When you’re considering live chat as a platform for providing online support for your customers, you’d see how its pros can overwhelmingly outweigh its cons. Even if you put its cost-effectiveness aside, it’s still easy to get convinced by how quick and proactive customer service becomes with instant messaging integrated on your websites. But this doesn’t mean that chat support is right for your business.
Like every business solution, there are several considerations to look into before investing in an instant messaging software. Some are related to the customer expectations that you need to address, while others are on the technical side of things, like choosing between a predeveloped or customized program.
To know if live chat support can answer your business woes and find out how to structure it to fit market needs, here are some questions that you need to answer first:
1. How old are your customers?
Online support channels may have been around for quite some time now, but there’s still a great divide about which platform reigns supreme in the customer service game. Findings gathered through a Software Advice study revealed that delivering assistance via instant messages would prove to be most useful if you’re mainly serving millennials. This is because although the majority of customers today have experienced using chat, the phone is still the most preferred channel by people aged 55 above, while live chat is highly demanded by the 18-24 age bracket.
2. When and where should live chat enter the scene?
Instant messaging has become a staple part of most e-commerce sites today because of how it smoothens the customer’s journey from browsing through items to actually buying one. Chat support should be ideally placed prominently on pages where the abandonment rate is highest or points when questions start pouring in.
3. What kind of customer problems do you usually fix?
Online customer support and self-service channels are typically preferred by customers with minor issues or simple inquiries. This is because they choose to deal with more serious problems in person or with a phone agent. But their efficiency and convenience have led online channels to become more than just alternatives but trusted platforms to get solutions.
Customers from certain industries, however, don’t rely on web-based channels that much when it comes to handling their sensitive information or transactions that need utmost precision. So, it’s understandable for banks and financial institutions to focus less on instant messaging, given the nature of their business. This can be ideal step to mimic if you’re planning to use chat support for different functions or areas—endorse chat on your shopping site and give wider contact options for money-related queries.
Live chat support is undeniably a powerful weapon to equip your business with in order to keep it afloat in today’s tight, tech-driven competition. However, embracing this platform calls for more than just a need to multichannel your customer service; you should be completely sure that the solution would fit your specific business needs.