While on the surface it may seem like website feedback tools and live chat widgets serve a very similar purpose, the way in which they work, and how they are best used are actually very different.
Neither is universally better than the other, it depends on your business and customers. However, I’d definitely recommend against using both at the same time, as you’d run the risk of confusing your customers, and cluttering your website with multiple buttons and widgets.
So, which is best for you? Here’s a handy flow chart, with full details below:
Live chat is fantastic for giving your customers instant answers to their questions, and guiding them through your website.
The problem is, you absolutely need to have staff available to answer your customers. A live chat widget with no one on hand to respond to your customers is worse than no live chat at all.
Many live chat services try to get around this by providing A.I. based canned responses when you don’t have any available support staff. Unfortunately these are often frustrating for the customer, and are rarely able to give a satisfactory response.
So if you want to use a live chat tool, you need to have at least one person on hand all day to answer customer’s questions. If your website is used globally or outside of normal business hours, you then need support staff available 24 hours a day, rather than just 9-5.
This makes live chat a generally better option for larger businesses with the budget to support multiple full time support staff.
On the other hand, if your company is smaller, and doesn’t have the budget for multiple full-time support staff, a feedback tool is a better option.
With a feedback tool, there’s no expectation of an instant response (although you should of course respond a quickly as possible). Most feedback tools also allow you to ask specific questions, find out your Net Promoter Score and easily receive screenshots.
Landing page or control panel?
For a landing or sales page, a live chat widget is definitely better than a feedback button, provided you have the staff available to operate it.
This is because having a real-time back and forth between your customer and support staff is a great way to help guide them through the buying process, answering any questions they may have along the way.
However, if your site has some kind of control panel for existing customers to manage their account, a feedback tool is the better choice for the types of queries you’ll likely receive there.
Feedback tools allow your users to submit detailed feedback, some even include a built-in screenshot functionality, which is ideal for feature suggestions and bug reports.
Another reason feedback tools are better suited to control panels than live chat apps is you’re much more likely to receive technical questions and bug reports from a control panel. Your support staff would often have to forward these requests on to developers, instead of being able to deal with it themselves in real time.
Many feedback tools can also integrate with your project management tool, allowing the more technical requests you receive from your control panel to feed directly into your existing workflow.
I hope this helps you choose between live chat and a feedback tool. If you have enough support staff for a live chat tool, you are most likely best using live chat on your landing page, and then using a website feedback tool in your control panel. Just remember not to use both in the same place.