Choosing the right customer support channel is fundamental in establishing good customer relationship. Phone and chat are among the hundreds of means that facilitate customer service in any business. Yet, most businesses either have no clue about or care less of which is -inherently- better in dealing with customers? A phone call or chat?
Hearing the representative’s voice is one the biggest advantages of phone support. It gives the customer the feeling that they are talking to an actual person. Such advantage is not present with chat support where emotions are filtered out and replaced with plain flat text. Besides, many people talk faster than they can type which make them more comfortable with phone calls, yet another advantage.
Nonetheless, among of the biggest limitations with phone support are the long wait times, background noise and most notably, the slow response time. Adding to that the language barrier between the representative and customers which not only can hinder the support service’s effectiveness but also discourage the customers from making the call in the first place.
When it comes economy as well as technology perspective, live chat cost less to deploy. Most of the live chat services are cloud based which makes them highly scalable. Contrarily, phone support demands more local infrastructure, more deployment effort and more upfront investment.
Besides, chat support offers several additional benefits that, might not immediately translate to your bottom-line, but will maximize your customer’s retention and add lifetime value. By assigning the right representative to customers, the customers will have the ability to rapidly connect and interact with the most knowledgeable representatives in your support team. If a customer happened to experience long waits on the telephone,he or she is likely to appreciate the quick response offered by chat support.
Furthermore, chat support enables both customers and representatives to share media information such images, videos and links that can collectively improve customer support and enhance customer experience.
Phone vs. Chat?
Both chat and voice-based customer service are important in connecting customers with the support team. Phone support, despite its obvious limitations, has been around for so long that it became a legacy. Thus, it’s yet hard to tell whether or not chat-based support will fully replace it in the near feature. However, one thing for sure is that, when you’re responding to customers, it’s better to be fast than effective.
The growing usage and popularity of instant messaging apps not only makes chat supports instantaneous but also many steps ahead from the traditional phone support in winning the customer support channel race.