Which one to choose for your business?

Customer experience is one of the most important aspects of selling online.
Consumers prove more likely to buy if they have the opportunity to have direct contact with the seller.
Over the years, many solutions have been developed to maintain and facilitate communication between user and seller.

Today let’s talk about two specific types of contact that can help you manage your business: live chat and call.
Both allow your customers to receive immediate answers to their questions, but there are some key differences that can affect when and how you use them.

What do we mean by live chat?

Live chat support allows customers to instantly connect with companies through a website or app. These systems often involve opening a small frame that invites users to contact and allow interaction by sending and receiving messages in real time.

The customer then has the opportunity to receive assistance immediately, and on the other hand, customer service can guide the user to purchase and/or suggest additional products.

It is also possible to anticipate the topic via short forms or with chatbots. If designed correctly, these steps may not even make direct contact necessary.

Another tool that will be extremely useful to you is an FAQ section to which you can refer the user to elaborate on frequently asked questions for all those who like to do it themselves or at times when support is not operational.

There are 5 rules you need to keep in mind:

  1. Say hello: when a user starts the chat, greet them and immediately ask how you can be of help.
  2. Manage waits best: if you need time to retrieve information use formulas such as “give me a minute I’ll check,” “wait a moment I’ll verify,” “give me a moment I’ll be right back with you.”
  3. Prepare your responses: always make sure you have the information you need to provide correct and quick feedback at hand. For example, keep your order and shipping control panel open, create an in-depth document with the characteristics of your products or services so you can quickly retrieve anything you may need. Create, if possible, a set of recurring phrases so you can possibly copy-paste, adapting only the most variable elements.
  4. Don’t lose your cool: users dissatisfied with the product or one of the services may contact you in chat. If you handle the conversation correctly, you can change the customer’s mood. In such cases, remember not to further annoy the person you are talking to, for example, by minimizing the incident, blaming him, and writing irrelevant answers. Rather, try to reassure him, empathize, and offer a solution that can satisfy him.
  5. Postpone: for all those requests that require a longer handling time or the intervention of a third party, collect all the customer’s references, mark down the useful details of the conversation for good, and postpone to a later contact. If possible, also indicate a specific response time frame and try to stick to it so as not to create disappointment.

Why should we choose chats?

All of these elements ensure curated and well-managed support that can even increase revenue by increasing the conversion rate as we explained in this article.

A very important aspect that should not be underestimated is increasing consumer loyalty: it is by answering their questions that you can improve their buying experience and loyalty to your brand.

You may have never thought about it, but live chats are used to humanize your business: consumers realize that there are real people behind an online shop.

What changes with calls?

We can say that calls ensure the same kind of availability as live chats. In this case, however, they are done directly by voice. This is an element that could make the customer perceive a greater personal connection to the company.

This perception helps to increase trust in the brand; even the mere mention of the phone number is evidence of greater credibility for an e-commerce business.

On the other hand, despite the availability of newer channels such as chat and messaging, phone support is still the mainstay for many customers especially with a certain age group.

More space for phone calls

There are a few things to keep in mind, however:

  • agents can only handle one call at a time;
  • support cannot be h24;
  • the waiting time to reach an agent could also be very long in case of a large number of requests and the customer might get impatient;
  • with operators from a different country than the user’s country, there may be comprehension problems for different languages;

Call centers often use pre-selection of the reason for calling through dial numbers, which are certainly useful but at the same time alienate the operator.

In general, a phone contact takes longer than a chat contact.
This can have a negative effect in that during peak hours your customer service may fill up quickly, generating frustration among people who need assistance.

Who is the winner?

Both live chat and telephone support are viable types of support that have pros and cons.
They allow you to manage relationships with users in different ways, and you can use both to ensure personalized assistance.
For example, you can prioritize live chat support so as not to overload customer service with phone calls.

But remember, one solution does not exclude the other, the important thing is to ensure a positive experience!