While customer service has expanded into a variety of outreach systems, live chat offers unique advantages that can’t be matched by other methods.
It’s the moment we all dread: you’ve just finished dialing a contact centre’s help number and wait to see if you’ll be connected to an agent or stuck in “the queue.” Once you hear the classic “Your call is important to us” and the start of elevator music, your hopes sink as you resign yourself to being stuck on hold until an agent becomes available.
This experience is a common one for any contact centre, but it doesn’t have to be.
What if there was a way to increase the flexibility of your service, reduce callers in your phone queue, and provide a better outreach method for your customers without the costs of implementing a new strategy?
The answer might be as simple as clicking a pop-up window: live chat support.
Let Them Chat
Forget web forms and emails that may take days to reach a resolution. Your customers want to have a word with you.
Part of delivering effective customer service is providing the outreach options that are effective for your customers, and ATG Research found that 94 percent of consumers viewed live chat as a “helpful or very helpful” measure.
Aside from being useful, a Customer Service Benchmark Report by Zendesk revealed that live chat offered the highest levels of customer satisfaction when compared to every other service touch point. 92 percent of consumers reported happiness with their live chat experience.
Clearly, the accessibility and speed of live chat support is something that your customers can get behind.
The Agility of Chat Support
Live chat is essential in a world that can no longer afford to wait for service. Parature found that 82 percent of customers believe that fast resolution is the key to a great customer experience. But providing speedy service isn’t always possible when you have a crowd of callers on hold or a queue of web service tickets that need to be addressed.
Customers prefer to discuss their issues in real-time, rather than waiting for emails or a response on social media. Live chat provides this option, giving customers a way to get their problems resolved in the timely manner they expect. (71 percent expect assistance within 5 minutes, according to the above report by Parature.)
But live chat doesn’t only offer the benefits of an adaptable service that customers want to use. The
aforementioned report by Zendesk highlights another advantage of implementing live chat services: better call volume and workload management.
According to the report, service volume across nearly every channel (web forms, email, and voice) decreased after the implementation of a live chat support system. While the biggest benefits were seen from the decrease in web form use, live chat was able to convert a significant portion of the workload into a format that was effective and simple for customers to use.
Agent Effectiveness in Live Chat
Live chat may be important, but it’s equally important to understand what goes into good chat service.
The biggest influencing factors in the effectiveness of live chat are:
- Number of messages exchanged during a chat session (more messages generally translated to a positive experience)
- Length of chat
- Initial chat response time
These metrics are simple enough to measure with integrated CRM systems, but speak to a larger principle: Proper agent training.
Phone calls only require your agents to handle a single customer at a time, but if you stick to that mindset with live chatting, you won’t be making the most of the productivity that your chat service can provide.
Your agents will need to adapt to handle live chat, particularly when managing multiple customers. One of the biggest benefits of live chat support is that it can be done in tandem with phone calls or with other chat windows, letting experienced agents handle five or six customers at once. However, this type of efficiency is only possible for agents who are also fast, accurate and experienced using a keyboard.
Live chat is a unique method of customer service management that provides solutions unlike any other system. With the help of live chat, you can address multiple customers at once, decrease waiting times, and provide more comprehensive outreach for your customers.
These goals can only be achieved with an effectively trained team at the helm, but once your agents know the ins and outs of live chat support, you may find increases to your efficiency and productivity that you never thought possible.