Chatbot vs Live Chat: What is the Right Choice for Small Businesses? 

Finding it hard to maintain live chat support? Many small businesses are opting for a chatbot to improve customer service with less hands on management.

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Providing responsive customer support is a necessity for small businesses across all niches. Without quality customer support, a business brand simply loses its relevance, trustworthiness, and reputation. No wonder most successful companies and leading business brands spend so much attention, money, and expertise on improving customer support.


While the customer support is always going to be significant in the scheme of things for any business, it is undergoing rapid transformation thanks to the latest technologies. Intelligent Chatbots have recently been the latest value addition to the customer support acumen of companies.


For startups and emerging brands providing quality customer support at a lesser cost is still a challenge. While they cannot manage a large customer support team, they need to play on the same level with big brands in respect of providing customer support. This is where the role of Chatbot automation comes into play. The concept of Live Chat also offered businesses a sigh of relief.


Here we are going to explain the pros and cons of Live Chat and Chatbots and what can be more suitable for different requirements.

What is Live Chat?


Live Chat became popular years ago, and still, a lot of businesses across industry niches use Live Chat. Live Chat is offered through the business website by a plugin, widget, or program with a distinct icon. It works as a business application to respond to queries and build a conversation with customers through messaging. Real-time chatting capability with customers is the hallmark of Live Chat.


Pros and Cons of Live Chat


Live Chat offers an equal share of pros and cons for customer support. Let’s have a look at them.




  • Live Chat programs offer instant access to support for customers.
  • Live Chat by providing support through instant conversation helps to improve the brand reputation.
  • The support quality can easily be evaluated by tracking the messages. Live Chat programs can be improved faster based upon the messages.
  • Live Chat support comes as free with a website or mobile app.




  • The absence of support personnel can actually reduce customer engagement and interest.
  • With increased traffic volume on the server Live Chat can be slow in responding and can involve longer wait times for customers.
  • Live Chat programs often by using pre-scripted responses actually make the conversation monotonous and may fail to inform what customers are asking for.
  • The lack of alignment between the customer’s time zone with that of the operator can be a problem for live chat programs.



What is Chatbot?


A chatbot is a software application that can simulate a conversation with the customers in a humane fashion. Being powered by AI and Machine Learning technologies, Chatbots can be more intelligent to answer customer queries more responsively and in a data-driven manner to address specific customer intents expressed through queries.


Pros and Cons of Chatbots


Chatbots also have a balanced share of the pros and cons of providing customer support. Let’s have a look at them.




  • Chatbots are conversational software programs that are built once and deployed for customer support. Hence they are more cost-effective.
  • Chatbots offer very responsive and quick customer support.
  • Lightning-fast response time helps improving customer experience to a great extent.
  • By keeping all data, Chatbots help using the scope of data analytics and drawing relevant customer insights.




  • Just because Chatbots are basically bots, they are mostly not flexible in responding to inept queries of customers.
  • Building an intelligent Chatbot involves the service of expert app developers requiring a high initial cost.
  • By depending on the database of information, Chatbots are more vulnerable to crashes.
  • Lacking human touch and depending more on scripts, Chatbots often lack an in-depth understanding of the typical customer problem.
  • For complex and multifaceted issues, Chatbots are insufficient, and the business needs to address them with human support.


Live Chat vs Chatbots: What You Need? 


Now that the pros and cons of both Live Chat and Chatbots are discussed, it is time to explain which of these two solutions a small business can find helpful.


Complexity of queries 


If most of the queries and questions asked by your customers tend to be simple and objective, Chatbots can actually provide a better service. In contrast, if the queries involve some explanations and deeper understanding, Live Chat will be better suited for replying.


Faster response time 


If the customers need the fastest response time within just seconds, a Chatbot can be more appropriate. If the waiting time of a minute or 30 seconds is not a problem for your customers, Live Chat can be more suitable.





Both Live Chat and Chatbot solutions are cost-efficient. While the first requires some operational cost on a regular basis, the Chatbots involve a good one-time investment and no operational cost. The choice is yours.


Human Touch 


Since Live Chat involves human agent conversation through a messaging program, it is more humanely and interactive in nature. Chatbots mostly lack the human touch, but some intelligent Chatbots my mimicking the conversational tone, can actually sound more humanely.





In conclusion, we must say that not all Live Chat programs and Chatbots behave the same. So, excellence in creating a live chat function or Chatbot is a prerogative that will guide your development throughout. If you want to present the simple FAQ through a conversational interface, Chatbot will be more ideal. But for handling more in-depth and complex queries, presumably, you need Live Chat.