With live chat, you give customers a way to reach you in the exact moment that they have questions or problems they can’t solve. This feels much better than sending an email to a support team; with email, it’s hard to know when you’ll get a response back. The immediacy of getting help is likely why customer satisfaction ratings tend to be higher for live chat than other types of support.
Live chat is a great way to connect with prospective and new customers and give them the confidence they need to use your product or spend money on your website. According to Forrester, consumers who use chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who don’t.
Being available to help builds trust, even if your customers don’t need to talk right then and there.
In an ongoing chat, agents can observe a customer’s tone and sentiment and adjust their styles to fit the situation best. By mirroring style or adjusting formality to match a customer’s, agents can quickly build rapport and establish a friendly, helpful relationship.
Messaging platforms also offer a more authentic way to showcase your agents’ personalities than traditional channels.
No one wants to have to explain the issue they’re having over and over again. In fact, 72% of customers expect an agent to know their details — including support history and product information — without asking for them.
With quality live chat customer service software, agents can read the text supplied by the customer while also reviewing other details they have access to. This may include things like an indication of which screen the customer is currently viewing and notes from previous interactions with customer support.
During a chat session, some tools will even allow an agent to share a screen with the customer or easily send links and screenshots to help them better understand a set of directions, making everything crystal clear.
How Live Chat Boosts and Enhances Productivity
Live chat is also helpful in improving the productivity of your customer service agents. While a person can only be on one phone call or reply to one email at a time, with chat they can juggle a few at once.
For trickier issues requiring research and reporting, they may want to stick to one or two, but if they’re working the chat queue full of quick and simple questions, handling five at once is manageable with some practice.
Since features and chat handling vary for each tool, be sure to choose the software that works best for your workflows and team. Even better, look for customer service software that can handle your chats, emails, and other support channels all within one tool so agents can focus in one place and get the work done.
Is Live Chat Convenient or requires a lot of effort?
Let me bust the myth for you, point by point.
A). It connects customers instantly with an agent. No need to dial a number and press button after button before you even get to talk to an agent.
B). Live chat allows customers to multi-task. This is perhaps the greatest benefit. Over 51% of customers like live chat precisely for this reason. So even if customers have a short wait, they can get on with doing something else.
C). The wait time is negligible. No more getting stuck on hold for hours on end, customer queries are promptly addressed.
D). The conversation can be saved. It’s easier to guide users through issues when their previous interactions can be referred back to for context.
E). Customer queries are answered quickly. Emails often require a lengthy back and forth, live chat can resolve issues in one session.
F). Customers can have their purchase-related queries answered on the spot. This is a massive advantage considering 44% of consumers think the ability to talk to an agent while purchasing online is one of the best features a website can offer. Customers really do appreciate your help when it comes to buying decisions.
Customers appreciate live chat as it helps them in making the right buying decisions.
Live chat lets you provide 24/7 support
With careful scheduling, live chat support can be made available 24/7 — if that would be beneficial to your business — or any other selection of hours you prefer.
By expanding your instant availability to cover the whole day, your customers will have little reason to complain about their questions going unheard. Even if you can’t keep chat staffed around the clock, your self-service support options, like a knowledge base full of content about your product, is available anytime.
When chat isn’t available, be sure it’s quick and easy for customers to find their way to your support documentation. Many times, people are perfectly happy to help themselves, but they aren’t sure where to find the information they need. With your knowledge base and chat working together, customers will feel taken care of regardless of what hour of the day they find themselves needing support.
Live chat increases customer engagement
When you make live chat readily available, you’ll likely see an increase in interactions. While some of that may be customers who switch to using chat instead of email/phone support, a portion of the growth will be people who found chat and realized they could get help instead of giving up and possibly ditching your product altogether.
With increased customer engagement comes a chance to make a good impression and give customers a reason to stick around. To add to the inviting feel, set up your chat tool to display agent names and photos (if possible), and implement a conversational chat style.
Live chat can give you an edge over your competition
If your competitors don’t offer live chat (or provide low-quality chat support), that gives you space to do it right and earn their business.
Think about this: if you were a customer in a hurry trying to decide between two products, would you pick up the phone and call support to get your questions answered, or would you be more tempted by the company that was readily available on their website?
Most people are more likely to ask questions over chat than they are willing to make a phone call. In fact, more than half of consumers prefer chat over phone support.
Live chat data helps inform product decisions
One major perk to providing support via chat is all of the data you can collect. Depending on your live chat software, you should be able to store, organize, and tag chats to filter them for review later. By putting the work in up front to sort chats and review them, you can create a collection of data that informs your support team — and your product and marketing teams, too.
For a simple starting point, develop a set of tags all agents will use, and have them tag their chats. Consider tagging for things like feature requests and bugs, as well as by question type or topic to help pinpoint any frequent issues. As you tag by type, you’ll be able to spot the places in your product that may need updating or require more support documentation to help your customers out.