With the highest levels of customer satisfaction of any support platform, it’s clear that customers really love live chat.
And why wouldn’t they? It allows them to access your support team quickly and conveniently without any long hold times or email tickets. Instead, they can chat with a warm and friendly agent all from the comfort of their phone keyboard.
Because of this, it makes sense that live chat is on the rise, with 71% forecasting that, in terms of popularity, live chat will surpass traditional customer service communication channels by 2021.
Does your team have a strategy to set up and implement live chat as a well-oiled machine? Without best practices in place from the start, you could see current customers walk away or incur costs from inefficiencies.
Whether you’re setting up live chat support from scratch or simply ready to improve your current customer chat experience, let these benefits and best practices guide your way.
Benefits of Real-Time Chat Support
At the top of the list of live chat advantages is the improvement in your bottom line.
When you provide pleasant problem-solving experiences for your customers, they’re going to know they can count on you when future issues arise. This reinforces their customer loyalty to you and makes it that much easier for them to recommend you to friends, family, and colleagues. Referrals lead to a boost in new customer acquisition and you’ll see it pay off in your revenue numbers.
Handling customer questions, concerns, and issues via live chat will also help you understand them on a deeper level.
A study by Zoho found that after using live chat for a year, 43% of businesses had a better understanding of their customers. That’s because speaking to your customers in a way that’s most comfortable for them will help them open up about their needs, expectations, and desires for the future. This precious customer knowledge can help shape successful products and services down the line.
Another reason to add live chat to your customer support mix (if you haven’t already) is the improvement of your overall user experience.
A customer’s support experience matters a lot to them. PwC even found that 1 in 3 customers have no problem walking away after just one bad experience. So, what constitutes a bad experience? This could look like a long wait to talk to a real agent, having to repeat themselves several times, or being fed scripted lines that don’t relate to their issue. Customer support issues like these and the customer attrition that follows result in an $83 billion loss in the United States alone.
It can be tempting to resort to AI bots to handle your live chat interactions, but that will likely do more harm than good. A Zendesk survey reported that 70% of consumers prefer human agents to AI technologies, so stick with a team of real humans to man the live chat department. When done right, a person-to-person live chat interaction will improve their overall user experience with your company.
Live Chat Best Practices to Implement Now
As you set up your live chat program, keep these three principles in mind to provide the best customer experience and reap the benefits like more sales, higher revenue, and stronger customer loyalty.
Availability and Consistency
If you’re going to offer live chat, make sure you have live agents standing by to respond. If your customers aren’t able to reach you consistently, a live chat feature won’t do much for them. With 79% of consumers preferring live chats because of the instant responses, you don’t want to let them down.
Subject Matter Experts
Customers use live chat to troubleshoot a variety of issues and subject matters and they expect to be met with a knowledgeable and helpful representative. To provide this breadth of knowledge, some companies lean on call and support centers – but those can cost more in inefficiencies. With more customers preferring human agents to AI, it’s a smarter idea to outsource to trained subject matter experts to save time and money and keep customers happy.
One System for Everything You Need
The last thing you want to do is send customers (or your support team) scrambling in different directions to find answers for end users. Live chat support needs to be efficient to be effective, so having one system to hold everything you need can streamline fast responses. Before going live with your live chat, make sure you have a central, cohesive portal to reference and link to. Smart-Lynk, for example, is a robust and completely customizable managed training portal that packs in all the important support features your end-user could need. This go-to resource provides additional value to your end-users, speeds up live chat resolution time, and reinforces your reliability should issues come up later.
Easy Access to Live Chat Resources and Training Through Smart-Lynk
Live chat interactions should be resolved pleasantly and quickly in order to provide a positive customer support experience. There’s no time to spend sorting through dozens of documents or wait for a subject matter expert to become available. Smart-Lynk can serve as both a training portal and a resource library to solve problems as they arise.
To deliver the best in live chat customer experience, learn more about the Smart-Lynk cloud services training portal and how it can educate and empower both your team and end-users.