The world is changing and with each passing moment, the changes are manifold. With smarter technology, customer behavior is becoming dynamic. According to eMarketer, "internet adoption will surpass the halfway mark in 2018, when 51.1% of the world’s population will go online." The growing adoption of the internet has led to changes in customer attitude. Everything is turning into “I want it now” and customers are no longer patient. They expect instant replies and if they don’t get answers, they are ready to switch to competition at the click of a button. By investing in one of the most popular trends in customer support – live chat, enterprises can deliver powerful and differentiated customer experiences.

For any contact center, it’s important to address customer problems immediately to avoid customer churn. Live chat enables agents to handle concurrent communications with end users. Thus, providing resolutions to problems in real-time.

Here are nine reasons why live chat can be beneficial for your enterprise.

"42% of consumers say that they prefer live chat functions because they don't have to wait on hold"

1) Reduced wait times – Typically when a customer calls the contact center, the call is put on hold. Depending on the availability of the agent, the wait time varies. Longer wait times lead to customer frustration and call abandonment. However, with live chat, wait times are lesser or almost nil as the customer can connect with an agent instantly.

2) Faster resolution to complex issues – On the phone, if a customer has a query that is complex, agents invariably transfer the call to other agents or supervisors if he/she cannot provide the answer the customer expects. However, with live chat, multiple agents can answer the chat at the same time, solving complex issues easily. This puts an end to hold times, dropped calls, or frustrating transfers.

3) Better call handling – While a phone agent can handle only one customer at a time, live chat facilitates a skilled agent to handle multiple sessions with many customers. This also reduces turnaround time.

4) Lowers operational cost – The cost involved in implementing a live chat solution is very low. Moreover, the cost per interaction is low when compared to other mediums like email or phone. It also decreases phone cost and the cost of hiring additional agents.

5) Increases customer satisfaction – According to a survey conducted by Econsultancy, "73% of customers were satisfied after using live chat. This is higher than any other form of customer support such as email, telephone, or social media". Thus, higher customer satisfaction rates lead to higher customer conversions.

Live Chat

6) Easier to provide customized service – Live chat offers a greater scope for personalization. A chat agent can quickly browse through the database and look at customer history, purchasing power, preferences, and then quickly provide the information that the customer is looking for.

7) Reduces negative impressions – Usually, when a customer is dissatisfied, they vent their anger on social media. With live chat, there is a higher chance of reducing customer dissatisfaction as customers get instant replies to their queries. Customer pain points can be discussed at length and necessary steps are taken to address the issues.

8) Helps in upselling/cross-selling – This is a great way to up sales. After an effective query resolution, agents can upsell or cross-sell related products and offerings. Unlike phone conversations, which are relatively kept short, chat conversations can make a user comfortable. Agents can be ‘influential’ and help users in their decision-making. The more comfortable the user becomes, the more likely he/she is to make additional purchases.

9) Gain an edge over competition – You don’t find live chat very often on websites. But, many customers prefer using this feature of customer support over email/phone calls. This means that if you install live chat, you will have more opportunities to engage with your visitors, thus giving you an advantage over your competitors.

While online chat should not replace your traditional phone/email systems, enterprises that are keen on offering great customer service and building customer relationships should look towards investing in live chat.
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