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The Pros and Cons of Live Website Chat

Heather Gasvoda Posted by Heather Gasvoda on July 2, 2020

Business woman hand typing on keyboard with chat icons aroundManaging a business comes with its challenges. At any given time, there are countless clients to serve. Business owners and employees can find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of "to-dos" on their checklist and number of clients to delight.

The implementation of a Website Chat can be a valuable asset for any business looking to connect with clients as quickly and efficiently as possible. As with almost every other decision in life, there are both pros and cons to be weighed when deciding if using a Website Chat is the right decision for your business.

Pros

Immediate Customer Service

We live in a consumer-oriented society in which customers want answers to their questions as quickly as possible. People expect instant communication with businesses because they have instant communication with almost every other relationship in their life, too.

Having a resource available to immediately engage with and answer questions that your customers have will delight your customers and give them the answers they are looking for without having to pick up the phone.

Some Customers Prefer Written Communication

According to Comm 100, Millennials have reported a preference for live chat over other channels due to its convenience. And they aren’t the only ones who have a need for convenience and speed. American Express reports that 40% of individuals want companies to take care of their needs faster.

Live Website Chat provides the opportunity to give customers the speed and convenience that customers are looking for. 

Also, an added benefit is that written communication can be documented for both the customer and business's records so that if a question of what was or wasn't said comes up later, then the answer can be found in writing.

Cost and Time Efficient

The upfront costs of implementing a Website Chat Bot system can seem daunting, but the long term pay-off makes it an incredible savings. However, some chat functions are free with other services. 

Instead of paying a part or full-time customer service specialist to sit on the phone to take care of customers, having a Website Chat system available can save employees time to tend to other important business matters while they are assisting online.

Cons

Not Every Question Can Be Answered Efficiently

Website Chat works best with simple, straight-forward questions. If we could snap our fingers and make every customer question that simple, then we would. Unfortunately, sometimes people have tricky, conditional questions or unique scenarios that require more explanation. It's not their fault; they're human and that's just part of the process. 

However, any complex questions with multiple answers or explanations that a customer may have require longer wait times for the customer. Keep in mind that this could be frustrating for customers who originally came to shorten their wait times.

Impersonal

Some customers may miss the personal feel of chatting with a human on the phone. It can be difficult to translate tone and warmth via written words.

There are some generational differences in preference for talking on the phone versus texting and you certainly can't always be everything that everyone could ever want. 

While many components of organic conversation can be conveyed via written messages, the sound of someone's voice and tone are still hard to translate to Website Chatting for some professionals.

Time Zone Limitations

Because the internet is open 24/7 and customers can always be online, Website Chat being limited to a set window of hours can be frustrating for some consumers.

Website Chat Bots can be programmed to have automatic replies outside of the hours when their live representatives are logged off, but this may be frustrating for any potential customer logging in from a different part of the world. Automatic responses do tend to feel a little more rigid but can be beneficial in acknowledging the potential customer and assuring them that help will come, just at a different time.

Even though the quality of the service could be extraordinary, if it happens to be at the wrong time, customers may not be willing to wait for the time slot to reopen.

All in All... 

Businesses need to connect with their customers in the way that is most beneficial to the customer. In 2020, many people expect to be able to conduct most of if not all of their business online. 

And it's important that businesses respond to that demand. 

With that in mind, every business and every customer is unique. Weighing the above factors will help business owners decide if implementing a Website Chat is the right decision for their company and its customers.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Customer Service, Demand Generation, marketing tools

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