Why the Lack of Live Chat Support Shouldn’t Be a Deal Breaker
Last updated on Dec 3, 2014
People shopping for web hosting have different requirements, but I noticed a trend amongst customers who are new to web hosting — they all want live chat support!
I can’t blame them though. The idea of being able to get a hold of your host whenever you need assistance seems great, especially when you know very little about how things work. But is live chat support something that could spell the difference between having a good or bad experience with a host? Not really.
There are many reasons why the lack of live chat support shouldn’t be a deal breaker and I’ve listed a few interesting ones below.
Live chat may not always feel like it’s “live.”
Just a few hours ago I was on live chat with one of Namecheap‘s support reps. I was having issues with my domain registration and I needed their help. At least 30 minutes had passed before I got a response. About 50 minutes in, I ran out of patience and decided to leave the chat because I felt like the rep disappeared on me!
Granted, I wasn’t on live chat because of a hosting issue. But my point here is it’s possible to have a long wait time even when you’re on live chat.
What’s even more worth noting is, sometimes you could get a faster and more detailed response by submitting a support ticket. There are some hosts who respond to tickets within a minute or two — literally — and this makes them better than most hosts who have live chat support but take ages to get back to you.
A support ticket system is more efficient than live chat.
Ticket reference IDs and archived conversations. These are two things a support ticket system has that live chat doesn’t. Although some live chat software have a “save transcript” feature, it isn’t as reliable as support ticket archives that can be viewed by you and your host at any given time.
Support ticket archives are accessible both by you and your host, so if you ever need to follow up on an issue, you can just bump your old ticket without having to explain everything all over again. It wouldn’t even matter if you’ve been assigned to a different support rep. Since all the previous conversations are saved, they can just back-read and they’d know what issues you’re having.
Most intermediate to advanced issues can’t be resolved by live chat operators anyway.
Live chat operators are usually level 1 support technicians. These level 1 techs have been trained to handle their clients’ most common hosting problems, but when it comes to more complicated issues they may not be able to help you. If they can’t help you with something, what they usually do is — you guessed that right — they open a support ticket for you.
My advice? Focus on things that matter more!
No doubt, live chat support can be handy at times, but it isn’t an absolute must. There are many other things that you should look for in a host — a few of them being good service, an untarnished reputation, and excellent customer relations.
Just because a host doesn’t offer live chat support doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them anymore. Who knows, maybe the host you just dropped off your list could’ve been the perfect one for you… if only you weren’t so obsessed (for lack of better word) with live chat!