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The Difference Between Chatbot and Live Chat

After a few seconds of browsing a page, a window pops up with a question. How can I help you? Most businesses now have this feature in their webshops – a chat service ready to help, just one click away. However, customers sometimes have trouble distinguishing what is the difference between a chatbot and live chat.

We can differentiate them briefly by saying that a chatbot simulates a conversation sending automated messages, whereas live chat has a real agent answering customers’ questions.

There are, nonetheless, many ways to distinguish both. Moreover, your company can gain significant benefits from combining those services. In this article, we will discuss the difference between a chatbot and live chat and how to get the best from both services. 


A Quick Talk About the Differences Between Chatbot and Live Chat

Let’s begin with the basics. There is actually a human behind both services, as a person or a team crafts the questions and answers seen on a chatbot. A chatbot is an artificial intelligence software that simulates real conversations with customers. 

On the other hand, live chat has a team of agents answering customers’ queries in real-time. So when a customer reaches for a chatbot or a live chat agent, they expect to get an answer right away.

Both services can work quickly and efficiently. However, depending on the customer’s demands, one might fit better than the other. Taking that into consideration, we listed the pros and cons of each service.


The Difference Between Chatbot and Live Chat: Pros and Cons


Humans can’t compete against bots in terms of availability. After all, chatbots are available 24/7, 365 days per year. Humans, contrarily, go on vacation and get sick. You can try the best you can to arrange shifts and have agents connected for as long as you can, but productivity loses its strength at a certain point of the day. 

The good news is that they can do an outstanding job together. A chatbot can be pretty helpful and quickly activated during your live chat agents’ time off.


Comprehension, Accuracy

Chatbots are more sophisticated than ever, to a point where sometimes it is hard to tell if it is really a robot or not. Nonetheless, they have their limitations. The software needs specific keywords to work perfectly with the pre-programmed questions and answers. 

Furthermore, chatbots cannot handle more complex issues. They can only make a customer angrier by repeating the same replies or being unable to continue the chat. In this case, live chat is the best option. 

But you can still have live chat hand in hand with a chatbot. Take into account that the chatbot must be able to either escalate the request to a real agent or send an email within the chat if the customer has a more complex issue. 


Tailor-Made Experience

We do appreciate a little attention, particularly when it comes to customer service. Being called by our names and noticing that the person on the other side has a history of your previous experiences in the webshop is quite nice.

You can achieve that with a chatbot as well. There are ways to store data from previous orders and requests from a customer. However, even with all the effort in the world, there is nothing compared to a human approach. Furthermore, a chatbot cannot spot specific nuances of the conversation. 

For this category, it can be a tough battle between chatbot and live chat. According to the products and services offered by your business, you can evaluate which one fits best.


The Emotional Aspect 

As we mentioned previously, although chatbots are exceptionally performing nowadays, they do not have feelings. So even if they try, they cannot build a connection with a customer. That would not be a problem, considering that a customer may eventually just need a quick answer for a simple question.

But let’s take one step further. What if you feel like trying to up-sell or cross-sell? It might fit in a real-time conversation but can be a bit more tricky to do with a chatbot.

According to a survey conducted by Bain & Company, businesses that successfully engage with their customers can increase the customer spend by 20% to 40%.

Therefore, considering your target audience, investing in a strategy that engages your customers might be interesting. And for that, a personalized live chat experience easily wins. 

Final Thoughts

Both chatbot and live chat can bring improvements to the care and services of your company, resulting in a unique experience for the customer. With a well-trained team, your business will have a tremendous competitive advantage and targeted work to increase the rate of loyalty. 

And we are ready to help you with both options. Say hello!


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