Why Adding a Live Chat on Your Company Website Is a Must
Customer service has evolved in the past decade. Websites aren’t just places for you to advertise your product or service, or marketplaces for retail. They are an integral part of the customer experience. The big trend in customer service today is omnichannel communication. It means that customers expect you to interact and engage with them on all the major contact points: voice calls, chat, SMS messaging, social media, and of course, your company website.
Live chat offered from your company’s website is a huge and extremely important component of the total customer experience. Traditionally, customer service was big on voice calls during the Baby Boomer era of the 70s and 80s but as technology moved forward, a new generation of consumers that is more comfortable with other contact points was born.
Live Chat Offers the Best Customer Service Potential
Out of all contact points, live chat is the one that offers the best potential for prompt, real-time engagement. Voice tends to be more expensive per agent and results in fewer people capable of fielding calls from customers. Live chat, on the other hand, allows multiple concurrencies per agent. You can cover a lot more customer queries with the same number of agents. This results in less wait time or even no wait time for customers looking to engage an agent through live chat.
And unlike email, where responses can be anywhere from several minutes to hours or even a day later, live chat response is immediate, just like voice. The numbers are telling live chat has the highest satisfaction rate from all the touchpoints.
Livechat satisfaction rating: 73%
Email satisfaction rating: 63%
Voice satisfaction rating: 44%.
Today’s Generation of Consumers Prefers Chat
You can see the huge difference in satisfaction between voice and chat, it’s a sign of the times. It’s no secret that Millennial consumers prefer chat and voice messages over standard voice, and as this generation becomes the largest group in the workforce and in the consumer market, their tastes and preferences begin to reflect the industry’s standards.
Chat adoption is highest in the 18-34 demographic, the age that describes the Millennial consumer group. Live chat is popular in this group because of the lack of hold times -- queues on voice tend to be a lot longer -- and these people find it very convenient, as it is easy to initiate over a smartphone or any computer. It takes less effort than calling and provides better satisfaction.
Chat Works Perfectly with Other Contact Points
Another huge benefit to live chat is how it can integrate with the other channels in your contact center. Using modern call center software, you can set up a self-service IVR to work with chat, allowing you to get 100% answer rate for all chat inquiries within your required service levels. The IVR is an automated system that can understand customer queries using natural language, and it can send customers to different parts of your call center like voice, a website knowledge base, or specific departments like billing, returns, and the like.
Chat has come so far that you can even enable the channel to answer customer concerns directly with an AI, taking care of simpler and more routine concerns like billing statement inquiries. In most cases, you can take off a large load of inquiries from live agents and resolve them directly with a chat bot.
So regardless of what you want to focus your customer service strategy on, there’s no getting away from the large trend towards live chat for the total customer experience. Today’s consumers love it and expect it, and if you are looking to really give the best customer service, offering chat should be an integral part of your strategy.