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How to Choose the Best Customer Service Channels: Top 8 Picks

How to Choose the Best Customer Service Channels: Top 8 Picks

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Is it really true that picking the right customer service channels can make or break your business? You bet it is.

In today's digital era, customers have a variety of platforms to voice their opinions, concerns, and queries. These platforms, or 'customer service channels' as they're called, can range from traditional methods like phone and email to more modern ones like social media, live chat, and mobile messaging.

Each channel carries its own pros and cons, and the trick for you is to identify which ones align best with your business and customer preferences.

Stick around, and we'll explore the top eight customer service channels and guide you on how to choose the ones that will enhance your customer relationships and boost your business.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right customer service channels is crucial for the success of a business.
  • Different channels cater to varying customer preferences and urgency levels.
  • An omnichannel approach can significantly enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Effective use of customer service channels can build customer loyalty and trust.

The 8 Best Customer Service Channels (& How to Pick Them)

Understanding the top 8 customer service channels and how to effectively choose from them can significantly enhance your business's customer loyalty and satisfaction. Each of these channels has unique capabilities and strengths, so it's crucial to choose wisely.

Phone service, a traditional but effective channel, offers high customer satisfaction thanks to real-time communication.

Email, on the other hand, caters to different age groups and offers non-immediate assistance. This flexibility makes it a staple in many contact centers.

Social media channels are perfect for providing instant gratification and building trust with your customers. The spontaneous nature of this platform makes it an important part of omnichannel customer service.

Mobile messaging, due to its convenience and wide user base, is also a vital channel to consider.

Live chat blends real-time communication with the advantages of written interaction, making it one of the best customer service channels. Your customer service teams should be well-equipped to manage this platform for optimal performance.

In the end, choosing the right customer communication platform involves understanding your customer base, their preferences, and industry standards. This informed choice will lead to better customer satisfaction and loyalty.


In the realm of business, customer service channels serve as indispensable lines of communication, having evolved from traditional counters and call centers to a diverse array of digital platforms. This evolution has given rise to various types of customer service, each designed to improve customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.

Customer service channels aren't just a medium for addressing complaints and inquiries. They're vital tools for understanding your customers' needs and expectations. The shift to digital platforms hasn't only expanded the range of customer support channels but has also made them more accessible and convenient for customers.

However, choosing the right channels can be a daunting task. It's not a one-size-fits-all situation. Your choices should be guided by your customers' preferences, the nature of your business, and the industry standards. An omnichannel approach, ensuring a consistent and seamless experience across all channels, can significantly enhance customer satisfaction.

Thus, to maximize the potential of your customer service, it's essential to understand the strengths and limitations of each channel. With the right combination, you can provide a superior customer experience, fostering loyalty, and ultimately driving business growth.

Why Customer Service Channels Matter

When it comes to enhancing your brand perception and ensuring customer satisfaction, the choice of customer service channels plays a pivotal role. These communication channels are the primary mediums through which customers interact with your business. The way you pick them directly impacts your response time, brand perception, and the overall customer experience.

Different customer service channels cater to varying customer preferences and urgency levels. Some customers may be more comfortable with direct phone calls, while others may favor the convenience of email or live chat. Meeting these diverse customer expectations requires careful consideration and selection of the right customer contact channels.

Choosing the right channels isn't just about meeting expectations, but also about optimizing your resources. The right customer service channels can streamline your support operations, ensuring quick turnaround times and consistent experiences across all platforms. Remember, your customers expect nothing less than excellence from your service.

In short, the choice of customer service channels significantly influences customer satisfaction and your brand image. Therefore, it's crucial to evaluate, choose, and continually reassess the effectiveness of your chosen channels against industry standards and customer feedback.

Understanding the Impact of Customer Service Channels

How do different customer service channels impact your business and customer satisfaction?

Understanding the impact of these channels can give you a competitive edge. The right customer service channels can enhance customer experiences, leading to increased loyalty and sales.

Phone interactions, for example, offer real-time communication, preferred by many customers. Email, on the other hand, provides non-immediate assistance and can help overcome language barriers. It's key to choose the best channel based on your customer's preferences and needs.

Social media channels are becoming increasingly critical, with customers expecting speedy responses. A multichannel approach involving social media can build trust and facilitate public information sharing. Mobile messaging, with its almost instant support, is a convenient and widely-used channel, offering you a broad reach.

Live chat is another popular channel, combining the benefits of real-time and written interaction. It offers personalized support and easy access, enhancing customer satisfaction.

The Role of Customer Service Channels in Building Customer Loyalty

Building on the understanding of how different channels impact your business, let's explore the role these customer service channels play in fostering customer loyalty.

