Battle Of Synchronous Messaging: Phone vs. Live Chat

By:
Apr 28, 2021

It's hard to beat the benefits of phone support or live chat when it comes to customer service. I know you're probably thinking that this is a pretty basic thing, but there are some subtle differences between these two methods which could have an impact on how and when you use them for your customers' needs.

What Is The Value Of Phone Customer Support?

Although phone support is a dying means of communication, it’s still very valuable for many customers. For example, phone support is able to answer tough questions while simultaneously offering personalized support. No other type of support has this ability.

Not only that, but offering customer support over the phone can also resolve intricate problems faster. Just think about when you try to text someone a lot of information like you would in a chat support situation. We all know a phone call simplifies the back and forth.

Key takeaway: Customers with 24/7 phone support available to them get the benefits of personalized service, expert help resolving demanding issues and have the opportunity to get their ticket resolved faster than email or chat! But be careful because agents can only handle one customer at a time so wait times may be dependent on the day of week.

What Is The Value Of Live Chat Customer Support?

Live chat is a particularly helpful tool for companies looking to provide proactive customer support. It’s ability to pop up as soon as customers land on the website let’s customers know your company is available now or if they need something later on in their browsing experience. Think of chat as your customers’ personal attendant.

Now, according to the 2021 Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report, live chat messaging has seen an increase in popularity most likely because of its 24/7 abilities as well as its hand-off approach with the addition of AI. Customers can get a semi-personalized experience with the help of trained bots. Chatbots can also even create a ticket that a human agent will pick up when they're back at work - all without lifting a hand!

Key takeaway: Chat can be a great way to offer proactive support, 24/7 coverage, increase efficiency (agents can help multiple customers at once), and scale more easily. However, chat may not work for businesses wary of the personal aspect or those who think their customers quickly abandon if agents don't respond.

The Most Important Attributes Of Each

Timing

One of the best features about online chat is that it can happen anytime, unlike phone support. The advantage to this is that people will stay on your website for longer before they decide if they want to buy something or not.

Transcripts

For both phone support and chat support, keeping a record of what is being said is very convenient because there's a lot you can't see. With the ability to search keywords for text chats and having records of every conversation with customers all in one place it becomes easy to find patterns such as when they need help most often.

Trust

Providing exceptional, expected service is all about building trust. We all know how frustrating it is to be stuck on hold, or wait an eternity before speaking with a customer service agent who can't answer your question immediately and efficiently. If you can’t dedicate the resources to meet customer needs through phone consider live chat. Chat allows agents to simultaneously provide support to multiple customers. This route may help reduce the pressure placed on agents and allow them to dedicate more time for difficult customer questions.

Key takeaway: Exceptional customer service is created when timing is right for your customers, transcripts are seen as a resource and instilling trust in your customers is the ultimate goal. Without trust, customers lower expectations and don’t feel they can rely on you for providing an optimal experience.

Who’s The Winner? It’s A Draw

The support that you provide has the potential to set your business apart from the competition. Customers are using all sorts of channels to come in contact with their favorite brands and retailers. Usually using live chat for when they prefer a more personal touch while shopping online or need quick assistance on an order and phone lines for when they have larger problems but still want something resolved.

No matter where your customers are, you need to provide them with support. Having both options available will ensure everyone gets the appropriate amount of attention.

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