Why Live Chat Is Key to Winning the Customer Service Game
The rigorous demand of modern-day customer service has highlighted the need for businesses to use an efficient help desk system packed full of essential support tools, one of which being live chat. Alongside an omnichannel experience and self-service portals, live chat has become a much sought-after feature that customers expect when visiting a website. And, with 77% of visitors choosing to leave a site without it, live chat is now a requirement for businesses too.
What Is Live Chat Support?
Live chat is a web-based tool commonly found within a Help Desk Software system that provides customers with a direct link to a business’s support team.
Typically embedded on a company’s website, a live chat tool works as a text-based conversation where customers can send their queries to a support agent on the other end of the conversion.
Whether shopping online for clothes or browsing for software options, live chat can be a proactive tool that pops up in the corner of a screen and asks if a user requires assistance.
One key advantage that it provides when compared to other support tools is the ability for customers to interact with support agents in real-time. Whereas the average response time to customer service requests is over 12 hours, live chat support provides customers with an instant response to their issues.
The Benefits of Using a Live Chat Tool
As well as increasing the response time of customer queries, using a live chat tool can benefit both customers and business support teams in several ways.
With an estimated 83% of consumers needing assistance when making an online transaction, live chat is the most useful and effective type of support a business can offer in this situation.
By providing real-time help in a fraction of the time it takes for support agents to answer email queries, live chat can accelerate engagement with a consumer and increase the chance of a sale. So much so that Post Affiliate Pro reported a 23% increase in conversations after implementing a chat function.
Reduces Response Times
In the UK, 41% of customers said that live chat was their preferred choice of support channel. Not just because it allows for a more convenient and less stressful experience, but because they’re receiving support in a more timely manner than that of support via email or social media.
With an average wait time of just 2 minutes and 40 seconds, it has proven to be one of the best support features to improve customer engagement times.
Provides 24/7 Customer Support
Whereas phone support is only generally available during a business’s operating hours, typically 9-5, live chat can be carefully scheduled to operate at all times. This is made possible by help desk systems providing support teams with a web-based login, allowing agents to engage with customers from anywhere at any time. If a business operates globally, then providing non-stop support is also useful for customers in different time zones.
Also, if a company doesn’t have the bandwidth to provide 24/7 live chat support, it can be set up in a way that automatically directs customers to a self-service portal. Where customers are sent a link to a set of FAQs or a detailed knowledge base.
Improves Support Team Productivity
Whereas support agents are more likely to answer one query at a time when it comes to emails and phone calls, live chat support can offer more variety. This allows agents to juggle more than one conversation at the same time. With the ability to provide instant customer service, support teams can close more than 60 tickets an hour.
Why Live Chat Is Important for Improving Customer Service
From email to social media, a business can provide service to customers via various forms of communication. But, with a customer satisfaction level of 73%, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone, live chat support is one of the most essential forms of communication a business can provide.
Live chat has become so influential in customer service that it is now the most important form of support. This is largely due to the almost instantaneous rate of response that customers receive. In fact, 28% of consumers expect a reply from a support agent in five minutes or less.
Not only is live chat support essential for customers, but businesses are also realizing its importance as well. Particularly when it comes to increasing sales and maximizing customer engagement. Chat has such an influence that customers who use it are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who don’t.
Other benefits of businesses using live chat features to improve the customer experience include:
- Building a rapport with customers
- Understanding a business’s customer base
- Keeping up with competitors
- Improving customer engagement
What’s the Difference Between Live Chat and Chatbots?
Although live chat support has proven to increase customer engagement, it can have some drawbacks. For instance, for a customer to receive efficient support a service rep must constantly be available. Which isn’t always possible. Resulting in unhappy customers that are kept waiting.
The solution? Artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of a chatbot.
What Is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a software program that has been built to automatically engage with users by proactively responding to messages that contain specific keywords or phrases. Whereas live chat requires a support agent to message back-and-forth with a customer, a chatbot does not.
Chatbots work by following a predetermined set of rules that allow them to respond to specific commands. Such as asking when a business’s operating hours are. Another way in which chatbots work is through advanced AI such as natural learning processing (NLP) and machine learning. Allowing it to evolve and interact with customers in a more detailed way.
Using chatbots instead of live chat support can provide businesses with a wide range of benefits, such as:
- 24/7 customer support
- Automatically resolve customer issues
- Streamline support processes
- Helps decrease ticker volume for support teams
- Reduces wait times for customers