Online chat has become an increasingly popular customer service choice for businesses in all industries. It provides customers with an easy and intuitive way of contacting a company and gives businesses the ability to outsource this work without sacrificing quality.
In the world of online chat services, there are two common options: live chat and asynchronous support. Each of these services has been known to improve the customer service experience, but which comes out on top when comparing live chat vs. asynchronous support? Knowing which option is the right choice for your business starts with knowing what sets them apart.
What Is Live Chat?
Live chat is a real-time communication channel between your business and your customers that’s completely online. It functions as a pop-up window on your website that can instantly connect a visitor with a company representative such as a customer service or technical support specialist. There’s no need for your customer to sign into a profile or download any additional software; live chat is supported right in the browser window.
When a customer engages with a live chat window, they can enter into a live conversation with a real person. This makes live chat a great option for customer service, as it allows for instant communication. The customer won’t be put on hold or left waiting for extended periods of time for a response. The rapid back-and-forth communication helps to resolve issues quickly and can even facilitate a friendly rapport between the consumer and the representative.
What Is Asynchronous Support?
Asynchronous support, also referred to as asynchronous messaging, is another form of online communication used for customer service. While live chat has the service representative and customer conversing in real-time, asynchronous messaging allows the customer to pause and resume the conversation at their own discretion. If no representative is available at the time a customer engages with asynchronous support, they can still send their message. When a representative is able to respond, the customer can log back into the conversation and pick up right where they left off.
Live Chat vs. Asynchronous Support: Which Is Better?
Both live chat and asynchronous support have their advantages and limitations when it comes to providing a good customer service experience.
Customers tend to appreciate live chat for a wide variety of reasons. Its instantaneous nature means that they receive fast responses and a quick resolution to their problem, and they’re able to connect on a more personal level due to the natural flow of the conversation. However, there is also a limitation to live chat. If a customer is forced to step away from their computer, it will effectively end the live chat session. This can sometimes happen before the issue is resolved and may cause the customer to become frustrated.
Asynchronous support, on the other hand, allows customers to receive the help they need at their own convenience. Should a customer need to step away from the computer to attend to other matters, they don’t need to worry about having to restart the conversation. However, because an asynchronous conversation isn’t immediate, customers can be left waiting long periods of time for a response. This can cause interactions to become drawn out and tedious for the customer and take significantly longer to resolve an issue.
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