Live chat vs. phone support: Which one is better?

Live chat vs. phone support: Which one is better?

Customer support can be a key part of your business’s success. If customers are having problems with your product or service, these need to be resolved as soon as possible.

Not all customers will be happy with your company, having a customer support team can help reduce customer churn and increase customer satisfaction.

But what’s the best way for your customers to reach you? Live chat, email or by phone?

While email is an option, it isn’t the best choice because of the time it takes to respond, but you still should have a contact form for anyone to reach you.

Today, we’ll discuss if your customers should contact you through live chat or phone support.

We’ll define both live chat support and phone support, the pros and cons, and which one is right for your company.

First, let’s talk about live chat support

What is live chat support?

Live chat support is what it sounds like, providing customer support using a live chat tool. Live chat support allows your customers to interact with your business through a live chat that is on your website or app. Having a live chat isn’t just for customer support, it can be used for your sales team and technical support.

There are many benefits of providing live chat for customer support so let’s go over them now.

Benefits of a live chat

First the benefits of providing live chat support

  • Customers prefer it: most consumers prefer to communicate with businesses over live chat rather than other traditional channels. The number one reason why consumers prefer using live chat is due to the fast response times that this cannel allows for.
  • It’s fast and efficient: Live chat messages are usually shorter and result in shorter conversations. Unlike email, responses are not lost in spam folders and conversations do not go on for lengthy email chains. Using live chat also results in slower response times for your team and shorter wait times for your customers.
  • It increases your support capacity: Unlike service via phone, live chat allows one customer service rep to communicate with and assist multiple users at the same time.
  • Generates lead data: Live chat applications can be set up to request key information from your customer before the chat session begins. This can be used to collect valuable contact information from your user such as their email address before they even start communicating with your business.
  • Generates support data: live chat tools automatically create an indexable and searchable database of customer issues and complaints. Said database can be used to identify common issues, new issues and potential areas of product improvement.

Cons of live chat

  • It May not feel personal and harder to detect the tone of the message: Since messages are being typed, it’ll be harder to detect the tone of the message. Customers may feel like they’re still talking to a robot.
  • Can be difficult to resolve more complex issues: While it’s still possible to solve more complex issues over live chat, it is more efficient to solve them over the phone.
  • Customers that cant effectively type will not be able to use it: Your customers need to know how to type or even understand how to navigate through your website. This can be difficult for any customers who aren't comfortable with using a laptop.

What about Phone Support?

Phone support is a great option if your customers prefer to talk to a representative through the phone. So instead of customers using a live chat to contact your customer support, they can call you through the phone. Usually, businesses have a call centre but have resorted to working remotely, making it more cost-effective.

Now let’s go over the pros and cons of phone support

Benefits of providing phone support

  • Can resolve complex issues easier than live chat: As mentioned above, phone support is more effective and efficient in solving more complex problems.
  • If recorded, great to use for training and development: If phone calls are recorded, you can use this data to develop a plan to deal with similar problems in the future.
  • More personal connection and tone detection: it’s easier to detect how a customer feels through the sound of their voice. Customers may prefer to have that human connection as they know they’re talking to a human and not a chatbot.

Cons of phone support

  • Agents can only handle one customer at a time: Your customer support agents will only be able to handle one call at a time. They cant help another customer unless they’re done with the current customer.
  • Are usually limited to the hours of operation for call agents: Unless the company is bigger and has the resources to hire a variety of agents for different times of the day, they have certain hours they can provide phone support. It’s usually during the time of business hours. If a customer needs support after hours, they may not be able to receive it right away.
  • May have longer wait times: since agents can only handle one customer at a time, there can be a longer wait time for your customers. Have you ever been on the phone and had to wait an hour because there was such a high volume of calls?
  • Harder to scale: It’s harder to scale to your phone support as you may not be able to properly track which problems occur the most and how often each comes up.
  • Can be more costly due to the equipment needed: There are more equipment/ operating costs to phone support. There’s the computer/ laptop, phone, phone bill, internet, and human labour.

The key differences between live chat vs phone support

Now that we’ve gone through the pros and cons of each let through the main differences


Tracking performances and issues are the key difference between live chat support and phone support. Live chat tools allow you to see previous transcripts with current and new clients automatically. You’ll be able to automatically track which issues your customers are having. With phone support, you will have to record your phone calls and have them transcripted or listen to the phone calls to understand what issues can be fixed in your customer support or products and services.


Timing is a key difference between the two. Since your customer support team can handle multiple messages at the same time, your customers will have to wait for less than phone support. For phone support, your team can only handle one call at a time, which can lead to longer wait times.

Human interaction

Human interaction is the biggest difference between the two. Live chat will lack the human feel when interacting with customers. It will also be harder to detect the tone of the conversation. It’s a lot easier to detect how a customer is truly feeling through how they speak it and the tone of the voice.

So, which one is better, live chat or phone support?

The best answer for this question is

It depends.

If you have the budget and capacity to provide both, you should. Having multiple ways your customers can contact you can improve customer satisfaction, retention and relationships. Both options can be done remotely as more companies are resorting to working from home models, both operating costs are lowering.

If you were to choose one, we would recommend providing live chat support to start with. Most live chat tools are free to install and you can get started right away. You just need to make sure you have a laptop and a stable internet connection.

Which is the best live chat tool?

While there are many free live chat tools you can use, we recommend Moment! Not only does it have a live chat, but also has live session recording but is an easy-to-use CRM. the great thing is that when you register for free, you get all of the features right away, no need for a form of payment.

Register to moment for free