Will AI Chatbots Replace Live Chat? 5 Key Points to Consider

by Robert Burko
3 mins read
Close up of man's hand using smartphone to talk with ai chatbot software program

These days, companies are hustling to provide top-notch customer service and still be efficient and cost-effective. With new tech advances happening all of the time, AI chatbots that can have conversations are getting lots of buzz as replacements for old-school live chat tools. In this article, we will delve into the world of live chat and AI chatbots, explore their benefits, and analyze whether AI will eventually replace live chat altogether. Let’s dive in!

1. The Basics: Understanding Live Chat and AI Chatbots

Before we compare the two, let’s define live chat and AI chatbots:

What is Live Chat:

Live chat is a real-time communication feature used on websites and other digital channels that allows users to interact directly with customer support representatives in a virtual space. Live chat is popular and effective because it provides instant assistance, which allows businesses to address customer queries, provide guidance, and resolve issues promptly.

What Are AI Chatbots:

AI chatbots are essentially “live chat representatives”, but powered by artificial intelligence. They are computer algorithms that are designed to simulate human-like conversations and to provide quick and efficient solutions to simple customer problems. By utilizing AI, we have the ability to interpret user queries, provide automated responses, and navigate users through various functions and processes. Despite their utility, they do however lack a human touch, and have some trouble navigating complex user queries and human context. 

2. Exploring The Benefits of Live Chat Features

Live chat as a feature has been welcomed by businesses with open arms due to its numerous benefits, such as: 

Speed: Instant Assistance

Live chat provides businesses with the ability to offer immediate support to their customers and address customer queries and concerns all in real time.

Overall Support Increase: Improved Customer Satisfaction

Live chat support is almost always available, and the availability of live chat support increases customer satisfaction by providing quick and personalized assistance when customers actually need it.

Generating Results: Increased Conversion Rates

Live chat can help guide customers through the purchasing process, addressing any potential barriers or roadblocks to purchases, which will effectively lead to higher conversion rates.

Efficient Communication:

Live chat allows support agents to handle multiple customer conversations simultaneously; this is especially important in helping to improve efficiency and reduce overall wait times.

Data: Chatbots Provide Detailed Analytics

Live chat platforms often provide valuable analytics (such as frequency of specific questions, words used, common customer complaints, etc.) and other customer insights that can be analyzed and then used to enhance customer service strategies and to address ongoing problems or issues with a given product or service.

3. Evaluating The Rise of AI Chatbots in Digital Customer Service

AI chatbots have become increasingly popular in the realm of digital customer service for many reasons. Let’s explore some of the benefits below. 

“Always On”: AI Chatbots Have 24/7 Availability

AI chatbots are unique because they can operate around the clock and provide customers with assistance at any time, enhancing customer experience. When customers are frustrated, they often want a response or a solution immediately; utilizing AI will help deliver on this promise. 

“Cheaper Than An Employee”: AI Chatbots Are A Cost-Effective Solution

Employing full-time, dedicated staff to respond to user queries can get expensive. However, implementing AI chatbots can optimize operational costs by reducing the need for a large customer support team, all without compromising on customer service.

“Faster Than An Employee”: Improved Response Time with AI Chatbots

A human being can only type so fast. However, through complex algorithms, AI chatbots can process customer queries instantly and provide quick and accurate responses, which leads to resolving issues faster than ever before.

One AI, Multiple Different Customers Simultaneously: Scalability

As businesses grow, AI chatbots can handle a high volume of customer inquiries simultaneously, without sacrificing quality or efficiency.

Following Strict Guidelines: Consistency in Communication with AI Chatbots

AI chatbots maintain a consistent tone and messaging, ensuring a uniform brand experience across all customer interactions.

4. The Core Question: Will AI Chatbots Replace Live Chat?

Female customer service representative engaging in virtual live chat with a customer.

While AI chatbots offer remarkable benefits, they are not likely to replace live chat entirely. Here’s why:

AI Chatbots Lack Human Touch:

Live chat provides a human touch that customers appreciate, especially when dealing with complex or sensitive issues. Human support agents can empathize, understand nuances, and adapt to individual situations better than AI.

AI Has A Hard Time Understanding Complex Queries and Personalization:

AI chatbots may struggle with complex queries that require human decision-making capabilities. Live chat allows businesses to provide personalized solutions based on individual customer needs.

Chatbots Cannot Build Authentic Customer Relationships:

Live chat allows businesses to establish personal connections with customers, fostering trust and long-term relationships. Humans can engage in conversations that go beyond specific queries, understanding customers on a deeper level.

Chatbots Lack the Flexibility and Adaptability of Humans: 

Live chat empowers support agents to think on their feet, adapt to different situations, and offer creative solutions. This adaptability is crucial when facing unique or uncommon customer queries.

5. Our Recommendation? Utilize Both for Maximum Results

Rather than replacing live chat, the integration of AI chatbots can enhance the customer service experience. By combining both approaches, businesses can:

There When You Need It: Improved Response Times

AI chatbots can handle initial inquiries and common FAQs efficiently, freeing up support agents to focus on more complex issues, and reducing overall response times.

From AI To Human Interaction: Offer Seamless Transitions

The handoff between AI chatbots and live chat can be seamless. AI chatbots can collect relevant information and direct customers to live chat when needed, ensuring a smooth transition.

“Always On” Mentality: Provide 24/7 Support

AI chatbots can operate outside of traditional business hours, ensuring customers receive assistance even when live chat agents are unavailable.

Keep It Human: Provide Personalized Interactions

Leveraging AI chatbots’ capabilities, businesses can use customer data to provide personalized experiences and efficient self-service options. At Elite Digital, we understand the power of combining AI chatbots and live chat features to optimize your digital customer service. Our expertise in digital marketing and customer engagement can help your business provide exceptional support while increasing efficiency. Contact us today to unlock the full potential of AI chatbots and live chat for your business.


AI chatbots have changed the game for digital customer service, but that doesn’t mean real live humans will become obsolete anytime soon. Sure, chatbots can handle tons of basic questions and be available 24/7 without ever taking a coffee break. But at the end of the day, talking to a human still provides something special that algorithms can’t replace. The trick is finding the right balance between bots and humans. Use AI to handle routine items, scale up your support capacity and keep real agents around to build relationships, have nuanced conversations, and deal with tricky issues bots can’t wrap their circuits around. Combining the efficiency of chatbots with the personal touch of humans is a winning strategy. Let the bots do the heavy lifting on basic queries, while your human team focuses on complex problems and VIP customers. That’s how you deliver top-notch service. Don’t just pick bots or humans – choose both, and watch your customer satisfaction skyrocket.

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