How live chat helps your customers and your agents

Live chat combines the best of all worlds: convenience, immediacy, personalization, and in-depth expertise.

What do your customers want most of all? For business owners, that’s the question of the hour—of every hour. And here’s the answer: customers want an accurate, complete solution to their problem or question ASAP. They want a simple way to get what they need or resolve whatever roadblock they’re facing so they can continue living their lives.

If you think about it, that’s what your employees want, too—a way to help those customers find satisfaction. A way to do their jobs well without losing their independence.

There are lots of ways to connect with customers, like customized contact forms, email and phone support, a thorough online knowledge base. But live chat combines the best of all worlds: convenience, immediacy, personalization, and in-depth expertise.

On the fence about whether or not live chat is right for your company? Good—that means you’re not making a big decision lightly. Adding live chat support can be a big win, and a big change. Here are 6 customer and agent benefits to help you think through the decision.

  1. Customers can deal with their issues without it taking all their attention. They can chat with an agent while sitting on a conference call at work or explaining to their toddler why he’s still in time-out.
  2. Live chat conversations are quicker than email because response time is faster. Unresolved problems tend to nag, and you don’t want a customer awake at 3 a.m. because they still don’t know if their child’s birthday gifts will arrive on time. A live chat can resolve that question in a few minutes instead of a few hours.
  3. Customers feel more engaged with a company that’s a click away. Your customers are giving you their money—money they worked hard to earn—and they’re more comfortable if you’re available to them now. And happy customers are repeat customers.
  4. There’s no friction. A customer clicks the chat box, asks about your return policy, and then confidently makes a purchase. Agents talk to a few customers simultaneously to keep the ball rolling, and since live chat software keeps records of all past customer interactions, agents can pick up a conversation where the last chat left off. It’s a pain-free process.
  5. Around-the-clock live chat is convenient for all customers, wherever they are in the world. Plus, employees get wiggle room in their schedule to work early mornings, late nights or weekends. If they’re located abroad, they can get on a more traditional schedule in their time zone. (Something Happy Tools can help with!)
  6. You can play to your agents’ strengths. A person who gets tongue-tied on the phone may offer stellar support over live chat. By adding live chat as an option, can make the most of your team members’ strengths and offer better service.

Think you’re ready to transition to live chat? It’s a good idea. More than one-quarter of consumers prefer online chat to phone support, and even more millennials (the generation that’s driving consumer behavior as we know it) say that chat is their favorite way to get in touch. We’ve seen the perks of live chat in our own stats, too. For the past year, 85% of our customers have had great experiences with us over live chat, and only 7% have been unhappy. Users grade live chat sessions as “great” at levels that are 35% higher than email support, and live chat users are 400% less likely to give an “unhappy” rating.

Any time a frustrated user asks to cancel a subscription, chat is an essential tool for retaining them. It’s not always possible to have a timely back-and-forth with users in email tickets, so real time dialogue is key to finding the user’s pain point and addressing it before they churn.

Happiness Engineer Gui Azeredo, who is based in Rio de Janeiro, once worked with a client who’d spent days unsuccessfully trying to migrate two websites by himself. Then he started chatting with Gui and mentioned that he’d like to visit Rio for carnival—a personal connection, and one that happens rarely in email. Gui spent over two hours with the client in chat, setting up a plugin he needed and walking him through the migrations one site at a time, and they did it! Gui says he can’t imagine how many replies it would have taken to accomplish the same thing via email tickets.

As Elizabeth Urello, one of our Happiness Leads, describes, “live chat enables us to be there for our customers at the moment they need us. We can walk them through setting up their new website, and we can respond instantaneously if they encounter a problem. We’re always just a click away.”

Are you thinking about adding live chat to your website? What’s stopping you from taking the plunge?