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From the blog

Customer Service: Live Chat vs. Telephone Support

It doesn’t matter what your company’s service or product is, you will have to provide some sort of customer support. Traditionally, companies have relied on telephone agents to assist customers with their issues, and telephone support remains the preferred method for providing service. But with the ever-evolving live chat functions being utilized by everyone from hotels to online retail, companies are beginning to look at new options for their customer experience.

Both techniques are great for interacting with customers, so we’ve laid out the pros and cons of each so that you can better decide what’s right for you.

Telephone

Pros

  • Customers still want to hear another voice solve their problems, this was proven in a study by Google that found that 57% of respondents call a customer service line so that they can speak to a human.
  • More personal, you’re able to come off sincerer in your responses.
  • Easier for agents to determine a customer’s state of mind, or emotional state.
  • Customers may be more comfortable speaking than typing, and as a result, you won’t have to decipher interpret choppy writing.

Cons

  • It’s harder for an agent to disguise their emotions, if a caller rubs you the wrong way and your voice begins to reflect that, then they’ll be able to tell.
  • A customer’s message can get lost because of bad cell service or a faulty connection.
  • Setting up telephone systems in a call center is costly, and it requires time for them to be fully operational.

Live Chat

Pros

  • Quick response, which means customers will wait less time for an answer.
  • Live chat allows agents to handle more clients at once since problems are resolved quicker.
  • Convenience is important for customers; a 2016 report by Econsultancy found that 21% of people prefer live chat because it allows them to shop while they work.
  • The ability to engage a customer the moment they visit your website via pop-up chat plug-ins; this is helpful if your company has an online storefront.
  • Opportunities for upselling if a chat is initiated at checkout.

Cons

  • Not everyone is proficient at typing, you can encounter spelling errors, sentences that don’t make sense, and customers that type very slowly.
  • Agent will have to learn to convey sincerity, or urgency through their messaging. Additionally, messages can be misinterpreted due to the lack of personalization (in comparison to speaking over the phone).

As you can see, there are many differences between live chat and the more traditional phone-based customer service. There are benefits to each, outperforming the other in different aspects of the customer experience. Your company’s customer service strategy should incorporate a mix of both for optimum results, that way you can reach more clients in a shorter amount of time while also taking time to dissolve any major conflicts. Implementation of both also allows you to stay in contact you’re your customers, which is important since according to an Ubisend 2016 report, 51% of people think a company should be available 24/7.

Remember, customer service is the face and voice of your company, so putting the effort into customizing an efficient, pleasant, and results oriented customer experience should be priority number one.

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