Software Advice conducted a study on customer service with a strong look at the utilization of chat technology. Unsurprisingly, across all industries the delivery of incredible customer service typically centered on one common theme: if you can pull friction out of the process customers need to go through in order to get their questions answered and problems solved, the better customer satisfaction.
We've known both anecdotally and empirically that customers will do a lot of digging around to help themselves, but no matter how much content you put on your website, sometimes they still have unanswered questions. While fixed information assets like a searchable knowledge base can help, many customer scenarios are best helped with the expert knowledge of a qualified person within your business.
Achieving highly effective customer service means building your offering in a way that minimizes roadblocks at all stages of the customer journey, not only when issues pop up. To help your business mature to this level of customer service, however, it isn't simply about understanding the questions customers have at each stage in their customer journey, but actually "being there" to offer answers in real-time. While this may not be economical for commodity goods like books or shampoo, for the vast amount of commerce, the fact is that some level of human interaction is typically required before you get to hear the ring at the cash register. So, rather that being reactive to the inevitability of touching your prospects, why not be proactive in converting them to a customer through live engagement?
Well, that's exactly what the study recognized is materializing in the online world. Chat is quickly moving from a 'nice-to-have' to a 'if-you-can't-answer-my-questions-right-now-I'll-go-to-your-competitor-who-can' scenario. Indeed, the study found that almost half of respondents preferred using live chat for online-shopping questions. And 56% of people aged 18-34 prefer live chat to phone (27% of people aged 35 and older prefer chat). Remember, prefer doesn't mean they are neutral about live engagement; prefer means they actually want and expect to have their questions answered instantly on the Internet.
Source: http://www.softwareadvice.com/crm/industryview/demographics-live-chat-report-2015/ Image used with permission of Software Advice.