Live Chat vs. Chatbots: Which one to prefer for Best Customer Experience

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Customer experience is a major deciding factor in today’s times for customers to stick to a service provider or jump to another. Companies are trying their best to keep the customers satisfied while they get connected, as well as after that.

One of the major questions all business owners have is live chat vs. chatbots, which should be preferred for the best customer experience? The answer is far from simple, with both offering something more than the other in various aspects.

Both live chat and chatbots are prominently used in the industry and many times used in different proportions to optimize cost and customer satisfaction. Can a company do without live chat? Or can a company do without chatbots?

In today’s time, the answer to both questions would be they can, but it may backfire in either term of cost or ruined customer satisfaction. To find the perfect balance between how many live support users to employ and what kind of chatbot you require, the live chat vs. chatbots is a must-read.

What is Live Chat?

A live chat is done by a real human, who is trained especially to take care of the customers. The live chat support is provided for customers to ask questions and resolve disputes within the app or the software.

There are limitations like the support executive only being able to handle 1 customer at a time and more, and that is why it is considered not so efficient in today’s time. The live chat is mostly preferred for circumstances that demand a support executive’s immediate attention, and the rest can be done by chatbots as an ideal scenario.

What are Chatbots?

Chatbots are bots that are integrated into the system, many possess NLP, which enables them to understand plain English rather than a set of predefined commands. Various types of chatbots exist, they may have features like NLP, AI, RPA, and more, depending on how much you are willing to spend on its development.

A chatbot can handle many users at once, given its capabilities, and can instantly and independently resolve the queries. A good system would have the basic queries resolved by chatbots and major queries resolved by human support staff.

What is customer experience, and how is it related to chats, whether live or through bots?

Personalization and customer experience have been linked for a majority of the solutions available online. If you are willing to provide your customers with a personalized solution, you ought to include chat support in your product. From there on, your options are to choose in between Live Chat vs. Chatbots or have a few of both.

As per IBM, 265 billion customer requests are made per year, and businesses spend nearly $1.3 trillion to address them. Using chatbots could help save up to 30% of this cost, with increments in customer requests year on year, you can expect even more.

Apart from personalization, you also need to resolve users’ queries, especially for businesses dealing in products and curated services. To provide immediate support, you need to include a chat option, as waiting for the replies to emails is an absolute customer experience killer.

Chatbots will also be a major help in places where immediate assistance is required. Even a live chat support specialist might have to go through before giving a resolution. Chatbots can do it much more efficiently and quickly, improving customer experience.

Let’s begin with Live Chat vs. Chatbots and which one to prefer for the best customer experience.

#1. Multitasking

One of the major factors in terms of providing quality customer service would be the availability of a problem solver. In terms of multitasking, humans have major limitations, especially considering they cannot at all multitask but switch between tasks. You will need to hire 1 human resource to attend to 1 customer at a time, and that would mean a lot of workforces to be employed depending on the number of customers at any given time.

The chatbots can easily multitask, you can deploy one chatbot and make it capable enough to solve users’ queries coming into the system. Chatbots do not have multitasking limitations and can be a very good investment for businesses looking forward to solving low level or basic queries for a lot of users at any given time. A Chatbot can handle 1000s of queries at any given time.

Human live chat support executives cannot majorly multitask but can handle a few queries at once. We are comparing 1000s to less than 5 here at any given time, and to find support executives who can handle 5 at a time is a rigorous task of its own. So it comes down to the cost of Chatbot being much lower than the salaries of 1000s of human employees over a period of time.

#2. Timing

For businesses that have customers worldwide, they will have to hire 3 executives per day for 8-hour shifts each. On the contrary, a chatbot can work without breaks, 24 hours a day, but the prior still holds importance as at least some of the customers would want personal support or have issues of a major level.

Finding the balance between both is tough, and you will have to find out how many of your users would be comfortable with chatbots and how many want support around the clock.

The chatbot may seem a clear winner between the two in this one, but as we exclaimed a few times, you will need human support staff to back it up. Suppose you have customers from different time zones.

In that case, a chatbot is highly recommended as employing 3 employees per day to cover up the working hours can get pretty hefty for a business. People have slowly started adapting to the chatbots but a lot many still believe they aren’t satisfactory considering they invested in your product or service.

#3. Operational Cost

Every employee you hire in the company will come with overhead costs of office space, perks, hiring, the overall cost to maintain an office, and more. On the other hand, the chatbots hold either a price tag or the development cost, and the cost of servers and a smaller space to keep them running.

Your business’s operational cost will decide how much you can invest in improving customer service, while managing operations decide what quality of service you can provide.

High operational costs will be a major hurdle towards providing and maintaining a good customer experience. The chatbots remain a one-time investment to a level, while live chat will set up back a lot more money each month, month on month until you operate.

Make sure you channel your investments in the right direction, as affording both a chatbot and live chat will set you back heavily, but it remains the only way to achieve a high customer satisfaction rate.

#4. Response Time

The response time is a major factor towards better customer service and experience, as one has the time to wait for slow response times. Coming down to it, chatbots have a minimal response time, given your servers are up and running and can manage the load. On the other hand, live chat has a slow response time, which translates to those who want lightning-fast resolutions waiting for the support executives.

The live chat support also has to go through the customer history and requirements, while in a chatbot, they will be presented with an interactive menu to resolve their queries. Like above, both the chatbots and live chat have major advantages and disadvantages in this too, but they are both somewhere better than not having either or one of them.

#5. Resolutions

The quality of responses and resolutions will be the major deciding factor in which one remains better. As we said, you have to allocate most of your resources to either, rather than choosing between them. Both are necessary for some of the customers at different time points, depending on what issue they are facing. Chatbots give resolutions based on advanced AI and ML, but technology might have and suffer from its own disadvantages in a case or two.

In most cases, the live chat support will have the issue resolved while maintaining the empathy expected for a good customer experience. But in some cases, humans lack the knowledge and data to back their decision, both combined can wreak havoc on customer satisfaction. The choice between these is tough, as some might want faster resolutions, some might want better resolutions, both depending on the situation and the issues.

Conclusion

Chatbots and live chat are supposed to be used together if you take our word on it. If you go choosing either, you will end up losing something or the other.

The best way to provide the best customer experience would be allocating the ones wanting quick and easy resolutions to chatbots while allocating those willing to wait but wanting their desired resolution to the live chat. The world is moving towards technology, and people aren’t shying away from it at all. Balance the investment in chatbots and live chats for providing the optimal customer experience.

About the Author!

Pooja Choudhary is a Digital Marketer at Matellio Inc. – a renowned software engineering studio that provides services like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IOT, and many others . She loves to write and provide technical information.

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