Customer service is the backbone of any business, playing a crucial role in building a sustainable customer base and allowing companies to flourish.
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos Founder & CEO, Amazon
In this digital age, live chat is an integral part of a successful customer service toolkit, providing a platform to communicate with customers in real-time and generating satisfaction levels of 73%, compared to just 61% for email and 44% for phone.
But it’s not only your customer satisfaction levels that stand to benefit, customer retention improves as well. In fact, over 63% of consumers reported that they are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.
So why exactly do customers love live chat?
Let’s find out:
6 Reasons why live chat is important for customer support
In this article we look at six reasons live chat is winning in the battle for the hearts and minds of your customers, showing why you need to add it to your customer service channel now.
1. Live chat is convenient for customers
Live chat is convenient for many reasons:
A). It connects customers instantly with an agent. No need to dial a number and press button after button before you even get to talk to an agent.
B). Live chat allows customers to multi-task. This is perhaps the greatest benefit. Over 51% of customers like live chat precisely for this reason. So even if customers have a short wait, they can get on with doing something else.
C). The wait time is negligible. No more getting stuck on hold for hours on end, customer queries are promptly addressed.
D). The conversation can be saved. It’s easier to guide users through issues when their previous interactions can be referred back to for context.
E). Customer queries are answered quickly. Emails often require a lengthy back and forth, live chat can resolve issues in one session.
F). Customers can have their purchase-related queries answered on the spot. This is a massive advantage considering 44% of consumers think the ability to talk to an agent while purchasing online is one of the best features a website can offer. Customers really do appreciate your help when it comes to buying decisions.
Customers appreciate live chat as it helps them in making the right buying decisions.
2. Live chat saves money
Businesses are always striving to find cost-effective customer service solutions. Live chat can certainly help with that.
Phone and email are mainstays of customer support and have been for many years. However, it takes time and resources to provide this setup. Live chat tools are comparatively cheap to implement, and what’s more, live chat provides a host of extra benefits. It really is a superior communication channel.
Offering real-time customer service and the chance to address multiple queries at once saves time, labor, and ultimately money for your company.
3. Live chat provides a competitive advantage
How often do you see a live chat option available on a website? If you have, was it even online?
Live chat is still new enough that most businesses don’t use it. Others fail to provide 24/7 service.
Herein lies a great opportunity. Why not step into the breach and gain an edge over your competition by offering live chat on your website.
If you are struggling to find a competitive advantage, look no further than live chat.
Make live chat and quality customer service core to your brand’s identity. A large portion of customers see a good experience as the most important aspect of dealing with a brand. Once you’ve mastered your live chat and customer support offering, then you have the tools to create leads and convert them into loyal customers.
The many benefits live chat brings means that, eventually, businesses won’t be able to afford to miss out. Brands without live chat will become a thing of the past. Until then, you can get ahead of the pack. Put your offering in place before your competitors and reap the benefits of supercharged customer support.
If you really do it well, even when they do catch up, you will still have the advantage.
Use live chat, train your agents, and take your business to another level.
4. It saves time
“When it comes to people, customers expect the same quick response they are used to getting from electronic equipment and technology.” –Shep Hyken
One of the best ways to grow a successful business is by maximizing productivity. This is where live chat tools can help.
There are several out there, but if you’re managing a team, Acquire live chat software is an effective solution, providing excellent customer support. Use it to analyze your team’s effectiveness and get valuable customer feedback.
To put into perspective just how rapid live chat can be, Zopim analyzed more than 85K chats and found that, on average, an agent replies to a customer query in less than 23 seconds. Average resolution time is no more than 42 seconds.
Imagine all the time you can save with live chat!
And it’s not just about the time you save yourself, but the time you save for your customers too.
Compare the resolution times of live chat with the average email reply time of top 100 US retailers below.
And now with the first call response times of the US companies.
What about social media response times?
On Facebook and Twitter...
There is just so much time to be saved.
Crunch the numbers and you quickly realize that live chat has faster response times than pretty much every other customer support channel, and by big margins too.
This means you can close more than 60 customer tickets an hour with just one live chat agent. Conversely, not a single customer query has been answered in an hour on Twitter, Facebook, email, or phone.
Convert the time you save into money and you can see why live chat is the best approach to customer services.
5. Live chat increases sales
Speaking from my personal experience, live chat boosts online sales.
As high as 83% of consumers need some type of support when they are making an online transaction.
That is why people prefer buying from websites with live chat. They can get queries answered quickly. Live chat support during checkout increases conversion rates.
As an example, Post Affiliate Pro reported a 23% increase in conversion rate when they implemented live chat on their website.
Having live chat agents available 24/7 means you don’t lose out on sales.
However, just having live chat isn’t enough; you need to train your agents to use it properly.
It’s best practice to have at least one agent available at any time because, as Forrester reported, 45% of US consumers would leave a website in the middle of an online transaction if there is no one to answer their questions and concerns.
Another report says that 77% of consumers said they need to talk to a real person before making a purchase online.
Without live chat, you’re losing out on sales. And can you really afford to do that?
Looking at the statistics, it’s clear how important live chat is for delivering the best possible customer experience and increasing sales for your business.
6. Live chat builds long-term relationships
For the sustainability of your business, building long-term relationships with customers is an absolute necessity. Satisfied customers are less likely to switch to the competition. Stats show that 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand after a poor customer support experience. Not only that, but 86% of customers will pay 25% more for a better customer experience.
Live chat is a fantastic way to build long-term relationships with your customers. When customers feel you are there to listen, bonds are easier to form, and loyalty comes from that.
According to Zendesk, 73% of consumers think that friendly customer support makes them fall in love with a company, whereas 52% have made multiple purchases from a company after a positive initial customer service experience.
It all comes down to creating a great experience up front. Provide superior customer support with live chat on their first visit, and you are much more likely to get a customer for life.
And it’s definitely worth it. These loyal customers are worth up to 10x the value of the first purchase.
The last word
Kevin Stirtz said:
“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.”
If you want to be great every time and keep your customers coming back, then there is no better way to do it than with live chat. Get a head start on your competition, set up your live chat offering, and watch your sales and revenue grow.