“In a world of internet customer service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away” – Doug Warner
Imagine a customer who’s just walked into your store only to find there is no one to help them. Instead, they come across a sign on the wall pointing them to a corner at the far end of the store for customer service. They must now walk around multiple aisles and rooms to get assistance of any sort.
Frustrating right? Given this is a world of instant gratification driven by impulses, anything short of hyper convenient gets people wound up. Worse, it prevents them from transacting with services, and that’s never good for business. Particularly for those businesses with complex products that require some level of hand-holding at every stage of the purchase.
As transactions and interactions move online and behind screens, there’s an ever-growing need for businesses to figure out the best way of making their support easily accessible. And to this end, chat is possibly the best, most feasible solution there is today.
Chat support comprises live chat, chatbots, and messaging channels. Live chat is presently the most efficient way of delivering customer service. But with the increasing use of apps like WhatsApp and Apple Chat, communication channel-based chat is quickly emerging as the most preferred method of customer support the world over.
Why chat is the best kind of customer support
If you are wondering why chat is emerging as the customer support channel of choice, it has to do with the way people work, do business, and shop in today’s deeply digital world. It’s a vastly on-demand socio-economic landscape we live in, where products and services are accessible on just about any device, always just a click away. Because customers naturally gravitate towards experiences that are digitally native and hassle-free, they expect the same of customer service.
It’s only right, then, that support functions tap into this swelling trend by offering customer support on the channels now most used by their customers and in the way they most prefer. For, nothing beats the joy of receiving prompt responses and quick resolution right on the spot.
The 3 big benefits of using chat for customer support
If you have never used chat for customer support, there are three dimensions – functional, emotional, and monetary – for understanding why chat is presently the best thing you can do to up your customer support and service game in an increasingly digitally-driven world.
Chat is incredibly simple to configure. Furthermore, it works alongside help desk software and CRMs, and that allows you to make chat a seamless part of your customer’s entire journey. Agents, too, find it is easy to work with chat since the functionality is a familiar one. Additionally, you enjoy benefits like
1. Ease of deployment and customization
Modern chat software is extremely code-light and this means you do not require any special tools or talent to get chat up and running. A chat widget script must simply be copied and embedded in the source code of one or more web pages or the mobile app and that’s all there is to getting started with online chat. If integrated with a larger helpdesk software or CRM, chat can rely on customer data and transactional information to produce meaningful exchanges every time.
Branding is another big advantage. Unlike a ticketing module, a chat interface can be customized according to the look and feel of your brand. This ensures the consistency of web experiences. Furthermore, if your services need to be rendered in multiple languages, modern chat software like Freshdesk Messaging support live translation with which you can quickly and meaningfully translate chat messages in your customer’s language without hiring special staff per geography.
2. Prompt and useful communication
Chat is a real-time communication tool for resolving customer issues. It is similar to phone support but without the wait time. Also, unlike phone-based support, chat lets agents share rich media like videos, articles, and links to FAQs to ensure optimum service. Chat also supports co-browsing now. This lets agents take over the control of the customer’s device and solve complex technical issues that would be difficult for the customers to resolve over the phone or email. And supported by AI and automation, your chat ecosystem can be further fine-tuned to capture and identify customer context and even answer commonly asked queries without any agent intervention at all, saving everyone time and energy.
Freshdesk Messaging video support via chat
Take AI-powered Freddy self-service for example. It is capable of solving common queries by responding with the best fitting answers from the knowledge base. This saves your customers from having to wait for an agent to answer their query and from going through a laundry list of FAQs that demand time and effort.
3. Proactive support that increases sales
It has been noted that 77% of the customers want to interact with a real person before making a purchase online. Live chat is a perfect support system to assist customers in this. It is like having a store assistant but one who’s present virtually. For continuous support. automation-enabled assistance can be enabled to help with customer’s transaction goals at any hour of the day.
