We all know customer service is important to any business, however expectations have risen, where companies now need to:
- Provide instant support
- Be fast acting
- Be ‘trendy’
- Constantly improve their services
- Remain up to date
What can cover all these factors? Live chat! And what exactly is live chat? It is a web messenger service implemented into the website, usually at the bottom right hand of the screen, that allows businesses to communicate in real time with visitors. A live chat application provides visitor monitoring, custom chat, traffic analysis and security. Examples of this software could be Live Person, Zendesk, Olark and LiveChat.
Big brands such as Xbox and Amazon are currently using this feature as it makes them available to their customers and decreases their wait time.
Live chat services are popular around the globe, where most countries report over 90% satisfaction rate, with, on average, a 14-minute conversation. The three top western countries currently demanding this service are: The USA with 69%, and both the UK and Australia with 60%.
Live chat is an ever-growing service; in 2009, 38% of customers used live chat facilities and by 2014, this had grown to 58%. So, what are the benefits of integrating this in your business?
- Due to the presence of the service on the website, a consumer can see that help is provided before they need it, thus making them 6.3 times more likely to purchase.
Cost – Effective
- Live chat is 400% less expensive than phone support
- The company Magellan stated that using live chat has reduced their expenses by 50%
Conversion Rates Boosted
- Companies are 3 to 5 times more likely to purchase if a live chat service is present
- Blue Soda stated that 60% of their chats led to sales
- EZ Texting increased their sign ups by 31% from their live chat widget
- The average response time for live chat in 23 seconds
- The average wait time is 60 seconds
Builds Brand Confidence
- 48% of customers have stated that they will return to that company if they have a live chat feature
Customer Satisfaction Increased
- 21% of consumers stated that this service helps them shop
- Websites that have live chat, have a 92% customer satisfaction rate
Digital First would like to thank Website Builder for providing these statistics, click here for the full list.
Live chat seems to be the way forward for improving customer service, however some drawbacks need to be considered:
- Not all your users will like it or feel comfortable with the technology
- Live chats must be immediately answered, so that means whatever you are doing, you will need to constantly stop to answer the queries and if you don’t customers will not be happy.
- Not all mobile devices are able to support live chat applications, so it is mainly limited to websites
- Users can take advantage of the chat and will ‘prank’ or ‘troll’ the service, which is very time wasting
- The question will arise of who will manage the chat and how long will this be monitored. For example, if you are based in Australia, you can hire a staff member to work on the live chat from 9am - 5pm, but what about when your customers in the UK need help? You will need to hire an additional staff member to cover the non-working hours for that time zone.
Digital First are intrigued by live chat and can see both the benefits and drawbacks of implementing this service. If we do decide to ingrain this into our website, you’ll be the first to know. Watch this space…