Customer service is usually the first place we contact if we need more information or perhaps make a complaint. This means that customer service is a great opportunity for creating an excellent customer experience.
With that kind of responsibility, customer service needs to take ownership of every step of the customer experience formulation, starting from the first touchpoint. Live chat enables businesses to do this and so much more!
Why live chat is a superior support channel?
We list the benefits of live chat and why we think it is the best support channel for boosting your online customer experience.
1. Chat enables quick response times
Many of our client companies continue to reach under 10 second response times in live chat. From customer’s point of view, this means that with live chat there is basically no waiting time. Plus there is no need to switch to another device as you can just type the question while browsing on service provider’s website. It’s no wonder that millennials prefer live chat over other channels in their day-to-day communication.
2. Starting a chat is easy for customers
For many people, especially the younger generation, logging onto a computer and typing feels much more natural than picking up the phone and calling someone. Written communication has also other advantages, for example, it makes sharing and preserving documents easy. It also diminishes the opportunity to misinterpret when you don’t have to deal with disruptive background noise that makes e.g. understanding different accents more difficult.
People who prefer phone support often argue that live chat feels less personal than actual conversation. Expressing emotions in written communication can, of course, be challenging but that doesn’t mean that it could not be done.
For example, some simple key phrases like: “I can see your point” can help to show empathy and make you feel like a caring person you are.
3. Live chat is an efficient channel for support
The biggest shortcoming of the phone compared to live chat is still the mere impossibility to have more than one (phone) conversation at the same time. A feature that easily leads to long waiting times as the number of customer representatives taking care of phone support is also limited.
That is why the customer journey with phone support often starts with complicated automated menus and then if the customer manages to overcome that, he/she still often ends up being placed in a queue for the next available representative.
Looking from the customer’s perspective this means wasting time waiting to get connected. Which is especially bad if the customer has a complaint to make as hanging on a line will do nothing to diminish his/her dissatisfaction.
Live chat agents, on the other hand, can usually handle 5 to 8 chat conversations at the same time which cuts down waiting times to nothing and, as live chat is a real-time channel, the customer can interact with an actual person straight away.
Agents can also quickly copy pre-written answers (i.e. canned answers) to the chatting field which speeds up the communication even more.
4. Live chat is a part of an omnichannel experience
Obviously, phone and email still have their place; sometimes calling to customer service might still be the fastest way to sort out something and the good thing about email is that it reduces geographic and time zone barriers.
Additionally, customers also expect to be able to pick up any of the service channels and receive the same level of service. That is why it is important for the customer service to make sure they can deliver seamless Customer Experience across different support channels.
The best way to do this is by combining different support channels into one integrated customer service solution. So that all the reporting, contact details and other valuable customer data are made available to the same team of customer representatives taking care of all the requests from different channels.
Then, if for example one support channel gets jammed, the customer can be guided to use another channel without compromising customer satisfaction. For example, how our customer Finnair does.