What Is Live Chat Customer Service, and What Other Forms Can Live Customer Service Take?

For decades, when a customer wanted an immediate answer from a live human being, they’d need to pick up the phone and call the business in question directly during their regular business hours. This option is still available, and when your business uses a live answering service, your customers can even get the answers they need 24/7, not just from 9 to 5. But while most customers like getting prompt service, not everyone likes talking on the phone when they have a question or are in need of support. These days, there are also a few other options you can offer when your customers need assistance, including live chat support, email, and social media interaction. But are these options good choices for your business?

What Is Chat-Based Customer Service?

Live chat is becoming one of the best tools a business can have in its arsenal because it’s a perfect mixture of email and phone service. But what is live chat in customer service? Simply put, it’s the ability for a customer to type their questions into a chat box and get answers in real-time from a live person. You can set up your live chat widget to trigger proactively when a customer lands on a page or place it off to the side for the user to click on when they want to use it. This is a great service that’s particularly popular with younger customers more used to text messaging than talking. It can also save the conversation history to be examined later, giving you data that can help you optimize your company’s customer service. However, if your core demographic skews older, live chat might not be the right option for you, as older customers may find it less comfortable to use.

What Is Email Customer Service Support?

Email was one of the original channels for online customer service, and even today, with plenty of new customer service options available, it is still one of the most used. The biggest pro of email support is that it allows customers to take their time putting their concerns into words, and it also provides a written record of the conversation for the customer. In addition, files and links can easily be sent back and forth as needed. However, email is slower than live chat, especially if a company gets inundated with emails and can’t respond to them all right away. On the upside, customers can send an email at any time, whether it’s during regular business hours or not; however, if nobody’s in the office on the other end when the message is sent, there won’t be a prompt reply. It’s always a good idea to have email customer service support as one of your options for communicating with customers, but it shouldn’t be your only option.

What Is Social Media Support?

Social media support is when companies offer help through channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or Snapchat. It’s a great way to reach out to your customers where the conversation is happening. Social media support doesn’t take much effort for the customers and allows for a more personalized experience, and sometimes, customers will find that they can help each other, too. However, social media can be a very negative place, and customer expectations can be very high. Customers will look for a rapid reply to their messages, and one wrong word or shade of meaning can have a negative impact on the brand. Social media can be a great tool to have in your customer service arsenal, but use it with care.

What Is a Chat-Based Customer Service I Can Use for My Company?

At VoiceNation, we may be well-known for our live answering service, but we also offer superior live chat support! We’ll handle all of your customer service inquiries through live chat 24/7, 365 days a year, and we’ll do so while providing a seamless experience, so customers won’t even know it’s not you on the other end of the conversation. Our highly trained staff are well-equipped to serve your customers whenever they need you, either by phone or through live chat. Want to try it for yourself? Sign up for a free trial today!