Customer experience (CX) has become more important than ever as consumers choose businesses that prioritize offering an exceptional experience. It is incredibly valuable for businesses to retain themselves in the long run. Live chat is an integral part of a good CX as it allows you to connect with customers in real time, directly on your website or mobile.
Compared to other communication channels, live chat support generates higher customer satisfaction levels, and 79% of customers prefer online chat support because of the immediacy it provides.
Hence, the businesses using live chat for customer service are able to understand customer needs and align their services to meet their expectations. Real time interaction with the customers not only cultivates brand loyalty but also increases customer lifetime value (CLTV).
What is live chat support?
Live chat support is defined as providing real time customer service via messaging to the website or mobile app visitors. Online chat empowers businesses to handle customer queries efficiently and forge happier customer relationships.
By implementing the best live chat tool, you understand customer pain points and address them effectively. Unlike other customer service channels such as email or phone support, website chat is a proactive way of supporting customers by avoiding a series of back & forth conversations.
How live chat support works?
Website chat support starts working as soon as the short snippet code is integrated into the web pages. Live chat is essential where the customers are likely to have queries on specific pages like contact page, pricing, sales, and home page.
The procedure how online chat support works can be narrowed down into few steps:
- Copy the code and paste the snippet code before the closing </body> tag on your website page.
- As soon as you integrate code successfully, your website visitors can see the live chat widget on the lower corner of your website.
- The visitors or customers can initiate chat conversations with your agents and get real time responses to their queries.
Note: The visitors do not have to install or sign up to start the conversation. The visitors can ask their queries related to the products, services, and subscriptions.
Why should you use live chat as a support channel?
Live chat is a must-have tool for your business as it allows you to enhance customer service communication quality. It enables businesses to fulfill the core customer support objective – meet consumer expectations i.e. faster response and live assistance.
Having live chat on the website helps businesses to communicate with customers easily and increases brand value. Here are the key reasons to use live chat as a customer communication channel.
Live chat is very conversational
Online chat support combines real-time conversation with the ability to share links, collect customer information, and deliver conversational support by rightly following live chat best practices.
Live chat provides contextual support
Implementing website chat support allows you to deliver assistance where your customers are with relevant contextual answers by using visual engagement tools like co-browsing and video chat.
Live chat support is more human
One of the top reasons live chat is preferred by customers is it delivers personalized support by understanding customer pain points and connecting them in real time.
10 Proven reasons to implement live chat support
When it comes to customer support, the importance of live chat is second to none which also makes it the most preferred channel both by businesses as well as customers. Online chat is not limited to SaaS support but broadly used to deliver a better experience, boost satisfaction, and increase customer retention across other B2B & B2C industries.
We have narrowed down a list of key reasons why businesses should invest in live chat support as a part of their communication channel.
- Live chat support improves customer satisfaction
- Online chat support delivers a better customer experience
- Live chat delivers contextual support
- Website chat support reduces the number of touchpoints
- Live chat support is highly accessible 24×7
- Enhance team productivity with web chat service
- Online chat impacts customer retention
- Live chat customer service is proactive
- Online chat support gives your brand a competitive edge
- Web chat support stregthens customer relationships
Let us comprehensively discuss the practical applications of live chat support.
1. Live chat support improves customer satisfaction
59% of customers are more likely to buy when brands answer their queries in under a minute. Customers choose businesses that assure less queue time and offer prompt support to doubts.
A satisfactory interaction with your brand undoubtedly creates a great impression and excellent experience that encourages customers to retain your business. Live chat support offers immediate support, right at the moment when the customer is looking for it.
Here is how live chat support boosts customer satisfaction.
- Improve resolution time by using canned responses to deliver faster responses
- Deliver first contact resolution by routing chats to the right team to ensure effective solutions.
- Collect customer feedback with a live chat survey to evaluate their satisfaction level.
2. Online chat support delivers a better customer experience
Long response time is the number one customer frustration that customers have when they interact with any company.
Live chat is the best proactive channel that can humanize your customer support. It helps your businesses to combat the frustration by providing immediate answers to the support queries. It offers a complete customer service toolkit that includes visual engagement tools like co-browsing and video chat that delivers real time personalized support experience.
How website chat support enhances customer experience?
- It offers the lowest queue time compared to other reactive customer service channels such as email support.
- Live chat empowers your team to have proactive conversations with customers and help them in their journey.
- With the chat tool, you can personalize conversations, greetings, and visitors’ information that builds trust in customers.
3. Live chat delivers contextual customer support
Live chat offers the best solution assuring instant communication without letting the customers wait for a longer time. Precisely, this is one of the crucial reasons why 92% of clients feel satisfied while using live chat for customer engagement.
The online chat support conversations can also be made interactive by using visual engagement tools such as video chat and co-browsing to deliver a better conversational experience.
Here are the key benefits of conversational customer support:
- Combine live chat with co-browsing to collaborate with the customers in real time and guide them to resolve complex issues.
- Automate your customer support with an AI chatbot to engage customers 24×7 and deliver instant responses to FAQs.
- You can develop trust and loyalty with personalized conversations with customers by using video chat support.
4. Website chat support reduces the number of touchpoints
It is really frustrating for customers when they have to reach out to the call center to resolve the same issue multiple times. Each time they contact, they have to describe everything from the beginning, which is time-consuming as well.
72% of customers expect an agent to know their details including support history and product information without asking.
Using live chat for customer service, allows empowers call center agents to gain first-hand information on the issue and get to the right solution faster. The process helps to assist customers with personalized chat that does not include repetitive questions.
Here are the ways online chat support can help businesses in reducing touchpoints.
- You can use customer engagement tools to diagnose the exact issue and deliver the appropriate solution in the first contact itself.
