In an evolving world where digital engagement continues to grow at an astounding rate, Live chat has become an integral part of the customer service journey. But why?
It’s simple. Because Live Chat offers instant response. Research shows that Live Chat has the highest consumer satisfaction rates above 90%.
why do customers prefer live chat?
Because Live Chat allows you to communicate in real time, without the waiting times or inconvenience of other channels. 79% of customers prefer Live Chat over other channels, specifically because it offers immediate response.
This in turn leads to increased customer satisfaction rates. Did you know that over 60% of consumers who use Live Chat on a website are likely to return again (providing you have delivered a good service)?
But in addition to these fundamentals, let me explain the additional practical, psychological and emotional reasons that mean customers now prefer Live Chat.
Customers are delighted that they are directly and instantly connected to your customer service and/or sales teams, so they feel that you are easy to do business with.
I spend a great deal of my working day on the phone, so after a busy day, having to use the phone again is the last thing I want. But I am happy to sit with my tablet/laptop/phone and chat with someone via Live Chat, at a time that is convenient for me.
When I find a company easy to do business, I will then ensure I spread the word, and will undoubtedly use them again.
Speed is the name of the game! How many times do you contact a call centre, forced to select option after option, and end up in a queue for hours? By the time you get through you are so frustrated that what could have been a minor customer service query ends up escalating into something bigger than it needed to be.
Time is precious for everyone and customers love it when you save them time. Imagine engaging and capturing customers so quickly that they never need to transact with one of your competitors, which saves them more time, simply because you are offering exceptional service.
Do you know what YOUR average response time for phone enquiries is, or for Live Chat if you offer it? The industry average 1st response time for Live Chat is 45 seconds. (BTW: we consistently beat our own SLA of 15 seconds.) How do you compare?
Live Chat allows the customer to multitask at the same time as using your Live Chat.
Now this is crucial. You are enabling a customer to engage with you in a way that they prefer. The conversation is on their terms, at a time convenient to them, when they may be doing other things as well. This isn't possible on the phone.
In fact, 51% of customers state their first reason for a Live Chat preference is the ability to multi-task. Keyboard based comms are easy to manage when you’re doing other things. And 22% even say they like Live Chat because they actively dislike talking on the phone nowadays.
And the icing on the cake for customers is simple but hugely effective conveniences, such as receiving an emailed copy of the chat transcript after they have finished, avoiding issues of forgotten details, and providing them with a reassurance and confidence in the brand they are dealing with.
BUT LIVE CHAT MUST BE DONE WELL
As you can tell I am a huge fan of Live chat. And the benefits really stand out for me when I'm forced to talk to a chatbot instead of a human, only to find that the bot passes me through to a live human operator when it cannot complete my request.
This happened to me recently when I renewed my car insurance online. I went through a series of questions to verify my request/status and then I was passed through to a human operator via live chat to proceed with the transaction. The icing on my cake was when the operator called me to take payment. The whole thing took no more than 10 minutes of my day and the actual conversation was 2 minutes. Now that is why I prefer Live Chat!
Both the bot and the human seamlessly played an appropriate role to swiftly manage me to my desired outcome.
By comparison, during December, I was notified that a parcel was due to be delivered to my home at a set time and day. I was home to take delivery, so imagine my surprise when I was advised it had been delivered by FedEx. But clearly not to me!
I saw there was a chat function on their site, so as always, I turned to this to try and get my issue resolved. I was disappointed that this was a virtual chat assistant which was only able to provide answers to a set scenario. The virtual assistant could not decipher my query, and to add insult to injury when I called them, I was faced with a series of questions again like the virtual chat box and could not be transferred to speak to a human operator.
This is a global company that is in demand during a world pandemic. I would have expected them to get this right and fine tune their Live Chat experience to satisfy clients both from a B2B and B2C perspective.
Needless to say, the company using FedEx have had several problems and are looking at alternative carriers to satisfy their delivery demands. And as a customer I'm now likely to avoid FedEx as they can’t provide me with the service that I expect.
Throughout my experience of this pandemic, those companies that have won my vote are those that delivered exceptional customer service, making it easy for me to do businesses with them. Unsurprisingly, all of these companies has one thing in common. They all have a range of contact solutions including: 24/7 Live Chat, contact centre, email, and social media. They ensure that a customer can contact them in the way they prefer, at a time that is convenient to them. And I think you know which solution I prefer!
I'd love to hear your stories of your customer experiences, and know how you find getting in touch with businesses, and what you'd like to do in your own business. Feel free to contact me any time: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or just get in touch with any of us for a chat.