With the increase of users venturing into online shopping, many companies selling goods and services have incorporated live chat support into their websites.
Live chat support is a web-based service that allows users to chat or message with a company’s representative in real time. Some companies do not make live chat support available 24/7, but, at the very least, it is made available during business hours.
People are opting for live chat support over inquiries via the traditional telephone and email channels. Live chat support is particularly favored for simple pre-sales or post-sales questions. For more complex inquiries, telephone or email are still preferred.
A U.S. study last year by Software Advice, found that 56 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34, or the category described as the “millennials”, prefer live chat support to telephone, versus just 27 percent of respondents 35 years old and above. It also showed that millennials were the age group that spent the most on online purchases. Based on this information alone, companies offering products and services targeting millennials would have to make sure their websites had live chat support.
Moreover, since many also conducted their business over smartphones and tablets while accessing websites, live chat support would, again, be preferred over the telephone and email.
Live chat support is popular for many reasons. The most persuasive reason is that live chat support is quick and cuts waiting time. All who have ever called a help line has experienced wasting time because the line was busy, they were put on hold for an interminably long time, or had to wade through listening to menus before getting to the right sales or service representative. Also, with live chat, agents are able to assist more than one customer at a time.
Top Reasons for choosing live chat vs. phone
If the live chat support provides quick and appropriate answers, the potential customer will have positive feelings toward the company, which will increase the possibility of making sales. On the other hand, if the live chat support is for post-sales service, the customer will be predisposed to repeat sales, thus increasing customer loyalty.