Additionally, with a chat widget deployed on important web pages, you can deliver attractive offers, discount codes, and important communications proactively when someone surf’s the website. All it takes is setting up triggers and conditions for delivering such messages.
If using Freshdesk Messaging, there are ample conditions you can set and fine-tune, from the time of message delivery to message audience, for providing contextually relevant and highly targeted messages to your site visitors. It is well known that contextually relevant transactional messages, delivered in real-time, boost conversion rate. They also help enhance CSATs and NPS, further bolstering sales and revenue growth.
Poundit, an e-commerce startup increased its conversation rate by 50% by using Freshdesk Messaging. With easy integrations, better agent experience, and proactive messaging, they increased their chat to conversation rate from 65 to 15%
All customer support is an effort to help the customer meet their goals. If you can do so in a way that asks little of them – mentally and physically – you have yourself a happy customer and possibly one for life.
1. Instant support at all times
Did you know that the average wait time for live chat support is 2 mins and 40 seconds? Because digital connectivity has made customers demanding and impatient, they expect immediate answers and responses to queries. To this end, chatbots can help by offering support 24×7, bringing down your first response time by up to 30%.
With sophisticated AI-enabled bots, you can go a step further and engage with your customers in actual conversations, no matter the time they choose to connect and transact with you.
2. Incredible convenience
“It’s this simple: Customers will pay for convenience. And they will choose to do more business with the people and companies that make their lives more convenient.” – Shep Hyken
For a customer, the provision of chat support makes their life as a buyer easy. Imagine a customer is browsing on your website and faces an issue. With phone support, they will have to dial a series of numbers to get past your IVR and may have to wait to get connected with an agent. But with a chat widget deployed on your website, support is easily accessible and across devices at once. This saves customers from having to switch platforms and devices to get their queries resolved. They can get answers to their queries instantly right on the screen that’s in front of them, thus increasing customer satisfaction levels and improving retention.
And because chat support can now be offered on platforms like WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, and Facebook Messenger, integrating your chat software with these messaging apps will let you offer support straight into these messaging channels that customers already love to use.
Freshdesk Messaging Messaging Channels
3. Personalized attention
It is a fact that personalized support enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty. A recent study established that customers are willing to transact more regularly with a business that offers personalized support. When integrated with CRM, chat systems can learn the order history and customer profile, allowing chat agents and bots to offer personalized support. This saves the customer from having to repeat their issues over and over again. Also, your chat agents can get started with resolving customer issues as soon as they get connected to a customer.
Personalizing service also delivers a better customer experience. By leaning into rich customer data and AI prompts, agents can deliver messages that are context-aware and location-based. Automation can be used to deliver such personalized messages at scale.
Hyper convenient service delivery and improved communication are just two of the many ways an investment in chat software pays off over time.
For businesses, be it enterprise or small business, refocusing their attention on customer service, adopting chat is the easiest bet to make if it is about ensuring customers are well-served, on-time, and all-the-time. In fact, chat helps meet the ever-increasing need for personalized services and branded experiences more cost-effectively than any other technology out there.
Today, chat support is 15% to 33% cheaper than phone support. Moreover, because agents can toggle between multiple chat-based conversations, sometimes 2-3 conversations simultaneously, agent productivity is significantly enhanced by using chat. Average handling time is greatly reduced, First response time is enhanced and CSATs are positively impacted. Furthermore, a chat-enabled support ecosystem saves you the cost of hiring more agents as support volumes go up and prevent any need for trimming the staff when contact volumes are low.
Fantastic services, a property maintenance service company in the UK, US, and Australia, increased their chat ROI by 2X by using Freshdesk Messaging for customer support as well as revenue generation purposes.
Chat is the future of great customer support
In today’s cutthroat business environment, any edge you can muster over your competitors must be explored. And we have seen that more often lately, a lasting competitive advantage comes from delivering services in a distinctive way. To this end, a chat tool is a reliable way of leveling up to the table stakes and keeping your business attractive as well as competitive.
If you haven’t already done so, give chat a try today to experience the advantage yourself.