February 6, 2018

How Chat Service Evolved as an Excellent Customer Support Tool

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There is no denying that chat support has come a long way as a tool for boosting communication channels and customer satisfaction. Although chat started out as a modernized channel for individuals to exchange messages especially on their social media profiles, several business owners have gone out of their way to employ chat service to strengthen capacities for client support.

chat box icon

(Image Courtesy of Pixabay)

Messaging is an integral part of every growing industry. The more convenience and innovation it can bring, the more it can help brands meet customer expectations and beat competitors in the market

The bigger demands customers have, the more competitive edge communication channels had to exhibit to keep up. Impressively, chat service was among the simple yet accessible modes of communication that lived up to client expectations. It has since led numerous brands to diminish the distance with customers and deliver more efficient service.

To emphasize further chat messaging’s remarkable development through the years, here’s a quick recall of how this particular messaging channel evolved from its humble beginnings:

Prior to its massive success, chat first emerged along with the so-called new era of customer support.

  • Dating back from the ancient times, people used to have conversations through cave paintings, pictograms, speech, and postal systems. However, due to the increasing demand brought by the rapid growth of several businesses along with time and location constraints, people sought easier ways to get their messages across.
  • Before telephones were invented, people had to personally go to the shops where they made a purchase to raise concerns, give feedback, or request item replacements and repairs.
  • Optical telegraphs were invented in 1792, leading to a drastic change in communication speed.
  • The invention of the telephone in 1876 was followed by the development of switchboards and call centers to make handling various customer concerns more organized. In the late 70’s, Interactive Voice Responses (IVR) were produced in the hopes of making customer assistance easier. Unfortunately, since phone trees have become more complex, it did not merit as much success as expected.
  • Video conferencing was introduced in 1976.
  • As the internet began to dominate different industries and households, customers were soon introduced to faster ways to reach out to customer service for assistance. Before email was included in customer support channels and online marketing strategies, it was used mainly for government, military and academic purposes. In 1996, email and live chat were both incorporated in business websites.
  • Shortly after webcams were produced and enhanced computer-based communication, AOL began dominating the way people exchange messages with loved ones across the globe.
  • Online chat sites became more apparent, with over 50.4% of American consumers using the said means of communication. The more customers made use of online or live chat, the more business owners used it to their advantage. In 2012, the number of brands using chat service for customer support rose to 65%.
  • Even in social media, B2C relations are continuously being honed thanks to how chat service enables business owners to bridge the gap between target audience.
chat services agent at work

(Image Courtesy of Pixabay)

Chat service surpassed the efficiency of emails and matched the cost-effective messaging solutions brought by Short Message Service (SMS)

Emails do not have as much open rates as chat and text because it is not that particular on urgency and accessibility of messages. And although SMS or text enables exchange of messages between a variety of communication devices such as cell phones and even personal computers, chat support is still just as useful. Even when it usually requires a solid internet connection, chat has as much versatility as SMS. It can be embedded in business websites and social media pages while charging zero fees to enable people to communicate.

It is unlikely that people will depend on a singular messaging channel just to attain the kind of satisfaction they seek from the services they are availing. Some may prefer SMS over chat, or chat over emails. But the bottom line is, as long as there are customers willing to pay more to receive better service, then it is safe to say that there are countless more possibilities awaiting chat service in the years to come.

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