If your company serves clients, customers, or prospects, it is critical to deliver the highest quality service available. Despite the introduction of new support channels and the expansion of contact centres, communicating with a human over the phone remains a popular option. Many of us are tired of sitting on hold, yet a phone conversation provides the amount of customization that many people need. However, this does not imply that phone support is the sole means or the only alternative. Customers are always surfing the web and preferring websites to shops and phone orders, so businesses should meet them where they currently are: straight on your website. This is where Live Chat assistance comes in, bridging the digital gap between the consumer and the agent. Live Chat software has a number of advantages over traditional phone help, but this does not mean that phone assistance is defunct; contact centres are still plentiful.
In reality, just the opposite: your company should aim to discover the optimal mix between phone support and live chat, as well as knowing when to use and exploit each channel precisely. We put together this comprehensive guide to assist your team understand the immediate advantages of both Live Chat and Phone Support, as well as how to use both channels to create the greatest customer experience possible.
Live Chat vs Phone Support
We are not aiming to proclaim a clear victor in this discussion; rather, we want to offer your company with the knowledge it requires to make the best decision possible given the circumstances. In an ideal world, every firm would endeavour to provide service through every available channel; however, in reality, this is just not practical. The more support channels your company attempts to provide, the more data that must be managed, agents that must be hired, and software that must be purchased.
As a result, it is simply not possible for every company to use every available communication channel. Instead, it's critical to grasp the advantages and disadvantages of both Phone and Live Chat assistance in order to identify the appropriate circumstances for each channel. Some businesses may be able to get away with simply providing Live Chat on their website or mobile app, whereas others may require the personalised experience that a phone call can provide.
Customers virtually always conduct their product or service research online these days. This has prompted businesses to put live chat software on their websites in order to provide rapid interaction alternatives, but this does not imply that phone assistance has become an obsolete customer service technique.
Despite the trend of utilising chatbots in live chat and other cross-channel customer care solutions, many clients still seek actual human touch. According to a study conducted by InContact with over 4,700 respondents, 67% of consumers still prefer to have agents assist them via phone support, live chat, or email support.
Before deciding if your company requires both service channels or simply one, you must carefully examine and evaluate your company's demands and available resources. Success in connecting with your clients comes from knowing whether to utilise chat support or phone support, or when you can combine the benefits of both channels to compliment one another.
You must understand the major distinctions between the two in order to make an educated selection in your quest of a balanced approach to customer service.
Phone assistance for your clients might be more expensive since it necessitates extensive organising and planning with your contact centre in terms of hiring, training, and scheduling your call centre personnel.
Live chat assistance is cost-effective since one person may answer several chats at the same time, eliminating the need for additional agents. Furthermore, because live chat does not necessitate the construction of phone lines and cutting-edge technology, overhead costs and facility maintenance charges are lowered. Furthermore, chat support frequently includes ticketing management solutions that may be linked with your organization's existing customer relationship management system (CRM).
With phone help, you may have to wait a long time before being connected to an available customer care professional. The "industry norm" is to respond to 80% of calls in less than 20 seconds. Of course, if you are like most people who have called customer service centres numerous times, you are aware that wait times can last for minutes.
Response times for live chat are often substantially faster than for phone assistance. When it comes to sensitive information, such as payment information, consumers prefer to interact with actual customer care agents over the phone than than inputting their concerns.
Customers also prefer to contact when they have a problem with a product or service, or when they need to change their account information. Phone support allows agents to demonstrate genuine empathy and ease customers on the other end of the line during stressful situations. Chat help, on the other hand, is more likely to be lost in translation. Furthermore, chatbots should not be used only for live help. While bots are fantastic at answering simple questions, they lack empathy and may lack the problem-solving ability of an experienced and properly trained contact centre employee.
Data documentation and metrics
Both chat help and live assistance have the ability to provide you with high-quality leads. Based on recorded interactions with your target market, the two communication channels will allow your organisation to collect crucial data that will benefit your team in producing better marketing strategies, goods, and services.
Live chat employs transcripts, which take up less storage space than phone conversation records and make data analysis much easier by searching for certain keywords.
Productivity of agents
When encouraged to multitask for the sake of efficiency, live chat support professionals might get agitated, annoyed, and distracted. Handling several questions at once implies they may be split too thin, lowering the quality of their service.
Phone help is often slower than live chat in many circumstances. This is because contact centre operators can only handle one customer at a time, which takes time and increases client wait times. However, because customer care agents can offer consumers their complete attention, resolution rates increase.
In the end, it's nearly hard to declare one option "better" than another. In different situations, different tools, solutions, apps, and platforms will perform well. Just because Live Chat is a quick and easy way for clients and consumers to contact your company does not imply it is the best or preferred approach. Many customers still prefer the personalised connection that a phone call can provide; however, many customers prefer to receive support as quickly and easily as possible.
In an ideal world, every Contact Center would strive for a blended, omnichannel solution – a strategy that merges as many channels as possible into a single experience. Knowing when to use multiple communication and support channels is a crucial distinction that allows firms to stand out from the crowd. Don't dismiss Live Chat or Phone Support as fads; instead, understand their benefits and drawbacks in order to provide the best customer experience possible.
For organisations with a significant web presence, live chat is extremely practical and cost-effective. Offering live chat is definitely more appropriate if your company operates on an eCommerce site, Facebook, or an app. Customers despise it when it takes them a long time to contact a company. Providing live chat on platforms where your customers are already present creates a seamless customer experience. Remember that making yourself available to your customers is the first step toward providing excellent customer service.
On the other hand, if you provide high-end products and services to VIP clients, you will almost certainly require phone support. Customers willing to pay a higher price will always expect personalised service. Furthermore, trained agents will be able to detect subtleties in the client's tone of voice or manner of speech and adjust to the situation in real time.
Some small businesses may be doing fine with either chat support or phone support, but many companies find that implementing both improves their overall customer service.