I was a bit surprised this the other day as I was having issues with the service package with my provider named Shaw and as a result I first phoned in to try and get it fixed. I was constantly told that it was being dealt with only to see that weeks went by with no signs of improvement. For one reason or another I decided to use its online help where they have a live agent chatting with you through a chat box on its site.
Since this was such a big company I was interested in seeing how they manage with a faceless support system. For the most part it seemed like you were chatting with anyone else on a messaging system. What I did find easier was you could literally do things like link to a site so that they could immediately see an issue as opposed to having to explain it through the phone.
Interestingly enough, this department of the business got the issue solved pretty quickly and was even able to give me a better deal than what I expected. So overall I was happy with the result. It made me wonder if this style of support for a business is cheaper than using the traditional phone method as well. To me it seemed a lot more organized with the negative being people who don’t use a computer too much will be slow in responding.
Oddly enough, based on efficiency I actually preferred it this way. I know a lot of sites are doing that too even when it comes to price matching as they would integrate a live agent chat box where you can ask the person directly to do a price match by providing the competitor link. In some ways I am more inclined to say the agents using this medium will be more tech savvy. Combined with the ability to literally share the information instantly to do comparisons it can potentially help you get better rates too.