July 12, 2023

Rethinking Integrated Live Chat: Why Your Telephony Vendor Might Not Be the Best Fit


In the pursuit of customer service excellence, businesses often opt for technology integrations that seemingly enhance their communications suite. One such touted innovation is the integration of live chat with telephony services, ostensibly offering a seamless, all-encompassing customer communication platform. However, this might not be the panacea it's often presented as, particularly when offered by telephony vendors who are not primarily chat providers. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why this specific integration might not be a wise choice for your business.

1. Divergent Areas of Expertise
Telephony vendors, by design, specialize in voice communication. Their products are tailored for high-quality calls, call routing, voicemail services, and other voice-centric features. Live chat, on the other hand, is a different ball game, requiring expertise in text-based communication, instant messaging protocols, and typing indicators, among other things.

Even if a telephony vendor decides to integrate live chat into their offerings, they might not provide the same level of expertise and quality of service you would receive from a dedicated live chat service provider. The result? A subpar live chat experience that could frustrate customers and harm your brand's reputation.

2. Misplaced Focus and Resources
If a telephony vendor starts offering live chat, there's a risk they might stretch their resources thin trying to accommodate this new, different service. Instead of focusing on improving and expanding their core offerings, they might divert time and resources to an area they are not fully equipped to handle.

This misallocation of resources could lead to lower quality in their primary services— in this case, telephony. Ultimately, this could lead to less reliable phone service for your business.

3. Compatibility and Integration Issues
Often, telephony vendors will not design their live chat solutions with popular third-party tools in mind. This means there might be issues integrating your live chat system with your CRM, help desk, or other business tools, leading to disjointed customer data and a lack of efficiency in customer service.

In contrast, dedicated live chat vendors usually provide extensive integration options to ensure compatibility with a wide range of business tools.

4. Limited Customization and Scalability
With a telephony vendor, your live chat system may be somewhat "locked down." There might be fewer options for customization, less flexibility in adjusting to your business's unique needs, and even limits on scalability. As your business grows and evolves, you might find yourself stuck with a live chat system that can't keep up.

5. Absence of Ongoing Support and Innovation
Specialized live chat providers are committed to updating and improving their services to keep pace with technological advancements. They provide ongoing support and typically have resources dedicated to customer success.

However, a telephony vendor might not provide the same level of support or innovation for their live chat service, as it's not their main product. This lack of dedication can leave your business trailing behind in terms of the latest customer service trends and technologies.

Choosing a telephony vendor for your live chat needs can seem like a convenient and economical choice at first glance. However, it’s vital to consider the potential limitations and disadvantages, as listed above.

Remember, effective customer communication is not about cramming all possible channels into one solution. It's about choosing the right tools, from the right providers, to meet your unique business needs and to provide the best possible service to your customers. It might be better to consider a dedicated live chat provider to ensure you're getting a product that's developed, maintained, and supported by experts in the field.

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