"You want what you want, when you want it." We’ve all heard the phrase, but never before has it been more applicable to our daily lives. We live in a microwave society, where customers demand instant service everywhere from grocery shopping to technical assistance. Gone are the days where customers are okay with sending an email out to a company with their fingers crossed that they'll get a response.
Our customers expect more. And they should.
Live chat has quickly become one of the most popular contact methods for companies today. Why? Customers want help the moment they need it. And it works: live chat has the highest customer satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.
Let’s break down why live chat is so successful:
1. PersonalizationA good chat service allows its users to see the history of each customer that chats with them. For example, Help.com's pre-chat survey allows companies to address customers by name, rather than a generic greeting like “Hello valued customer,” making the experience more personal. Solid chat systems will also allow users to pull up relevant information to the customer like:
- Who they are: Are they a first time customer, or have they been with you since the beginning?
- What their last communication was: Did your team member John Smith recently help them exchange an item?
- Notes/tags: Do you have a lead coming in through chat? Let your team know.
Take a note from the customer service team at Netflix. From answering chats in character to simply using the tool to get to know their customers, use live chat to its full potential for a more personal and remarkable customer experience.
(Via Venture Beat)
2. Shorter wait timesNo one likes being put on hold. Adding live chat to your customer support strategy can save your customers frustration by reducing their wait time. For example, Help.com Chat allows agents to handle more than one chat at a time. A good chat service will also allow managers to customize multiple chat supports. This allows more experienced agents to tackle more, and restricts newer agents to a number they’re more comfortable with.
3. ReportingAre you giving your customers the best service possible? What can you do better? A chat service with a custom survey feature allows users to create a post-chat survey that fits their company’s needs.
4. Be there when your customers need youAccording to a study by Forrester Research, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by live chat in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. Furthermore, the study states that 55% of US online adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they don’t get the help they need right away.
Implementing proactive chat is a great way to reach your customers before they reach their pain point.
Here are some popular proactive chat triggers:
- First time visitor: Say hello!
- Time on page: Perhaps you notice that a customer is stalled on the checkout page. A chat invite can help clear up any questions may save a purchase.
Kayla works at Help.com, a next generation customer service software based in Austin, TX