Live chat is currently only available on the Optus website, but does work on tablets. Smith said Optus plans to add a mobile chat feature for smartphones in the future, but he couldn't provide a timeframe.
Kannan said customer service at many companies is "stuck in the '80s." While there is awareness of customer service gaps, addressing the problem is not always at the top of a business's agenda, he said.
Kannan discouraged companies from adding more customer support channels like social media. "Most people don't do a great job with existing channels, so why would you add one more?"
"The successful customers that do service really well" have "very little questions raised on social media because the [other] channels work," he said.
Smith agreed that social media is often a channel of last resort.
"It's a very powerful medium for taking customers from not being advocates [of the company] to being advocates."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.