How naive can you be?
It wasn't until I read a very interesting article by Call Centre Helper, that the penny dropped and I realised that when I enter into online "live chat" I probably wasn't getting one to one assistance!
So if you are thinking about installing live chat into your business, have a read of the below article to weigh up whether it will really work for you.
The premise that having a live chat function works out cheaper is challenged and customer satisfaction will quite obviously dip if the advisor is working on more than two concurrent calls. The other interesting point is that some customers will use live chat instead of picking up the phone, because they probably can't be bothered to query a minor issue. This means that the amount of contact and possibly, number of complaints rise. Not what you hand in mind.
Carolyn Blunt of Real Results, has a more positive view on Live Chat, providing you follow some basic rules.
Extending your opening hours for a short period after the business is closed, with live chat, can be beneficial for both staff and customer and if staff are trained well, they can be far more effective.
Massive growth in customer use of live chat has been recorded, with a rise of 58% in 2014 and I imagine this percentage has grown further to date.
Before installing live chat you should consider the uptake and who your demographic audience will be. You need to pre-empt volume and the type of questions your team will be asked. Customers want information and results quickly.
Staff will need to have impeccable spelling and grammar and get the right tone. Not too formal, not too cheeky. Being able to deal with complaints and angry clients is a must. Ongoing evaluation of chat logs should be processed to ensure continuous quality.
From my point of view, I love being able to log onto live chat. I find it quick, responsive and gets results without having to pay for a call. When done well, it's an effective customer care strategy and that can't be bad.
As more and more companies include this as a customer tool, more and more will expect to see live chat. So, maybe it's time to expand your customer care repertoire!
Tina Bricknell for
The Merlin Team