Many businesses employ some type of live answering service to interact with customers. Both live phone support and online chat services have their own advantages. Here’s what you need to know about both types of answering services.
Who Initiates Contact?
Phone support is always initiated by the customer. Live chat, on the other hand, can be initiated by either the customer or the business. Offering customers a simple, “Hi. Is there anything I can help you with today?” can open the door to communication. On the other hand, pop-up chat that’s too insistent can come across as pushy and scare customers away.
A Personal Touch
Talking with someone over the phone is the best way to establish a human connection with customers. Online chat can sometimes come across as cold and impersonal. At worst, a customer might misinterpret something and think the person messaging them is bored, in a rush, or downright rude. Hearing a friendly voice on the other end of the phone eliminates most of these misunderstandings and helps customers feel like their needs are being taken seriously.
Efficient Customer Service
A live chat answering service is often able to respond to customers in a timelier fashion than a phone service. People answering online chat can help multiple customers at the same time, ensuring that no one is kept waiting. With phone support, customers may have to wait for the next available operator. However, this largely depends on your phone support service and how efficient they are at taking calls.
The bottom line is that some customers prefer live online chat, while others prefer the security of talking to a real person on the phone. Business owners may be able to determine which one more of their customers will prefer--for instance, older customers tend to prefer phone calls while younger customers typically prefer online interactions. The best bet is to offer both options and let the customer decide.