Live Chat is no longer just “nice to have.” This support channel started as an alternative to email and phone, but lately, the use of live chat in customer support has been snowballing. The proliferation of live chat in recent years has been astounding, with numerous businesses adopting this support channel to meet the growing demands of their modern customers. If you plan to invest in a new live chat software or if you want to maximize its ROI to your business, it is essential that you have an in-depth understanding of this space. We have compiled some of the most critical live chat software trends and statistics to abbreviate your decision-making process.
Live chat was not the customer support channel of choice initially, but in the last decade, live chat has wrestled competition from phone and email to claim the top spot, and its growth is not letting up any soon. An in-depth look into the live chat usage statistics reveals some glowing trends. The usage of live chat apps may vary based on the company and industry. Some companies even use live chat to improve their sales organization. However, any business, regardless of its size, sector, or market, can reap significant benefits by implementing live chat.
It is vital to start using live chat when a business is young as it doesn’t just streamline conversations but can also help a business understand the preferences and needs of its customers. Live chat makes it easy to personalize support experience, especially for those customers that ask more questions or have longer research processes. By addressing customer concerns, live chat can give you leads as well. The channel also allows you to create an omnichannel window, where all customers get answers faster without being inconvenienced or feeling frustrated.
The instant communication offered by live chat has transformed the way brands interact with their customers. Live chat is no longer a cost-centered customer support channel. It has become a revenue source, an indispensable support channel that has the potential to grow a business. Because of this, many brands have already taken the lead to funnel the potential of this system.
However, one alarming trend revealed by the live chat facts in 2017 is the drop in customer satisfaction levels. According to research by Live Chat Inc., there was a 2.81% decrease in customer satisfaction levels compared to 2016. This vividly shows that having a live chat channel isn’t enough. Businesses must wield it properly to meet ever-rising customer expectations.
Let’s face it: today’s consumers hate waiting. The longer a consumer waits for an agent to become available, the more they become frustrated. And this has been the major drawback for phone and email support. Speeding up the response time means adopting an efficient customer support channel such as live chat. Numbers don’t lie, and live chat is undeniably an ideally perfect channel when it comes to response times:
Even with the aspiration for much lower response time, the quality of customer service should not be overlooked. Traditionally, businesses assumed that consumers only wanted instant support, but that changed. Today’s consumers are intelligent and smarter than ever; they value exceptional support over speed. The bar is high, and businesses have to find the perfect balance between faster response times and quality of service to meet the expectations of their customers.
There is no denying, mobile technology has been a big boon and is indispensable. This versatile technology has completely transformed how businesses interact with their customers. It’s clear that today’s consumers are increasingly becoming accustomed to the mobile experience. Therefore, if you haven’t made the shift, make mobile chat more accessible and flexible.
In 2017, IBM predicted that by 2020, approximately 80% of all customer service interactions would happen without the need for human agents. Reality is dawning on business owners, and it’s fascinating how fast AI has taken over the industry to become the leader in conversational computing. Additionally, comm100.com had predicted that by the end of 2018, businesses would start to enjoy the benefits of AI in live chat. It’s happening.
Live chat has proven to be the simplest, quickest, and most accessible form of customer support. And the introduction of AI chatbots has offered a cheaper alternative that reduces the burden on human agents and improves the quality of service delivery.
If you have a small team and want to invest in live chat, there are plenty of live chat apps for small business out there. Also, do not forget to leverage the live chat trends and statistics we have stated earlier to create a strategy that will enable you to reap maximum benefits from your live chat. There are creative ways to use live chat for marketing, while some companies have already proven that live chat sales techniques deliver more revenues.
But, remember this: regardless of how powerful your live chat channel is, you must promote it to drive its uptake. For example; your live chat channel must be visible on your website to speed up adoption by consumers. Besides, when you offer a live chat channel, customers expect you to be available 24/7. For this reason, you need to ensure that you have the right number of agents to handle customer queries expediently at all working hours (day and night).
Moreover, your live chat should be mobile-ready because, as data has shown, customers are increasingly choosing to interact with organizations via mobile devices. Therefore, do not be tempted to look at live chat as a desktop tool alone; make your live chat mobile-ready, if not mobile-first. If you want to further your research, you can read our comprehensive guide on live chat software.
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