live-chat-and-customer-serviceInstant gratification has become a standard in how we receive information. Whether it’s shopping online, music, book or informational downloads, or a favorite TV show, we’re living in an era of information on demand. And there are certainly no exceptions when it comes to providing customer service! Fortunately, advances in online communication including live chat customer service, are changing the way that many businesses handle questions, concerns, and support for their customers.

If your company is still fielding all communications via the phone, or even email, it’s a great time to explore live chat alternatives. Why? Plain and simple, consumers are expecting it, even demanding it. In many instances, this service-on-demand can make or break a sale. According to a report back in 2016, 51% of consumers had said businesses needed to be available 24/7. Now, this doesn’t mean your business HAS to be, but it does show how the demands of consumers are expanding beyond the traditional 9-5 models.

What makes live chat so attractive compared to phone or email support?

Live chat gives the feeling that a customer’s questions or concerns are going to be addressed immediately, on demand. Even if it takes a couple minutes to connect with a representative on live chat, it’s not as if they’re holding a phone to their ear, waiting.

Live chat offers the ability for people to multi-task, an essential factor to many in keeping up in their busy lives. A customer can be doing other tasks or chores, at work or at home, while the live chat is in progress. Again, this alleviates the feeling of being on hold or for someone to have to schedule free time just to make a phone call.

How does live chat work, technically speaking?

chatbot-for-live-chatLive chat comes in a few different forms. One option is to have a live agent answering the chats, while another option is to have chatbots, a form of artificial intelligence, which provide human free, automated customer service, based on the inquiry or question asked in the live chat box.

Chatbots are not intended to help 100% of the live chat questions and concerns that arise. They are really designed for the most common inquiries that do not require too much back and forth. Any issues or unique questions would need to be addressed by a live person. This is all about customer satisfaction after all.

Live chat can integrate right onto your website, as well as through some of your social media platforms, including Facebook messenger. Some chat services even offer mobile apps so that your chat agents can respond while on the go. Think you’re ready to try out this new technology for your business? Let’s take a look at how other companies are successfully using live chat service.

What companies are using live chat for customer service?

With nearly one-third of companies using live chat now, there are a few big brands that have evolved their entire customer service model because of the benefits live chat provided them.

Within one year of Roku implementing live chat, they went from a few agents to hundreds with over 8,000 chats per week!

A sports nutrition company, CrushFit was able to convert 9 out of 10 people they chatted with online into a purchase.

Universities and schools are even taking advantage of live chat and finding customer satisfaction rates reaching 96%!

The bottom line is this: the way we communicate is changing. Relying on previous models of customer service like phone support, or even email, may not yield the best ratings in customer satisfaction.

If you’re considering moving towards a live chat option, we also encourage your company to weigh out the pros and cons of implementing this service. It’s important to ask how your target customers are communicating. What are their ages? What technologies are they most comfortable using? These questions will help your business determine if implementing live chat on your website is a good idea, or not.

Additionally, you will need to consider the scheduling of live agents, their training and even the setup of chatbots, if that’s something that could work for your business.

Now it’s time to turn this information into action. Is your business ready to move into the live chat era?