Many brands think that having a call center to field customer service phone calls is the way to go. In fact, you may think that it’s the only way to provide customers with the high standard of support they need. In reality, more and more brands are choosing to ditch the call center for a live chat feature that is plugged into the website. This simple strategy can transform the way you deal with customers–and the style of customer service you can provide.
The Live Chat Difference
Using a live chat feature rather than a standard call center setup can make a huge difference for your brand. It’s not all about AI! Instead, when a real, human customer service representative starts chatting with a customer going through the website, the customer service representative can see the journey the customer has taken through the website. It doesn’t matter if the customer is trying to find a specific product or return something. The customer service representative has all of that key information at their fingertips.
They can see what’s in the customer’s shopping cart, their shopping history, their current location on the website, and more. This makes it much easier for agents to identify VIP customers, returning customers, or first-time customers. With that information, agents can engage with them to alleviate potential pain points or provide the information and incentive they need to complete a transaction.
Utilizing Live Chat Support Effectively
Live chat offers several benefits over traditional call center support.
1. You can connect with customers at the right point in time.
Phone support is usually initiated by the customer, often at the point where customers are highly frustrated. Many customers, by the time they call in, may already be frustrated with your website or with the brand as a whole. With live chat, however, you can connect with customers when they start to show signs of having a problem. It’s a proactive support program–and one that customers are more likely to engage with.
2. You can streamline the support process.
When you connect with customers through phone support, you have to ask many questions to get up to speed on the customer process. Your representatives will have no idea who the customer is, how long they have been connecting with your brand, or what purchases they have made in the past or are likely to make in the future. Furthermore, your representatives may never have access to the critical information they need in order to fully support customers at every stage of their journey. Live chat, on the other hand, offers more streamlined, efficient support. It starts with a better understanding of where your customers are. Your representatives will need to ask fewer questions to get to the root of the problem.
3. You can catch customers before they give up.
Some of your customers will never take the time to call your phone center. Some don’t like talking on the phone at all. Others may put off the call “until they have more time,” only to never actually come back and complete the purchase. With live chat support, your representatives can connect with customers before they leave your site without completing their purchases. Then, encourage them to finish their purchase, check out, or otherwise connect more deeply with your brand.
4. Live chat allows you to gently nudge customers toward completing a purchase.
You aren’t stuck waiting for customers to call in and connect with you. Instead, your live chat agents can give customers that crucial nudge to complete a purchase–after identifying the obstacles that are standing in their way to begin with. Not only is this a great way to decrease bounce rates, but it will also allow your business greater insights into your customers’ needs. You can then add more information to your website or remove obstacles to customer purchases.
The Live Chat Result
Many companies have already made the move to eliminate or reduce call center staff and go with a live chat support option instead. Lorna Jane, for example, has removed all phones from its support center. Instead, they work with the customer via live chat. If a customer needs to make a return, for example, customer service reps can find out exactly what was wrong with the item and why it wasn’t a good fit, which means they can help customers find something better suited. Since they have all of the customer’s information on hand, they can see critical details about the purchase. Did the customer, for example, choose to purchase an item in two different sizes to have the chance to try it on? Has the customer liked one specific type of apparel in the past, but branched out to something new? Lorna Jane representatives can easily see the customer’s purchase history, including what items they’ve purchased most often–and that can provide them with greater overall insights into the customer’s buying patterns and needs.
According to Amelia Bedford, Head of Customer Connection & Insights at Lorna Jane, customers are twice as likely to convert while using live chat, compared to over the phone.
Other brands have seen similar results. Live chat creates lower costs, shorter wait times, and solid documentation that can make it easier to connect with a customer and provide them with exactly what they need to make a purchase. Representatives have all the information at their fingertips in every customer interaction. As a result, they can create higher levels of customer satisfaction, deepening their existing relationship with customers and providing them with the solid experience they expect from the brands they trust most. Are you still relying on phone support to aid your customers? Do you want to see an increase in customer satisfaction–and the increase in conversions that often comes along with it? Utilizing a live chat feature can make a huge difference in the overall return on your customer support investment. Contact us today to learn more about how our platform can help transform your customer interactions.