Pros & Cons of Providing Support via Live Chat

Gemma Baker
by Gemma Baker 30 Nov, 2015

An average customer has come to expect instant support. It is vital that organizations can perform, especially when running an international or 24-hour business, as restricting the times their customers can make contact will have a damaging effect. 


Most "household name" businesses have realized the importance that customer service has on their organization's bottom line. With the likes of social media, reputation can spread like wildfire, take Volkswagen for example and how quickly everyone was discussing the emissions scandal


It is vitally important that companies keep customer service a priority and adapt with the modern customer. A whole range of customer support tools are now available to small and large businesses alike; it is a no-brainer that organizations should be implementing a full spectrum of communication channels. 


With live chat software becoming the more popular option for customer communication, there are many benefits and a few setbacks on the newest contact tool. 


Hanging on the Telephone


Live chat is an instant solution; customers should no longer have to wait in queues, listening to Blondie or any other "on-hold" music businesses choose. Live chat software is all about having a real-time conversation in the digital world to maintain the same human interaction customers would expect in a physical shop. 


Ensuring the button is visible, whether using a button that follows customers around the site and as they scroll, or embedding the button near the telephone number, presents live chat software as the first port of call, allowing businesses to deal with inquiries quickly and efficiently. 


Overcoming Language Barriers 


One of the main problems experienced by international businesses can be the cost for customers to call overseas. 


Language barriers can occur if there is no or very little understanding of a common language between the caller and the representative. Live chat software strips this completely away; it desn't matter where the visitor is located as there is no cost involved. 


However when using chat, operators can copy and paste phrases from Google Translate if the visitor is more comfortable speaking in a certain language. The visitor can take a little more time to write what they need to get across, and as there are no accents involved both sides have more chance of understanding what is being said.  


Gone Fishing


Smaller businesses cannot always afford to have employees managing the software 24 hours/seven days a week, however that desn't mean their customer service has to suffer. The majority of chat providers supply an offline form, some of which are customizable, allowing businesses to collect visitor data even when they are not there. 


However if many visitors are completing the form, requesting contact, there may be demand for the chat to be available longer. Contact centers who offer managed services can help in this circumstance. 


The Consumer's Choice


Customer service is vital for every business, even though live chat is becoming ever more popular, it should still be used among the range of communications channels rather than depended on solely. Customer service is about assuring the customer with the correct information, regardless of which channel they prefer to use. Therefore the least a business should do is ensure they keep up with the modern customer.