What is AI live chat? thumbnail image Published on 14th August 2023 by Gemma Harding

It’s safe to say that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way businesses approach customer services. Thanks to recent technological advances, it’s never been easier for brands to enhance their overall customer experience without having to better train staff or increase recruitment. One such advancement in customer service technology is AI live chat. 


According to a report published by digital marketing experts Startup Bonsai, as a brand communication channel, the use of AI live chat ‘chatbots’ rose by 92% between 2019 and 2020 alone – a trend that has continued. This makes it the fastest-growing communication channel used by brands over the past few years. But how does this new technology work and what impact can its introduction have on a business? In this guide, we answer these queries and more as we take a deep dive into live chat features.


What is live chat?


Simply put, ‘live chat’ refers to any real-time communication platform that allows an organisation to interact with customers/clients through instant messaging. Usually, these platforms will sit on a business’ website. 


How does live chat work?


Traditional customer service live chat features are facilitated by humans who provide real-time and ‘unique’ answers to customers’ questions. They work in a relatively simple way. A customer will click on a chat widget or button displayed on a business’ website. This prompts a notification for a human agent who can then accept the chat request and engage in the conversation. This format has proved popular for businesses and customers alike. For business, it allowed for quick responses and personalised interactions without the need for a time-consuming phone call. For customers, it means less time spent sifting through FAQs on your site and, in many cases, negates the need for a phone call, while still giving the customer the reassurance they are speaking to a real person.


In recent years, AI-operated live chat platforms have also started to be adopted by businesses. 

These chatbots do not require human agents to reply to customer questions. Instead, they work by using artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) to interact with users in a human-like manner. AI chatbots can be trained on large amounts of data, meaning they can understand different situations, anticipate customer needs, and deliver relevant solutions. To do this, they also analyse historical chat data.


The clear advantages of AI-powered live chat platforms including the fact that they are:


  • able to provide instant responses
  • available 24/7 
  • able to provide consistent and uniform answers
  • cheaper than human agents.


However, there are also a number of downsides to AI-only live chat platforms. Chiefly, they may lack emotional intelligence and struggle with complex issues. While human-operated live chat platforms can provide a certain level of professional empathy and understanding when dealing with complex queries, AI chatbots are only capable of providing factual answers. For this reason, many businesses use a combination of both approaches to leverage their respective strengths. 


Do live chat services improve customer experience? 


The simple answer is yes. Live chat customer service features offer real-time support, allowing customers to get immediate assistance with their queries and issues. The convenience this brings has the ability to improve the customer journey and generally enhance overall customer satisfaction. 


Of course, when it comes to AI-powered chatbots, advantages also include the ability to operate around the clock, meaning customer services remain available to customers 24/7. As touched upon above, these revolutionary platforms can also cut costs, as they reduce the need for a large customer support team, and reduce human error. This is to say, they are able to deliver consistent responses, meaning all customers receive the same level of service and accurate information.


However, while both human-operated and AI-powered live chat services can certainly improve customer experience, this is not to say they will fulfil all of a business’ customer service needs. With this in mind, while they remain a powerful tool that can benefit businesses of all industries, they should not yet fully replace traditional customer service methods. Instead businesses should use a combination of both old and new approaches, giving customers the best possible experience.


Looking to learn more about how live chat customer service features can help your business? Get in touch with CallCare today.