Customers like chat
Repeated studies have found customers responding positively to live chat on websites. eDigital Research’s report Customer Service Benchmark found that people preferred it over any other customer service channel, including telephone and email.
Whether it’s used as a customer service tool or as part of the sales journey, live chat can give customers the real-time interaction they want while at the same time being more cost-effective, trackable and flexible than a telephone call.
Live chat is more efficient than a call centre
Talking a customer through an issue on the phone can be a great experience for them, but it has one major drawback – each agent can only deal with one customer at a time. In contrast, a live chat agent can potentially deal with several customers at once.
Live chat can improve call centre deflection rates
There’ll always be some interactions that are best handled on the phone. But many simple queries can be resolved by a combination of live chat and an online knowledge base, leaving your expert call centre agents free to deal with the large, complex support tickets.
Existing online support material becomes more valuable, too. A well-prepared chat agent can direct a customer immediately to the most useful FAQ answer or knowledge base page, without them needing to hunt through your website or rely on search.
Availability builds trust
By having live chat on your website and making it available as a support option you’re helping to build trust. Different people prefer different contact channels, and by presenting a wider range of options customers will feel that you’re more responsive, more available and generally more interested in what they want.
Live chat can drive sales as well as service
Although traditionally considered a piece of help desk software there’s no reason to limit live chat to customer support. The positive response that customers have to live chat mean it can be an effective sales tool too, especially when it comes to reducing dropouts during a purchase process.
The great advantage of live chat is that you can target it very precisely. Is there a particularly high drop-out rate at a certain point in the sales journey? A live chat agent could help people through that stage of the process. Do your web analytics show customers making repeated visits to a page without buying? Live chat can be targeted specifically at those customers, offering help, answering questions and handling objections at just the right moment.
In short – if your business would benefit from a more efficient, more intelligent and more responsive customer service channel, you should be considering live chat for your website.