Given customers’ varied communication preferences, it’s understandable why most businesses seek to build diverse contact platforms rather than sticking to traditional phone calls. 

Live chat for customer service is among the most common channels at the time of this writing. Though it has been introduced to the market for years, many are still baffled about both its offerings and potential drawbacks. Our specialist team will discuss this issue in more detail. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Live Chat For Customer Service?

Live chat brings both upsides and challenges to the table (Image source: Pxhere). 

The Pros

Immediate Access To Staff

Unlike phone support, customers do not have to wait on hold while using live chat. Since they are connected with an agent in time, both resolution times (and, ultimately, their frustration) will be significantly reduced.

Agents can manage multiple chat conversations at the same time and easily access customer information and order history within the chat interface, especially when using convenient virtual centers like StringeeX. This further streamlines the resolution process and decreases unnecessary wait time! 

As a result, your customers can receive immediate attention when they need it most; you no longer have to worry about these problems escalating and getting worse. Better, it is easy for customers to access support on their own schedule and from any device (as long as there is internet access), something traditional phone calls definitely cannot offer.

Efficient Usage Of Employee Time

As mentioned, agents can now handle several customers (and chat conversations) at the same time. The built-in customer data and knowledge bases readily available also reduce the time required for searching, allowing for much faster responses and resolutions! 

Live chat does not call for constant back-and-forth, not to mention the chatbots and FAQs that can deflect simple inquiries. Thus, your agents will be able to spend their valuable time on more complex issues, freeing themselves from mundane and repetitive tasks.


Compared to other communication channels like phone calls, live chat clearly requires fewer agents to handle despite the same (if not larger) volume of inquiries. 

Thus, it saves your business from expensive personnel costs. The straightforward chart interfaces also allow quicker, much more cost-effective agent training. 

And you can now part ways with the infrastructure expenses often associated with complex hardware and maintenance. Live chat mostly relies on software or cloud-based operations, meaning your team can assist customers anytime and anywhere as long as there is internet connectivity.

Most importantly, since real-time information sharing and communication lead to faster problem-solving, it can cut down half the average call duration and further optimize your business’ total budget.

Improved Brand Image

Live chat opens the door for immediate communication between customers and dedicated agents who are readily available. 

The quick problem-solving process leaves customers feeling valued and their time respected, sparing no room for frustrated wait time or lengthy explanations. Your branding image will clearly benefit from all these positive experiences!

For brands that aim at global markets, a live chat supporting different languages is also extremely advantageous, given how cultural sensitivity and inclusivity have taken reigns in the marketing industry in recent years. 

The Cons

It Might Feel Impersonal

On the other hand, the absence of nonverbal cues (such as facial expressions or tone of voice) might lead to a sense of detachment. Worse, agents handling several chat windows simultaneously are sometimes reported to appear less focused and distant on individual inquiries.

The same challenge applies to pre-made templates or canned responses. From our experience, overreliance on them (a common mistake among many businesses) can create an extremely robotic feel that alienates customers.

It Might Not Work On Mobile Phones

Unfortunately, not all chat platforms are optimized for mobile devices. 

Typing and reading on smaller screens can be cumbersome, and worse, mobile networks are not always reliable. The significant data consumption by extensive chat sessions is another huge disadvantage, especially for customers on limited data plans. 

There Might Be Time Zone Problems

Suppose a customer needs urgent assistance at 2 PM local time, and you are only available during working hours. This translates to 8 hours behind, hence the (understandable) frustration. 

And even with overlapping hours, response times still suffer regardless; for instance, a serious question sent during an agent's lunch break could still turn into a long wait for the customer.

Sometimes, time zone discrepancies also mask cultural differences. Jokes, greetings, or even work styles might be misinterpreted due to varying cultural norms associated with different times of the day.

Still, it is important to note that time zone challenges are not exclusive to live chat. They can also affect other customer service platforms like phone calls, emails, and even in-person interactions when dealing with international customers.

