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Live Chat vs. Phone Support: Choosing the Right One for Your Business - A Better Answer - Blog

Live Chat vs. Phone Support: Choosing the Right One for Your Business

If you’re lucky, your business will run into growing pains. Growing pains typically mean you have too much business with too many tasks and not enough staffing power or processes in place to efficiently keep things running  The one department that gets overwhelmed during the growth of a business is customer service.

When your customer service needs are too much to handle, orders get missed, questions go unanswered and you end up with unhappy customers.

A common problem business owners and operations managers run into is how to expand their customer service team or processes.

When one person can’t keep up with the influx of email inquiries and customer service needs, business owners often look to fill customer service needs through live chat or phone support. 

Choosing between the two can be difficult as they both have pros and cons. Ultimately, it depends on your business needs.

Here are some tips to help you choose between providing phone support or live chat to help scale your business and improve the customer service experience. There is A Better Answer.

Implementing Both Live Chat and Phone Support Is Ideal

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, we want to note offering phone support and live chat together is ideal for most companies. It’s a “best practice” to provide multiple ways for customers to contact you, but if you don’t have the infrastructure to support both, choosing one or the other will have to do for the interim.

While many people think you need to have customer service teams available in every channel — phone, email, social media and live chat — customer service is only helpful if it’s offered where your customers are hanging out.

For instance, if your target audience is the Boomer generation, phone support might be the channel to implement first.

While live chat has been on the rise for years, phone support is the original form of customer communication and most people highly prefer it.

Despite the availability of automated solutions, three in four consumers still prefer to interact with a real person.

Think about your target market and what would work best for them before making any decisions. Where do they hang out? How do they like to communicate? When are they shopping or reaching out to companies? These questions should be some of the determining factors in deciding what type of customer service channels to add to your support system.

Also, consider the type of business you have and the type of inquiries you generally get.

Tech companies that handle complex products and provide complicated directions may prefer phone support to streamline communication. In contrast, retail companies that deal with many shipping inquiries or simple FAQs may opt for live chat to handle questions quickly.

Omnichannel support is almost always best if you’re able to do so. If that’s not feasible, here are the pros and cons of live chat vs. phone support for your customer service needs.

What Is Live Chat?

You’ve probably seen a little chat bubble on the right side of some websites. The chat bubble icon is what shows that a company offers live chat.

Live chat works similarly to text messaging — type a message in a chatbox and wait for a reply. 

Online chat support comes in two forms (or a hybrid of both). One option is to have a human handling the chat to get real-time answers from a real person. Another form of live chat is automated chat, which lets customers type or choose from a list of frequently asked questions. Beyond the designated answers chosen to be used in the program, the live chat doesn’t offer extended support. 

Pros of Live Chat

  • Quick to answer simple questions
  • Agents can potentially handle more than one chat at a time, answering more inquiries per hour
  • Can provide “automated” chat when reps are not available 

Cons of Live Chat

  • Often seen as spam or not a real person, so users don’t utilize it
  • Complex situations can be confusing and difficult to explain
  • Long wait times; high customer abandonment when they don’t get an answer quickly or think they’re talking to a bot
  • Limitations on what information can be shared via chat
  • Lulls in chat make resolutions take longer than if they were on the phone

What Does Phone Support Entail?

Phone support is as simple as it sounds; it includes a person-to-person conversation via telephone.

Even in the ultra-digital age we live in, 76% of consumers prefer to reach customer support via phone calls, so offering phone support is crucial for many businesses. Customers expect phone support, but implementing live chat is not an industry standard.

An additional benefit of offering phone support is if you hire an answering service, they can conduct other tasks in tandem with answering support calls and questions. Many companies that offer phone support can also complete outbound calls, send text messages and help with an abundance of admin tasks.

Pros of Phone Support

  • Personalized experience
  • Agents can gauge happiness or frustration levels and cater their demeanor to that
  • Support can help with complex inquiries 
  • Easier to read satisfaction and quality of service when hearing the customer’s voice
  • Generally faster resolution times
  • Can offer a call-back system instead of making customers wait in queue 
  • Easy to scale (when hiring a call center or answering service)

Cons of Phone Support

  • Potentially long wait times; customers can’t get through to a representative
  • Cost can be high if you hire multiple in-house team members to handle the phones (but you’ll see cost savings when you hire an answering service)

Having Trouble Choosing Which Service Is Best for Your Business?

8 in 10 consumers are willing to switch companies due to poor service, so whichever support channel assistance you decide to go with, make sure it’s an excellent experience for your customers.

If you can’t decide which is best to implement for your business, A Better Answer can help. 

An answering service acts as an extension of your company and can handle your phone support. If even more help is needed beyond phone support, you can hire an in-house employee to handle your live chat in tandem with an answering service so you’re managing both forms of support.

Are you interested in hiring an answering service? Here’s how much it costs to hire one.

Publish Date: June 21, 2021

2023 Buyers Guide Remote Agent Solutions


Making sure agents can work remotely isn’t a problem with Branches. The system shows accurate information, real-time. No fear of missing out on important updates anymore.


Web Agent
Our Web Agent application is a web browser-based telephone agent interface for the Genesis Intelligent Series (IS) call center platform. The Genesis Web Agent application makes any personal computer a professional telephone agent station.


