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Chatbots and Live Chats! Who Wins? What Should You Expect?

Chatbots and Live Chats


Chatbots and live chats are the two most effective methods to scale up the quality of customer service operations. Despite having the same intentions, chatbots and live chats offer different user experiences. This article discusses the top parameters you need to consider before deciding which is the best.

Responding to customer queries in the nick of time is the best way to increase your customer service operations. Doing so moves your website visitors down the sales funnel and increases conversion rates much quickly.

Channels like chatbots for business and live chat take a brand’s interaction with the customers to the next level. But you need to weigh in on the specific abilities of both the channels – chatbots and live chats. Examining their performance in different customer service domains will help you make your smart choice for a greater brand outreach.

Chatbots and Live Chats

Chatbots and Live Chats: Key Comparisons

The efficiency of either channel can be determined by their express functions based on the following parameters:


One of the most significant advantages of chatbots is the ability to function without human assistance. A chatbot can chat for several hours at a stretch without any external aid – saving your time, money, and energy.

For instance, any chatbot for business can be trained to perform multiple tasks at a time. They answer queries swiftly or generate conversations with several customers at a time. It increases customer engagement without human intervention.

Now, with a chatbot to handle the basic customer queries, the business can utilize its time for managing more complex and strategic tasks. This can considerably boost up a brand’s efficiency, saving its time and resources.

The technological advances in the domain of communication have brought a sea change in the behavioral dynamics of the human race. As we are no longer patient enough to wait for our turn in an endless queue, businesses need to adopt chatbots as speedy solutions to cater to the surging customer demand.

In 2017, Facebook gained the ownership of an AI chatbot startup to boost up the visitors’ interaction with the businesses on the platform. Google followed the trend by hiring a chatbot startup to meet the ever-increasing demands of an AI-driven world. The result was a fast-tracked interaction based on conversational AI that overwhelmingly attracts visitors to communicate with brands on the respective platforms.

Conversely, live chat widgets operated by humans go offline when no one is available, leaving customers frustrated. This drawback of live chat affects the brand image adversely, resulting in the customers switching to other competitors.

Response Time

Customer Response Time (CRT) is a vital parameter for a business. A quick customer response time results in higher consumer satisfaction and greater brand loyalty.

Chatbots for businesses offer an enhanced customer experience as they offer real-time solutions to their customers even when the support team is unavailable. The fact that a business chatbot can stay online 24x7x365 can cut down on customer response time significantly. They are trained as per the use case of the brand to respond with real-time accuracy and swiftness that lives up to the customer demands.

Chatbots for small businesses can leverage their response to first-time customer inquiries with its in-build cutting-edge visual engagement tools like co-browsing, voice, and video chat, which accurately provide speedy resolutions to most customer support issues. With its multiple high-end communication channels, chatbots for small businesses convincingly deal with customers, enhancing brand loyalty.

Amtrak, a public transportation company, is a significant case study in this regard. Amtrak bot provided the visitors navigating their website with an option for ‘self-service.’ Their chatbot can book travels and lodging by assisting the customers by pre-filling relevant information on the scheduling tool of their website. No wonder the company witnessed a 50% increase in customer interaction via their chatbot in a year and a consequent increase of 25% in their bookings.

However, the response time for a live chat widget depends on the number of customers waiting, and the time it takes to address every customer. A live agent might be busy attending to other customers, leaving others on hold for several minutes.

MongoDB, a database platform, was initially operating quite well through a live chat. However, the output of their live agents was limited by constraints of time and space. No sooner did they launch a chatbot to operate as a chat tool than the messaging response and lead generation increased by 100% and 70%, respectively.

Ease Of Use

Live chat software appears too complicated at times, with two interfaces: a chat window for the admin and another for the customer, usually congested with data. The company needs to invest time and resources to make the software function seamlessly for the team members and the customers alike.

However, chatbots for business have a unified interface that makes customer engagement with your bot hassle-free. On top of that, you have the opportunity to smarten up your chatbot for better performance, improvising it from the very same interface.

The unified interface characterized by state-of-the-art automation enables chatbots to move beyond merely addressing simple problems like product recommendation to an advanced analysis of data on a micro and macro level.

In this regard, an interesting case study is Leo Coffee, a beverage brand whose chatbot was deployed across various social media platforms for expanding its customer service operations.

LeoBot, the brand’s virtual assistant, provides its buyers with in-store browsing of its products, placing orders, order tracking, and confirmation. The LeoBot can be communicated with from anywhere in India. It coordinates in four regions to offer simplified and fast-tracked support. Furthermore, the bot’s omnichannel presence provides region-wise analytics with an accuracy of insight.

LeoBot’s omnichannel presence increased the brand’s subscription and its net order worth by over 100000 and INR 150,000.

Cost Efficiency

If a company receives more than 1,000 web visitors a day, it is not feasible for a single live chat agent to handle that many requests at a time. To make it possible, a company needs to have many customer service agents and invest resources to train them to work with the efficiency of smart chatbots, which is next to impossible.

