September 02, 2014 • 4 min read
Have you ever been waiting for hours on the phone waiting for a customer representative to pick up? How many of you gave up, frustrated? If you did not, how many of you then had an unpleasant conversation, when the representative finally answered? Have you had to repeat yourself many times because the line is bad… just before it finally cuts off for no reason?
Have you ever sent an email to a customer service email and been wondering when you’d get an answer? How many times have you never gotten an answer? How many times have you had to explain your issue several times, wasting days waiting for the representative to get back to you?
I know I have, and I know it makes me feel like not coming back, and it seems that this feeling is not uncommon. In fact, according to the RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a good customer experience, and 89% of customers stopped doing business with an organization due to a poor customer experience. As a business owner, this is a sobering thought that highlights the importance of customer experience management and the role that LiveChat plays in keeping customers satisfied. There are many reasons to add Live Support to your website, but I think these 5 say it all.
Yes, classic channels such as phone or email are not the most efficient first contact tools anymore, both in terms of accessibility and cost.
I believe that customer service is all about convenience and availability. Because 83% of customers require some degree of customer support while making an online purchase (eConsultancy), there is no excuse to be difficult to reach out to as a brand. Online customers demand their brands to have a reliable, quick, and simple way to get in touch with them. This is why people prefer Live Chat twice over the phone (2013 US Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study). Live chat is extremely useful for a first contact and to define the needs of the customer, and there are lots of advantages to it: For both the customer and the representative, there is no need to live in the fear that the phone will be cut in the next minute, and to repeat themselves many times to be understood. And if along the way, Live Chat is not the right channel for that specific request, the customer can be accurately redirected to the appropriate person with the feeling that he is understood and taken care of.
As a brand, you want to offer support in the most satisfying and least time-consuming way to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as purchases and positive reviews. This doesn’t mean that you have to throw away your good old phone and email support, but each channel has a purpose and can be used more efficiently. This will in turn increase your ROI.
Enabling new channels such as Live Chat or Social Media comes with great benefits but must come with a proper plan as they are also carrying some risks if not well managed. Yes, people will talk to you through all possible channels opened to them, and Social Media is a way for your customers to show publicly their love or their frustration. Since many people listen to what happens on Social Media, a complaint not well handled can have devastating effects on your brand.
You, therefore, want to be very available and easily direct each request to the most appropriate channel, making sure you’re there to answer, be it Live Chat, Email, Phone, or even Social Media. A mistake in this area can be costly: a whopping 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service (RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report). You should probably plan carefully how you can increase engagement efficiently and test how well you are able to meet your customers’ expectations by testing which channel is the best for your business.
One major point is to think about how people use technology in 2014, how you can get to them in no time, anywhere, and have an edge over your competitors. The main issue is that 42% of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications (Forrester). But if well implemented, and the representatives you are working with are well trained, it takes on average 23 seconds for a live chat operator to respond to a question, and another 43 seconds to reach a resolution. How does this rate compare to the phone, where you can handle only one request at a time?
The next big trend is that web chat is going mobile, which allows retailers to help customers regardless of where they are or what device they are using. Going mobile will increase your proximity to the customers and reinforce their loyalty.
If you haven’t yet taken the steps of looking at the new tools you’ve got out there to do more business and increase your customers’ loyalty, I encourage you to do so.
Feel free to drop me a line if you want to carry on the discussion and get some tips.
Fred had been working on IT and operational projects in the finance and software industry in Switzerland for 10 years before co-founding Arcanys in 2010. With nearly 20 years of experience in the industry in Switzerland, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, Fred is now leading the worldwide sales and marketing efforts of Arcanys.