Live Chat Has Taken Over Phone and Email

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In a world where everything is increasingly on-demand, consumers expect to be able to engage with your business at all times. Some companies have turned to live chat, while most haven’t adopted the technology yet. Live chat used to be a convenient add-on to a website, but times have changed.

As consumer behaviour changes, so are the expectation for businesses to digitally transform to suit their needs. So let us help you be prepared!

There are many ways to do this, but in 2020 the demand for one digital channel couldn’t be any stronger – that channel is Live Chat. This, coupled with the world’s need to service their customers remotely, has led to the highest demand yet for “live chat” and the research data shows this.

 

With real-time conversations customers receive a better overall experience, however failing to respond in time results in a negative customer experience. Studies show you need to respond to a live chat request within just 15 seconds! Any more time than this results in a bad experience.

Before world-changing circumstances like COVID-19, 41% of customers already expected live chat to be available on your website and 50% for mobile visitors. That number has dramatically increased recently and continues to grow, forcing businesses to introduce the technology or face long queues and a lot of stress on traditional communication channels such as telephone and emails.

 

Key Areas of Success if You’re Going to Be Implementing Live Chat Into Your Website

 

1. Prioritise All Live Chat Requests

Customers’ expectations of digital services are high, with on demand “everything” available to them. You can easily exceed their expectations by making sure their online experience with you matches the same level of customer service offered by other leading online businesses.

 

2. Reduce Average Chat Time

Here are some tips:

  • Use pre-written chat templates.
  • Have a knowledge-base or an FAQ readily available.
  • Escalate complex enquiries quickly.
  • Set smart chat triggers based on; visitor time on site, current page, even the search term used to find your website.

 

3. Personalise the Experience

52% of consumers say that they preferred companies that offered some kind of a personalised customer service experience and 23% of companies did not request contact information during a chat.

You can do this by:

  • Automating contact details request during chat.
  • Integrating your chat software to your shopping cart.
  • Using chat software that displays previous chat logs.
  • Using chat software that displays the site visitor demographic.

 

4. Integrate Chat Into Your Business So It Works

Rather than seeing the end of a chat as the end of an action or task, incorporate it into your customer relationship cycle.

A few ways to do this:

  • Ask for feedback after the chat with a satisfaction survey 45% of companies did not ask for feedback
  • Provide a copy of the chat transcript to the customer. More than 55% of companies either did not offer to provide the client a chat transcript or simply even ask if they would like one. Sending a transcript acknowledges accountability and responsibility. It also increases customer trust and this is priceless.

 

5. Select the Right Software Platform for Your Business

Before plunging straight into the deep end, it is crucial to research the differences in features & pricing offered by each various platforms available. Factors to also consider include the key differences to determine which platform best integrates with your business’ existing digital apps and services. So be sure to select the one that best matches both yours and your customers’ needs.

 

6. Keep Communication Consistent

Remember that quality is always better over quantity, especially with live chat, so don’t think that a quick personalised reply will cut it full stop. Customers expect the same amount of professionalism from chat, so make sure your business’s brand, language, culture and values come through on your communications.

  • Use pre-written chat templates.
  • Ensure your chat agents understand any current promotions or changes within the business.
  • Always follow up on offline messages with a phone call or external email.

An independent study was done across 1,000 websites for companies across US and Europe which revealed the following key findings: 

 

Top 3 Frustrations:

  1. 23% of customers are most frustrated by  scripted, impersonalised responses.
  2. 24% of customers are most frustrated by long wait times on live chat.
  3. 5% of customers are most frustrated by having to repeat themselves on live chat.

 

 

Conclusion: 

Live chat support only works if there’s an operator on the other end of the screen to respond immediately. Be sure to maintain schedules for your live chat to readily available either 24/7 or part-time depending on when your website traffic is busiest by simply analysing your web analytics. With consumer appetite for online shopping and support rapidly increasing along with the next generation of consumers entering the market, it’s no doubt that live chat will eventually dominate as the main communication channel whether businesses like it or not.

Businesses need to seize this opportunity and exceed expectations. Because one happy customer is likely to tell at least three friends about a positive experience and great customer service leads to increased sales. Once live chat becomes standard practice, this will no longer have the same effect and businesses that haven’t adopted it yet will simply be playing catch-up. Which isn’t the message you want to be sent to consumers if you value your online presence.

At The Chat Agency, we’re leading the industry with live chat and we treat it as an experience, not a service. We tailor the best approach to your customers by partnering you with one of our dedicated Community Managers who act as an extension of your sales and customer service team, not a phantom chatbot.


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