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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Why I prefer Chat over Phone Call

When I saw this Happy Hours contest, it got me thinking. I have been using Phone, Chat and Email for the last 20 years and more lately with eCommerce sites. I always had a strong preference for chat over phone call or email. Chat provides the advantage of near instantaneous response while protecting my identity. I explored which provides chat option for the sellers and buyers to communicate on their site.

I use email for official communications and when the message needs less interaction and both parties need not be available at the same time. However Phone and Chat are best to get immediate responses. Both require availability of both parties but offline Chat is more tolerant and allows the other party to respond at their convenience. Over the last few years many of the ecommerce companies have been providing Phone, online Chat and email options to contact their customer service and every time I used their chat facility since it provided dual advantage of instantaneous response along with clarity provided by written responses.
The primary advantage that Chat provides me is the clarity. Phone conversations are not always clear particularly while communicating with strangers or providing information like Order number, model number etc. In Chat you can type it in and the other person knows exactly what you are asking for and hence there is no misunderstanding. I don't have to worry if I heard the other person right as I can read and reread the text response. I can copy and paste product name, order number etc so that the other person can also understand and provide the correct information I am looking for.

The second reason I prefer chat over phone is the privacy it provides. I don't have to provide my phone number to a stranger nor can they find it in their call log. This way I am willing to initiate a contact even if I am only half-decided about buying the product. I will be able to get the details (more so if it is a used product) and make a more informed decision about the purchase before making it. Above all I feel secure in a Chat conversation with a stranger than in a phone call.
The third important advantage of Chat is the history it provides as well as the multi tasking capability. I exactly know what I asked for and the response I got with no ambiguity. If I have a doubt about what was communicated, the chat log will come in handy. Photos and images of products can also be shared in a chat. Chat provides me ability to multi-task. So while waiting for an answer in a chat, I can be browsing or taking care of other tasks I needed to do and return to Chat whenever needed. These are some of the key reasons for my preference to chat over making a phone call.
Note: This post is written for Indiblogger's Quickr NXT contest sponsored by Quickr. For additional information see their website.


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