Customers nowadays look for efficient, real-time support from businesses. However, they also value a personalized experience that offers a human touch and sometimes need assistance when making a purchase. For many brands, the answer to these customer needs is live chat. According to a 2021 Comm100 Live Chat Benchmark Report, the live chat customer satisfaction rate reached its highest level at 85%, suggesting that the channel’s efficacy and desirability among customers are growing year after year. Here are eight reasons why live chat is essential for your business.
While voice is a traditional customer service channel, some customers are uncomfortable talking on the phone or find the channel irritating. A 2018 Aspect Software study found that 59% of customers avoid calling brands for as long as possible, citing reasons such as unprepared agents and long wait times. Live chat, on the other hand, makes it easy for customers who are more comfortable on non-voice channels to reach out to brands. Live chat offers a conversational style that enables agents to perceive a customer’s tone and use the language that best fits the conversational context. For example, an agent may show compassion for a frustrated customer or embrace a lighter tone for a satisfied customer.
Meeting customers where they are already active allows your business to create more seamless and meaningful customer experiences. Rather than convincing customers to like a channel, your business can integrate into customers’ daily communications by using live chat. A 2021 Kayako survey found that 41% of consumers prefer live chat support. Many customers therefore expect brands to interact with them on this channel.
Live chat is an excellent channel for assisting customers who might be navigating your website and looking to make a purchase. Offering timely, proactive support when customers may have questions about product recommendations, the checkout process, and other issues can be critical to making a sale. A 2016 Forrester report found that customers who use live chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert. Furthermore, a 2015 Software Advice study found that 63% of millennials prefer to receive customer service through live chat than other traditional channels. As millennials have tremendous buying power and show loyalty to brands that offer customer-centric experiences, reaching this consumer demographic via live chat is critical to driving sales.
Customers don’t want to waste time, and live chat offers the benefit of offering faster, real-time resolutions. Channels like phone and email can be too slow for customers who need quick responses. Live chat allows your business to offer proactive customer service by using pop-up chat windows to assist customers as they navigate your website. If a customer has an urgent question, live chat also cuts the wait time that may occur on other channels. Live chat can help a company offer longer customer service hours when agents work remotely from different time zones, serving more customers quickly. Prompt answers to questions ultimately lead to greater customer satisfaction.
When integrated with a CRM, live chat can be used to offer more personalized service. During a customer interaction, agents will have immediate access to full customer history—including previous purchases and service interactions—and be able to give personalized advice. Updates may be made in real time, so subsequent customer interactions will have up to date information. Satisfaction grows when customers no longer have to repeat information.
Live chat offers agents the possibility of integrating visual features into a conversation that can increase chance of achieving first contact resolution. For example, agents may share screenshots, photos, and videos such as tutorials to better support customers. Providing weblinks can also facilitate payment processes. The more the customer is informed, the higher the chance of offering a complete solution upon first contact.
Live chat channels are less expensive to operate than channels such as voice. For this reason, companies enjoy lower customer support costs with this channel. Live chat can be set up quickly and easily, and it may be integrated into an omnichannel solution based in the cloud. Human resource costs are also reduced as agents are more efficient with their time.
On the live chat channel, agents can manage multiple customer interactions at once. When agents are properly trained to use this channel, they can handle many simple customer requests simultaneously. This increased productivity means that more customers are served in a timely manner, leading to greater satisfaction.
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