Live Chat vs Chatbot: Which Tool Is Better For Your Business?

If given the choice between live chat vs chatbot, which would you opt for to enhance your customer service?

Both options provide fast answers, so customers don’t have to wait for emails or get on the phone, making for a unique customer experience.

In this discussion, we’ll look at the good and bad sides of chatbots and live chat. This will help you choose the right one for your business needs.

Especially since marketing experts predict that by 2023, a whopping 85% of customers will handle their interactions with brands without talking to a human.

Let’s dive in and help you decide between chatbots and live chat.

Why is Live Chat Important?

Live chat offers users the opportunity to engage with sales and support representatives in real time, making it the proactive channel of choice.

This tool is a crucial component of a successful customer service toolkit, consistently delivering higher customer satisfaction when compared to email and phone support. 

The advantages of live chat are manifold, and they can be harnessed to enhance key support metrics like first response time and average resolution time.

Live chat is in high demand for two main reasons:

1. Handling Complex Questions: Live chat is great at dealing with tricky questions that need detailed discussions. Talking to a live agent makes it easy to find effective solutions for these complex issues.

2. Multitasking: Live chat helps teams get more done by letting agents handle several conversations at once. You can sort and send chats to the right team for faster support.
live chat vs chatbot

Why are Chatbots Important?

Let’s begin by understanding what chatbots are and why they matter.

Chatbots are digital helpers that enhance customer experiences by automating sales and support tasks. They’re available around the clock, answering questions, and collecting data to aid sales efforts.

These bots engage customers on websites, apps, and messaging platforms. By tailoring them to your specific needs, you can make them a perfect fit for your business.

Some Key Features of Chatbots:

  • Bots Are Always Available: Bots operate round the clock, ensuring your customers receive prompt responses to their frequently asked questions, 24/7.
  • Scalability Made Simple: Bots can effortlessly adapt to varying workloads, handling high volumes of interactions without any upper limits, even when your support team is unavailable.
  • High Precision, Low Errors: Chatbots are meticulously crafted to improve customer satisfaction by delivering rapid and accurate responses, minimizing the chances of errors.

    live chat vs chatbot

Live Chat vs Chatbot: How Do You Decide?

Businesses commonly rely on both live chat and chatbots as primary channels for aiding and interacting with customers. These two tools can also complement each other effectively. 

Let’s explore the ideal scenarios for choosing between chatbots and live chat, determining which one aligns better with your specific business needs.

1. Response Time

Customers expect quick help and slow responses drive them away. 

Live chat is fast and ideal for immediate assistance, minimizing wait times. It lets your team:

  1. Use pre-made responses for quick answers to common questions.
  2. Provide real-time sales and support help.
  3. Direct chats to the right team for faster responses.

     

Chatbots work 24/7, answering basic questions instantly. They offer these benefits:

  1. Always available for quick answers and lead qualification.
  2. Proactive engagement on specific pages.
  3. Keeping customers engaged when your team is busy.

 

Consider your response time needs when choosing between live chat and chatbots.

Key Takeaways:

  • For ultra-fast responses (within 30 seconds), consider using chatbots first.
  • If customers prefer human interaction and aren’t in a hurry, live chat is better.
  • You can also use chatbots for repetitive questions and complex ones for live support.

2. Cost-effectiveness

Being cost-effective is crucial for growing revenue and reducing expenses.

Live chat is a budget-friendly communication channel that enables real-time customer engagement. It prevents customers from dropping out of the sales process, ultimately boosting your return on investment (ROI) by turning website visitors into customers.

According to Juniper Research, chatbots are expected to save businesses more than $8 billion yearly by 2023. The key difference between chatbots and live chat is cost efficiency. Live chat can help trim customer service expenses.

Live Chat vs. Chatbot – Cost Efficiency

Extra costs usually involve salaries, training, and infrastructure for support agents. Bots offer significant cost savings in two ways:

  1. Scalability: Bots can handle surges in requests efficiently without extra expenses, allowing you to scale as needed.
  2. Automation: Bots are perfect for automating routine queries, and delivering cost-effective customer engagement.

In addition to improving the customer experience, bots significantly reduce costs and resource allocation for your business.

Key Takeaways:

  • If cost-effectiveness is crucial for your startup, consider chatbots to automate operations without hiring more staff.
  • For complex queries requiring detailed explanations, live chat is a better choice.
  • Think about availability when deciding between live chat and chatbots.

3. Availability

Ensuring round-the-clock customer service is crucial, as 68% of customers may switch to competitors if neglected.

