What is the Difference Between Live Chat and Web Chat?

The terms "live chat" and "web chat" are often used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences between them. 

What is Live Chat?  

Broadly speaking, live chat refers to real-time online communication between people using a text interface. This can be done through a variety of channels, including dedicated chat apps/widgets, social media messaging, or text messaging apps like WhatsApp. In business, live chat is often used for customer service and support, as well as for sales and marketing purposes. 

What is Web Chat?

On the other hand, web chat usually refers specifically to a chat app/widget that is integrated into a website and a customer types text messages into a pop-up interface. Web chat bots are good at quickly dealing with simple queries and they provide an easy and immediate way for customers to contact businesses with queries without having to wait on hold for an agent. 

Traditionally, when we speak of web chat we think of interactions with a bot, whereas live chat is with a person.  

Conversational AI in Web Chat 

However, the lines between live chat and web chat are becoming blurred with the introduction of conversational AI chatbots to web chat. 

Instead of the simple ‘yes/no’, ‘click here’ type of bot interactions, conversational web chat brings in natural-sounding, two-way conversations to web chat that are far richer and more meaningful than the straightforward decision-tree bots. These AI chatbots use Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and automation to provide highly efficient customer engagement.  

Live Chat vs Web Chat 

Feature Live Chat Web Chat
Response Time Limited to agent availability Immediate response
Customer Experience Human empathy and understanding Quick and easy query handling
Personalisation Personal contact and agent has access to customer data Can personalise with API connection to data
Types of Queries Handled Both simple and complex queries Excels at simple, repetitive tasks
Cost More costly as live agents required and less scalable Cost effective and easily scalable


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