Chat is King

Kevin Payne | August 05, 2014

Web chat is the fastest growing channel for connecting with a business. 37% of people use chat and 64% are receptive to chat. Why? According to eDigitalResearch, live chat is the most satisfying method for customer engagement. (Heck, this king sure seems happy about his chat session!)

Indeed, when it comes to customer satisfaction, chat is still king according to a recent article in Smart Customer Service. eDigitalResearch surveyed 2000 customers in the UK about customer preferences in dealing with brands via phone, SMS, email, social media, apps, traditional mail and chat. The result was that for those that had used chat to deal with a company in the last year “73 percent reported that they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the experience they had.”

To explain this, Derek Eccleston of eDigitalResearch wrote:

Consumers these days...expect to get what they want, when they want it. Live chat provides people with the opportunity to chat...without the hassle of long automated systems or being left on hold. It also provides a less personal approach to contacting a company—especially if people are looking to make a complaint!

Beyond that, chat allows you to multi-task, you can be precise, and you don’t have to deal with any language issues. It’s just faster and simpler. That said, chat can also have its downsides if done improperly. For example, have you ever hopped onto a website and, before you can even scan the page, a chat window appears? That’s just annoying. Or, if you’re picking up an interrupted chat conversation, it’s frustrating to have to start the conversation all over again because the brand can’t maintain context from previous conversations.

If web chat is done right, it will continue to grow as a customer engagement tool because it’s easier for the customer and it’s easier (and cheaper) for the brand. But chat needs to be intelligent, contextual, and appealing in order for the customer to want to use it. If it’s not, customers will shift to other modes of communication that may be easier for them – but more costly and inconvenient for the brand.

You can read the entire article here.