Live Chat – The Future of Customer Support

Live Chat

Live chat or online chat is the trendiest means of communication for many businesses today. It is a kind of communication that is transmitted through the internet wherein the customer and the representative are having a real-time conversation. All websites or businesses have this feature to provide convenience for customers especially if they have any questions, inquiries or complaints that pertains to the company’s services. It may refer to instant messengers, emails, video chat (webcams), or any medium as long as the sender and receiver are talking in real-time.

The online chat started way back in 1973 when David R. Woolley and Doug Brown first created the system and called it Talkomatic. It had several channels wherein each one can accommodate up to 5 people and the messages appear on screen every time the user types in a character. Talkomatic was used on the PLATO system and it was popular among users during the mid-1980s.

How can live chat benefit customer service?

Businesses these days are now switching to online chat as a means to connect with their customers. This provides an easy support for both parties and everything can be done with much convenience. But is it necessary for every business to have an online chat support? If you are still undecided about this then perhaps these benefits can convince you:

Customers always love to engage in live chat
If you are a customer then you understand that the best way to address your inquiries or concerns towards the company is if they can talk to you in real-time. This easily concludes that online chat provides the highest satisfaction for every customer. Business owners also agree to this one since they can provide outstanding support for their customers and make their services more trustworthy.

When the customer and representative engage in live chat, the entire process is made quicker and simpler. If ever a customer requires help for confirmation codes or any number related inquiries then they can easily type it inside the chat box thus making the process much easier.

Some live chat software can allow representatives to easily access the customer’s browsing data, features and other things that are relevant to the inquiry. This process will make the support more relevant thus providing better services. Of course, this requires some confirmation from the customer’s side otherwise it will be an invasion of privacy. Nevertheless, it is a “win-win” situation for both the representative and customer.

Before live chat was made a trend among businesses, customers will usually go through the process by talking to an operator via the telephone. It was widely used by the customer support of companies and customers find it a bit irritating. Customers are required to follow the steps that are relayed by the operator through the telephone and it can be really annoying since you have to press the corresponding numbers to find the appropriate channel for your inquiry. But with live chat, you can easily input your concerns without committing any mistakes that normally happens through the phone.

Lastly, getting answers through emails can be frustrating to wait especially if you needed the information as soon as possible. With online chat, customers can get the answers right away and continue whatever transactions that they may have.

Higher and better sales
If customers are loving online chat then businesses also feels the same way about it. It can be supported by the poll conducted by Andersen Consulting wherein it shows that 62% of consumers from the internet are likely to purchase products or services if customer support is always present. If that’s the case then surely businesses will establish live chat support.

An example of how live chat support can make businesses prosper is the case of Wells Fargo way back in 2002. They tried to establish online customer support on that year but it failed and they immediately removed that feature from their company. In 2008, they have reapplied the system but they did some thorough research beforehand. This time, the results have changed and they were able to receive high customer satisfaction as well as a double-digit increase of sales from their shoppers.

Now that customers are experiencing satisfaction with the online customer support then surely they will continue to engage future business transactions with that company.

Reduced service costs
Companies who are using online chat support will take notice of the decreased service costs since the system was first established. Setting up this kind of system is fairly quick, easy and wouldn’t cost that much. The typical set up and launch will usually take 10-20 days. You can definitely tell that the implementation of such setup will keep it in a low budget and the technical teams satisfied.

The interaction cost of live chat support is much lower than other means of communication like emails and phones. Live chat makes everything, especially the response time, much faster thus reducing the need for additional agents. In addition, some representatives can also handle multiple customers at once unlike phone support which they can only attend to only one customer at a time.

In time, businesses will get to notice the big costs that have been deducted due to the efficiency of their representatives’ services.

Long lasting relationships
If a customer is satisfied with the business’ services then there’s lesser chance that they’ll leave and they might even be less sensitive to the price. A study shows that 63% of customers who addressed their concerns through live chat always come back than those who didn’t. These customers are also capable of buying from the company more often and it won’t cause that much to maintain them since they are familiar on how your business works.

Customers who are heard and immediately given an answer will surely build up stronger connections with your business and they will share the positive experience that they had with your company.

So businesses should always take note about the impact of constant and steady communication with customers can benefit them. Depending on what business you have, make sure to conduct a study if online chat support can match up with the demands and can contribute a lot in increasing sales.