This is a guest post from Marie Fincher.
Customers want their questions answered. Now.
They want businesses to provide easy and quick contact options so they could resolve the issues they encounter with using products or services or ask questions about them. A failure to meet this requirement typically leads to loss of interest in the business, because, well, there are thousands of other companies with impressive service efficiency.
In fact, there’s evidence that 44 percent of customers in the United States stopped doing business with a company because of the poor customer service quality in 2018. Yes, customer service can make or break a business, so disregarding its role for improving the quality of support for customers is a very bad idea.
But what are the most common reasons that cause people to become frustrated with the quality of customer service? According to a survey by Statista, there are three of them:
- Lack of effectiveness (27 percent)
- Lack of speed (12 percent)
- Lack of accuracy (10 percent).
To ensure that customers won’t be frustrated with these issues, a business needs to employ the most effective contact channels.
In this article, let’s talk about this method as well as how it relates to improving customer experience, so you know how to keep your customers coming back for more business.
Customer Satisfaction: The Role of Customer Service
While many definitions of customer satisfaction exist, the best way to explain this term is the simple one. The name pretty much says it all: it’s how satisfied your customers are with the quality of the service and support they receive from your business.
Measuring customer satisfaction is important for businesses, as it can identify areas where a company can improve the quality of serving their customers. That’s why customer satisfaction surveys are also widespread right now, as many businesses are looking to analyze and measure how successful they are at meeting the requirements of their target audiences.
Undoubtedly, providing quick and effective customer service is one of the keys to improving the experience of customers with a business. But what is the best contact method that ensures the highest level of satisfaction?
Research suggests that live chat is this method. Not only it has been proven to be the most effective technology for addressing customer queries and improving their satisfaction, but also provides a number of additional benefits for businesses, including personalized content marketing.
Live Chat as Key to Building Positive Customer Experience
Let’s assess the potential of live chat using the most common sources of customer frustration when using customer service. First and foremost, customer service has to be effective, e.g. help to solve their issue or provide a good answer to their question, in order to keep them satisfied.
So, how do customers evaluate the effectiveness of live chat?
According to Inc., 92 percent of customers feel most satisfied when using a live chat feature, thus outperforming such popular customer support options such as social media messaging (84 percent for Facebook), and email (85 percent). The fact that a real person is behind live chat plays an important role for customers because they expect detailed explanations to their questions.
Inc. also suggested that 42 percent of customers prefer live chat over phone support, mainly because they don’t want to be put on hold and wait their turn. Indeed, you probably also had to wait at least 15 minutes until an operator responds, all while listening to that hold music.
But what about the speed? How quickly can one get a response from a live chat operator?
According to the research conducted by Super Office, live chat is an absolute champion when it comes to providing fast answers to customers; specifically, it was found that the average customer response time of live chat was only 2 minutes.
This compared to somewhat surprising 10 hours and 17 hours response times of social media and email, respectively, shows that live chat makes is the best method for acknowledging customer requests and answering them.
Credit: Super Office
However, that doesn’t mean that having a live chat option on the website automatically means that you can ensure a positive experience for all customers who contact you. The abovementioned research by Super Office also found that many companies failed to acknowledge live chat messages from customers, thus they failed to take advantage of business improvement opportunities provided by the feature.
Specifically, it was discovered that the average time for a business to acknowledge a message was 2 minutes 40 seconds.
Credit: Super Office
As you can see, some companies even extended the waiting time to 9 minutes, which automatically means that they’re losing a lot of customers who expect a quick answer. On the other hand, some businesses manage to respond within 7 seconds, which is incredibly fast, which means that the experience of customers with their support is likely to be high.
The next common frustration source for customers was a lack of accuracy and eliminating it depends on the ability of the business to train operators to provide professional assistance as well as the clarity of support scripts.
That’s why live chat is the preferred method for keeping customer experience positive, and international surveys also support that. For example, one survey found that the global customer satisfaction rate with live chat usage was consistent and measured at an impressive 83.1 percent.
This finding suggests that companies around the world have a good understanding of the potential benefits of live chat for improving the overall customer experience and satisfaction with the quality of support.
Another very interesting result demonstrated the potential of live chat for increasing sales for businesses. The abovementioned Inc. compilation also stated that having an operator answering a purchase-related question during the purchase was important for 44 percent for online customers.
Since online shopping is quickly becoming more than just an act of putting a product in a cart and paying for it, having people ready to provide assistance for shoppers as well as those asking service-related questions could be a game changer for a business.
Your Next Steps
Not only providing excellent customer service is key for keeping satisfaction high, but also is a good way to increase sales.
“Seven in 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service,” Forbes quoted American Express VP Raymond Joabar, as saying.
In fact, these customers are willing to spend 17 percent more on businesses with outstanding customer service, according to Joabar. Since live chat is a proven method that helps to deliver that much-needed quality service and minimize the most common sources of frustration for customers, using it could be a way to increase customer satisfaction.
With more and more businesses racing to win customers’ loyalty with a positive experience, failing to adopt the most effective customer service technology could be a risky strategy. Moreover, customers won’t reward companies for merely offering a live chat option because they expect a professional use of the technology to deliver a positive experience.
So, it makes perfect sense to rise to this challenge and gain the ability to satisfy customers more efficiently.
About the author: Marie Fincher is a content writer with a background in marketing, technology and business intelligence. She frequently writes about datascience, BI, new marketing trends and branding strategies. Marie gradually changed her focus from working in marketing to writing about it. She regularly contributes to a blog called 3to5marketing.