Is Live Chat Better Than Calling?

Some customers like live chat, while others prefer phone calls. (Image source: Wiki). 

Both methods have their own strengths and weaknesses, so the "better" option is entirely up to your customers/demographic. 

We have already laid out the main upsides and downsides of live chat, so here is a quick lowdown of phone calls in comparison:

The Pros: 

  • It allows customers to understand your tone and emotions better, which sets the stage for mutual empathy and rapport.
  • You will find it easier to explain complex problems to them. Likewise, customers might feel less confused when receiving detailed guidance. 
  • The need for constant back-and-forth clarification speeds up the problem-solving process, suitable for urgent situations. 

The Cons: 

  • The wait time can be extremely frustrating, especially during peak hours.
  • Phone calls obviously require phone access, which might not be convenient for everyone (e.g., travelers on the go). 
  • If not noted down, some conversation details might be forgotten. 
  • This method can feel overwhelming for some people who prefer text-based communication.

Best Practices For Live Chat For Customer Service

Place The Live Chat Window Smartly

The chat window should be placed smartly (Image source: Flickr). 

Strategic placement of your live chat window is a subtle but powerful trick to enhance customer service. With a well-placed window that’s easy to find, customers will feel encouraged to start the conversation when needed!

Some smart placement strategies: 


  • Consider placing the window on high-traffic pages (where questions are the most likely), such as product pages, FAQs, or checkout areas.
  • Offer chat directly on error messages for immediate assistance.
  • Content-specific support is also recommended. You can integrate chat within relevant articles or tutorials, for example, for more targeted support.

Visible Without Intrusive

  • The lower right corner is one of the classic locations - easily accessible without blocking content.
  • Another less intrusive option is slide-in from the side, which only appears when customers scroll down or indicate potential needs. 
  • Some businesses also place windows that pop up when customers are about to leave.

Personalize The Message

  • As always, customer data is important here. You can leverage it to create more personalized greetings (e.g., "Welcome back, John!").
  • AI-powered chatbots are recommended for conversation openings or simple inquiries. For more complex issues, let these chatbots direct customers to live agents.
  • The chat should also be triggered based on user behaviors (e.g., customers spending too much time on a page) for more active support.

Specify The Timing If The Live Chat Isn’t Available 24/7

Your customers need to know when they can expect your help to avoid disappointment and wasted time. This transparency also indicates your respect for their convenience. 

  • Clearly state live chat hours on your website and within the chat window itself. Use different time zones if applicable.
  • Consider using a countdown timer, which shows the remaining time until the next chat session if operating hours are limited.
  • Offer alternative support options (e.g., email, phone number) so your customers can still receive support outside chat hours. Remember to provide clear instructions on how to use each.
  • Again, for very simple questions, you can use a well-designed chatbot. It will collect information 24/7, even when live chat is unavailable.

Show Your Customers They Are Talking To A Real Human

Do not make your customers feel like they’re talking with a lifeless robot (Image source: Stockvault). 

During live chat sessions, where text reigns supreme, you must assure your customers that they are interacting with an understanding, empathetic person and not a robot! 

  • Start the chat with a friendly greeting and your name. 
  • Avoid robotic phrasing at all costs. Instead, opt for natural, conversational language. Throughout the process, always recognize and respond to customer emotions with empathy.
  • A well-placed joke (used cautiously) can build rapport and lighten the mood. Still, remember to tread as carefully as possible to avoid misinterpretation.
  • Don't be afraid to make typos or admit you don't know something; it adds authenticity.
  • Share your achievements, hobbies, or interests relevant to the conversation. And if you feel comfortable, show your face (with customer consent) through video calls for a more personal touch.

Do not force it, however. Just be yourself and let your genuine personality shine through without hurting your professionalism. Overly personal topics are out of the question.


Live chat for customer service is one of the most convenient communication channels, as agents do not have to be stressed about their tone or expression. 

However, other challenges are awaiting. Write to our team if you still need more tips to overcome them.