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Which Is Better, A Chatbot Or A Live Chat?

In business, relationships are everything. And every relationship starts with a conversation. This has been true since the dawn of commerce. 

Today, technology is transforming the way businesses of all types and sizes interact with customers online. 

To shine a light on what new conversation technology has unlocked, we analyzed two popular conversation handling tools, and also find the answer for the frequently asked questions of the digital commerce community: Live chat versus chatbot –  which is better? 

Actually, you don’t have to choose between them. 

As two of them make a great pair. 

Here is why. 

1. Response time matters. 

Having to wait hours to get answers to simple questions is probably the most common frustration that customers deal with online.

According to IBM research:

  • 33% of Millennials are only willing to wait for 1 to 3 minutes to get a response to their questions before they drop.
  • 56% of Millennials have switched from one company to another because of underwhelming customer service. 

Quick responses unlock meaningful connections and momentous opportunities. 

People send questions when they are interested in spending their money on your products and services. Being able to address questions at the right time increases the chance you can convert them into your loyal customers.  

But the need for a personal, real-time buying experience has exposed key human limitations. 

Can you comfortably afford a real, live person to be on the chat window or call 24/7? It’s probably a NO. We are real human beings – we need to do things like eat, sleep and walk our dogs. But it doesn’t mean that your customers stop asking questions when you leave the office & turn the lights out, they are on your website looking for answers.

This when chatbot should step in. 

Trust me, you’ve probably interacted with a chatbot whether you know it or not.

Unlike people, chatbots are not constrained by working hours, time zones, public holidays, or illness. They’re always on—even during weather disasters—and this tool gives companies the ability to deliver truly always-on service that further increases satisfaction and boosts conversion rate. 

At the most basic level, chatbots can automatically gather and process information from customers on a 24/7/365 basis. They can engage with leads and answer inquiries just in a minute, even deliver increasing levels of personalization as they memorize all the information.

When leveraged correctly, chatbots can make your support and SNM teams more efficient and productive by accelerating routine tasks like capturing email addresses, qualifying and converting leads at scale.

2. But Real Humans service may lead to higher satisfaction ratings. 

When people message businesses, they come with a certain set of expectations. Some prefer chatting with bot to find the answers themselves, others want a “faster but real-human service”.

Live chat is for the second part. It helps it easy for customers to reach the support and get the service they crave for. 

It allows your customer service staff to engage with your website visitors in real-time, via messaging. 

  • As reported by Inc., 44% of online consumers believe that live chat is an important website feature and that they regularly use live chat for customer service.
  • 42% of users prefer to be assisted through chat support over emails, given they are easy to communicate to.

Imagine you are browsing on a website and suddenly feel interested in what they offer. You click on the chat window and say Hi. Someone named Rose – a human agent is active and already waiting for you, willing to chat and answer all your questions in a human tone. Is it great? 

When agents start communicating with empathy, customers feel heard.

Having a human tone is what makes live chat a better option than a normal simple chatbot. 

3. But it’s still, should I use live chat, or should I use chatbot? 

The live chat vs. chatbot debate isn’t over. People keep asking each other which option is better all the time. The reality is each one has its pros and cons.

You don’t want to make your customers wait. But still want to provide customers the “real human” service they deserve. 

If so, you don’t need to choose between them. 

As chatbots and live chat representatives work well together. 

Even though each tool is best used in different business scenarios, when compiled together, they do make a great pair. 

We recommend you use both of these on your sites to maximize efficiency and get the best results.

You can use chatbot to tackle daily, repeated inquiries from customers. Customers can have their problems solved quickly, without waiting for a human agent to step in and take over their case after hours or days. And it cannot go wrong if you at the same time leave the live chat service available for whoever requests to meet their customer expectations.

For example, if visitors leave a question at your e-commerce website chat window, and your chatbot is not equipped to answer that question, it can be set up to cooperate with your team. It can start asking some basic questions to analyze customers’ requests at scale then proactively alert your customer success or sales team, they can step in and address the request right away. Your business is going to take a hit.

4. Want to create a perfect journey to effectively communicate with your customers online? It’s easier than you might think.

You can always automate a great customer experience using BotStar free live chat and chatbot. 

BotStar offers powerful chatbots and free live chat for streamlined customer interactions with businesses of all types and sizes. A seamless live chat to chatbot solution that you can find nowhere else. 

By implementing BotStar for your business, you will have an easy-to-use live chat solution that can take care of basic queries and also has the power to incorporate customer data and scale for industry-specific conversations. 

With customers spending just an average of 10 minutes a year communicating with utility providers, BotStar offers a complete toolset to streamline collaborations between the chatbot and a representative to make those 10 minutes as less painless as possible. 

Are you planning to use chatbots, live chat agents, or a combination of both to improve customer communication on your website?

Get BotStar free live chat and chatbot today! 

Danis Do

Danis Do is the SEO Specialist at BotStar. His experience ranges from giant hospitality brands, famous health-care centers to tech startups. When not doing digital marketing, he’s sure to be enjoying some kind of nerdy time.