Nonetheless, chatbots for business help in curtailing the net costs by cutting down on the workforce. It helps to organize business and automate end-to-end functioning and leads to an advanced experience for the clients. They can accurately respond to every single message in the nick of time. Owing to their responsiveness,they also play a crucial role in boosting sales by converting visitors into buyers.

Implementing chatbots to handle customer service operations helped Amtrak save $1,000,000 in a single year.

The chatbot system of landing page creator Leadpages engineered a 36% rise in their conversion rates by generating a 267% increase in chat conversations. This proves that chatbots for businesses are capable of providing relevant information through automated messages at the right time.

Another important case study is the hospitality firm, Marriott. Their AI-powered chatbot service was launched via Facebook Messenger in 2018. Marriott had a whopping 85% growth in its marketing domain while serving customers via its chatbot. The chatbot helped them handle a wide range of visitor requests through text messages and furnish information to their potential clients.

To sum it up, chatbots featured with conversational AI can relieve your team of the responsibility of handling repetitive queries by automating the customer support functions seamlessly. This enables your team to focus on more complex tasks, eventually accelerating the work process.

Proactive Outreach

A great way to increase business leads and conversions is to bring chat services on board. Chat solutions effectively engage with web visitors and convert them into loyal buyers as the demand for conversational marketing is gradually surging.

In terms of visitor interaction, chatbots for business can be a proactive mode of outreach. A typical use case is of a chat box popping up to ask a web page visitor if they can assist them in any way. Conversational AI has programmed these chatbots to initiate a chat with the visitors after spending a stipulated amount of time on a web page.

FundsTiger, a financial organization, uses a chatbot for loans related queries to engage with customers 24×7 flexibly and deliver spot-on responses in real-time. This dynamic approach can facilitate greater interaction with potential customers, opening avenues for a conversion, dealing better with upselling and hard sells.

Chatbots have emerged as a boon for medical science too. The Italian Ministry of Health decided to use Facebook chatbots innovatively to deal with Alzheimer’s patients. The chatbot equipped with conversational AI proactively helps the patients by chatting with them throughout the day to keep their memory active. With the help of conversational AI technology, the chatbot can converse with the patients and comprehend what they have to say without even requiring them to chat in complete sentences.

This dynamic approach of chatbots made this experimentation with conversational marketing a highly successful one. The Facebook page experienced an 8% engagement on the day of the launch itself. Moreover, it generated an incredible 100% positive sentiment among its users with an outreach among over 15000 people in less than 24 hours.

On the other hand, the approach of a live chat is fragmented, which is inadequate for dealing with the swelling demands of customer service, which thrives on conversational marketing. A traditional live chat software has no in-built intelligence to generate significant consumer information like the visitors’ name, location, purchasing history, or the channel through which a customer is getting in touch with the live agent. The lack of such basic information hinders a support agent from proactively engaging with customers to meet their needs.

A live chat adds a human touch to the connection building with the brand. However, in an era of conversational marketing, it can never match the efficiency and speed with which chatbots function. A live chat is traditionally reactive, where a customer has to take the first step towards initiating a conversation with the company.

Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a domain of conversational AI that vests in an automated system the ability to comprehend human sentiments based on the interaction with the system. It is aimed at interpreting the real import of human language. Moreover, NLP can program chatbots with multilingual abilities to abridge the gaps in conversational marketing from time to time. Thus, an NLP monitored chatbot can save your company from losing a potential client who can speak in no other language other than their mother tongue in a world of conversational marketing.

However, a live chat agent has limited linguistic abilities. So, they might not be able to effectively communicate with a customer who speaks a different language.

Chatbots running on Natural Language Processing can understand different languages and tones with ease. With the ability to communicate in a vernacular language can tap into a particular regional market and create brand awareness among potential clients who speak a specific language.

A typical conversational marketing use case of a multilingual chatbot is of providing localized customer support. By decoding the customer’s language, it can cater to the specific needs of the customer accurately. Conversational AI empowers multilingual chatbots with the ability of self-learning, enabling them to figure out answers for questions for which they have not been programmed.

An important case study, in this case, is the Hindi-speaking chatbot for Dr. Lal PathLabs, India’s leading diagnostic chain. The vernacular bot was developed along the lines of conversational marketing to cater to the Hindi-speaking population, which forms a significant chunk of India’s linguistic demography. As most users speak in ‘Hinglish’ (a concoction of English and Hindi), the chatbot is equipped with an entity detection system that could identify the English words and the Hindi words typed in the English transcript. This helps it detect multi-language entities for a wide range of information such as names, locations, or phone numbers.

Chatbots and Live Chats – Final Thoughts

When it comes to Chatbots and Live Chats, Live chat is a good option for your business, especially if you have the means to implement it properly. But we are heading towards cost-efficient and quick alternatives; it is practically challenging to invest in developing a foolproof live chat service. It will cause a considerable strain on the company’s finances.

This is where AI chatbots for business come to your aid. Going by the current trends, it is easy to predict that chatbots will be pooling in investments of about $1.23 billion in the coming five years.

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