When your business gets an influx of customer questions, you know you have hit a growth milestone. A growing business will reach a point of having too many customer requests, and failing to respond to each customer inquiry will jeopardize your operations.
As a business owner, you might wonder how to meet all that demand, where to find the best solution that fits your needs and budget, or how to ensure calls are being answered all day. When your customer service department reaches a point where the in-house team cannot keep up with the influx of calls, you can either expand your phone support or utilize an online live chat to meet demand.
Both phone support and online live chat have their advantages and disadvantages. With a little research, you can choose the right one for your business.
What Is Live Chat?
We have all visited websites where a chat box pops up to offer answers to your questions. There are two types of live chat assistance: a bot that answers questions by providing options to choose from and a real agent who you can interact with in real-time.
A recent Zendesk report mentions an uptick in live chat tickets — they surged to a record 50% during the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating that live chat is a viable option many businesses are turning to.
- Can promptly answer simple questions and solve uncomplicated issues, especially if a chatbot is helping with yes or no questions or providing links to similar issues.
- Live chat also means you can handle multiple chats at the same time, providing assistance to your clients on time.
- It can boost your revenue. 38% of customers said offering live chat would likely make them buy from that company.
- One of the most beneficial and unique aspects of live chat is that it doesn’t need to adhere to your business hours. Customers can seek answers anytime outside of your regular business hours.
- An important factor to consider is that live chat is not designed to solve complex problems or situations.
- It lacks the human touch that phone support offers.
- There could be a potential wait with live chat.
- When interacting with chatbots, scripted responses can be frustrating (and 29% of customers agree).
- Not all data can be shared on live chat — personal information, for example.
- Customers who are not familiar with this option might confuse it with spam.
What Does Phone Support Include?
More than half of customers still prefer over-the-phone support. 62% said they would rather solve a problem over the phone with the company, and three in four customers still prefer to have a one-on-one interaction with a human. Phone support can solve more complex customer issues while providing a personal touch and customizable solutions that fit each customer.
In the wake of the pandemic, many businesses are opting to hire an answering service that offers more than simple assistance to your clients over the phone. They provide additional services like outbound calls and text messages as well as helping with various admin tasks.
Keep in mind that phone support can either be in-house or outsourced, depending on your business needs.
- It can offer a personalized experience that fits each customer.
- Phone support can also offer a call-back system so your clients don’t have to wait on the line to reach a representative.
- Phone support solves issues promptly on the first call, saving customers’ time instead of emailing back and forth.
- Wait time to speak with an agent can be frustrating to customers, who are eager to solve their issue promptly.
- At times, the automated system that leads you to speak to a human representative can be confusing and frustrating.
- Having a large enough in-house team to handle all customers’ inquiries could be costly to implement, especially for small businesses.
What’s Best for Your Business?
Great customer service is the backbone of any successful business. Excellent and attentive customer service has the power to increase revenue, turn first-time shoppers into loyal customers, and save you time and operational costs. Therefore, you need to weigh your options carefully. Both live chat and phone support have their advantages and disadvantages. Consider your business needs, capacity, and long-term goals, and compare both options. Always remember: the goal is to provide excellent support for customers when they need it and deliver solutions in an efficient, timely manner.