5 Reasons Customers Prefer Live Chat (When It’s Done Well)

Live chat, when it’s done well can optimise a number of areas within a business, from customer service to sales and marketing to logistics. As live chat becomes increasingly more available to all types of business, find out why it is customers preferred contact channel.
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Why So Many Businesses Use Live Chat

Live chat, as a customer support, sales and marketing tool has experienced huge growth in recent years. With businesses of all sizes adopting the customer service channel, the live chat market is estimated to reach $997 million by 2023, registering a CAGR of 7.5% from 2017 to 2023.

Not only does live chat offer a quick and convenient means of direct communication for your customers, providing them with great CX but it proves particularly cost-efficient for businesses compared to other agent-assisted channels.

Telephone and email, for example, channels that include long handling times and asynchronous sessions prove costly. Live chat on the other hand brings support costs down significantly by offering multiple simultaneous chat options and a range of features that improve agent productivity.

Not only is live chat the preferred agent-assisted channel when it comes to reducing costs, but for customers – 79% in fact – live chat is their go-to tool for solving issues.

Reasons Customers Prefer Live Chat 

  1. Instant responses
  2. Familiar UI
  3. Complex issues are solved online
  4. It saves your customers time
  5. Multi-channel

Instant Responses

When asked why live chat was their preferred contact channel, customers’ top answer surrounded its capability to respond instantly.

Alternative agent-assisted contact channels like telephony usually include long wait times, being put on hold and transferred from department to department. For customers, this creates discomfort and frustration – it unnecessarily dominates a chunk of their day and feels like a waste of time.

Similarly, for customers, email as a communication channel feel disjointed – waiting days for a reply to the first of what might be 5 follow up queries simply isn’t realistic, nor does it reflect positively on customer reviews or CSAT ratings.

Live chat’s ability to deal with multiple customer queries at once means that agent time can be utilised far more effectively than other channels. It means that wait times are minimal, reducing Average Handling Times (AHT) and as a result, boosting CSAT scores.

Get it right by:

Selecting a live chat vendor that offer multiple chat capabilities and live keypress feed – this allows agents to prepare a resolution often before the customer has hit ‘send’, producing instant responses.

Familiar UI

With instant messaging platforms and social media chat usage significantly increasing amongst your customers, it is no wonder that live chat proves so popular as a contact channel.

Not only do customers use messaging interfaces every day as a way of keeping in contact with others, but generation such as Millenials and Gen Z, who have either grown up using instant messaging or know no different expect such interfaces when engaging companies.

When live chat software includes features such as emojis and chat ‘history’ (chat transcripts) on a familiar, mobile-friendly, 2-way chat interface, it builds comfort and positive brand associations with your company, which in turns enhances CX.

Customers love live chat because it offers the familiarity and convenience of a digital messaging app, whilst serving them the depth of knowledge associated with an agent-assisted channel.

An image that shows an example of live chat.

Get it right by:

Ensuring that the vendor you choose offers mobile friendly live chat and customisable branding options.

Complex Issues Are Solved Online

When a customer has a non-routine or complicated query that needs resolving, they no longer have to pick up the phone and wait in the queue for assistance from a trained agent – the query can be solved entirely online.

This is how a customer’s query is intuitively and quickly resolved through live chat:

  1. Once the customer has engaged with live chat and the agent has introduced themselves, the customer explains the issue they require help with.
  2. The agent interface that is powered by Natural Language Processing (NLP) analyses every keyword entered on each keypress to unpick and understand search intent.
  3. In the same window that the chat takes place in, a series of AI-predictive suggestions are displayed, each containing relevant articles.
  4. The agent selects the most relevant, either choosing “copy article to chat” for the whole article of “copy snippet” for a specific part of the article.
  5. The agent hits send.

Because your agents are equipped with a knowledge base full of information and resolutions that are automatically generated for them via AI, there is no need for the customer to pick up the phone, creating a smooth and efficient journey.

Learn more about how a knowledge base live chat integration, here.

Get it right by:

Choosing live chat software that is built using AI and harnesses powerful Natural Language Processing (NLP) to offer agents AI-predictive suggestions.

It Saves Time Your Customers Time

When it comes to offering customers a great experience and satisfying their customer support needs, time is an important factor.

Telephone and email as contact channels are renowned for long wait times and often unpleasant experiences. As your customers’ lifestyles become busier and time becomes more precious, it is no wonder that such contact channels are no longer suiting their needs.

The mechanics of live chat on the other hand means that your customers can continue their everyday tasks whilst engaging with an agent and having their issues resolved. Customers can interact with agents from anywhere, whether it’s a busy outdoor space or noisy area.

Unlike telephony, the format of live chat doesn’t warrant an instant response which allows customers to multitask whilst they communicate with agents. If an agent hasn’t heard back from a customer after a certain amount of time, they can send a “poke”. This prompts the customer, asking if they’d like to continue, otherwise the session will be closed.

Get it right by:

Selecting live chat software that utilises low code; let your customers benefit from convenient online channels as soon as is possible.

Multichannel

Customers love the multiple ways in which they can engage with your live chat agents. Whether its through their favourite social media platform, instant messaging service or directly through your site, it’s easy and the choice is theirs.

Live chat software integrates with the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp so that customers can get help with support or purchases quickly and from any device. With the utilisation of APIs, agents can see all chats within the same interface, regardless of their origin and handle them accordingly.

So, whether your customers engage with your live chat tool as a result of finding you on Google search, being escalated from a self-service channel or through social media, getting help is straightforward.

An image that demonstrates how multichannel live chat works.

Get it right by:

Choosing live chat software that includes seamless escalation options and multichannel integration capabilities.


If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about live chat, read our guide here or if you would like any assistance with software and implementation, please

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