- Live chat allows contact center agents to leave visitor notes related to specific customer support conversations to collect details and assist accordingly.
5. Live chat support is highly accessible 24×7
Imagine, you land a website and become curious to learn more about any particular feature or service. But you struggle to find a support option.
What would you do at that moment?
Obviously, you might leave the site no matter how good it might be.
Now, think if you would have found the live chat support option, everything was sorted.
Having the live chat button placed at the right place of the website or mobile app is very important for customers who do not have to hunt for it. Quick accessibility of the chat button reduces both effort and annoyance.
Furthermore, a good website experience encourages customers to return while increasing customer loyalty.
6. Enhance team productivity with web chat service
An increased number of support tickets impacts team productivity.
Resolution time is one of the key live chat metrics that refers to the average time taken by the support agents to close the conversations. It is an important metric that measures the accuracy of customer service.
Online chat support empowers the support team to handle multiple conversations at the same time and meet the key productivity KPIs such as the number of chats, first response time, chat duration.
How does live chat support improve an agent’s productivity?
- Live chat assures faster response to customer queries by using canned replies and routing calls to the right team. It reduces queue time and improves the resolution time.
- With a live chat support tool, the support queries are addressed in real time. The chats are distributed among the right departments in order to manage effectively thus, reducing the number of support requests significantly.
7. Online chat impacts customer retention
One of the key reasons for the bad customer experience is longer response time.
Implementing live chat can be one of the best customer retention strategies and significantly reduce the impact of the factor that adversely affects the customer experience.
Offering web chat support can be one of the best customer retention strategies and reduce the impact of the factors that adversely affect the customer experience. You can provide instant solutions and engage customers proactively before their doubt becomes an issue.
How live chat can be a good customer retention idea?
- Real time assistance – Website chat helps to provide instant solutions to all the sales and support-related queries. By routing the conversation to the right support team the queries are solved faster.
- Enhance customer satisfaction – Online chat service drives customer satisfaction by reducing wait time and converts visitors to loyal customers who not only retain with your brand but also advocate with positive word of mouth.
- Proactive customer engagement – You can engage customers proactively in the right direction before the doubt becomes a big problem.
8. Live chat customer service is proactive
Unlike reactive customer support channels like email that requires back and forth conversations, live chat support software is highly proactive and real time.
Suppose visitors spend a certain amount of time or get stuck on a specific page like pricing, or features, you can trigger a personalized message so that customers are comfortable to ask the query without any hesitation.
Offering assistance proactively before the visitors ask for it, helps you to identify the issue and connect to the right team or agent in real time so that they can complete their journey happily.
9. Online chat support gives your brand a competitive edge
Credibility is important in building a successful online business. Whether you are a startup, small business, or an enterprise, how customers perceive your company plays a critical role in your success.
How can live chat support help to build strong brand credibility?
- Online chat helps your business to focus on the needs of your customers and the experience they are having with your business at almost every major touchpoint in the buying funnel on your website.
- Live chat is the best support channel for enchanting a customer by delivering as much value to their experience with your business and its offerings.
Customers who use your live chat platform are three times more likely to buy since the method provides direct and personal interaction with customers.
The effectiveness of live chat as a platform is incentive enough to begin winning over the customers of your competitors by consistently improving upon their experience with your business.
10. Website chat support stregthens customer relationships
89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand after a poor customer support experience. It shows for the sustainability of your business, building long-term relationships with customers is absolutely critical. Happy and satisfied customers are less likely to switch to other brands.
Live chat is an excellent way to build long-term customer relationships. When you are able to convince customers that you are actively listening to them, the bond strengthens and loyalty develops. When you provide superior live chat customer service, it improves customers’ lifetime value (CLTV).
Here is a case study that explains the importance of online chat: Better Business Bureau (BBB) Boston used live chat for customer service
Better Business Bureau deals with a lot of inquiries to create a better marketplace. BBB needed a real time solution for handling queries and customer complaints. They used the website chat support to improve their customer service communication.
The results of implementing live chat support were that on average 1200 chats were successfully handled via web chat.
Best practices for handling live chat support
When businesses put effort into understanding what customers are looking for, following the live chat best practices makes it easier to align your services with their expectations. It will also help your business in raising the communication standards across all customer touchpoints.
We have categorized best practices for an online chat for agents and as managers.
Live chat support best practices (for managers)
- The customer service managers should emphasize using proactive live chat to map the customer journey.
- The live chat window should match your brand messaging. Your web chat system should be easy-to-use and fully responsive across all devices.
- Use pre-chat forms wisely as for every form field you add to a pre-chat form, you can reduce web chat traffic by 5-10%.
Live chat support best practices (for agents)
- Prepare canned responses to improve the resolution by delivering faster and accurate answers.
- Collecting feedback after each conversation helps to understand the satisfaction b
- Setup routing rules to make sure all conversations are routed to the right team to improve response time.
- Outline the key KPIs and metrics that will help to stream the customer conversations and increase agent’s productivity.
- Effective communication skills are a live chat etiquette that allows customers to explain their problems and having a positive tone makes customers feel valued.
- Delivering faster live chat support requires instant answering, adequate product knowledge, and training of the agent are very important.
Have better conversational support with live chat service
Having live chat support is one of the top reasons why consumers are likely to return to your website. For the same reason, businesses are largely investing in online chat tools. Beyond enhancing customer experience (CX), the website chat has the ability to increase team productivity by meeting the core KPIs.
Real time conversations with your customers and prospective customers provide an incredible opportunity to understand them better, serve them more quickly, and build a human connection that can be harder to do via email. You can also retain your customers by delighting them with timely responses. In a broader sense, live chat helps to meet your customer experience goal.