If you had the choice, would you rather talk to a customer service representative by phone or by live chat? If you are a Millennial like myself, you might prefer the live chat option. Perhaps my reasoning for live chat has to do with the fact that I grew up using Instant Messenger. Or maybe it has something to do with technology and how much we use texting and social media. Regardless, live chat is fast and convenient.
Good customer service is essential for businesses these days. Customers expect tiptop customer service or they will do business elsewhere. Using a live chat platform can help improve your customer service. Should your business utilize live chat? In this blog post, you’ll discover seven benefits of using live chat for your business.
Benefits of Live Chat
From the customers’ perspective, one of the first things I think of is the ability to multitask. Live chat allows customers to complete other tasks while they chat with a representative. Customers could be home in their pajamas, not having showered for 3 days and playing video games. Truthfully, your customers could be anywhere in the world, or they might be at work, on a plane, or at a restaurant eating dinner. Live chat allows customers to do life while still communicating with a support team.
Unfortunately, not all live chats are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Often customers are only able to chat within regular business hours. This is when multitasking comes into play. Perhaps customers aren’t able to take a long enough break at work in order to talk on the phone with customer service. In some cases customers have more opportunities to communicate with support as they work by live chat.
Live chat also saves your customers time! With live chat, they don’t need to dial a long telephone number and then figure out the call prompts just to get to the customer service department.
Additionally, live chats typically do not have the same wait time as a call center. Many of the live chats I’ve used I never have to wait more than a couple minutes. More often than not, I am connected to someone within seconds. How many times have you been put on hold by phone waiting to be the next caller? Too often, right? How long are you willing to wait on hold until you get the help or answers you need? We lead busy lives and sometimes we just don’t have 45 minutes to wait on hold. If a company has other options to communicate with support, customers will often opt for that alternative.
Live chat isn’t the only channel available today. Technology has allowed different means to communicate with customers. Businesses are using means such as web forms, email, social media, and other platforms. Most importantly, businesses need to be where their customers are most active. With technology many live chat platforms allow you to integrate social media, CMS, emails, etc. into one platform. Customers aren’t just limited to one way to contact support. With technology we now have an omni-channel.
Sometimes businesses forget how important communication is and how it impacts the buying process. Live chat is another way for you to communicate with your customers in a more personal way. You have the chance to get to know them better. You can find out more about their life, preferences, and much more. You shouldn’t let your company limit yourself with how you communicate with your customers. Live chat can help you build relationships with your customers with the potential to create loyal customers.
Live chats not only allow you to communicate with your customers, but it can help them through the shopping process. Your customers might have questions about a product while they are shopping. Live chat gives you the opportunity to assist customers. It can aid in the decision making process to then follow through with a purchase.
The thing about live chat that differs from something such as a web form is the immediacy. The support representative can explain more in depth about your products. Live chat can create another opportunity to sell or even upsell products. Is your business selling makeup products? If a customer has questions about a foundation, consider discussing foundation brush options too.
Depending on the type of conversation support has with the customer, they also might consider offering a discount or promotion for their inconvenience.
How many times have you been on the phone with a customer representative and wished you had a transcript of the conversation? I know I do! Sometimes people talk fast or I might not understand everything they say.
Many live chat platforms have the option for chat logs. The chat log is not only beneficial to businesses but to the customer as well. Customers can go back and reference the chat later. Perhaps you explained the steps for creating an account. Your customer can review that information anytime they want because they have a copy of the conversation.
Many chat platforms offer advanced analytics. Analytics will provide you with more information on your customers and the type of service you deliver. Chat platforms might be able to look deeper at chat duration, satisfaction surveys, chat volume, missed chats, or first response time. Chat platforms can help you discover problems within your support team. Analytics are always important and this is just another way for your business to improve.
Live Chat Platform Options
You won’t be disappointed by the amount of live chat platforms available for your business to utilize. Many of the platforms offer a free trial to give you an idea of what you can expect. However, most of these free trials end after a certain amount of time. There are a few platforms that are free forever, but are usually limited in the features. Here are some of the most popular live chat platforms:
- Desk.com by Salesforce
- Zendesk Chat
Are you still thinking about live chat? Live chat platforms can be the perfect way to step up your customer service game. You also have the opportunity to get to know your customers better. With live chat, you will discover ways you can improve your products and services while also improving customer satisfaction.
If you are already using a live chat platform, which platform(s) are your favorite and why? Share with us in the comments below!