Are you wondering what are the benefits of live chat for customer service? Looking for more information on whether live chat is the right channel to support your customers?
Did you know that the majority of customers today prefer live chat to other customer service channels?
It’s true. When they look for your support, customers prefer to reach out via live chat, rather than email or call you.
In short, live chat is taking over as the primary customer service channel. And in this article, you’ll learn more about why that is, what are the benefits of live chat for customer service, and what live chat tools to use.
Before we begin, though, let’s define what does it mean to support customers over live chat.
What is Live Chat Customer Service?
Customer service is about the communication a business has with its customers. The ultimate goal of customer service is to keep customers happy through an experience that may include multiple support channels and types of interactions.
And that’s quite a task, isn’t it?
Customers become more demanding, after all. They expect instant communication and a quick resolution to their problems.
That’s where live chat comes in.
Such an option offers direct and instant support to customers and can complement your other customer support channels – email and phone support.
In fact, more and more customers are interested in the live chat customer service to find an answer to their questions.
Why Use Live Chat for Customer Service – Benefits
FACT: More and more brands implement live chat customer service.
Here are just some reasons why.
1. Live Chat is the Fastest Way to Support Customers
With live chat, customers can get help immediately. With live chat customer service, they no longer face long wait times on the phone or having to submit a ticket, hoping that someone will eventually read it and reply.
Instead, customers can connect with your live chat agent through a chat window on the site, and get the support they need, right at the time that you want to have an answer.
(And they demand such instant service too. Turns out, 1 in 5 customers will stop using a product if a company has responded slowly in an online chat.)
In short, live chat can help you engage customers where they are – online, with the communications method they prefer.
What’s more, live chat will improve your response rate (well, it will make it instantaneous, actually,) and let you provide a much better customer experience.
2. Live Chat is Conversational
What makes live chat different from other channels is the fact that it’s conversational. By its nature, live chat resembles a conversation (unlike email!) and allows agents to build rapport with customers while supporting them.
Live chat feels personal. This simple fact makes it easier for customers to provide more details for their problems while it also helps agents provide better support.
Instead of sending multiple emails or trying to resolve an issue over the phone, you can simply ask additional questions or include screenshots for troubleshooting through a chat conversation.
3. Live Chat (If Done Well) Connects Customers With the Right Person Immediately
Another benefit of having live chat customer support is the ability to direct customers to the right person with no delay.
It is estimated that two-thirds of consumers find the most frustrating aspect of customer service having to wait on hold or talk to multiple representatives to solve their problems.
Instead of forwarding customers from one person to another, the way it happens on the phone, you can use a bot at the start of the chat to sort each query based on the type of help they need so that you find the right person to assist.
Similarly, by connecting live chat support with Slack or MS Teams, you can help agents to collaborate with colleagues from other departments without having to switch between apps.
4. Live Chat Improves a Company’s Response Times
Consumers are more impatient than ever and speed is critical in your response time.
Research shows that 90% of consumers consider an “immediate” response to a customer service question as important.
Thus, you don’t want to risk losing your customers and website visitors for being too slow for their standards.
Live chat software can help you improve your brand’s response rate to provide a better customer experience. Chats can be picked up quickly from your agents, while the integration with tools like Slack can help you speed up your response time even more.
5. Live Chat Works Even If All Chat Agents Are Gone
You don’t need to be online 24/7 if your business cannot support it with the available resources. That’s fine.
It’s important though to communicate your opening hours so that the customers expect a response at a set time.
Live chat can still work even if all your agents are away. Offline functionality allows customers to still leave their messages and you can pick them up when you’re back online for your next chat session.
Even if you are away, chat messaging makes it easier for customers to describe their issue knowing that it will soon be addressed.
Remember, customers are still assuming that live chat is one of the fastest methods of finding an answer to their question so don’t leave them waiting for too long.
6. Live Chat Boosts Customer Engagement
Customer satisfaction can lead to loyalty and increase sales for your product or service. In order to get to this point, you need to listen to your customers’ needs and be as responsive as you can through the right channels.
Live chat can help you increase customer engagement simply by using the channel that more people prefer and answering as many questions as you can.
What’s more, live chat helps you be responsive and approachable without feeling as intrusive as a phone call or as impersonal as an email.
Finally, with live chat customer support, you’ll find it easier to measure your customer satisfaction rate so that you know how you’re doing.
7. Live Chat Can Be a Serious Market Differentiator
Not all brands are currently offering live chat support. From those who use live chat, many of them are still learning how to use it effectively.
This means that adding live chat as a customer service channel is a great opportunity for your business to stand out.
Include live chat in your engagement strategy. Think of the best tactics to speed up your response time to deliver the best customer experience.
Go beyond the way if needed by working on your tone of voice to be more approachable, while still being helpful.
8. Live Chat Can Be Automated
Live chat can boost your customer experience when you add a personal touch. This doesn’t mean that you can’t automate a few tasks in the process.
The first step towards being more efficient is to work on canned responses that will help you process queries at a faster pace.
Bring all the agents together to look at the most frequent questions and draft answers that will save you time during live chat support.
Your responses can also direct customers to additional resources, such as the FAQ section, a specific page on your website, or a knowledge base.
You are still the person a customer is in contact with but you’re also showing that you can provide additional support if needed.
We live in the age of technology and instant messaging. Customers are focusing on convenience and expect brands to be as helpful as possible.
It’s the perfect time to work on your live chat customer service to improve your customer engagement and boost your response rate.
Start with a simple chat widget that communicates your opening hours to manage customers’ expectations. Once you are more comfortable with the process, automate the process of drafting responses and sort out the delegation of tasks among your support team.
Your customers will appreciate the personal touch and your willingness to help them find quick and direct answers to their problems.