An Offerchat study clearly shows that there is increased customer awareness for live chat and in the four years between 2008 and 2012, this has increased by 21 percent. Given the mobile explosion on the communication landscape and the greater tendency to go online, this is perhaps understandable.
The clamor for live chat support is loud and companies need to adopt this as a primary customer service channel. The urgency is apparent as studies reveal that online shoppers in the U.S. and U.K. are more likely to purchase after a live chat.
Let’s see why Live Chat appears to be a popular means of communication — Immediacy is a key factor as is time. Today’s generation belongs to the “instant results” category -they can’t wait to get answers via email and don’t have the energy to go through a phone conversation where the customer is invariably pushed from pillar to post. Live Chat on the other hand ensures immediate answers, is efficient and can be used at various points of the customer journey—right from choice to buying and after sales service.
For any business, keeping in touch with customers is important and an easy, effective way to do this is through live chat. However, if it is to really benefit customers and website owners, chat should not only provide a lot of functionality but should be easy to use, accurate and deliver low wait times- without missing out on conveying properly the company’s brand image.
In order to be in a state of preparedness, companies need to provide incentives for customers to use online chat and also promote this option through traditional channels. Offering a 24/7 cover is ideal as customers can contact companies whenever they feel like it.
In this context, it must be remembered that training and educating people to use online chat and offer customers an exceptional and optimal experience is of truly great import. Operators must understand the website features, its functionality and business operation and must be updated on the latest innovations, newer features and versions.
Also, remember that an agent that communicates well ordinarily need not necessarily be a good chat agent—this requires specific skills. Policies regarding chat writing skills need to be put in place, awareness of corporate privacy policies must be heightened, while imparting the techniques to co-browse and share documents too. In essence, agents should be armed on all fronts so that they deliver the company’s brand promise in a highly professional manner.
Websites must provide FAQs so that operators can answer customer queries easily and quickly. More than anything, they must be patient while answering and never keep customers waiting longer than necessary.
Customer feedback is a good way to evaluate operator performance, so websites should conduct post chat surveys and continually improve their services. This is the basis for building a strong relationship—a lasting one that augurs well for the company.
Delivering an impressive client chat experience need not be a daunting prospect—all it requires is a little hard work, some patience and a passion to satisfy the customer.