Imagine a loyal customer encounters a problem when trying to check out. She’s had positive experiences with your customer support team in the past so she decides to call your 24 hour hotline to obtain some help. To her displeasure, she ends up being put on hold for 30 minutes, only to be told that all your customer support agents are busy. She abandons her shopping cart and loses faith in your business.
They don’t call it growing pains for nothing.
As your business grows in size, trying to keep up with the overwhelming customer requests can be a challenge. We’ve talked about strategies that can help with easing these growing support pains, but did you know that live chat can help your business’ support system grow and even flourish?
1. Faster, Better, Easier
60% of customers hate waiting more than a minute for customer support and 90% of customers consider live chat useful, knowing they can get immediate help if needed. Live chat is a quicker and more efficient form of customer support when compared to phone calls and emails—which is great for growing businesses that are trying to become more streamlined.
Not only does live chat make it easier to serve multiple customers concurrently, it’s also more efficient when dealing with customer issues. From the use of proactive chat and clever shortcuts, to receiving screenshots from customers, it will be much easier and quicker for your agents to solve your customers’ problems.
Besides, unlike phone calls, live chat allows users to keep a transcript of their chat conversation which prevents call-backs when customers forget how to solve recurring problems. Further, customers who have their problems successfully resolved can share their solutions on forums, and help others in the community too.
2. Redirect Your Customers
Remember us mentioning that helping your customers help themselves can increase the effectiveness of your customer support system? Live chat pairs nicely with knowledge bases and other self help platforms by allowing support agents to redirect customers to support pages.
What this does is that it effectively reduces the time taken to resolve customer issues and minimizes the effort taken for a customer support agent to explain and walk a customer through problem resolution. If a customer asks a question that is already documented, letting them know that they can solve their own problems can actually increase satisfaction.
Furthermore, acquainting customers with a self help platform can reduce future questions as customers will be able to use these platforms in search of answers before looking for a support agent. 91% of customers would actually use self-service platforms if they knew about their existence—let your agents lead the path to efficient customer self service.
3. The Human Touch
Big businesses are notorious for their lack of humanity. Automated phone trees are a nightmare, yet it’s surprising how out of the top 100 Internet Retailers, 79 are still using phone trees. But how can we blame them when automation has been proven to save time and money?
Live chat brings the best of both worlds by combining the human element together with automation to deliver exceptional customer service that doesn’t come at the cost of being robotic. Achieving both efficiency and the human touch doesn’t have to be a fantasy.
Live chat integrates some elements of automation, like providing the use of pre-chat forms to sort customers before assigning them to agents. However, it manages to retain the human element by promising customers that they’re always being served by a real human that’s capable of empathizing with them.
The end goal of an automated phone system is to reduce the actual contact you have with a support agent. Live chat on the other hand, aims to use automation to match you to the customer service agent that’s most capable of resolving your questions and in the shortest time possible.
4. Tangible Numbers
The easiest method of collecting data is digitally. Since live chat is web based and agents log in via a mobile application or a web portal, it’s convenient to convert these behaviors into actionable metrics.
Comparing live chat to traditional mediums, you’ll be able to track important numbers like customer satisfaction (by placing a simple Chat Rating module in your chat widget and exporting the data for future use). Most live chat providers also provide analytics for their users to explore productivity and performance.
Metrics are important to a growing business because with increasing numbers and agents, it becomes difficult to keep track of everyone’s performance standards. Having easy access to metrics via a live chat system can help managers spot imminent problems and solve them before they escalate into a business crisis. Furthermore, having numbers at your fingertips can also empower positive changes or new strategies.
Live chat may not work for all businesses, but it can be an ideal one when selecting customer support channels. Besides being fast, efficient and helpful, it’s also a preferred channel for customers.
If you’re growing your business and see the merits of using live chat as a customer support channel, leave a comment and share your experience with us!
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