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6 Reasons Why Your Business Should Offer Live Chat Support

How customers contact businesses for support is changing. Many want easier ways to interact when they have questions or need help. Live chat support in contact centers is becoming a leading channel that customers prefer and can be easier for agents to manage. Find out why your business should offer live chat support and the benefits you can realize.

Your Customers Expect It as an Option

With the proliferation of technology, many would rather engage through a website than pick up the phone. It’s about convenience for the customer. They can begin a chat anywhere versus making a phone call.

That’s especially true when it comes to making a purchase online. A Forrester report concluded that 53 percent of customers would abandon their purchase if they couldn’t get a quick response to a question. Conversely, when customers can use chat, it makes them 2.8 times more likely to convert.

These data points demonstrate the expectations of customers. If you don’t have live chat support in your contact center, it could cost you revenue. Keeping up with customer behavior changes is critical for any business so you continue to meet their needs.

Live Chat Can Improve Customer Experiences with Quick Replies

Customers don’t want to wait to get answers to simple questions. A survey found that 90 percent of customers rated an “immediate” response as critical when they have questions. The definition of “immediate” for most was 10 minutes or less.

If they must wait longer than this through more traditional channels like phone or email, it could sour their experience. Such an incident can jeopardize the relationship. That matters because 74 percent of consumers say their purchasing decisions are at least somewhat related to experiences.

Live chat support can meet high expectations, as chats usually are shorter than phone calls. The questions may also be repetitive in nature, like, “Where’s my order?” or “How do I find this in my account?” Agents can quickly pull from their knowledge base the answers and resolve the customer’s need immediately.

Make the experience even more appealing with chat features that match your website’s branding. By doing so, chat appears modern and provides an intuitive user interface, no matter what device the customer is using — desktop, tablet, or mobile. If it just looks like an add-on widget, customers may be less likely to engage with it.

Live Chat Interactions Prevent Customers from Repeating Themselves

Customers can quickly grow frustrated if they have to repeat their questions or complaint to numerous agents. In fact, 63 percent of customers believe all agents should have the same information about them readily available.

When agents enter into a live chat, they should have this at their fingertips. Contact center software that integrates with a CRM (customer relationship management) platform can access this. With this data, your agents can serve customers more quickly and adeptly.

Live Chat as a Channel Can Boost Agent Productivity

Because live chat is instant, tickets usually have a faster resolution time. It can take longer for those who use phone or email because the system has to route these to the right party.

Ideally, you want to deploy contact center software that’s omnichannel so that all communication types flow into one. You may also be distributing your agent workforce to align with different channels.

For live chat, the questions are often less complex, so answers are readily available. To determine how your agents are performing by channel, you can run reports. In doing so, you can track agent productivity and identify any bottlenecks.

Live Chat Provides You the Ability to Offer 24/7 Service

Not every company will need constant coverage, but for some industries, it’s a must. Again, some customers will demand this and may not opt to do business with you if it’s not available.

To enable 24/7 live chat, you’ll need to schedule appropriately. If you have agents in multiple time zones, which is possible with cloud-based contact center software, you can use that as a scheduling advantage. Your customers can reach out when it best suits their schedule, and they’ll appreciate that flexibility.

An alternative to 24/7 coverage is employing Interactive Chat Response (ICR) components, which allows for self-service. When determining what chat software to use, ask about ICR capabilities.

Live Chat Data Can Improve Product Capabilities and Communication

Every customer interaction is an opportunity to learn for a business. The queries and challenges customers provide in live chat are collected in a database. Through analysis, you may find the same issues keep coming up. That can be great insights for product managers.

They may use this to improve a product or knowledge base. For example, customers may continue to ask about features that don’t exist or are hard to use. This is valuable customer feedback they can incorporate into their product roadmap.

Ready to Add or Upgrade Live Chat Support in Your Contact Center?

The demand for virtual interactions isn’t likely to slow. Customers seek and expect options in contacting companies. If you aren’t using live chat support or the application doesn’t have the features or flexibility you need, check out our CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) platform and how it elevates live chat to drive customer satisfaction and agent productivity.

About Darcy Mekis