What is live chat customer service, and why do you need it?

What is live chat customer service, and why do you need it?

22nd October 2020

By Qariem Radix

Imagine there was a customer service channel that saved businesses money, resolved clients’ issues promptly, and boosted sales and loyalty.

Well… there is! Live chat services have gained popularity among businesses and customers alike in recent years, valued for their immediacy and ease of use. 

So how can your brand improve your customer experience through live chat services?

What is live chat?

You’ll have seen those boxes that pop up on websites offering support through text or, increasingly, voice conversations. 

Live chat software often aids customers who are trying to make a purchase or self-serve on the website. However, it can be used just like any other contact centre service: for queries or complaints on any topic.

Live chats can be staffed by human advisors, online digital assistants aka chatbots, or a combination. 

And intriguingly, customers often can’t tell the difference! Thanks to AI, a well-programmed online digital assistant which connects to your back-end systems can answer many questions in a natural, human-sounding way. 

As customer engagement expert PV Kannan told Forbes: “Consumers want technology that helps them pay a bill, return an item, or book a hotel, among other things. They want to do it in an intuitive and conversational way, just as they would with a human. 

“While natural language technology is advancing quickly, there will still be times when machines won’t understand humans, and that’s when there needs to be a seamless hand-off to a human agent. The holy grail for businesses is machines and humans working in harmony and making it simple for consumers to get things done.”

The benefits of live chat for customer service

For businesses, there are three main advantages to live chat services.

They boost sales by speeding up the customer service process. They solve customer problems fast, by answering queries in real time. And they cut costs: you’ll get a healthy ROI on this technology. 

Customers appreciate them too. According to one report that analysed 56 million live chats, 83% of customers were satisfied by their live chat experience, awarding an average rating of 4.2/ 5.

Live chat vs phone support

Most importantly for businesses, a live chat service can be answering several queries simultaneously, making it a more efficient process than phone support. Even if it’s staffed by human advisors, they can respond to five or six tickets at once. 

For customers, it also saves time. They can tap in a quick question while working at their computer, rather wait on their phone for an advisor to become free. 

However, phone conversations may well be best for talking through a complex issue. And if it’s a personal or emotional topic, then your advisors will find it easiest to communicate empathetically by phone. 

By integrating your channels, you can use live chat for the easy questions, and reserve phone support for trickier issues. 

The disadvantages of live chat

Perhaps the biggest drawback to live chat is meeting customer expectations. 

If it’s staffed by human advisors and they don’t respond promptly, customers are liable to abandon their purchase or self-serve attempt and leave your site. 

If your online digital assistant’s responses are overly scripted, or require a customer to repeat themselves several times, the live chat experience will be highly frustrating. 

So if you’re going to implement live chat on your website, it’s essential that it’s done right by customer service experts. 

Live chat services from Connect Assist

Live chat is a great example of technology with a human touch – and that’s just what Connect Assist does best!

We offer live chat serviceslive chat as an integral part of a seamless omnichannel contact centre service. We can design chatbots for your organisation, supported by a team of well-trained expert advisors. Contact us today to discuss how we can support your customer service requirements.


Contact

If you need our help in developing more effective, meaningful connections with customers, get in touch today.