Centrical Business Continuity & Remote Work Solutions
Centrical Solutions Help Sustain Business Continuity,
Keep Employees Engaged and Connected During COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Centrical, provider of the holistic, real-time employee engagement and performance management platform, offers contact centers ways to

Keep calm and keep working remotely.

We offer solutions for business continuity in a crisis that provide effective engagement, communications, and reskilling of employees working from home, among other things. They will let you:

Reduce anxiety and isolation
The times we’re in require an extra effort to communicate and keep everyone connected. With Centrical, you can create an ongoing stream of communica...
(read more)

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™ Mobile
As we enter the next stage of the global pandemic, Contact Centers are faced with a new set of challenges to enable their Agents to Work-from-Home without impacting Customer Experience (CX). UniAgent™ Mobile is the ideal solution to enable Work-from-Home Agents using Tablets or Smartphones or PC without any VPN. UniAgent™ Mobile is compatible with Cisco CCE, CCX, PCCE and HCS-CC contact centers (both bridged and nailed connection). UniAgent™ Mobile is available as On-Premises or Cloud Solution which can be hosted in the Private Cloud, or on the Public Cloud (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc.). UniAgent™ Mobile can be deployed in conjunction with Cisco Unified Mobile Agent (CU...
(read more)

Dalbar Inc.

CXA iCoach
As a leading expert in contact center business practices, DALBAR recognizes the challenge of consistently delivering exceptional customer experiences with the sudden shift to remote teams. Our self-evaluation and coaching solution for remote representatives and virtual contact centers will let you meet these challenges head on. DALBAR's CXA iCoach solution, combines our proprietary criteria and over 40 years of industry research. It allows Contact Center Managers and Quality Teams to continue to improve and provide a better customer experience even when they aren't at a physical location.


CallGuard Remote
A flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments from home or remote locations. It’s quick to deploy needs no changes to processes or systems.
CallGuard Remote prevents agents from seeing, hearing or recording card details so, the agent, their screen, and any call recordings are removed from the scope of PCI DSS. This simple approach means the customer effectively types their own payment information into the agent’s payment screen, but with the card details being shielded from the agent’s view. It’s simple, and highly effective.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!

MattsenKumar LLC

Virtual Contact Center Solutions
Our virtual contact center services help our clients to run their customer support processes (phone, chat, and email) remotely. Our well trained remote agents can help them deliver the best experience for their customers irrespective of the channels. With our data security measures, engaged workforce, and the right reporting tools, our clients are guaranteed with a satisfied customer base.

MFE International

Oracle LIVE Experience
Live Experience offers HD voice, video, Screen sharing and annotations for customer mobile users. Agents interacted with users using desktops or mobile. Applications are for Financial Services, Retail, Travel and Hospitality, Digital Services, Utilities, Coporate IT where remote HD video, screen share or annotation is needed for a great customer experience.

Nuxiba Technologies

Maintain your business operation from anywhere, even if your agents are at different locations!
Don't let COVID-19 stop you. Use our cloud contact center hosted software and continue your operation.
Monitor active campaigns in our administration module, have your agents receive and dial calls, access reports, have multi-channel interactions, and obtain 24/7 support.

Easy setup and usage, request a quote or schedule a live demo today!

Orion Learning Services Inc.

Learning & Development
Learning & Development - For Remote Workers
Learning & Development for Remote Agents, Supervisors, Managers and Administration/Support Staff

Orion Learning is a global leader in providing accredited learning and development solutions for organizations globally. We offer call/contact center certification programs for Agents, Supervisors and Managers, business certifications and examinations for wide range of topics including project management, change management and service management, leadership soft skills and a full suite of assessment tools which can be used for recruitment, talent management, succession planning and coaching/mentoring. We deliver our solutions to global community and all of our solutions are delivered digitally.


VADS Indonesia Remote Agent Solutions helps your company with various features that can make it easier for you and your company to stay productive, can be accessed anywhere because it uses cloud-based licenses so that it can help you and your business activities run smoothly.The features that keep your company activities running and productive.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS with its work from home agent ready call center software helps you to have complete control over your contact center operations. Agents can log in from any where , home, office or any other place where they are through their mobile phone or desktop , or even through our ID mobile app . With centralized recording & reporting , you gain visibility of all contact center metrics , and you can manage your center the same way as you were doing when working from office.

View more from A Better Answer

Recent Blog Posts:
5 Thoughts You Need To Stop Ignoring When It Comes to Customer ServiceAugust 19, 2021
How To Provide 24/7 Customer Service Without Working Around the ClockJuly 22, 2021
How AI Is Changing the Customer Service SpaceJune 28, 2021
Virtual Assistant vs. Answering Service: Which Is Right for You?June 22, 2021
6 Most Common Call Center Myths DebunkedJune 21, 2021
Live Chat vs. Phone Support: Choosing the Right One for Your BusinessJune 21, 2021
Tips To Help Improve Your Company’s First Call ResolutionMay 30, 2021
The Importance of Stellar Customer Service for E-Commerce BusinessesMay 25, 2021
Growing a Business: Automated Messages vs. Hiring an Answering ServiceMay 21, 2021
5 Benefits of Using an Answering Service for Educational FacilitiesMay 20, 2021

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