Is Live Chat Or Phone Only, The New Way To Deny Customer Service?

by Brent Stangel Banned
9 replies
Hey All!

More and more sites are going to a "live chat or phone" only support format.

I was just on the PSN with a minor issue about my account. When I opened the chat it said there were 130 customers ahead of me in the queue.

My issue is not important so I just left.

Others, of course, will have important issues and may not have the time to wait.

What do you think of this practice?

Is it a way to weed out the unimportant (like my PSN issue) or do you think they are hoping a lot of people won't want to wait and will look elsewhere for help?

I would be very interested to see the numbers from a big site like PSN or Hostgator.

Do you have any plans to test this on your sites?

I think I might...

Brent
#business #chat #customer #customer service #deny #live #live chat #phone #service #support
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I think it's a way to streamline customer service and perhaps also limit the amount of time spent on overly demanding customers. Like any business, hosting companies have to keep streamlining/automating operations to keep profits growing without raising prices.

    Sometimes you can change the wait time by calling or chatting late night or very early am hours. Like you, if it wasn't a critical issues, I'd hang up and get the info elsewhere.

    For hosting companies in particular - you'd be surprised how many people expect a $5-10 hosting provider to also provide full advice on how to build a site, etc. I expect that problem has only increased due to so many more people trying to earn online.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    It's likely a way to save money.
    It might not be the best practice, but companies seem to be in a contracting/savings mode right now
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Banned
    I think it's a way to streamline customer service and perhaps also limit the amount of time spent on overly demanding customers
    From LivePerson:

    Messaging and bots lower customer care costs by 48% by shifting away from expensive, customer-hostile voice calls

    Consumers love messaging. The first brands to offer messaging for customer care have seen CSAT up to 92% — dramatically higher than voice.
    https://www.liveperson.com/
    I just spent the last hour adding Zendesk chat to a new site I'm building.

    It's really easy.

    I'm trying to weed out all the review/endorse requests that have nothing to do with site support. I'm starting to think "chat only" will curtail those contacts.
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    I've always provided multiple contact options for my customers and prospects including email-based help desk, mobile text messaging, phone, and live chat (during local business hours).

    What I found that generally people will most likely defer to self-help information if available such as FAQ section or search features on websites.

    However, just having multiple contact channels available does seem to dramatically increase conversion rates. (Nearly all of my websites sell affiliate products.)
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    For most issues I really like email or support tickets, especially if the issue is not pressing. Live Chat is fine as long as I do not have to wait more than 5 minutes.
    I really hate the phone unless it is absolutely necessary. I could be doing other things rather than waiting for someone to answer the phone only to be told to hold so they can ask someone that actually knows something.

    al
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    • Profile picture of the author vedremo
      Banned
      Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

      For most issues I really like email or support tickets, especially if the issue is not pressing. Live Chat is fine as long as I do not have to wait more than 5 minutes.
      I really hate the phone unless it is absolutely necessary. I could be doing other things rather than waiting for someone to answer the phone only to be told to hold so they can ask someone that actually knows something.

      al
      100%.

      The worst is forcing this and then forcing / requesting (with no reasonable alternative) to place the customer on hold for an indefinite period of time because they don't know what to do.

      And then "Please sir, can you do me a favour? Sir please stay on the line to provide feedback about your experience today" (Telstra!).

      To me it really irks me giving service providers a blank cheque for my time for an issue that is more often than not an issue with the service provider.
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    Chat, email or ticket system would be the way I would go. That way you could hire inexpensive VA's, as long as they are proficient in reading / writing in the required language.

    I know someone that has a supplement company and they do well over $20mm per year and their non phone customer support is done through VA's.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnny west
    Banned
    I personally prefer receiving support via live chat (over a phone call), but I've never been in a queue with 130 people ahead of me before! Eeeeek! Perhaps there is a better way...
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  • Profile picture of the author Vinayak Ravi
    I feel its good in certain ways, especially if I get the issue resolved by chatting for 5 mins to a human not a bot. What becomes really annoying is when companies use bots on the page (don't tell you upfront that you are talking to a bot) ask a whole lot of questions to collect you query and then send that data as a support ticket. If all the chat does is collect answers to a preset question then they might as well tell that please email support and someone will get back to you. What I expect from a live chat is an immediate solution!
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