Businesses serve customers and prospects by providing the best possible service. Phone calls are still a popular choice, but they don't always provide the personalization desired - waiting on hold can be frustrating. Phone support is not the only option available, however.
Businesses can benefit from using Live Chat support on their websites, which provides a digital connection between customer and agent. Although Live Chat offers various advantages over phone support, call centers are also available for customers.
The business should aim to strike a balance between phone support and live-chats, and have the awareness of when to use each channel. To aid with this understanding, we compiled this guide to differentiate the advantages of Live-Chats and Phone Support, and how to employ these channels for an optimal customer experience.
What is live chat support?
Live chat support is a type of customer service provided through online chat tools. It enables customers to connect with your business directly in real-time and can be used for both sales and technical support purposes.
Let us examine the advantages of incorporating live chat for customer support.
Utilizing live chat can provide various advantages.
The advantages of offering live chat support should be considered.
· Live chat is a preferred method of communication for consumers when communicating with businesses due to its typically faster response time compared to other traditional channels.
· Live chat messages tend to be brief, reducing conversation time and ensuring response times are shorter. Additionally, customer inquiries are not subject to the potential delays of email which can become lengthy exchanges. This results in faster response times for teams and shorter waits for customers.
· Live chat allows customer service representatives to support multiple users simultaneously, enhancing the capacity of support.
· Live chat applications allow you to set up queries that collect contact data from customers before the chat process, such as email addresses.
· Live chat tools create an indexed and searchable database of customer issues and complaints, providing support data to detect common issues, new issues, and areas that may need product improvement.
The disadvantages of live chat.
· Online communication may not have a personal touch, making it difficult to decipher the tone of the message. Customers could feel like they are dealing with automation.
· Resolving complex issues can be challenging; it may be preferable to address them via phone call rather than a live chat.
· Customers who lack proficiency in typing or navigating a website may have difficulty utilizing your services.
What about Phone Support?
Phone support can provide an alternative method for customers who prefer to speak with a representative. Businesses traditionally operate a physical contact centre, but they have also seen the advantages of operating with remote workers, leading to cost saving benefits.
In this instance, we will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of phone support.
The advantages of providing telephone support.
· Phone support is better suited to addressing complex issues compared to live chats.
· Recording phone calls can be beneficial for training and development.
· Voice detection technologies allow for greater personal connections with customers and can give the feeling that they are engaging with a human, rather than a chatbot.
Drawbacks of phone support.
· Customer support agents are only able to focus on one call at a time. They must finish their current call before taking any additional calls.
· Generally, call agent hours are limited as companies typically do not have the resources to hire various agents for different times. Availability of phone support is generally within the scope of business hours. If customers need after-hours service, they may need to wait before they receive it.
· Customers may experience increased wait times due to the fact that agents can service one customer at a time.
· An increase in phone support volume can be challenging to manage, as it can be difficult to keep accurate records of which issues are most commonly reported and how frequently they occur.
· Phone support can be expensive due to the equipment and operational expenses, such as computers, phones, phone bills, internet service and labor costs.
There are various differences between live chat and phone support.
We have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each option, as well as the main distinctions between them.
Live chat tools allow for the tracking of performances and past customer conversations. They provide an automated view of who customers are and what their needs might be. With phone support, recordings need to be taken, either as transcripts or audio, in order to gain a better understanding of the customer service or product related queries coming through.
Customer support through messaging allows for faster responses due to the ability to handle multiple messages at once. Conversely, phone support is limited to one call at a time, resulting in potentially extended wait times.
The main distinction between live chat and other forms of customer interaction is the presence of a human .It can be harder to assess the customer's tone of conversation with live chat, as opposed to hearing it in their voice. Speech and vocal tone provide important clues regarding how the customer is really experiencing the conversation.
What would be the most effective method of support: live chat or phone?
The answer is variable.
Providing multiple methods of customer contact is beneficial for enhancing customer satisfaction, retention and relationships. In these times of remote work, both options can be implemented with reduced operating costs.
We recommend beginning with the implementation of a live chat support system due to its immediate availability, cost effectiveness and necessary technical requirements.
Costs associated with live chat and calls.
The costs associated with this include the cost of the live chat software and paying customer service agents for managing the chat.
The opportunity cost associated with chat is the value of the time spent engaging in it, as opposed to spending the same time on other activities which may benefit the business.
Live chat is more cost-effective than call handling for several reasons. Calls use costly phone lines and call centre infrastructure, and can be time-consuming for both customers and customer service agents. Live chat allows customers to do other things while chatting, and agents to handle multiple conversations simultaneously.
Which is the best live chat tool?
Moment offers a free live chat as well as session recording and an integrated CRM with no need for payment upon registration. This makes it a great option to consider among the available free live chat tools.