5 Benefits Of Live Chat
It’s happened again. You called with the express purpose of leaving a voicemail – a tidy, semi-scripted transmission complete with all the pertinent facts and a tasteful flourish of personality. But now, everything’s coming undone. Instead of the welcoming tone of the voicemail prompt, you’ve been met with the wretched sound of an actual human voice.
Terror sets in. Your message devolves into a jumble of keywords and contact details. As the person on the other end of the line frantically tries to decode your ranting, you decide to pull the ripcord. “Love you,” you blurt, feeling the wave of shame wash over you even before your thumb presses the red button. Traumatized, you sit in silence. The horror is over…for now.
If this has every happened to you, you just might be a millennial.
Alongside chain restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, The Phone Call finds itself on the ever-growing list of things millennials have (allegedly) killed. Could it be that twenty-something social anxiety is single-handedly undermining one of the pillars of business communication?
The truth is, customers across every demographic are slowly drifting toward live chat as their preferred method of communication.
“Customers are gravitating more towards live chat as their preferred channel. Organizations who use live chat move customer requests away from web forms and feedback tabs to real-time chat, where questions can be answered directly in the web or mobile experience.” – Jason Maynard, senior manager of data and analytics, Zendesk.
In the age of the search engine, customers have a wealth of service options at their fingertips. As a result, customers simply aren’t willing to wait. Why should I twiddle my thumbs for five minutes on hold when I can instantly google dozens of your competitors? By removing the need for call trees and holds, live chat can drastically reduce the time it takes for a customer to make contact with you. When connection is instant, customers can vet your service and start building a relationship with your brand long before they ever pick up the phone.
One of live chat’s major draws is efficiency, both for your customers and your staff. Where a phone call requires constant, one-on-one attention, live chat gives both parties the freedom to multitask. The nature of online chat makes it easy for customer service reps to engage with multiple customers at once. At the same time, online shoppers have the ability to interact with you while balancing other tasks. They can even chat with you at times when a phone call would be inconvenient – on a lunch break, during a Netflix binge, or right in the middle of the seventh inning stretch.
You’re an expert. I know it. You know it. But sometimes, it’s hard to give customers the answers they need exactly, when they need them. Live chat allows you to directly link customers to existing resources, from pricing to pest images. Additionally, the format of live chat allows reps the time needed to fact check and provide accurate, informative responses, even when the question is unfamiliar. In short, live chat makes you look like an expert…even if you’re in the dark.
More than half of consumers say that businesses must be available 24/7. In home services industries like pest control, this proportion might be even larger. Pest issues can be incredible stressful, and live chat provides a quick way to provide the human touch and reassurance your customers are looking for.
Live chat scratches a combination of itches that no other channel does. It’s fast, easy, efficient, and doesn’t require the terror of a phone call. Is it any wonder that live chat is far and away the most satisfying channel for modern customers?
In all reality, phone communication isn’t going anywhere. For the foreseeable future, you’ll continue to close the majority of your sales using your voice. However, live chat is a vital piece for any business looking to thrill customers, generate additional sales opportunities, and future-proof sales and customer service flows.