January 7, 2020

Chatbot vs. Live Chat: Which One is Right for You?

How do you communicate with your customers?

Are calling, visiting your offices, emailing, and submitting a form on your website the only ways for customers to reach you? If so, then it’s high time that you change things up.

We live in a fast-paced world, and everyone expects prompt answers to their questions. It can be very annoying for prospects and customers to wait for a brand to get back to them.

More than likely, they will leave to find other companies that offer prompt replies and better customer service.Don’t you want to be that brand? Of course, you do!

Chatbots and live chat are the perfect solutions to winning at customer service. They can help you keep your customers happy and quickly move new visitors down the sales funnel.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of chatbots and live chat.

Understanding Chatbots and Live Chat

If you’re new to these two concepts, the lines between chatbots and live chat can seem a bit blurred. Think of a chatbot as a virtual robot that can answer customer queries.

Natural language processors teach chatbots how humans communicate to tackle queries. For some parts, even manual training might be required.

On the other hand, if you find live chat on any website, you are likely to be talking directly to a customer service representative. They are a set of complementary services that can take your customer experience to the next level.

Related article: Advantages and Disadvantages of Chatbots You Need to Know

Chatbot vs. Live Chat: Which One Wins at What?

Ultimately, which one is better — a chatbot or live chat?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. It’s not all black and white. Both have their advantages and limitations. And they’re both well-suited for specific kinds of queries. Which one is better will depend totally on the requirements of your business.

To help you make an informed choice, we’ve compiled a list of the best features of live chat and chatbots.

Quicker Response Time

With chatbots, you can respond to customer requests in no time. When it comes to live chat, there may be some waiting time. At the end of the day, customer representatives are going to log off. In such cases, there may be a significant delay in sending a response.

If you want to provide 24/7 customer service using live chat, you may have to hire more employees to work in different shifts.

Simple and Complex Queries

Chatbots can easily tackle simple fact-based questions. Chatbots are effective when the solutions to customer requests are well-known and predictable.

They are designed to handle straightforward questions. But they heavily depend on pre-programmed information which is added to their knowledge base. They lack the ability to think outside-the-box.

When a customer enters a wrong address or data, customers may need to explain what happened in detail. Chatbots aren’t equipped to handle such scenarios. Similarly, when a customer needs to solve a more complex issue, using chatbots may not be suitable.

Of course, there are intelligent bots that use artificial intelligence to understand customer behavior. They are designed to have human-like interactions.

AI-powered chatbots can also incorporate humor, witty answers, and emotions. Howewever, in some cases, a human touch is necessary. When you have a frustrated customer on the other end, you may need to think about the issue from their perspective.

That’s where a live chat can be more beneficial than having a chatbot. Trained live chat agents can handle distressed customers in a better way.

To improve the efficiency of your live chat agents, you can use omnichannel chat solutions like Aivo’s Live, Zendesk Chat, and others. They make it easy for your agents to have conversations on multiple platforms.

Handling Multiple Tasks At Once

When you get a high volume of customer requests simultaneously, you may need to step up your service. To keep chaos at bay, you need to find ways to multitask so that you can handle all queries satisfactorily.

Ecommerce stores are likely to encounter this scenario during the holiday season or when there is a big sale going on. In such cases, chatbots win the chatbot vs live chat debate. They can attend to hundreds of customers at once.

Cost Comparison

For many businesses, cost can be a major deciding factor between chatbots and live chat. If you are looking for a cost-effective solution for your customer service needs, chatbots are the way to go.

Chatbots can function well without any human supervision. They can go on for hours with minimal help, which is a big advantage. You won’t have to shell out money to hire a representative to handle the queries manually.

By using Aivo’s Agentbot, Movistar, a telecommunications brand, was able to reduce their overall customer service costs on digital channels by 30%.

What’s more, you can integrate chatbots on your website, Facebook Messenger, and your mobile app. In a nutshell, it is cheaper and can give you more visibility on different platforms. 73% of shoppers use multiple channels throughout their shopping journeys. It’s common for people to end up on a website from a link they saw in an email or on Facebook.

Additionally, you can also check out customer-centric platforms like Genesys PureCould and LivePerson to find cheap and effective solutions for your customer service needs.

Conversions

Another added advantage of using chatbots is that you can market your products seamlessly. If a customer is interested in a particular product, you can show them similar products as well. With chatbots, it’s possible to upsell your products without seeming annoying.

Since they can also be integrated into Facebook Messenger, you can reach out to a broader audience. Facebook Messenger has more than 107.87 million unique users in the United States alone. In fact, it’s the most popular mobile messaging mobile in the US.

What’s surprising is that people aren’t just using it to connect with their friends and family. Every month, 20 billion message exchanges happen between Messenger users and various businesses.

So, Messenger bots can be instrumental in building a lasting relationship with your audience. With chatbots, you can make your presence felt on Messenger. Naturally, you’ve got a better chance of generating new leads and driving conversions by being present on multiple channels.

Related article: How to Improve Customer Experience: 6 of the Best Ways

Chatbots vs Live Chat: Final Verdict

There is no doubt that both chatbots and live chat can give your customer service an edge. When you’re comparing the features that they offer, you should also look at what products or services you’re selling.

For B2C companies that are related to finance, live chat and agents can be a better choice. You can expect complex queries that require more personal assistance. When the issues at hand are harder to solve, live chat is the way to go.

For ecommerce companies, the queries are likely to be simpler. An automated solution should be able to tackle most of the queries. So, chatbots should be more suitable.

For the best customer experience, use chatbots as well as live chat. With an integrated approach, the conversation can even flow seamlessly with a bot or a customer service representative.

Wrapping It Up

Chatbots vs live chat — it’s a popular debate among marketers. There is no clear winner here. As you can see from the features listed above, both have their advantages. Between live chat and chatbots, you should choose whichever fits your business requirements better.