Why do clients prefer live chat support over a phone call? The short answer is that they get an immediate, one-on-one response. In this article, we’ll investigate this question in greater detail, and find out why live chat is becoming one of the top support channels.
Clients Expect Immediate Answers
51% of consumers believe that businesses must be available 24/7. We’re living in a fast-paced society where we’re on the go all the time. The internet allows us to connect to retailers at any time of the day or night.
With many retailers offering clients the opportunity to do so, 24/7 service has become the expected norm. Firms that don’t provide this service risk being left behind.
Convenience for Clients
It takes less effort to initiate an instant chat than it does making a call. You don’t even need to leave your computer or phone screen.
Calling, by contrast, means looking for the number, inputting it, and then ringing. Add in that you must stay on the line until someone answers, and it starts to seem inefficient.
With live chat, you must wait for someone to answer you as well. The difference is that you can carry on with something else in the meantime. When someone answers your chat, the computer pings to notify you.
Live Chat Consistently Garners High Approval Ratings
Between 2015 and 2019, customer satisfaction with live chat averaged 83.25%. Not once during that period did the total drop below 80%. Part of the appeal may be that it’s easier to convey messages via text.
There’s less chance of the client misunderstanding or not hearing what the consultant says. The consumer sees the answer in black and white on the page. They may reread it as they like.
Misunderstandings due to tone are also minimized. Should an agent inadvertently use a tone of voice that the client finds offensive, it could lead to conflict.
Live chat removes all concern over the voice tone. The experience is less personal, and, in some cases, this might work in the company’s favor.
Texting Is Quickly Becoming the Preferred Communication Method
Americans are half as likely to call someone as text them. In other research, Openmarket found that 75% of millennials prefer texting over talking. Many see instant messaging as more convenient and less disruptive.
Live Chat Is Great in High-Noise Situations
Live chat may prove a useful tool during a busy commute. It makes it possible to understand the agent, no matter how much noise there is in the area. It’s also useful for those who are hard of hearing.
Those with strong accents might also find it easier to use instant messaging when not speaking in their mother tongue.
Provides a Written Record of the Conversation
Most call centers today record customer calls as well. Consumers seldom have access to those recordings, however. Instant chat provides the client the opportunity of obtaining a screen grab and saving it. They may then refer to it later when necessary.
Could There Be a Psychological Element?
There may be some mental misperceptions at play here. Perhaps it’s similar to standing in a line at a grocery store. As you’re waiting for service, it’s easy to overestimate how long you’re waiting.
Similarly, with a phone call, you’ve got the ringing to remind you that your call is unanswered. Should the company use an automated system to improve first response times, you’ll likely have music or someone talking in the background.
With live chat, these aren’t issues. As there’s no sound, all the client sees is a message that someone will join them as soon as possible.
Live Chat May Automate Simple Queries
Chatbots have changed the way that we live and communicate. While they’re no substitute for the empathy that a human can provide, they’re useful tools. Say, for example, that a client wants to know what the business hours are.
The chatbot can provide the answer in seconds. The client can move along quickly and sees the company as more competent. The bot may refer more complex issues to humans.
Will Live Chat Eclipse Phone Support?
Eventually, yes. Consumers will increasingly require the convenience of instant messaging. The transition won’t, however, destroy the call center industry. While fewer consultants will handle the lines, companies will still have to provide agents to support instant messaging.
While 2020 saw firms investing heavily in automated solutions, it quickly became apparent that these were not entirely adequate. There is still no substitute for the intelligent support delivered by an experienced human consultant.
Live chat provides consumers with a quick and convenient way to solve queries. They do not have to wait interminably for the company to answer the phone or get through to a consultant. Clients do not even have to navigate away from the website.
Live chat provides them with a simple and cost-effective communication tool. Who could ask for anything more?
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