Since live chat started to be offered as an online service, there have been debatesabout whether this method of responding to customer needs is much better than using the telephone as a means of communication. Although this service has been around for a while, there are still a lot of people who believe that using the phone is better. The debate continues: is live chat for websites better than the telephone when it comes to customer communication?
The Time Factor
It is obvious that one of the advantages of using live chat for websitesis that you can respond to your customers in a timely manner. Comments and questions posted in the chat window can immediately be answered. Also since the chat is initiated by the visitor of your website you are always given a queue.
The downside of live chat is that it is dependent on your internet connection. If you lose connection, you will not be able to respond to your customers. The good thing about it is that customers or website visitors can leave offline messages so you won’t miss any messages. You can easily get back to them when you get your connection back.
While the telephone can also give you the chance to respond to your customer’s inquiries in a timely manner, it takes more effort on the part of your customers. They have to look for your number and punch the numbers on their phones. Some might not even have a phone within an arm’s reach. What the telephone has over live chat services is the emotional connection that you can have with the person at the other end of the line. You both hear each other’s voice as you speak. The expression on your voice may give more appeal to your words.
Accuracy of Messages
Some people find it easier to understand responses to their live chat inquiries. They are able to read the replies several times until they are satisfied. It is easy to miss certain points in the communication when speaking over the telephone. There might also be problems with the line that would make it difficult for you and your customer to understand each other. In a live chat for websites, you simply type your messages in the chat box. The customers can also save the chat conversation for future reference.
Responsiveness of Live Chat for Websites
Using live chat is considered more responsive for the following reasons:
- You can entertain more than one customer at a time. You do not have to wait to finish one session before you entertain another customer. This means shorter waiting time for your customers.
- Your customers do not have to wait for you. The routing facility that comes with most live chat services take care of managing the queue of chat requests. In case there are a lot of chat requests, there is a monitoring facility that routes the chat requests to another available chat representative.
The Cost Advantage
Most business owners using live chat say they save a lot on these services. This is especially true for online businesses. There is no need to pay for another business line with your telephone company. The live chat feature is simply installed in your website. Added features that make live chat cost effective are lead generation and call monitoring.
In the debate about which is the better customer communication tool, it is obvious that live chat for websites is winning. With the innovations in technology, this feature will continue to be improved to provide a better solution to companies looking for ways to enhance their customer communication.