31 Dec Benefits of Live Chat Customer Service
Communication is key to successful customer service. As customer expectations continue to develop, businesses need to rise up to meet their growing demands, especially when it comes to providing excellent customer service. Today, customers want instant communication with brands when it comes to their questions and concerns, and few have the patience to wait on a phone queue or for an email reply.
Step up your customer service experience with live chat support!
Adding a live chat feature to your website is one of the easiest ways to improve your customer service and customer loyalty. Let’s take a look at how popular live chat has become, the benefits it brings to your business, and what the future may hold!
What Your Customers Want and What Your Business Needs
It’s simple: Live chat is what your customers want and what your business needs. The first step is to understand just how important this feature is with the help of some live chat statistics.
To start with, live chat features are expected to keep growing up to 87% within the next 12-18 months. Some industries (such as those in government and nonprofit organizations) have seen a 150% increase in live chat, and that was even prior to 2020.
So, why are people turning to live chat in such great numbers? It’s because customers want instant results. If they have a problem or a question, they likely don’t have the time to be waiting for a response, and a long wait for customer service can turn into a poor online review or a permanently lost customer.
Live chat has already surpassed other digital methods of customer communications! Even back in 2015, 42% of customers preferred chat over email (23%) or other social media platforms (16%) for contacting customer support.
Despite this overwhelming demand from customers, few companies have adopted live chat applications on their websites. This means that getting on board with live chat can give you an advantage over your competitors. Not only that, but live chat can also greatly improve how many customers you can help — with up to six at a time!
When it comes to improving customer experience and increasing revenue, live chat is leading the way. As far back as 2009, 63% of customers said they were likely to visit a website again if it offered live chat support, while 62% said they would be more likely to shop from the same website in the future, and a significant 38% stated they made a purchase because of a live chat session they had. Insights from Forrester have revealed that the average order value can increase by 10% for customers who use live chat before making a purchase, leading to an average 48% boost in revenue per chat hour and an overall 40% conversion rate.
A study from the American Marketing Association also found that live chat can be a valuable asset throughout the buyer’s journey, improving marketing awareness, early-stage engagement and post-sales customer support. These elements, of course, also contribute back to customer loyalty and revenue.
The numbers are clear when it comes to live chat customer support!
The Time Is Now
The time to get started is now! As we’ve already learned, live chat is no longer optional when it comes to modern customer service solutions.
Let’s step away from the statistics and look at the bigger picture of why live chat is a must-have for all businesses moving forward:
- It can save you time — Running a business is very time-demanding, but customer service shouldn’t suffer because of it. Live chat makes it easier for you and your sales agents or customer support representatives to communicate with customers quickly, as well as assist multiple customers at once. This cuts down on long phone conversations and email delways, which means you can have more time dedicated to your business and actually provide service to your customers!
- Your customers save time, too — Customers have their own busy lives and responsibilities. Live chat makes it easier for customers to ask questions and receive support no matter where they are or what they’re doing. This greatly improves customer experiences and helps your business assist customers who you might not ordinarily have been able to help!
- It improves answer quality — Instead of fumbling over words and feeling the pressure to blurt out an answer quickly over the phone, live chat allows your representatives to craft quick but still clear and quality responses. It’s also easier for representatives to provide useful resources to customers over chat, thus improving the quality of the conversation even further.
- Solve harder problems with ease — Going along with improving the quality of your answers to customers, live chat also makes solving harder and more complex issues easier. Representatives can include resources, files, and attachments in the chat, which keeps everything together in one place. It’s also easier to address multiple concerns from a single client at one time with the ability to answer different questions in a single typed-up response.
- It can facilitate many types of customer conversations — The flexibility of live chat is one of its star benefits. Text chats can be turned into email tickets, screen sharing, and audio support — which are just a few examples of many common features that can be added to live chat customer support applications. This improves communication quality both for your customers and your representatives!
The Future of Live Chat
We know where live chat has been and what it looks like today, but what can your business do to prepare for the future of live chat? An interesting development in the world of live chat software is AI chatbots. These “bots” are not physically present, but rather they are software programs developed using artificial intelligence (AI) for language processing. They provide simple automated responses to give customers answers to their questions before needing to talk to a representative.
Why is this important? Well, a recent UK SME business leaders survey found that as many as 33% of businesses struggle to keep up with customer expectations.
AI chatbots can then improve your live chat customer service experience, especially if you have a large and busy customer support team. Another study discovered that 64% of customer service agents who use AI chatbots spent time resolving complex customer issues, compared to only 50% of agents not using chatbots. That same study reported that 53% of businesses in service industries plan to integrate chatbots into their existing live chat system within the next year. The same study also found that the highest-performing businesses are already 2.1 times more likely to use AI chatbots than their underperforming competitors!
If you’re transitioning to live chat, make sure your business will soon be able to incorporate AI chatbot features to keep up with customer demands and to stay ahead of the competition.
Get Started with Live Chat for Your Business
The good news is that getting started with live chat is actually very easy! Our Virtual Stacks Systems UK team offers our live chat customer support application — eZnetCHAT — for UK businesses of all sizes. As a cloud-based solution, it can quickly be integrated into your website and operate securely. Contact us today to improve your customer service solutions!