Live chat vs. asynchronous chat: Which is better?

Adam Alred • 09 Nov 2022 • 3 min read

As we’re sure you’re aware, online chat has become an increasingly popular form of communication in terms of customer service options for businesses in all industries. Not only does it provide customers with an easy and intuitive way of contacting a company, but it gives businesses the ability to outsource this work while maintaining chat quality.

And when it comes to the world of online chat services, there are two common options for businesses to choose from – live chat and asynchronous chat – both of which have been known to improve the customer service experience substantially.

But is one form of chat better than the other? 

Well, to help you decide which form might be better suited for your business, were going to break down what live chat and asynchronous messaging customer service are, how they differ, and the benefits of each. 

What Is live chat?

In its simplest form, 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.

This means that there’s no need for your customer to sign into a profile or download any additional software, as live chat is supported right in the browser window, letting them immediately get in touch with a real staff member to handle their problem.

This makes live chat a great option for customer service, as it allows for instant communication with minimal barriers.

The customer won’t be put on hold or left waiting for extended periods of time for a response and the rapid back-and-forth communication helps to resolve issues quickly. It can even facilitate a friendly rapport between the consumer and the representative.

What is asynchronous chat?

So, we know what live chat is, but what is asynchronous messaging? 

In comparison to live, chat asynchronous support chat, also referred to as asynchronous messaging, is another form of online communication used for customer service, though one that allows for conversations to be paused and returned to at any time.

While live chat has the service representative and customer conversing in real-time, asynchronous messaging allows the customer to query your business and get a response the moment someone is avaliable.

For example, if no representative is available at the time a customer engages with asynchronous support, they can still send their message and be replied to later when a representative is able to respond. This means that the customer can log back into the conversation and pick up right where they left off.

Live chat vs. asynchronous support: which is better?

As you’ve no doubt already guessed, 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, while there are many benefits of live chat, it also has its limitations. For example, 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.

But no matter what form of chat you choose to use for your business, there’s no doubt that it can help improve your customer service branch. Of course, if you need help implementing a live chat function, then VoiceNation can lend a hand. Our live chat service is handled by professional receptionists who can focus directly on meeting your customer’s needs, meaning you can focus on the important areas of your business.

Get in touch today to learn more and visit our blog for similar articles to this one, such as our pieces  on live chat vs. voice chat and how to deal with chatbots. 

By Adam Alred

VP of IT @ VoiceNation