customer service boosts customer satisfaction. It results in customer retention and positively affects business.

    A chatbot can complement Live Chat in handling huge traffic. 

Scalable: 

When you are trying to think of ways to make your business future-proof, scalability is one of the major factors you need to keep in mind. With Live Chat you can: 

    Lessen the load on your support agents

    It cost time and money to train new agents 

You can spend the additional money on business development. 

With Chatbots, you can easily scale your conversations and provide fast solutions to your customers. It will improve your productivity without spending additional money. 

If you are getting 1,000 chats in a day, and you have 4-5 agents. It will be quite difficult for your team to provide instant support to all those customers. With chatbots, you can easily scale and manage the traffic. 

Important Points: 

    Using chatbots and LiveChat you can easily handle repetitive queries.

    When you have a small team size or a start-up, then invest in chatbot solutions. 

    It is easy to scale during peak hours when your support team is busy. 

    Chatbots can engage with several customers simultaneously. 

Accuracy: 

For accuracy, Live Chat easily beats up Chatbots. AIs, at this moment, are not developed up to where they can provide answers to complex problems. They cannot compete with humans for understanding the context. 

Chatbots can answer simple queries with predictive or pre-defined patterns. But they cannot provide accurate answers to complex questions. 

With today’s technology, it is difficult for a bot to provide solutions to complex queries even with machine learning (ML) and NLP (Natural language processing). Machines cannot understand emotions, so they cannot connect deeply. 

Empathy is necessary while providing solutions to complex problems (even more when the customer cannot understand the solution). Bots are as good as useless in those situations. Without Live Chat, your business can look cold & impersonal. 

Important Points: 

    If your business depends on providing faster support with little human intervention, chatbots will work for you.

    For complex problems, humans are far superior to a bot.

    Chatbots & Live Chat can complement each other for your business growth. 

Human Touch: 

For most businesses, the customer is the focal point. You need to engage with customers in real-time for providing great customer service.

Live Chat provides an outstanding balance between real-time help along with human touch. It acts as a seamless way for quick and personal communication. 

Live Chat is Conversational: 

With Live Chat, your agents can converse and provide solutions accordingly. 

Use it to provide personal touch, personalize your greetings, conversations & customers’ information for building loyalty. 

With visual engagement tools, your agents can view the problems faster and deliver better support. You can provide hybrid support, in which humans can provide solutions for complex issues and AI can provide answers to common questions. 

Important Points: 

    If your business depends on providing a personal touch, opt for LiveChat.

    A chatbot can’t understand human emotions. They are also not developed to where they can provide accurate solutions to complex problems. 

Customer Satisfaction: 

Live Chat & Chatbot together helps provide a unique customer experience. You can choose one or both according to your business requirements. It will help you improve your brand image in the eyes of your customers. 

Live Chat is efficient in handling customer problems fast and seamlessly. Humans are much better at solving complex problems while chatbots are much better in 24*7 customer engagement. 

A happy customer can become your free brand advocate.

Chatbots can:

    Provide quick support 24*7

    Provide simple information related to products & purchases

    Route complex problems to humans for better support

    Chatbots help you engage better, provide seamless customer service & decreasing churn. 

Important Points: 

Live Chat is way better when you need to provide comprehensive support. It handles complex queries much better than a Chatbot.

When you try to implement a chatbot in your business, it can have some negative effects on customer satisfaction. You need to use some A/B testing to find out what works for your business. 

Conclusion 

Which one to choose? We would say that you need to identify your business requirements.

You need to find the right balance between using Live Chat & Chatbots. Satisfying your customers should be one of the major goals of your business.