Live chat customer service - getting better all the time
Live chat has been used for customer service for a couple of decades, making it one of the elder statesmen of digital channels. Younger channels, like SMS and social messaging, may be nipping at its heels, but live chat customer service is still going strong - gaining users and benefiting from significant technical enhancements. Customers rate live chat customer service highly as a preferred method of communication with businesses and, with more and more businesses offering it as a support channel, live chat is quickly becoming a "must have" for customer service.
Live chat customer service has been improved over the years as technology has evolved and companies have taken a more holistic approach to customer support. Perhaps one of the most impactful things to the quality of live chat has been the adoption of the omnichannel approach to customer service. This took live chat customer service out of its silo and integrated it with other support channels in order to provide consumers with a seamless customer experience. With omnichannel support, customers no longer have to start from scratch if they switch from chat to phone - they're chat history is saved and accessible to the phone agent.
A more recent enhancement to the live chat experience is the incorporation of chatbots. A chatbot is AI-enabled technology that mimics human conversation. Chatbots can answer basic questions and perform tasks like recommending products, making airline reservations, and collecting feedback. They can serve as the front end of an agent-assisted chat, gathering information before handing the conversation over to a live chat agent. When implemented appropriately, chatbots can improve the customer experience by providing timely service. Businesses can benefit from qualified leads, a boost in online sales and a decrease in agent-assisted contacts. However, if not used wisely, chatbots can cause customer frustration, so it's important to understand their strengths and weaknesses before implementing.
These and other refinements to the chat experience have made live chat customer service a favorite among consumers. Our research found that customers rate chat as one of the top channels for satisfaction, ease of use, and likelihood to recommend. Not only can customers receive quick and convenient support, but 74% of chat interactions are resolved with the first contact.
With the ongoing introduction of new technology and customer-centric approaches to service delivery, live chat customer service is bound to keep getting better. Organizations that don't currently offer chat support are missing out on significant benefits for themselves and their customers.