Imagine that you want to buy a pair of jogging shoes.
You enter a store with sports gear and take a look at shelves filled with shoes. Then you realize that you have no idea which model you should choose.
You look around, trying to get some help, but you don’t see any salespeople. The shop is empty. You notice a small note hanging on the wall, with a contact telephone number and email address.
What would you think about your customer experience?
My guess is that you’d leave the shop to go buy something at the competitor’s store, thinking about how bad this experience was.
This example might sound ridiculous until we realize that this is the most popular scenario in e-commerce, where a website visitor is visiting a store and doesn’t get any assistance.
Once they want to get advice on what to choose, they need to send an email and then wait a couple of hours or even days for a response. Sure, they can also make a phone call, but many customers, especially Millennials, hate the phone.
And if your shopper lives in a different country, calling can be very expensive.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to a simple application it’s possible to take real-life standards into the online world.
Say hello to live chat.
Why awesome customer service matters
Exceptional customer service is all about fast and easy access to a customer service agent or self-service portal. Times when customers would call a company’s contact center and wait in a queue are long gone.
Now customers expect easy access to knowledge, quick problem-solving, and well-trained agents.
But these are not the only traits that make for great customer service.
Customer care is also about personal touch and a feeling that you are important to the company. Once you meet these needs, your customers will start to be loyal to your brand and will make more purchases than ever.
So here are the four reasons your customers want live chat:
1. It’s faster than email
Live chat might be just a simple application used as an additional channel of contact with customers. It can also be a powerful e-commerce tool providing information about customer service performance and sales conversion.
Regardless of the way you want to use it, it will bring you one huge benefit: more happy customers.
We all know why email is so imperfect. It takes ages to receive a response via email. A phone call also seems to be a bad solution for all those who want their problems to be solved quickly, in one go, without additional costs.
Offering advice over chat makes it easier for your customers to make a purchase. Customers who get immediate answers to their questions make up their minds more quickly and are more keen to buy from you.
It works the same way as in the real world: if you assist your customer, give them advice and help them to make a decision, they are more likely to buy your product now and in the future.
2. No waiting in line for service
One nasty thing about phones is that you have to wait in queues. You make a call, hoping to solve your case in a couple of minutes, but end up waiting impatiently for your turn instead.
That’s exactly where live chat has a great advantage over the phone.
A customer service agent who works on the phone can speak to only one person at one time. If they are working on live chat, they can speak with three, four, or even five shoppers at once.
For website visitors it means no queues and immediate problem-solving, and for your business – high customer happiness and greater agent effectiveness!
3. No re-explaining themselves
One thing customers hate having to re-explain why are they calling and what their problem is. They actually hate it more than not getting their issue resolved.
Although it may sound like a necessity, it can easily be avoided with good live chat software.
How does it work?
It all starts with the right software. Some packages allow agents to see which pages the customer is on when the chat is taking place and how long they’ve been there, helping the agent predict what the customer will want to know.
Even more important is making sure your live chat software integrates with your help desk software and/or CRM. This allows agents to bring up a customer’s purchasing and customer support history, meaning they don’t have to repeat anything to the agent because it’s all there.
4. It’s easy
Starting a chat is easier than finding the customer support email address or creating a support ticket or making a phone call. You just enter your name and email and you can speak to a live agent and have your problem resolved within minutes.
It sounds very simple, but it plays a huge role in customer happiness. As it turns out, a combination of easy logging-in, a big visible chat window, and resolving cases under 5 minutes, results usually in over 90% satisfaction.
Some businesses are able to achieve a 98% customer satisfaction rate. Here’s an example from Jonny Everett, co-founder and Director of Customer Development at The Chat Shop explains how their company gain such a high score:
What does it mean for your business?
It means that if you gain so many happy customers, they will probably buy from you again. It also means that your customers are more likely to spread the good word about your business – and that will help you to gain even more customers.
The power of exceptional customer service
Some time ago I wrote a post where I described how easy it is to bring customer service to a new, bad level. It was a funny guide to really bad customer service describing common mistakes that business owners make, and many readers laughed while reading it.
But the problem is that although it might sound funny, it’s too easy to turn a good customer experience into bad one. And that can be very costly for your business.
Do you know that news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience? It means that failing to meet your customer’s demands can lead to lots of bad word-of-mouth for your brand.
Luckily, opening a new channel of contact can improve customer service. Live chat allows you to help your customers in a flash, to maintain personal relationships with them, and to turn your team into customer service rockstars.
Do you use live chat? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!