Helpdesk Software vs. LiveChat Software, pros and cons

Companies are increasingly working towards ways of connecting with their clients and customers in order to provide 100% satisfaction levels. Many times in this scenario organizations face the “live chat or help desk” question when it comes to providing a solution to customers. So what are the options? Let’s have a closer look:

Live Chat: Live chat is a set up wherein support reps communicate with customers on the spot, answering requests in real time. All the communication happens online and "live". Many e-commerce and other companies started offering this option on their websites lately, allowing customers an option to start a chat.

Helpdesk: Helpdesk is a set up wherein customers or clients contact the organization through emails (sometimes phone calls or social media mentions) and these emails (calls, messages) are logged internally as "tickets". Once the associate replies a query or resolves the issue, these tickets are marked as resolved. It is a way of keeping a track of queries and resolve them within communicated timeline.

Both of these options have their own pros and cons. It is imperative to look at both of them before zeroing down to one:

Live Chat Pros/Cons

1. On the Spot: Nothing can be better than live chat if you need an "on the spot" solutino. It is the only non-voice way of replying to customer queries on a real-time basis. Because of an instant response, the conversion rate and satisfaction level go high in case of live chat.

2. Interruptive: Live Chat is, by definition, interruptive. The response should be instant, incoming cases requre immediate attention. This can lead to mental fatigue and exhaustion of your team. Especially, if you're an early stage company and you don't have a dedicated support team - all the support is done by developers or founders. Which is still a good practice even if you're a mature company.

3. Requres more work force: more human resources are required for a live chat solution. You don't want customer to hang for 5-10 minutes waiting for an answer. You also have to cover multiple time zones.

Helpdesk Pros/Cons

1. Async: helpdesk communications are asynchronous. This allows you to set aside 1-2 hours a day (say, 4 times, 30 minutes each) to handle support queries. Also, async communication, by design, allows a more thoughtful and thorough discussion.

2. Smaller support team: or even zero support team, as the replies are not being sent out instantly. Fewer employees can work on the queries and complaints and later reply within the committed turnaround time stated by the organization.

3. Frequently Asked Questions Bank: Studies have shown that async communication provokes a more intensive use of FAQs and Knowledge bases by customers. Hence, the higher satisfaction levels.

4. Offline can be a problem: some types of issues - shipping, billing, critical - require an "online" solution. Helpdesk software app without a live chat. Also, "real-time" support looks more attractive to a customer in some cases.

Overall, it all depends on the size of your support team and how critical the issues are.