Chatbot vs Live Chat: Which Is Effective In Delivering Better Customer Experience

Krunal Shah
Krunal Shah

3 Mar 2022 | 7 Min Read

This is a tale of two tools fighting for customers’ attention in the digital world. Who do you think will emerge as the winner in the tug of war? Chatbot or live chat? Let’s find out.

The chitter-chatter around chat support is an interesting one. Chat is a major player in customer engagement and customer support for businesses around the globe. It is an indispensable mode of communication today. Our motto - Leverage the chat and never look back!

In fact, nearly half of all customers prefer chat support over other ways to get help with their queries. In an era of 30 minutes pizza delivery and instant grocery delivery, customers expect the same when it comes to response time.

But here's the thing. There are quite a few things to consider when choosing a customer service solution for your business. Do you want an agent-operated live chat or one with chatbots? What differentiates the two from one another? Let’s break it down by looking at one of the solutions.

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Chatbot vs Live Chat - Basics First

Before jumping into the deep end of the pool, let’s dip our toes in the water first. Let’s wrap our heads around the meaning of live chat and chatbots.

What Is Live Chat?

Live chat is an online customer service system through which human agents can help customers find the information they are looking for. It is an extremely valuable pro-active service and has become the most commonly used option for websites looking to boost their overall customer engagement and drive positive business results.

It is especially useful for companies that offer many different services or products because it allows them to speed up response times, increase ticket resolution rates, track customer satisfaction and get more website visitors.

The truth is that live chat is not just a feature anymore. It’s an overall experience that makes your business stronger, as well as profitable. Is live chat a real person? This is a question that comes in minds of many. And the answer is yes, which is what makes this solution so great.  

An ATG Global Consumer Trend study found that 63% of users were more likely to return because of live chat while 38% made a purchase because of it. Moreover, live chat works wonders, especially for the B2B segment.

What Is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is also known as a virtual assistant. It is an automated response generator that is usually used to help solve the queries your website visitors may have.

Chatbots for customer support are particularly useful especially for e-commerce websites because they enable your customers to spontaneously and seamlessly connect with a customer service representative 24/7 without having to leave the site.

The artificial intelligence of the chatbot emulates human-like conversation and its ability to quickly provide a response on demand, such as information about your products or about shipping, for example.

Unlike live chat, one major benefit of a chatbot is its ability to instantly answer questions 24/7 with standardized responses that are consistent and reliable.

The Feature Face-off Between Chatbot vs Live Chat

Emotional Intelligence

Winner: Live Chat

Let’s be honest, chatbots do not have the emotional intelligence to understand human feelings. While they are making serious progress in the realm of customer service, it’s still not as friendly.

What’s missing is the human touch. The ability to empathize with customers, understand their problems, and address their concerns. When you’re making a decision about your business, you should remember what’s at stake. Your customers and their feelings. The last thing you would want is to come off as cold or impersonal.

Not having a real human there leaves questions unanswered and needs unmet, which essentially leaves customers frustrated, leading them to give up on your service and turn to your competitors all together.

Live chat is the clear winner in this case. However, if you still wish to go ahead with a chatbot for your business, choosing a chatbot live chat integration would be a better option to connect with your customers.

Being available 24/7 - 365 days

Winner: Chatbot

Just like how bots can’t win from humans when it comes to emotions, humans can’t win from bots when it comes to 24/7 availability. A chatbot is there for your customer come what may. Day or night. Rain or shine. After all, chatbots don’t sleep, weekends included!

A really cool part about using Chatbots for your business is that you can change the way in which a customer interacts with them at any given time without causing them to get confused or to be unable to complete their task. Bots understand natural language and as an automated service offer customers consistent, fast responses.

The bottom line is that chatbots are always online because of which they provide reliable service with no downtime and speedy support.

The ability to handle complex queries

Winner: Live Chat

Chatbots have limitations. They work within a pre-determined scope and respond to queries with information they have been fed. If a customer reports a problem that is more complex and intricate in nature, the chatbot may not have the power to comprehend it.

In such cases, chatbots usually keep sending the same messages over and over again which happens to be a huge turn-off for an already irritated customer.

On the other hand, a live-chat agent is well-equipped to handle such situations and put out the fire before it becomes too big. They collaborate with other teams, reassure the customer while working to find the best possible solutions.

Lighter on the pocket

Winner: Chatbots

Every business looks to save on resources, especially when times are tight. When it comes to cost-efficiency, chatbots take the lead. Chatbots are better than hiring a full-time, live chat support team since there is no need for any allowances and paychecks.

Chatbot saves your business tons of money. Moreover, they won't ever mess up (they're less likely to than people are). Neither would you have to compensate for the errors caused by them, and finally you won’t have to gratify the outstanding work they do for your business.

So in comparison when it comes down to costs, it's simply the best choice for your business.

Just the simple things like spellings

Winner: Live Chat

When speaking to a human agent operated by a live chat you never have to worry about spelling or typo errors. The same cannot be expected from a chatbot. Unfortunately, they missed their spelling b competition and are no grammar nazis. LOL!

Wut r u doing tday? There’s no way a chatbot can understand the customer’s typing slang such as these. Spelling mistakes, typos, and grammatical errors can confuse a chatbot completely.

This is because chatbots are trained to respond to a specific set of keywords. They cannot operate beyond these. Furthermore, training chatbots to be fully competent may take weeks or months altogether.

Sending thoughtful & personalized messages

Winner: Live Chat

Customers now want chatbots to be more conversational than ever. Conversational marketing is key to facilitating personal and instant connections between businesses and customers.

This is where live chat bags the gold. Live chat agents who have been working in this field for a while acquire unique skills that ensure they can offer a much higher level of support than any simplistic automated messaging software.

Live chat agents are able to actually empathize with customers because their training enables them to put themselves in your shoes and deal with a variety of customer issues tailored to individual needs and requests.

This means that not only will you as a business owner be more connected with your target audience but you’re also giving yourself a huge advantage over competitors who are utilizing automated systems alone.

Live Chat vs Chatbot - Who wins?

Chatbots and live chat have become increasingly popular with businesses, but what does the future have in store for them? While chatbots are becoming smarter and more advanced, the fact of the matter is that customer queries in the real world do require a human to take charge.

Research suggests around 73% of customers find live chat the most satisfactory form of communication with a company. The bot army might be rising but humans will always reign supreme.

Traek Lets You Convert Cold Leads Into Hot Deals With Live Chat

Yes, you heard that right! Leverage Traek’s real-time chat feature that lets you track the current visitors on your website, find out which page they are browsing through and which services they are looking for. Next? Instantly contact these leads and assign your sales team members to close a deal on a real-time basis.

A report from Havard Business Review stated that firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later.

Don’t let your leads get cold. With Traek’s real-time chat, there will be no delays, no losses!

Note: Traek is a smart tracking tool that identifies companies visiting your website, even if they don't end up filling your lead magnet form. Interested to begin? Sign up for your free trial or learn more about Traek.

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