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Chatbots vs. Live Chat: Choosing the Right Solution

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May 31, 2024

6 min read


Your online business’s customers expect instant real-time support on their queries. For this, customer service representatives can extend support in ‘Live Chat’ or AI (Artificial Intelligence) driven virtual assistants (chatbots) can be deployed.
Human agents add a personalized layer to communication. In contrast, AI chatbot WhatsApp and other digital touchpoints instantly offer accurate and relevant responses. You need to prioritize based on your business needs with exceptional customer experience in mind.

Key Characteristics of Live Chat Functionality

The ‘Live Chat’ option is human-driven. An agent must be available to respond to customer queries in real-time. It is best suited for sales or customer support sections where personal intervention is required.
You can integrate the ‘Live Chat’ option with email, instant or direct messaging apps, and social platforms from a single dashboard. Your reps can communicate directly from this multichannel platform.

Live chat offers the following advantages:

  • Efficient solutions to complex customer inquiries
  • Cross-selling and upselling by skilled reps
  • The human touch to each customer interaction

Live chat has its share of cons. Some of these are outlined below:

  • Agents have to be hired.
  • The 24/7 availability of agents is a challenge.
  • The unavailability of agents can tarnish a business’s image and credibility.
  • Periodic training has to be imparted to enhance the product knowledge and communication skills of agents.
  • Agents can’t attend to multiple customers at the same time.
  • Waiting in queues can be frustrating for customers.
  • It works best when customers are less.

However, live chat by qualified agents can push more leads down your marketing funnel and convert them to customers.

Which Option Is Best for Your Business: Chatbots or Live Chat

Live chat and chatbots can both enhance customer experience and drive higher sales. If you are confused about which to choose for your business, you can adopt a mixed approach, which promises stellar outcomes.
You can deploy chatbots to facilitate customers with the following:

  • Check the order status.
  • Search for products.
  • Order consumables from your online store.
  • Book meeting.
  • Share contact details.
  • Make payment.
  • Get insights into exciting discounts and offers.
  • Secure answers to common queries.

You may hire human agents to:

  • Answer unique queries from customers related to their specific needs.
  • Troubleshoot issues that require comprehensive product/ service knowledge.
  • Personally bond with customers and address their complaints in a friendly manner.

Your decision to opt for a suitable medium of interaction may be guided by the following considerations.

  • Speed of response
  • 24/7 or limited availability
  • Past query patterns of customers
  • Budget for hiring and training human agents
  • Meeting specific needs of customers
  • Ease of implementing chatbots
  • Affordability of chatbot maintenance costs
  • Integrations and cutting-edge features offered by chatbots
  • Compatibility of chatbot with WhatsApp and other messaging channels
  • Availability of advanced reporting and analytics options

About 90% of customers prefer quick responses to their queries. The same customers also may feel disrespected if not serviced by human agents. The decision to choose between live chat and bots can thus prove tricky.
Chatbots save you around $0.70 per interaction. It is predicted that the chatbot market will grow to $14 billion by 2025 at an impressive CAGR of 22%.

Moving Ahead

You must thoroughly analyze your past customer interactions to identify cases for which live agents have to be engaged and for those where chatbots can be deployed. The budget you can allocate will also influence your decision.
Your business can enhance customer experience significantly with interactive chat solutions offered by Shipyaari. Their expertise in designing customized and AI-powered chatbot WhatsApp or other interfaces will propel your business to new heights of success.
Sign up today and reap rich dividends by enhancing customer satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, chatbots can be integrated with popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, and more.

Live chat is crucial when customers expect accurate responses to their complex queries from human agents who know your products/ services inside out.

AI chatbots rely on natural language processing and ML-algorithm enabled continuous learning to bring a human touch to their interactions.

You can adopt a mixed approach. Deploy human agents and chatbots collectively based on interaction type.

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