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Why Live Chat Is Essential to Quality Customer Support

Live Chat by the Numbers

According to Gartner, live chat will grow 400% from 2015 to 2018 as a preferred digital channel for customer engagement. A number of surveys cite customer satisfaction as a key driver to incorporate chat. Additionally, several benefits clearly show that live chat is no longer a minor add-on feature to business websites, but it is now essential to providing quality customer support.

According to Derek Eccleston, Global Commercial Officer at eDigitalResearch [acquired by Maru/edr], eDigitalResearch’s latest Customer Service Benchmark indicates a correlation between ease of contact and customer satisfaction. And that websites with easy to find live chat signals to users the availability of customer service teams as well as the willingness to talk directly to customers about their issues. Statistics from the benchmark report indicate that 65% of users expect to wait one minute or less to speak to an agent.

In a study analyzing 85,000+ chats, Zopim (now part of Zendesk Chat) reported 23 seconds as the average response time for customer representatives and 42 seconds as the average for the representative to resolve the customer’s issue. Providing a responsive, quick communication channel for customers facilitates the building of overall positive customer relationships. A study by Zendesk indicated that 92% of customers feel satisfied when they use chat versus other communication options.

Live chat allows support teams to respond quickly to customer issues. AVOXI reduced its overall response time by at least 60%. And, a number of live chat applications allow support teams to run remote diagnostics to facilitate troubleshooting efforts—leading to quicker resolution of issues.

Don’t Forget a Few Quick Standards for Best Practices

As live chat increases in popularity, best practices are fundamental to ensure you see overall benefits from increased customer satisfaction and improved customer issue resolution times.

  • Provide clear messaging about agent/representative availability
  • Use messages to indicate that a representative read inquiry and is typing to respond
  • Make sure the chat feature is easy to find on website and use clear, concise wording to indicate
  • Send a chat summary or transcript to customer after session is complete. If not an existing customer, use this to request opt-in for further contact by email or phone.
  • Train representatives on chat etiquette and ensure that reps are knowledgeable about products and services

Customer engagement includes listening to the voice of the customer. Live chat offers a forum to capture that voice and learn of key issues to address, ensure customer satisfaction, and build lasting relationships. As customers seek immediate interaction, live chat becomes essential gear in your customer support toolkit.

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