Many companies offer customer service via phone, email, and social media. New customer service channels are coming up all the time and it’s important for businesses to find the right ones to interact with their customers and potential customers.
In this article, we are going to look at the benefits of live chats for businesses and their customers.
A study by internetretailer.com comes to the conclusion that the use of live chats leads to 3.5 times higher conversion rates and a 15 percent higher order value in online shops. Both are good reasons to take a closer look at live chats as a tool for customer service and find out what makes it so special.
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Whenever you surf a website and see a small pop-up window with a chat box, it’s most likely a live chat. Through the window, you can directly contact the customer service. It seamlessly integrates with the design of the site and is perceived as a part of it.
In some cases, you will talk to a chatbotfirst. However, you can connect to a human employee and chat with them in real-time. If no employee is available, for instance, if a request is made outside the opening hours, it can be forwarded to the responsible employee by e-mail so that he can immediately answer the next working day.
What are the differences between customer service channels?
There are more and more options through which a user can interact with a company. But how do they differ from each other?
Time: A crucial factor that differentiates them is the time to answer a customer request. In the case of e-mails or social media messages, the answer is given with a time delay. Depending on when the customer service has time to take care of the request, it will be processed. Definitely an advantage of the live chat, where direct communication between customer and customer service can take place immediately.
Ways of communication: Communication in customer service takes place either in written or verbal form. Both forms have their pros and cons of course. For example, a written message can be searched through at a later time. This is hardly possible in spoken communication unless a conversation is recorded or sent as a voice message. However, these messages are much harder to search through. Another difference is the emotional component. In spoken communication emotions can be communicated much easier. In written communication, the only way to transport emotions is by using emojis.
Anonymity: Depending on the selected communication channel, the user will remain anonymous to a different degree. On a call, the customer service employee hears the voice and often sees the phone number. In e-mail communication, your e-mail address will be shown. Online chats are currently the only way of communication where users can remain completely anonymous if they wish.
What are the benefits of customer service via live chat?
Now that we have looked at the differences between various communication channels, let’s take a look at the concrete advantages that a live chat can bring to your company.
Timely response to inquiries
A definite plus: The timely answer. According to a study by Hubspot Research, a customer is only willing to wait ten minutes to receive an answer to a request. Live chats can help meet those needs. This increases customer satisfaction and prevents users from browsing around in other shops that can answer their questions faster.
On-site customer support
The goal is to make the purchasing process as easy as possible for the customer. If the user has a question and has to change the channel to phone or e-mail, it means extra effort and usually a time delay in the shopping process. With a live chat, this can be avoided. The user can ask his question directly on the page without having to leave.
Reporting of conversations
A live chat tool offers many ways to analyze the conversations with the customers. Reports can be created about the chat activity, users can be asked for feedback after the interview, or you can analyze which requests are most frequent.
Cost savings by answering multiple requests
In comparison to telephone or e-mail, several requests can be answered simultaneously by using a live chat. A customer service employee can easily chat with multiple customers in multiple chat windows and help them answer their questions.