Last updated on June 18, 2018
Customer support is continuously evolving together with the changing lifestyles and demands of end-users. From using phone calls to enabling the use of emails, customer service has had its fair share of fallbacks that led to the development of channels maximizing on faster and easier communication.
Among the finest innovations for customer service is the development of live chat support.
Live chat support, an offline customer service software, is designed to allow customers to contact support agents simply through accessing a brand’s website. It does not require any installation on either the brand or the customer’s end because it will instantly appear as a chat widget within the browser window once the website is accessed.
Another option to make live chat work is by having end-users click on an icon on the website that will launch the chat window.
Employing live chat causes a positive domino effect on a brand’s customer support service, sales and marketing tactics, manpower and budget, and ultimately on its relationship with its target market. Manpower, resources, expenses, ad strategies, as well as honing B2C connections are all interconnected with excellent customer service.
The higher satisfaction customers get from a brand’s help desk support, the better chances of pushing internal and external development for the business.
Live chat has been proven to deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction as compared to email and phone support. Phone calls can take forever to be answered especially during peak hours where there is an influx of customers in need of assistance.
Emails tend to have low open rates—a characteristic that is not ideal for a help desk service. On the other hand, the use of live support instantly boosts the flexibility of customer service. With instant messaging being at the core of its functions, it saves time and effort for both the support agents and the customers.
Since convenience and flexibility are enhanced, customers are driven to be more supportive and receptive to the business’ growth and expansion. Customers have ways to determine whether a brand prioritizes their needs or not.
One of the ways by which they can assess this is through checking how quickly they can reach out to a brand’s representatives, and how adequately their inquiries and concerns were addressed. If a business can exhibit a seamless communication channel that effectively helps bridge existing gaps they may have with their customers, clients will more likely be driven to actively participate in helping improve a brand’s services.
From there, open communication between the brand and its audience ensues, followed by a dynamic collaboration to devise more feasible solutions and campaigns that adhere to what customers truly need.
The advantages of live chat are not just applicable to customer support alone. It can also be used to generate leads. As was mentioned, convenient and seamless communication channels drive higher conversions.
If a customer is interested to learn more about a particular product or service, the chances of them converting into a paying client will be increased if they can converse with a support agent or brand representative in real-time.
At present, e-commerce websites and live chat support make a highly successful combination because it allows brands to hit two birds with one stone. Without the need to spend for additional manpower, customer assistance service is made more accessible while client conversion can be doubled.
Here’s a scenario—a customer is on an e-commerce site and is about to make a purchase.
However, the client has a few clarifications about the product, and it is very crucial that their questions be answered as instantly as possible. With live chat, customers are given an immediate walk through with the products they wish to buy, thereby increasing their chances of pushing through with their purchase.
If possible, the live chat support agent can even convince the customer to make additional purchases and be a regular customer.
The convenience of live support is reflected in both customer experience and how support agents execute their tasks. It can likewise be observed in the dramatic drop in expenses for the company once live chat service is employed.
Compared to phone support, live chat has been found to cost 17-30% less than phone support. In addition, live chat makes multitasking possible for support agents. They can simultaneously handle 2-3 client concerns, and this effectively eliminates the need to hire additional personnel.
In short, whether a business has a small or large group of support agents, live chat helps make that number enough, ideal and highly functional for the brand.
With live chat, customers and potential leads can reach out to brands more conveniently, regardless of their location. International phone call rates can be pricy while emails are not usually answered as immediately as customers want.
But, when they see that live chat is available in a website, it compels them to raise their queries instantly and learn more about the services and products being offered.
When paired with marketing strategies, live chat provides brands a chance to bank on immediate, real-time communication to gauge audience engagement and gain more direct, valuable feedback on their advertising approaches.
What’s impressive about incorporating live chat software is that it paves the way for businesses to take a deeper look into interactions that took place between the customer and the support agent. One of the features of live chat is the capability to record all incoming and outgoing customer support messages, and create a detailed analytical report based on the gathered data. A typical live chat report usually contains the following data:
Reports can be customized as well to gather additional information vital to enhancing how the help desk service is operated. Pre and post-chat surveys can be included, along with canned messages and the inclusion of chatbots.
As for monitoring visitor metrics, the customer’s name, email and location, pages visited, as well as the number of times the brand’s website was browsed and contacts to support agents were made or attempted can be recorded and compiled into a statistical data.
Based on all the vital information that can be gathered from just a single chat, brands can evaluate their support services on a larger scale and determine more feasible solutions to increase efficiency and boost customer experience.
It seems that there are still few businesses that have tapped or discovered the full potentials of adding live chat service. Due to this, incorporating live support will surely up a brand’s competitive advantage, and make it expand the roles and responsibilities of its agents when handling customer concerns.
Today’s customer demands for convenience and satisfaction are higher than ever, and live chat helps create solutions that facilitate seamless and dependable customer assistance.
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