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At a time when customer expectations have never been more demanding and customer experience (CX) has never been more important, organizations are looking for ways to provide the customer service that sets them apart from their competitors. Read on to learn how your organization can leverage a live chat service to deliver memorable CX, increase agent engagement and drive contact center efficiency.
The proliferation of new channels, continued advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), acceleration of automation and deployment of reliable, convenient self-service options have drastically altered the CX landscape. However, customers across the generational divide still appreciate the human touch that comes from skilled, empathetic professionals. This is why a live chat service, which augments contact center agents with cutting-edge technology, is a vital component of world-class customer service.
TechJury research supports the integration of a live chat service in a CX offer, as 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person during an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. More significantly, the same study reveals that 75% of people prefer live chat over any other channel. This helps explain why the global live chat software market is expected to grow to $987M by 2023, as the benefits live chat brings to customers, agents and contact centers should not be underestimated
Contact center managers know that today’s customers expect personalized and efficient service. But live chat’s value is more than swift resolutions; it is about ideally timed engagement. Customers can receive on-the-spot support that answers questions, encourages a sale or simply smooths their customer journey.
For customers, compassionate, expert live chat assistance improves their experience and leads to higher customer satisfaction (CSAT), with research showing that the average customer satisfaction score using live chat service in the technology industry exceeds 87%. By interacting with a knowledgeable virtual or human agent, customers avoid having to repeat themselves. Reducing repetition has a profound effect on increasing customer engagement.
Live chat is the most synchronous of digital channels as customers are able to receive immediate answers, but speed is just one of the features live chat has to offer. Live chat and chatbot solutions are complementary; together they deliver CX that combines the best of virtual and human agents. Chatbots help qualify customers and complete basic tasks, transferring to human agents for more complex requests. The end result? Higher conversion rates.
Live chat customer service features a targeting engine, allowing organizations to proactively engage customers at the ideal point in their customer journey. A perfectly-timed engagement is further enhanced through a co-browsing function that gives agents the ability to see what their customer sees.
This past year has seen contact centers adopt remote working models that have relocated agents en masse. Isolation from colleagues combined with the stress of a highly demanding job can have a detrimental impact on agent engagement and performance. Live chat enables agents to showcase their skills through meaningful interactions with customers that make shifts more meaningful.
Building rapport with customers gives agents increased confidence, raises job satisfaction and helps them meet key performance indicators (KPIs), including first contact resolution (FCR) and CSAT rates. Rewarding agent engagement also translates into boosts in productivity, as agents can manage, on average, four conversations through live chat customer service. Further, for international organizations with multi language capacity, a live chat service can remove language barriers.
Not only does live chat achieve faster resolutions, it empowers agents to manage call volumes and save time and effort through a channel that gives them the ability to directly address customers’ needs. Additionally, live chat is less stressful than the voice channel as it contains tools designed to assist agents, like automatic answers and predictive typing.
To increase net promoter scores (NPS), organizations should strive to achieve a symmetry of attention, which argues that the happier your contact center agents are, the happier your customers will be. A live chat service is a proven method of raising agents’ satisfaction.
Turning a contact center from a cost center to a value center is a difficult task for any manager, which is why a live chat customer service channel is increasingly playing a vital role in CX offers. Not only does a live chat service make customer acquisition and onboarding easier, it also provides reliable, secure support.
The higher levels of agent productivity correlate to a reduction in cost, as live chat is 20-30% cheaper than the voice channel. Not only is a live chat service easy to implement and personalize, it makes it easier for contact center managers to monitor and control operations and service. The ability to propose an alternative channel helps to better handle call volumes and manage peak periods.
Hubspot’s 2020 State of Service Report indicates that 90% of companies viewed live chat as a successful channel for helping customers. However, only 29% of companies admitted to using a live chat service, meaning that it still presents a competitive advantage. It is clear that by integrating a live chat service into a contact center’s communication strategy, not only will an organization’s CX improve, but it will also have an edge over its competition.
Industry observers are confident that the trends to pay attention to, whether related to new technology or changing behaviors, indicate that CX in 2021 will be human-focused and increasingly personalized – which is exactly what live chat customer service is.
Providing customer experience as it was meant to be requires being available to your customers where and when they need you. A live chat customer service option meets some customers’ expectations, but not all. Truly memorable CX must seamlessly link all voice and digital channels in a data-driven approach that produces fast, effective and personalized CX. That’s why agile organizations are turning to Odigo, a leader in Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions.
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