5 Benefits of Using a Live Chat Service Over Slower Methods
Online communication is nothing new but since the beginning of the world wide web we have had to rely almost solely on one method of communication between customer and business for raising queries for a long time. Email, while excellent as an asynchronous form of communication where that type of interaction is warranted, doesn’t lend itself well to situations that need to be resolved quickly.
Ticketing was introduced at the turn of the 21st century as an alternative option, but while ticketing is excellent for mass volume resolution and situation escalation with prioritization, it too is slow due to the asynchronous nature of the method. More recently, Live Chat started to be used by major corporations and has now become an expected part of any modern website that deals with customers or queries in any way.
There are many advantages to using a Live Chat feature and it should be implemented on your site as soon as it is warranted as some of the best reasons to use Live Chat are:
- Instant Communication
- Very Easy for the Customer
- Management Features for the Operator
- Cheaper than Alternatives
- Future Proof UX
The main reason Live Chat has become so popular is its instant access to operators concerning a wide range of queries while the interface is very familiar to customers and easy to use as well as being exceptionally efficient to manage from an operator’s perspective. Despite its advanced features, Live Chat is also an inexpensive form of communication between parties and the proliferation of the software means that your site is ready for a better user experience that is expected as a site feature these days, should you implement it.
While all forms of communication over the internet have their uses, many of them are not suited well for business where situations might need to be resolved in a timely and efficient manner. Email, for example, is an excellent method of quickly creating a message much like a letter that can be sent digitally to a recipient in an instant. However, as quick as creating an email might be, it can take some time for a recipient to respond and given that even a small business could be getting thousands of emails per day that need to be carefully read, it isn’t uncommon for a customer to be waiting for up to one week to hear back.
Ticketing is another excellent form of interaction between a customer and a business, but just like email, the asynchronous nature of ticketing means that a recipient can take a while to respond. However, ticketing is excellent for escalating issues and sorting by category and is designed to handle a large volume of queries.
Although it has been around since the early 2000s, Live Chat as a service for customers wasn’t implemented on a large scale until around 10 years ago when larger corporations such as Virgin began using it as a query resolution system for customers who were tired of waiting a long time for a response to something. Since then, Live Chat systems like click4assistance.co.uk can be found on many sites, even smaller ones where fast and efficient resolution is required. The instant social media style messaging system of Live Chat means that customers can be spoken to very quickly, sorted into relevant categories, and have their issue resolved very quickly instead of having to wait hours, days, or weeks as can be the case with phone, email, and ticketing.
Very Easy for the Customer
As easy as email is to use for most, especially those acquainted with computers and the internet, there are some people who still find it difficult to even compose a message let alone configure an email client for use, which is especially true of seniors and the elderly. Some of the most challenging aspects of the email include forgotten usernames and passwords, an unfriendly UI, and worries about viruses or malware which sees some people forego the use of email altogether, which can be unfortunate if a company only offers email as a form of communication.
An individual company’s ticketing systems can be just as complex or daunting for some people and in many cases, some companies (video game publishers especially) don’t even respond to a ticket. It isn’t uncommon for a ticketing feature on a given site to be set up in a kind of looping system that sees you end up where you started as the system tries to direct you to the relevant category or department in order to have your query processed, resulting in you giving up altogether and calling an equally deflating phone system.
One of the greatest advantages of Live Chat is its ease of use. Even the most technologically deficient person is able to click a Live Chat window and relay their message or query using a keyboard, absent a disability that prohibits them from moving their arms. All that is necessary on a user’s end when it comes to Live Chat is that they give their information and details regarding an issue. This is then passed to a relevant operator in real time where they will be served extremely quickly with no waiting times in most cases; depending on volume it might sometimes be necessary to wait a couple of minutes.
Management Features for the Operator
Although Live Chat has been designed with customer ease of use in mind as an alternative to outdated methods of phone, email, and tickets, the system has also been designed to accommodate the employees that will be using it just as much as the client. Advanced and relevant features are built into the systems from the operator’s perspective that provide a streamlined experience for both them and the customer.
On the back end, Live Chat is just as easy for a trained operator to manage queries and customers as it is for a customer to use the front end system. Live Chat features many intuitive subcomponents that can help manage, schedule, escalate and prioritize queries while passing them to the relevant customer service representative or trained and qualified technical professional that can help resolve a given problem. Multiple Live Chats windows can also be handled by one operator while switching between customers is as easy as using a Windows desktop or a social media chat interface.
Additionally, many Live Chat products allow the use of advanced features such as speech-to-text which can speed up response times for an operator or even allow those with accessibility issues to be employed by a company and use the software. These systems are also usually highly customizable by the user so that they can access their frequently used features, functions, and even client lists for businesses where regular interaction with returning customers is a requirement.
Cheaper than Alternatives
Any business looks for ways to cut costs and one of the largest expenses that a company can have relates directly to customer service. Telephony systems are expensive to install and operate as they require expert installation by trained network professionals and then maintenance and operators. Email and ticketing systems also require expert configuration and monitoring against viruses, malware, and intrusion by highly skilled and expensive personnel as part of your company’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
However, it must be pointed out that all the above can be outsourced to third-party companies which will save time and money, but depending on the scale of the operation and your requirements, these too can become a large expense. Managed IT services alone, while excellent at what they do, can begin to cost hundreds per month for even a small business. However, email scanning and malware detection is usually part of basic managed IT service packages.
Conversely, Live Chat is a very cheap option over the traditional and standard communication systems when it comes to customer service and communication channels. For example, phone and ticketing systems require teams of people to sort customer queries whereas, because of the multitasking nature of a Live Chat system, one person can handle multiple clients and queries at one time, drastically reducing the amount of both time and money that needs to be spent on queries and employee wages respectively. Configuring and installing Live Chat is also very easy and requires no expert knowledge as it can be easily integrated into an existing site for rolling monthly contracts that can start for as little as $20 per month.
Future Proof UX
As with any business, a major reason for installing a Live Chat system is the future-proofing of your company. Systems come and go, technology becomes obsolete and the expectations of customers can rapidly change. All any customer wants when they use a system is a good experience and the proliferation and facilitation of online systems means that this is no longer a choice for any business but a necessity.
Developing a better user experience (UX) when it comes to your customer-focused website is now a core concept in modern online business and can add value to your business from a customer perspective. Today’s clients come to a website with certain expectations, some of which are ease-of-use, relevant information, and readily available contact in case of queries, complaints, or product/service returns. Live Chat is an excellent tool for handling this and as the technology has become so widespread, this is also one of the things that an online customer expects.
The system also provides a superior UX in that any client information is securely stored but is readily available to an operator for when a customer returns, meaning that an operator, whom a returning client can request be the same as the last time, has all of the necessary information that they need, reducing any annoying repetition of the relaying of information that a client almost always needs to do when using phone, email, and ticketing systems.
Categories: Outside Contributors