Every organization, small, medium or large, believes in progress. Organizations believe in increasing sales, enlarging their scope of service, running a tight ship which generates revenue and results, and most importantly, keeping customers happy. Organizations that use live chat software on their websites do not necessarily have to be commercial enterprises. NGOs, educational institutions, industry associations, religious groups, and even many governments and federal as well as state agencies around the world, all use live chat on their websites. How should you, as a decision-maker in your organization, decide whether or not live chat is the right service channel option for you? We will share a few benchmarks against which you can broadly measure whether or not you should take the proverbial plunge:
Do you provide customer service?
Not all organizations provide customer service. If you are strictly an outbound telemarketing company, for instance, that sells tickets to charity events on the phone, you really don’t need live chat. Once your phone reps make the sale, the responsibility of customer service is automatically transferred to the event organizers. On the other hand, if you have a clearly defined presence on the Internet in either a commercial or a non-commercial capacity in which you are selling products and services, answering questions on the phone, addressing the concerns of your constituents as a government organization, or providing crisis counseling as an NGO where privacy and confidentiality have been voted as the #1 concern of patients, you need live chat service on your website. Thanks to the smartphone era in which we all live today, millions of people are more comfortable communicating through the touch keypad than they are through a phone receiver. To the millennial generation (young adults in their teens and twenties) typing and texting come naturally. Chances are that they will access the live chat service on your website not through their desktops but through their touchtops.
Can you afford phone-based customer service?
Not all organizations, especially start ups, can afford phone-based customer support. This is especially true for toll free phone support owing to budgetary considerations. Live chat is the most affordable channel, according to several research studies. It is a winner even when compared with email support which does not deliver support in real time. A study from Forrester Research has found that “customer service interaction through the phone typically costs $33 as compared to $10 for a chat session.” Other studies have put the cost of a typical live chat interaction at $3. Live chat service also allows reps to handle more than one chat conversation concurrently thus bringing down costs further. If your organization markets technology products and services, your customers can even swap files with your technical reps without having to leave the visitor chat window as they attempt to find answers to their technical questions.
Do you exchange confidential financial information or help customers with filling out forms?
If your organization provides services with a financial focus such as insurance, banking, brokerage services, taxation or mortgage loans, live chat is an excellent option to consider to render prompt and reliable customers service. Leading live chat companies provide live chat service in a fully secure chat environment in which 256k SSL security, the highest security standard in the industry, remains active at all times. This level of security can also be extended to the process of form completion. Your chat reps can co-browse with your customers and help them complete the necessary paperwork live, in real time. Live chat’s co-browsing feature, also known as web collaboration, lets your chat reps and your customers visit the exact same web page simultaneously and perform the necessary tasks as a collaborative venture. This builds customer confidence and prevents revenue loss since the paperwork is completed under your rep’s careful supervision. Thousands of online commerce companies routinely use the co-browsing feature of live chat to help customers place orders on their websites thus literally eliminating the possibility of shopping cart abandonment.
Is Live Chat worth a first look?
We believe it is. If it wasn’t that effective, it wouldn’t be that popular today. A recent report from E-Marketer has found that “Almost two in 10 live chat respondents did more than 75% of their holiday shopping online, compared with 14% of those who did not chat. A further 25% of chatters made 51% to 75% of their purchases on the web, versus just 10% of those who did not participate in the chat service.”
The process of delivering quality customer support over multiple service channels is no longer a luxury for organizations. It has become a necessity. Live chat has emerged as the front runner in scenarios that may be both relevant and meaningful to your organization. With single-operator live chat licenses available on the web for as low as $10 a month, this is abet you can’t possibly afford to lose.