To Live Chat or Not to Live Chat?
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 01:13

To Live Chat or Not to Live Chat?

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Given that 63% of customers are more likely to return to a site that offers live chat, it certainly seems like a feature worth thinking about.

It seems like live chat is ever-present in business nowadays. The companies which offer traditional customer support are often berated by clients for it, and most brands have either added live chat on their websites or transitioned to social media entirely. But is this the best move for your business too? Well, it depends. Given that 63% of customers are more likely to return to a site that offers live chat, it certainly seems like a feature worth thinking about.

How live chat can improve your website

Whether you’re selling a product or delivering a service, you need to make sure that your customers have a reliable platform where they can report issues and feedback. It’s important that your clients feel secure and confident that their questions will be answered and their opinion be heard. But is there a reliable link to prove that this type of support is a valuable addition to your website? It turns out that live chat has the highest client satisfaction rate (at 73%) out of all other customer service methods (with 44% for phone support and 61% for regular email support). Live chat has a lot of potential and quite a few perks that come with its use. Some of them are customer convenience, reduced costs, an increase in sales and a stronger, more personal connection between your brand and future clients. So what’s the catch?

Use live chat if…

Is your customer support ineffective or outdated? Do the expenses outweigh the profit? Are you not seeing the results you want when it comes to client feedback? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there’s no debate – you need to upgrade your customer service. Statistically speaking, the best way to go about this is to add a live chat option. It’s relatively inexpensive, it brings in more money and, most importantly, it’s going to be a significant improvement and delight for most of your clients.

When you shouldn’t use live chat

There are, however, certain drawbacks to relying on live chat for customer support. For instance, you cannot use live chat exclusively on your website – no matter what business you’re in. You need to make sure you have other service features available (email support, at the very least) for those who are not so tech-savvy. Not all of your site’s users will know how to use live chat and might be put off by it as a result. Obviously, this isn’t as big of a deal-breaker if you’re in e-commerce, digital or technology-oriented niche.
Always remember this – it’s better to have no live chat at all than a bad live chat. One of the main reasons why live chat fails for so many is that it never really feels “live” if done wrong. If a client receives a response hours after having reported his issue, that’s bound to cause more frustration than if he or she were using a traditional option. So make sure you can provide a decent response time for your clients. Also, if you’re interested in expanding your business, you might want to consider updating to social media and offering customer service via those platforms – as that will get you more exposure.

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Maria is a Creative Director of More By Us -  brand identity and software development studio.

She is passionate about brand experience, good wine, and dogs. Her dog, Tira, is often a creative inspiration by her desk.