The selection and effective use of these channels significantly influence your brand's perception and customer satisfaction, which are key to building customer loyalty.

Offering multiple channels caters to a variety of customer preferences and needs. This not only increases customer satisfaction but also contributes to loyalty as customers feel their needs are understood and valued.

Effective customer service channels ensure a quick, efficient, and personalized customer experience, which is crucial for maintaining loyalty.

Furthermore, gathering and acting on customer feedback helps improve your service. It shows customers that their opinions matter and that you're willing to make improvements based on their input.

Lastly, remember that consistency is key. Implementing omnichannel support ensures a seamless experience across all customer service channels. This uniformity fosters trust, enhances customer satisfaction, and ultimately builds customer loyalty.

The 8 Best Customer Service Channels

Navigating through the myriad of customer service channels can be daunting, but identifying the top eight will allow you to streamline your approach, effectively meet your customers' needs, and ultimately enhance their loyalty to your brand.

The customer service channels you should focus on include phone support, live chat, email, social media platforms, and a comprehensive Help Center. Each has its own unique advantages.

A robust phone support experience caters to customers who prefer a more personal touch and immediate answers.

Live chat support offers real-time communication and is available 24/7, providing a convenient and efficient way for customers to get assistance.

Email support allows you to address less pressing issues at a pace that suits both you and your customer, while also maintaining a written record of correspondence.

Social media platforms provide a public platform for swift responses, allowing you to build trust and brand awareness.

Lastly, a well-structured Help Center can empower your customers to find solutions independently, saving your resources while also improving customer satisfaction.


When it comes to customer interactions, over 75% occur over the phone, making it a crucial channel for your customer service strategy. The majority of people over the age of 56 prefer reaching a company through phone calls. Phone support remains an effective means to handle urgent issues in real-time, offering immediate and personalized communication.

Phone-based customer service, or voice calls, aren't just about resolving customer issues. They're also about building relationships. When a customer contacts your company, they're looking for support and, subconsciously, a connection. A well-handled phone call can strengthen this connection, boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Yet, it's not enough to simply have a phone contact. It's essential that your support team is well trained to handle different situations professionally. They should have the ability to empathize, communicate clearly, and solve problems effectively. The quality of your phone support directly impacts your brand's image and customer loyalty.


Shifting from phone support, let's not overlook the significance of email as a vital customer service channel. With over 4 billion people using email daily, it's a widely used channel, accessible for everyone. Moreover, its mobile-friendliness makes it a preferred choice for customers, especially Millennials, Generation X, and Boomers, who open their emails at least twice a day.

Email as a customer service tool is efficient and affordable. It allows your support team to handle customer inquiries methodically and track conversations effortlessly. This is especially beneficial for international companies dealing with language barriers and time differences.

However, response time is a crucial aspect of email support. Customers don't like to wait for a reply, hence, swift responses to inquiries can significantly boost customer satisfaction.

Email also offers the advantage of easy file exchange, making it more convenient for both your team and the customers. Often, it serves as the first contact point for customers, providing them with the opportunity to detail their issues or requests, thus enabling your team to offer more personalized solutions.

Therefore, never underestimate the power of email in providing exceptional customer service.

Live Chat

Often favored by customers, live chat is a dynamic customer service channel that combines the immediacy of real-time communication with the convenience of written interaction. This service offers a valuable blend of accessibility, personalization, and efficiency that's hard to beat. In fact, a whopping 81% of customers prefer using live chat to connect with brands.

Live chat as a customer service channel isn't just preferred by customers, it's also beneficial for your agents. It allows them to provide real-time, personalized support, enhancing the overall customer experience. Furthermore, it's available 24/7, ensuring that customer queries are addressed promptly, regardless of the hour.

What sets live chat apart from other channels is its capability to retain essential information. This aids both your service team and customers by keeping track of past interactions and providing a context for future ones.

Selecting the right customer service channels is crucial for your business, and with the advantages live chat brings, it's easy to see why it's a top choice. So, consider integrating live chat into your customer service strategy to elevate real-time customer engagement and satisfaction.


Remarkably, 90% of customers now expect a self-service option, a customer service channel that empowers individuals to discover solutions independently and at their convenience. A comprehensive knowledge base can serve as the foundation of this self-service platform, where customers can find answers to their queries without requiring direct assistance.

