Live Chat vs. Phone Support: Why Your Business Needs Both

If you’re trying to decide between live chat and phone support, allow us to settle the debate right now: both live chat and phone support are essential parts of a successful customer service strategy, so no matter what type of company you are, it’s in your best interest to have both. 

Each type of support has its own set of pros and cons, and you’ll be missing a chance to serve your customers if you choose to leave out one platform. Check out our guide to learn more about live chat vs phone support statistics, the benefits of phone support, and the benefits of live chat for customer service.

Benefits of Live Chat

Many companies wonder: Do customers like live chat?

For many years, live chat was considered an extra perk that could certainly enhance a customer service strategy, but was not completely essential. But now that 42% of customers prefer live chat over other forms of customer service, it’s a crucial asset for all types of businesses who want to compete in their industry. 

Live chat allows your agents to quickly help more customers, provide real-time support, and reduce response times. In fact, live chat representatives can usually solve a customer’s concern within just 40 seconds.

Drawbacks of Live Chat

Though the benefits of live chat are plentiful, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind. For example, even though a large segment of your customers may prefer live chat, not all customers will understand it or want to use it. If you have customers who are older and aren’t familiar with the latest technology, they probably won’t be excited about using live chat to resolve customer service issues.

It can also be difficult for agents to convey a friendly but professional tone over live chat, so you’ll want to make sure your agents receive thorough training before getting started. In any case, understanding the downsides of live chat will help you overcome obstacles and better incorporate it within your existing customer service strategy. 

Benefits of Phone Support

We’ve already discussed the fact that some of your customers won’t be keen on using live chat. So where will those customers turn when they have questions or concerns? That’s right—they’ll be reaching for the phone. This is why phone support is also an essential part of customer service for today’s businesses. There’s no replacement for the empathy and humanity your agents can convey in a customer support phone call.

While many issues may be resolved via email or live chat, some of them may escalate to a phone call, proving that it’s still one of the most effective ways to help all types of customers. If you’re not making it easy for your customers to contact you by phone, they’re more likely to support another brand with accessible phone support.

Drawbacks of Phone Support

While many of your most important customer service concerns will be resolved over phone support, it’s certainly not the most cost-effective solution. Offering phone support can be inefficient and difficult to scale. However, outsourcing phone support with call center services can take away many of the challenges surrounding this form of customer service.

Creating an Omnichannel Customer Service Approach

Today’s smartest companies are moving from a multi-channel to an omnichannel approach to customer service. Omnichannel customer service allows a customer to use self-service for basic inquiries, contact your business via email or social media, and transfer the conversation easily to another channel without having to start from the beginning every time they talk to a new agent.

Live chat and phone support are both key elements of a seamless, omnichannel customer service approach. Live chat can be used to handle simple inquiries from multiple customers at once, saving you money, increasing efficiency, and boosting customer satisfaction.

On the other hand, phone support should be readily available for those customers who aren’t comfortable with live chat technology or who want the human touch of talking to an agent over the phone. Customers should be able to easily transfer from live chat to phone support, or vice versa.

Create Your Omnichannel Customer Support Today

Ready to offer live chat services, phone support, or any other type of customer service support to your customers? Implementing these platforms will help you reduce costs and increase efficiency while delivering tangible results both you and your customers notice right away. Take time to decide on how live chat and phone support can best work for your customers. You won’t regret investing the time and resources in your customer service strategy.

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