When asked about their preferences for support channels, customers say that they prefer live chat over social media, email, and even phone support. Why? Live chat support is fast, efficient, and convenient.
But the benefits of live chat stretch far beyond just giving your customers a faster and more convenient way to get in touch with your customer service team. In addition to improving the support experience, live chat can boost agent productivity, help you get to know your customers better, and inform your product decisions.
Let’s take a look at the top five benefits of live chat for customer service teams.
1. Live chat improves the support experience for customers
The top reason why customers prefer live chat is that it lets them get their questions answered immediately.
With live chat, you give customers a way to reach you in the exact moment that they have questions or problems they can’t solve. This feels much better than sending an email to a support team; with email, it’s hard to know when you’ll get a response back.
The immediacy of getting help is likely why customer satisfaction ratings tend to be higher for live chat than other types of support.
2. Live chat helps with customer acquisition and onboarding
Live chat is a great way to connect with prospective and new customers and give them the confidence they need to use your product or spend money on your website. According to Forrester, consumers who use chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who don’t.
Being available to help builds trust, even if your customers don’t need to talk right then and there.
3. Live chat lets your agents build rapport with customers
In an ongoing chat, agents can observe a customer’s tone and sentiment and adjust their styles to fit the situation best. By mirroring style or adjusting formality to match a customer’s, agents can quickly build rapport and establish a friendly, helpful relationship.
Messaging platforms also offer a more authentic way to showcase your agents’ personalities than traditional channels.
4. Live chat reduces repetition for your customers
No one wants to have to explain the issue they’re having over and over again. In fact, 72% of customers expect an agent to know their details — including support history and product information — without asking for them.
With quality live chat customer service software, agents can read the text supplied by the customer while also reviewing other details they have access to. This may include things like an indication of which screen the customer is currently viewing and notes from previous interactions with customer support.
During a chat session, some tools will even allow an agent to share a screen with the customer or easily send links and screenshots to help them better understand a set of directions, making everything crystal clear.
5. Live chat can give you an edge over your competition
If your competitors don’t offer live chat (or provide low-quality chat support), that gives you space to do it right and earn their business.
Think about this: if you were a customer in a hurry trying to decide between two products, would you pick up the phone and call support to get your questions answered, or would you be more tempted by the company that was readily available on their website?
Most people are more likely to ask questions over chat than they are willing to make a phone call. In fact, more than half of consumers prefer chat over phone support.
Achieving support success with live chat
Today’s customers are getting more and more comfortable with live chat technology. And not only do they prefer it, they expect it, too.
Beyond improving the customer experience, the ability to increase agent productivity — combined with the data you’ll collect — will lead you to greater success with live chat as part of your customer support plan.