This self-service option not only empowers customers to solve their issues independently but also significantly reduces support costs and workload for your team. It's no wonder customers prefer this efficient method. It allows them to provide instant solutions to their problems, contributing to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Moreover, an online community can enhance your self-service offerings. Here, customers can exchange ideas, share solutions, and learn from each other's experiences. This not only fosters a sense of community but also provides a platform for peer-to-peer assistance, further promoting self-reliance among users.

Social Media

In the realm of customer service, your brand's presence on social media plays a crucial role. A staggering 76% of US consumers expect a response within just 24 hours. As a channel for customer communication, social media's instant and real-time nature can boost your service strategy. It fosters trust and encourages customer engagement.

Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are invaluable for their broad reach. They allow swift public responses to inquiries, enhancing transparency, and significantly raising brand awareness. However, it's not just about presence; active engagement is key. By monitoring your media channels and interacting regularly, you'll meet customer expectations and maintain your brand's reputation.

Remember, the public nature of social media responses can serve a dual purpose. Not only do you address the concerns of one customer, but you also provide valuable information to others. This two-fold communication style makes social media a powerful tool in your customer service arsenal.

Therefore, a well-executed social media service strategy can turn one-time customers into loyal followers. It's crucial to harness this channel effectively to deliver exceptional service and build lasting relationships with your customers.

Video Chat

Transitioning to a more personalized and interactive mode of customer service, video chat empowers you to engage face-to-face with your customers in real-time. This immediate, intuitive platform allows customers to reach out and connect on a more personal level, adding an invaluable personal touch to every interaction.

Video chat has revolutionized the way support agents interact with customers. It provides an environment where customers and support agents can identify and resolve issues promptly. This immediacy not only accelerates the problem-solving process but also enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Moreover, video chat is also remarkably convenient for customers. It eliminates the barriers of geographical distance, allowing customers from all around the globe to receive immediate assistance. This convenience coupled with the personal touch of face-to-face interaction significantly enhances the overall customer experience.

Communities and Forums

Harnessing the power of collective intelligence, communities and forums serve as dynamic platforms where customers can share experiences, find solutions, and engage in meaningful conversations about your brand. These community forums allow you to interact with your customers in real-time, addressing their concerns and queries about your products or services.

They're an ideal place for your customers to find answers to common queries, reducing the load on your customer service teams and promoting self-service. The detailed, analytical content generated by users provides valuable insights into customer needs and preferences. You can leverage this data to improve your offerings and better cater to your target audience.

Additionally, these platforms foster brand advocacy. Customers who receive assistance are likely to share their positive experiences, effectively marketing your brand to potential customers.

Above all, communities and forums create a sense of belonging among customers, encouraging loyalty and repeat business.

Mobile Messaging

With over 97% of the global population owning a cell phone, mobile messaging has rapidly evolved into a highly convenient, almost instant customer service channel. It's not just a trend, it's a shift in the way businesses and customers communicate. Customers expect to have multiple channels available for their queries, and mobile messaging complements other communication methods, offering a unique blend of immediacy and convenience.

In an era where different customer preferences dominate, mobile messaging stands out for its versatility and accessibility. It's no longer confined to texting; it now encompasses popular platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, reaching billions of users around the world. More than two-thirds of buyers prefer using SMS to contact support, demonstrating the widespread acceptance of this channel.

Most importantly, mobile messaging allows for real-time communication, serving customers' needs around the clock. With the majority of people still preferring phone calls for business interactions, mobile messaging provides a perfect alternative for those who value speed and convenience. By incorporating mobile messaging into your customer service strategy, you're not only meeting customer expectations but also enhancing their overall experience.

Choosing the Right Customer Service Channels

In light of the diverse range of customer service channels available, it's crucial that you carefully select the ones that best align with your customers' preferences and your business model to ensure effective communication and superior customer satisfaction.

When choosing the right customer service channels, consider your audience's demographics and their preferred mode of communication. For instance, phone calls might appeal to an older demographic, while the younger generation might prefer email or social media.

When implementing multiple channels, it's essential to ensure that all inquiries reach the right department. This requires an efficient routing system, minimizing the risk of miscommunication or missed messages. It's also vital to provide consistent service across all channels. A customer's experience should be seamless, regardless of whether they're contacting you via phone or live chat.

Moreover, the chosen channels should be compatible with your services or products. For instance, if your product requires complex troubleshooting, providing a video chat option might be beneficial.

As part of the 8 best customer service channels, consider incorporating mobile messaging and self-service options. These can provide instant help, meeting the growing demand for quick and convenient customer service.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Customer Service Channels

Building on the knowledge of choosing the right service channels, let's now examine some critical factors that can guide your decisions.

Understanding your customer base is paramount. Consider the demographics and preferences of your target audience when selecting customer service channels. This helps tailor your approach to their needs and expectations.

