Customer support is an extremely important tool for any online business. It’s about as important as having a website. There are a number of ways online businesses can offer customers assistance when a problem arises. Some websites take the traditional route and provide a phone number for customers to call. Most offer customers an e-mail option. Some websites also have online inquiry forms, which are forwarded to a customer support inbox. Most websites have now also begun to offer live chat customer support.
Live chat support is increasing in popularity, perhaps as a testament to its effectiveness. Live chat is actually replacing traditional call support. Let’s look at why live chat is important, and why your website too should have this feature:
Out of all the customer support tools, live chat is the most convenient for the customer. Market research, and common sense, indicates that customers do not prefer to call support and send e-mails. Both options involve waiting for a long time. However, with live chat, customers can instantly send a message and receive a reply. Therefore, customers tend to prefer businesses with this kind of support.
It’s not only the customers who benefit from live chat; online businesses do as well. Live chat is the most time-efficient method to provide customer support. Sales representatives know how difficult it is to solve a dispute over a phone. Conversations can drag out for a long time. However, people are less likely to type in rants to live chat. Customers and reps alike can get problems solved in a timely manner with live chat.
Email customer support, which remains a popular method for providing customer support, can be problematic. Customer support inboxes are bombarded with thousands of e-mails per day, and not all are related to solving a problem for a customer. Online businesses have to dedicate an employee or two just to sort through these mails, which is both time consuming and inconvenient. Live chat is free of such hassles. Reps can respond to live chat inquiries immediately as they come.
If your business provides customer support by phone, you have to spend a lot of money for call centres. If your business provides e-mail support, you will have to maintain a big staff to manage a private email server. However, live chat does not require such maintenance expenses. You only need to pay a one-time fee for a live chat web tool in most instances. Your regular web development team can keep it up to date. You will only have to pay a handful of employees to monitor live chat. A single employee can effectively handle multiple live chat sessions, so you don’t have to hire a large team either.
Live chat saves time and money, and is extremely convenient for both your online business and your customers. Your company will gain a lot by adopting live chat as the choice tool for customer support.