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Providing exceptional customer services is a key facet in creating loyal customers. It is difficult for any business to define what truly makes up exceptional service. Customer demands continue to evolve, and customers expect personalized and quick responses. Today’s technology gives businesses more options for customer communication, like live chat and texting, to meet these expectations and provide seamless customer service.

Businesses struggle with deciding between the two. Which one will be more beneficial to their customers? To their internal operations? The truth is, both are powerful communication techniques when used properly. The key to deciding is to thoroughly understand the advantages and disadvantages of both options.

Using texting for customer communication

According to recent statistics, 90% of individuals send at least one text message per day, making it a strong means of communication for businesses. Text messaging is a platform most of your customers are comfortable with. Here are some advantages and disadvantages you need to be aware of prior to implementation.

Advantages

  • Access on the go. Customers can reach out to you from wherever they are (as long as they have their mobile device).
  • Both parties gain instant access to the written conversation immediately.
  • No hold time. Unlike telephone calls that often lead to being put on hold, customers get a response quickly.
  • Confidential. Hackers can’t gain access to information transmitted via text.
  • No additional downloads. Nearly every available cell phone has text messaging capabilities. Your customers don’t need to download additional apps for communication.

Disadvantages

  • Can’t get too involved. Text messages are best when short and concise. When conversations get too lengthy, it leads to confusion and frustration.
  • Limited to the phone. Text messages are typically limited to mobile devices. This makes it difficult when the customer needs to gather information from another device.
  • No emotions. Businesses risk building strong relationships because it is difficult to show emotion or a desire to help through text-only messages.
  • Difficult to decipher. Some individuals use abbreviations and emoticons which make it difficult to document and decipher actual meaning.

Using live chat for customer communication

Businesses utilize live chat as a real-time customer communication method on their websites or in their mobile apps. Live chat is popular among users because they can get help without making a phone call. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this popular customer service solution.

Advantages

  • Instant. Customers can instantly submit questions while on the company website without having to wait, on hold.
  • Personalized. Instead of directing customers to a page of information, they get a more personalized response from a live individual.
  • Documentation. The chat session gets documented in real-time, and this transcript's easily saved in the customer’s information file.
  • Lengthy conversations. Live chat makes it easier to hold longer conversations. Customers have access to a keyboard and can copy and paste information from the website into the chat box.

Disadvantages

  • Not mobile-friendly. Live chat is difficult to use on mobile devices.
  • Lack of emotions. Customer service representatives aren’t always able to convey a personality and show the company cares about the customer experience.
  • Must stay active. If the customer gets sidetracked, the screen times out and they have to restart the conversation.
  • Can’t navigate between screens. Once the live chat box is open, customers have to stay on the screen and are unable to navigate between pages on the website.

Texting and live chat are both strong customer communication techniques for businesses to use. Deciding which is best depends on which is more appealing to your customers.