Assessing contact drivers is another key factor. Which reasons lead your customers to reach out for support? Prioritize the channels that best address these needs. For instance, live chat may be ideal for urgent inquiries, while email might suffice for less time-sensitive issues.

Response time and resolution are also crucial. You must choose channels that can quickly and effectively help customers. Additionally, consider how AI and automation can be used to enhance your service channels and offer customer support efficiently.

It's also beneficial to offer multiple avenues for customer service. Providing a variety of channels caters to different customer preferences, ensuring you meet their needs across the board.

Focus on Excellence

Always striving for excellence in your customer service can elevate your brand's reputation, consistently delivering high-quality experiences that not only meet but exceed your customers' expectations. This focus on excellence is instrumental in choosing the best channels for your customer service.

Excellence in customer service means setting and maintaining high standards in all your customer interactions. It's about being consistent in providing exceptional service across all channels, be it phone, email, live chat, or social media. This consistency ensures that regardless of the channel your customer picks, they're guaranteed a satisfactory experience.

Moreover, part of focusing on excellence involves fostering continuous improvement and innovation in your customer service practices. You're not just sticking to what works, but constantly finding ways to do better. This requires listening to customer feedback and understanding industry standards.

Ask Your Customers

Regularly asking your customers for their feedback isn't just a courtesy; it's a strategic move that uncovers valuable insights and paves the way for product or service improvements. As you strive to build customer loyalty, understanding their needs and preferences becomes crucial. This can be achieved by implementing ‘Ask Your Customers' as a service channel.

You can utilize various methods to ask your customers for feedback such as surveys, online chat, feedback forms, or direct communication. These tools provide a platform where customers can voice their opinions, suggestions, and concerns. This direct communication helps to enhance your understanding of what your customers truly want or need.

Bear in mind that choosing channels without considering your customer's preferences might result in ineffective communication. So, it's essential to select channels that are most comfortable for your customers.

Understand Industry Standards

While incorporating customer feedback into your operational strategy is crucial, it's equally vital to understand industry standards when choosing your customer service channels. By recognizing what's standard in your industry, you can ensure your company isn't falling short or investing too heavily in unnecessary areas.

Using different channels like email and phone for reaching out to customers is standard practice, with over 75% of customer interactions occurring over the phone. This is especially true for the older demographic, with the majority of people over 56 preferring phone contact. It provides real-time communication and high customer satisfaction, addressing urgent issues immediately.

Understanding industry standards is your first step towards efficient customer service. It's about knowing the media customers prefer and how they want to be reached. However, don't just follow the pack. Analyze these standards and identify where your business can excel. Perhaps it's time to invest more in live chat or social media, or maybe your email customer service needs improvement.

Pick the Channels That Work for You and Your Customers

Diving into the process of selecting the right customer service channels, it's essential to factor in your customers' preferences and needs, as well as the urgency of their inquiries. The channels that work best for your business will be contextually relevant, efficient, and customer-oriented.

To pick the channels that will make your customer service stand out, you need to evaluate the benefits of real-time communication, asynchronous support, and accessibility. If your customers prefer speedy responses, live chat or phone support may be ideal. However, if they value the convenience of resolving issues in their own time, email or self-service could be more suitable.

Implementing a mix of customer service channels can cater to diverse customer preferences, ensuring that more of your customers feel heard and valued. It's also critical to regularly assess and adapt your channel selection based on feedback.

The best customer service is flexible and responsive to change. Stay abreast with industry trends and be ready to fine-tune your selection to meet the evolving needs of your customers.

Get Started

Once you've assessed your customer preferences and selected the most suitable service channels, it's time to get started on implementation. This article has guided you through the best 8 customer service channels and how to pick them to best serve your audience.

Your first step should be to integrate these channels into your existing customer service platform. Whether it's live chat, email, or mobile messaging, ensure your team is trained and well-versed in using these tools. Remember, the aim is to provide an effortless and seamless customer experience.

Next, test these channels. You can't know how well they'll work until you see them in action. Get feedback from both your team and customers. This will help you fine-tune your approach and keep improving.

Lastly, keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of these channels. Monitor response times, resolution rates, and overall customer satisfaction. This will provide you with the insight you need to know if you've made the right choices.


Choosing the best customer service channels is crucial for the success of your business. Remember, it's about being where your customers are and communicating in their preferred way. Ask them, understand industry standards, and select channels that work for both you and your customers.

Start today and watch your customer loyalty grow. Each interaction is a golden opportunity to make your customers feel valued and heard. Let's keep the conversation going!