Why Your Customer Service Strategy Should Include Online Chat

Customer Service

You’ve probably already noticed: There is a major shift towards messaging in the customer service game. While call centers remain important, many brands are moving towards online conversations with customers over SMS, social media, and live chat. Need proof? Look no further than Shopify’s roll-out of Apple Business Chat to over 80,000 merchants. Or, look at WhatsApp Business, recently announcing that the app is now being used by 5 million small business owners.

From SMS to live chats, it’s clear that messaging is becoming an important part of any brand’s sales and customer service strategy. So, what’s all the hype about? Let’s take a look at a few reasons why messaging is becoming increasingly popular and how implementing a chat feature can benefit your business.

Making a Human Connection Online

The great thing about online chat is that it maintains a personal and human touch. Consumers are hoping for rapid, real-time resolutions to their problems, but they don’t want to have to interact with a frustrating bot. “People want human connections, to know that there is someone there on the other line, and SMS gives them that,” says Zak Normandin, Founder and Chief Executive of Iris Nova.

Shoe company Tamara Mellon does an excellent job of leveraging these types of interactions to create connections (and sales!) with their customers. Using Apple Business Chat, the team at Tamara Mellon acts as a personal shopper for their customer who can send photos of their outfits and get shoe recommendations in real-time. The customers get all the advantages of interacting with a real human, with the added bonus of being able to share photos. It’s the best of both worlds.

Give the People What They Want

Perhaps the most compelling reason to implement a chat feature is also the most simple one: It’s what consumers want. Over 60 percent of Millennials say they want to be able to communicate with brands via text messaging, according to research from OpenMarket. LiveSupport, a support software company, cites similar findings in their own research. They uncovered that, when given the option, 70% of people will hit a ‘Message Us’ button before a ‘Call Us’ button. Not only do customers prefer to interact via messaging, but they’re also more satisfied when they do. LiveSupport found that customers were 25% more satisfied with chatting and messaging than with phone calls.

Efficiency For Agents And Customers

Finally, who can argue with efficiency? It’s something that both customer service agents and consumers can agree on. From a customer perspective, chatting or messaging through live chat, SMS, or social messaging is a time-saver; they don’t have to put all other activities on hold while waiting to speak with someone from customer service. The same goes for the customer service agent who can now handle several live chats at once as opposed to a single phone call at a time.

From operational efficiency to customer satisfaction, there are many compelling reasons to implement a chat feature for your business. And, with tools like Apple Business Chat and WhatsApp Business, it’s also never been easier.

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