View Archive

x

Please provide your email address and we will send the whitepaper through to you.

image

Does Live Chat offer untapped potential for your Business?


I am an advocate for Live Chat, through seeing how Live Chat has benefited our clients and their customers. In fact, we have had seen this customer communication channel gain more and more momentum in the last 2-3 years.

So what does the data say? Firstly, there has been a 33.8% year-on-year rise in Live Chat customer usage. Secondly, 81.1% of the 1320 companies who participated in the 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking report stated that they would be introducing this channel by 2017. (Dimension Data’s 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking report, © Dimension Data 2013-2016)

I believe there are a few key drivers behind this growth, namely:

  • First of all, Companies are recognising the benefit Live Chat can bring to the customer experience and reacting to customer demand
  • Furthermore, Companies are recognising the untapped potential Live Chat has as a cost cutting mechanism and revenue generator

So what is all the fuss about? Let us have a closer look at some of the potential benefits Live Chat has for your business.

The bottom line – Live Chat is convenient for your customers

In a world of real-time customer engagement, users expect to be able to get in touch with someone virtually – anytime, anywhere. Not only do they want to reach someone virtually, they also want immediate feedback. Live Chat successfully meets this customer expectation, because it is a virtual communication channel characterised by immediate 2-way communication.

A study by Barclays revealed on the top of Britain’s most hated time-wasters is having to stay on hold.   I am sure a global study would have the same result. It is certainly on the top of my list. Live Chat addresses this customer pain point.

It also eliminates another common customer complaint, which all contact centre professionals will be familiar with, namely expensive call costs.

A popular feature customers enjoy is the ability to request a transcription of the Live Chat conversation. This feature is not only convenience for your customer, it is also an invaluable tool for your company to gain customer insights and improve the overall customer experience.

I am not saying Live Chat replaces voice, because there will always been a need for human-to-human interaction and you will always have customers that do not use this channel, but it definitely can affect the customer experience in a positive way.

Live Chat will influence your bottom line

So how will Live Chat affect your bottom line? Live Chat increases agent efficiency by allowing multiple chats simultaneously, thus reducing the need to hire more people. Additionally, triggers can be set up activated by customer behaviour to save on repetitive typing and facilitate automation.

My personal favourite benefit is that the infrastructure investment and setup is so minimal. A simple piece of code and a subscription to the right package is usually all you need to introduce this into your customer communication channels.

Generally, any alternative communication channel will reduce your call volume. However, popularity, immediacy and increased first contact resolution contribute to this specific channel having a greater impact on reducing call volume than others before it.

Not only does Live Chat save you money, it can also boost your sales. You can proactively engage customers online with purchase recommendations, answer questions they might have about a specific product or service and quickly erase any doubts they might have to facilitate the buying decision and ultimately close a sale.

Live Chat also increases your opportunities for upselling and cross selling products and services. Once a Live Chat representative is engaged in a chat with a customer and understands their needs, it creates the perfect environment for them to recommend additional purchases.

Ok, so you are convinced Live Chat has untapped potential for your business, but how do you convince your CFO?

The numbers speak for themselves. A 2015 study conducted by the Aberdeen Group, which compared businesses with Live Chat compared to those without, revealed the following:

  • 34% greater annual improvement in customer satisfaction rates
  • 20% greater annual improvement in customer contact abandonment rates
  • 9.3 x greater annual improvement in agent utilisation rates
  • 2.6 x greater annual improvement in customer care costs
  • 2.4 x greater annual increase in cross-sell- and up-sell revenue

I believe these compelling stats and benefits make Live Chat not only viable, but an essential tool in the contact centre. My recommendation for any company would be to put this on their priority list, because their competitors certainly are. So what are you waiting for?

Author: Fiona Meijer-Innes | 20 July 2016
← Back to News, Trends, & Insights