Why Have Live Chat instead of Phone Support? | Ideta
Acquiring and maintaining customers is possibly the most important aspect of running a business. Customers require attention, and active interest in what customers are saying about your product or brand is the key to expansion and exponentially increased customer satisfaction. Every business must have a way for consumers to contact them with ease, if customers feel ignored or underappreciated, then it is unlikely that they will return for repeat business.
Therefore, when deciding on the type of customer service that your business will provide, it is important to look at all of the options and consider them individually. Whereas phone support is personal and empathetic, live chat is affordable and customizable. In this article, I will be discussing live chat and phone support, and the benefits of each.
What is phone support?
Phone support is incredibly familiar to most people, a customer or potential customer calls a business to ask a question or make a complaint. When they call, a human representative answers and is available to respond to any vague, complex, or otherwise difficult question that a client might have. It often humanizes businesses by giving customers someone to talk to when they have a problem or question.
What is live chat?
Live chat is similar to phone support, except there is no vocal form of communication between the customer and the company at all. With the Ideta live chat for example, a customer discusses their needs with a representative on the company’s website in a chat box. Occasionally, there is a chatbot that precedes the live employee that asks for the customer’s basic information and why they are contacting support. Live chat is incredibly effective, allowing for straightforward and easy communication between businesses and consumers.
What are the benefits of phone support?
The Human Experience
- Phone support’s main advantage is the human connectivity that is achieved when hearing someone else’s voice and empathizing with it. Tone cannot be portrayed through a live chat, so the employee may often seem cold and unhelpful without the proper online etiquette. Furthermore, when a customer service representative is speaking to a person directly, it is often much easier to detect the customer’s mood and change the type of service they are receiving.
Ease of Access
- Although it may seem preposterous that someone is not fluent in the language of the internet, the elderly, those with visual impairments, and those with poor access to the internet may be left behind in the modern era. The accessibility of phone support is important to these groups of people. Where live chat requires the ability to type, access to the internet, and a device to connect with; phone support only requires the telephone being used.
Answers to Difficult Questions
- There is one area where neither chatbots nor live chats can compare to human interaction, and this is in the area of truly complex questions. Some questions are simply too difficult to be answered via live chat. When discussing complicated problems with a customer, it is often necessary to actually speak to them, as more of a dialog can be maintained over the phone.
But this can be easily avoided by implementing AI in your chatbot and training it to answer more complex questions.
What about the benefits of live chat?
- Labor costs tend to outweigh the costs of maintaining and running online features. Where employees can only answer one phone call at a time and talk to one customer at a time with phone support, representatives can talk to multiple people at once with live chat. This increased productivity allows for a more cost-efficient workplace. Many live chats also have chatbots, that can answer simple questions and save the more time-consuming and difficult work for the human employees.
- A database where companies can store the data given to employees on a live chat can prove to be valuable for customer support and business improvement. Live chats can save an accurate and complete transcript of chat data, allowing the company to track common complaints and questions, as well as new ones that need to be addressed. This easy access to a database of customer concerns can easily lead to a business that thrives because it listens and knows what its customers want. Although phone support can also save customer data, it is much more difficult for it to do so.
- With the help of chatbots to answer simple questions during the odd hours of the night, customer support can be available to customers at all times. This availability is unmatched when compared to phone support, as keeping a team of employees up at all hours of the night to answer calls can be costly and ineffective. Customers worldwide want exceedingly faster responses from businesses, with an article based on the Omnichannel Customer Report 2016 stating that in a span of three years, customers have only gotten more impatient. Customers that expected an e-mail response in half a day increased by 17% and customers that expected a resolution for their problem on the phone immediately increased by 7%.
- With a live chat, there are plenty of options to choose from when deciding how to interact with your customers. For example, live chats with chatbots can be created with specific traits or imagery to promote the company, or simple click-to-call buttons can be added to the chat so a customer can be redirected to a phone call with a representative.
Answers to Simple Questions
- Where phone support rises to the top with complicated questions, live chats do the same with the simple, repetitive ones that businesses may be asked daily. Live chats, especially ones supplemented with chatbots, are better for answering questions like “When are your hours?” and “Where are you located?”. According to the 2019 State of Conversational Marketing report, one of the biggest frustrations that customers have to deal with is the inability to receive answers to basic questions- this issue is easily resolved with live chat.
Is live chat always better than phone support?
In short, no, live chat is not always better than phone support. Each and every business has its own priorities and goals that need to be focused on when dealing with customer support. For online or small businesses, live chat can be the best option because it is affordable and online users will likely prefer a chatbot or live chat experience to one on the phone. Brick-and-mortar businesses with more expendable money can afford to spring for a call center, on the other hand. Many of their clientele will be accustomed to phone support and be unwilling or offended by a virtual option, due to its impersonal nature.
However, live chat supplemented by the option to talk to someone over the phone also is likely the best scenario. This allows for clientele who prefer one way or the other to choose whether they would like to speak to a representative or not. The addition of something like a “click-to-call” button on a live chat window allows for more flexibility.
It is important to look at both options when deciding between a live chat and phone support, for both have a variety of advantages and disadvantages to examine. Making the correct decision for your business can be difficult, but the importance of customer service cannot be understated.