Unlike live chat, chatbots are always available, providing real-time support that enhances customer satisfaction.

Automating routine tasks with chatbots reduces support ticket volume and qualifies leads, boosting customer engagement.

Chatbots’ 24/7 availability ensures engagement even when your support team is unavailable.

Key Takeaways:

  • 24/7 service enhances satisfaction and retention.
  • Chatbots gather information and assist with complex issues alongside human agents.

4. Scalability

Efficiently managing conversations with scalable support is crucial, especially during unpredictable traffic spikes. Businesses relying solely on live chat may face challenges:

  1. Need for more support agents.
  2. Training costs and time for new hires.
  3. Increased infrastructure and salary expenses.

     

Integrating chatbots can help overcome these challenges. They effortlessly scale conversations, providing quick solutions without added costs.

Imagine your business gets over 1,000 chats daily, overwhelming your support team. A chatbot solution can handle this, allowing efficient resource management.

Key Takeaways:

  • Balance scalability with chatbots and live chat for routine and complex queries.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses can cut support costs with chatbots.
  • Chatbots adapt to peak hours and team availability.

5. Accuracy

While chatbots are used by many businesses, live chat takes the crown for accuracy. Understanding context is key to providing precise solutions.

Chatbots are great at quickly answering common questions with set patterns. But when things get complex and customers need reliable answers, they can struggle.

Live support agents, on the other hand, can connect emotionally, figure out patterns, and offer comprehensive help.

Sometimes, customers want empathy, especially in tough situations, and chatbots can’t provide that. If you rely solely on bots, it might make your brand seem cold and impersonal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use chatbots when you need fast answers to common questions with minimal human involvement.
  • For complex queries, turn to live chat where agents can dive deep and solve issues. However, having both can be a significant advantage for your business.

6. Human Touch

In customer-focused businesses, the goal is to engage customers in real time-and provide excellent service. According to Bain & Company, companies that engage customers well can increase customer spending by 20% to 40%.

Live chat is a perfect solution because it combines real-time help with a personal touch. It allows natural and immediate communication.

  • Live chat is conversational: Agents can have interactive conversations using tools like co-browsing and video chat.
  • Live chat adds a personal touch: You can customize conversations and greetings, which builds customer loyalty.

     

By using visual tools, agents can quickly identify issues and provide visual support right away. You can offer both AI chatbot assistance and human support for tricky questions.

Key Takeaways:

  • If a personal touch matters to your customers, live chat can boost satisfaction through personalized conversations.
  • Chatbots may struggle with complex issues, so human agents are crucial for those situations.

7. Customer Satisfaction

Live chat and chatbots enhance business communication and customer experiences. Choosing the right one is crucial for meeting customer expectations.

Live support agents excel at solving complex issues swiftly. Chatbots, available 24/7, engage customers and boost satisfaction.

Happy customers often become loyal supporters.

Here’s how chatbots help:

  1. Instant support around the clock.
  2. Basic information about purchases or products.
  3. Connecting customers to human support for complex queries.

     

Chatbots elevate your brand with better engagement, seamless service, and lower customer churn.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use live chat for complex support needs.
  • Monitor feedback to balance live chat and chatbots effectively.

Also Read: How to calculate the average response time? 3 Methods to know

That wraps up our Live Chat vs. Chatbot comparison, designed to offer valuable insights and assist you in making an informed choice.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive helpdesk solution with a unified support ticket view, take a closer look at Helplama Helpdesk.

Helplama Helpdesk: Get A Single View For All Support Tickets

Introducing Helplama Helpdesk – a customer-centric platform designed to deliver exceptional experiences. Prioritizing your customers, it offers self-service tools and proactive support.

live chat vs chatbot

Key Features

  • Self-Help Empowerment: Enable users to find answers independently.
  • Automated Efficiency: Streamline tasks, freeing your team for critical matters.
  • Unified Customer Insights: Simplify support with a comprehensive customer view.
  • E-Commerce Enhancement: Elevate satisfaction with automation for returns, exchanges, and order changes.
  • Order Tracking: Proactively guide customers with 24/7 monitoring.

Live Chat vs Chatbot: Finding the Right Balance

To provide an exceptional customer service experience, it’s best to use both chatbots and live chat together. Understanding their pros and cons helps you decide what suits your business best.

Here’s a quick approach:

  1. Identify tasks: Use chatbots for repetitive tasks and live agents for complex queries.
  2. Balance: Combine both for the best customer experience, with chatbots handling simple questions and live agents tackling more complex issues.

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