Do online chats beat call centers for customer service?
According to a survey from Moxie Software, a developer of live chat solutions, 72 percent of smartphone users would prefer to use live online chat versus calling to speak with an agent.
Sixty-two percent of survey participants expect live chat to be available on mobile devices, and 82 percent would use it.
Another survey from eDigitalResearch earlier this year found that satisfaction rates were high for those who had used live chat online to communicate with a brand. Three-quarters (73 percent) were "extremely satisfied" or "satisfied" with the level of service live chat afforded them. Furthermore, 30 percent expect live chat to be an option to contact a company.
The positive response to live chat comes at a time when waiting too long on hold, not being able to reach a human, and navigating convoluted menus regularly rank among the top customer service complaints.
Still, the survey of 2,000 consumers from eDigitalResearch found only one in four (26 percent) had used live chat to contact a company in the last year. One downside often noted is that online live chat scripts can be even more "robotic" than agent phone calls.
Live chat proponents argue that wait times are often much shorter than a call center, partly because customer service agents can more easily handle multiple communications at one time. According to Moxie, online live chat agents also have access to a list of pre-prepared responses that facilitate interactions with consumers. Having access to key information, including device information, webpages being viewed by consumers, and even GPS-enabled physical locations, helps agents deliver personalized experiences. Photos, videos or documents can also be shared during chat sessions.
For consumers, the promised benefit is also being able to multi-task while waiting and avoiding the chore of punching numbers into an automated system.
- New Study Shows 62 percent Of Shoppers Want To Chat With Brands On Mobile Devices To Ease Online Holiday Shopping – Moxie Software
- Live chat rated as easiest way to contact companies – eDigitalResearch
- Live Chat Is Still King in Customer Satisfaction – Smart Customer Experience
- You Probably Spent 13 Hours on Hold Last Year – Time
- Being put on hold and cold callers top list of people’s pet hates in impatience study – Daily Mail
Does online live chat offer more promise to improve the customer service contact experience versus phone calls? What do you see as the benefits and drawbacks of online live chats?