Web-shoppers like the ‘human touch’ in customer service
Live Chat can be a very valuable ingredient of a webshop’s customer service strategy- whether you sell in one or multiple countries. The online retail environment is shaped by tech-enabled consumers who make fast-paced decisions based on instant gratification of their needs. Quickly finding an answer to their questions and problems is crucial in the process of making a purchase decision. Live Chat serves as a business accelerating tool because it helps increasing conversion by satisfying and retaining the customer.
Chat is becoming popular
Consumers like personal contact. Mostly because it enables them to pose exactly the question they have in mind and being able to exchange back and forth in order to find a solution. Voice (telephone) contact has up to now been the most popular customer service channel, but web-based services are following close behind. Forrester Research has found that as soon as vendors offer chat as a service channel, they receive less customer request via other web-based channels such as standardized forms. Chat interaction has risen from 30% in 2009 to 43% in 2012, finds Forrester. This shows customers prefer engaging with a live person.
Time is money
Consumers are shopping in a fast paced environment. If they encounter problems, they want them to be solved instantly instead of waiting on the phone or browsing through your FAQs. According to the Forrester study ‘Understand Communication Channel Needs to Craft Your Customer Service Strategy’(2013), 71 percent of customer think that valuing their time should be a vendor’s number one priority. Live Chat offers a quick and tailored approach to serve the customer, preventing him from leaving a site and go elsewhere.
Evening hours are popular for chat
Salesupply has performed a test offering extended customer service evening hours between 18:00 and 21:00 hours. The test revealed that whereas only 6.3% of all customer calls came in during the evening hours, 42% of all chat conversations were recorded after 18:00. The combination of longer service hours and chat seemed to be favorable for customer satisfaction.
According to the Forrester study, 33 percent of online customers did not complete a purchase in the past 12 months because they were unable to engage with a live person. Brands that succeed in engaging with their potential buyers at the right moment see increases in conversion. Offering this option through Live Chat will increase conversion and decrease shopping cart abandonment.
Consumer Satisfaction & Loyalty
According to research done by Edigital (2015, Customer Service Benchmark Wave 3), Live Chat has the highest satisfaction rate of all customer service channels: Over 71 percent of those who made use of this service were satisfied. And whereas email and phone are the most widely used, their respective satisfaction rate is only at 62% and 45%.
Forrester concludes the obvious: A satisfied consumer is more likely to repurchase. This is why Live Chat will not only help increase conversion, but also improve your customer retention. In a Zendesk study, 40 percent of consumers stated that their loyalty can be gained when an issue needs to be resolved. In addition, only 50 percent said price was a factor making them loyal to a brand, whereas 72 percent said customer service was. 88 percent determined quality as the most important factor in this respect.
Efficiency & Learnings
A customer service agent can only serve one client at a time on the telephone, whereas chat enables them to engage in multiple conversations. This increases efficiency and decreases waiting time. Another huge benefit of offering Live Chat is that it automatically provides a written log of what problems customers are encountering while shopping with you. This can easily be analyzed and the learnings can help to improve the overall customer experience.
Localizing Live Chat
When selling internationally, in an ideal scenario you are already working with native or language proficient customer service agents. In China for instance, Live Chat is one of the preferred customer touch points: 85 percent of all e-commerce conversions involve a chat conversation! Integrating chat is thus not much of additional investment if the team is already in place. As goes for localizing a call center, make sure the agents are well trained to search in your knowledge base and push answers in the respective languages.
We can safely conclude that Live Chat is a very valuable tool, whether you sell abroad or only domestically. It allows your exiting personnel to more efficiently handle consumer requests, and at the same time increases customer satisfaction. The latter will eventually result in a higher customer loyalty and increases in conversion. If you want to learn more about Live Chat and how we can help you deploying an effective customer care strategy in 20 markets worldwide, get in touch!