At Kayako, we’re big proponents of live chat customer support. That’s because we know how powerful it can be at helping boost your customers’ experience—and your business in the process.
That’s a pretty rousing endorsement.
Despite their strong preference for live chat, 47 percent of consumers can’t remember a positive live chat experience from the past month. And 43 percent of businesses know their customer experience isn’t good enough. That’s why offering live chat—and getting it right—can have such a big impact on your business as a whole.
Here are 5 of the biggest reasons live chat can radically improve your customer support, to the benefit of your sales and customer retention.
Consumers Love Live Chat Support
Despite the abundance of crummy live chat support experiences, consumers seem to love and prefer live chat support. It’s easy to see why they hold tightly to live chat—it has the potential to be the quickest and easiest support channel.
That’s why nearly half of the consumers we talked to say they prefer live chat over every other support channel. And 38% of those consumers say they’re more likely to buy from companies who offer live chat.
That’s right, simply offering live chat can help you win over new customers and outcompete companies who lack live chat support. Offering live chat that actually works and lives up to its potential, too? That can revolutionize your customer support operation and the way customers view your business.
Allows Your Team to Handle More Cases, More Quickly
In the customer support world, first response time is one of the gnarliest thorns in your operation. At a certain point, it’s hard to bring down first response times without adding more agents—but expanding your team isn’t always a viable option for every business.
That’s where live chat can change the game completely. Unlike phone support that requires support agents’ full attention for the duration of the case, live chat opens up the possibility of handling multiple cases at once.
When agents interact with customers over live chat, they can work on multiple cases at a time—without sacrificing support speed or quality. That means more customers get the help they’re looking for, in less time.
Enables You to Be More Proactive About Support
If there’s one thing plaguing today’s customer support teams, it’s the huge burden of ever-more numerous and demanding customers looking for flawless and instantaneous help. When customers come knocking, your team’s best tool is proactive support.
When we talk about adding live chat as an additional support channel, it can feel like you’re just adding to your team’s already full plate. But in reality, live chat simply offloads customer cases that would have otherwise turned to phone, email, or other support options.
When those customers turn to live chat instead, you have more tools at your disposal to help them proactively—so they can solve their own problems. That means fewer cases actually require a support agent’s involvement.
Real-Time Support Means Real-Time Customer Satisfaction and Feedback
There’s one thing that stands above the rest when it comes to improving your customer support—there’s no substitute for customer feedback. The feedback your customers share is your most valuable resource because it makes decisions for you.
It enables you to double down on improvements that actually carry weight with your customers. It makes it easier to invest in your customer support because you already know those improvements will be effective.
When you offer more real-time support channels, you open the door to even more real-time feedback and data—meaning you can make better, more up-to-date decisions on how to boost your customers’ experience.
Live Chat Opens the Door to 24/7 Support
As technology and culture evolve, the demands and expectations of customers follow suit. That’s why 75 percent of today’s customers expect help in less than 5 minutes. And they don’t just expect that level of support Monday through Friday from 9-5. According to Inc., more than half of consumers want customer support to be available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Staffing a call center 24/7 comes with its own host of challenges—but live chat can simplify your move to a 24/7 support operation. Since agents can handle multiple cases at once, you can staff fewer team members during off-hours.
Written communication and scripts can ease some of the growing pains associated with language and cultural barriers between your team and your customers—making it more viable to hire off-hours help in corresponding time zones.
Live Chat for Better Customer Support
Offering live chat support to your customers can have a huge and outsized impact on a whole host of things—like customer satisfaction, your competitive edge, and your support team’s overall workload and burden.
Whether you’re looking to reduce first response times, stretch a small support team, or build a 24/7 support operation, live chat can be an incredibly powerful tool in your belt.
For more info on the state of live chat, check out our Live Chat Statistics report.