Chatbot or chat operator: Does AI chat beat human agents?

When James Cameron reboots the “Terminator” franchise once again, chances are the films won’t focus on whether a chatbot or chat operator is a more effective business representative. However, the world needs a hero to take up this challenge like it needed John Connor to save the human race from Skynet.

We’re prepared to be that hero.

Artificial intelligence is in the news nearly every day. Typically it’s regarding statements made by Elon Musk or robots designed to assist humans. However, people are probably already interacting with one form of artificial intelligence all the time: chatbots. These bots are popping up everywhere. In fact, Facebook even introduced bots to its own messaging platform. Of course, those chatbots ended up creating their own language leading to some overblown speculation about the beginning of the apocalypse.

No, the artificial intelligence-driven computer chatting with you through your computer or phone isn’t about to take over the world. However, this sort of service is set to appear on more websites in the near future. The question is: Are they outperforming their human counterparts?

Bots can juggle multiple chats at once. But when one chat gets too complex AI may not do the trick.
Bots can juggle multiple chats at once. But when one chat gets too complex AI may not do the trick.

Buying into bots

As with everything, there are pros and cons to both chatbots and human chat operators. Whether you should go with a real managed live chat agent or an AI-fueled bot really depends on your needs. Chatbots offer a number of advantages over having your employees handle incoming chats:

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Humans like talking to humans

As great as these advantages are, robots aren’t perfect. And many people simply don’t trust them. In fact, when reaching out to a brand for assistance 57 percent of consumers would prefer to talk to a human, according to a Hubspot survey. People want to talk to other people – it’s natural. It’s one of the advantages live, industry-trained chat agents hold over chatbots.

Chatbot or chat operator … or the best of both worlds

Both human live chat agents and chatbots hold distinct advantages and disadvantages. However, there are ways to work around those disadvantages or combine their advantages to the benefit of your business. For example, rather than having your employees man live chats you can employ a team of live chat operators available around the clock. This can reduce response time and eliminate the 24/7 advantage chatbots hold over your employees.

Some live chat solutions can combine the power of bots with the trustworthiness of humans. For example, a chatbot can begin the conversation by collecting some basic information such as name and phone number. Then a human chat representative can step in for the more complex aspects of the conversation. Typically you’ll find that a chat provider offers one or the other: Bots or humans. However, as artificial intelligence grows increasingly pervasive you can expect more live-agent chat companies to work chatbots into the experience.

Whether you’re trying to figure out live chat pricing or deciding between chatbots or chat agents, live chat can be confusing. The one thing that’s certain is once you choose the solution that fits your needs your web visitors will be happy to chat.