Why Live Chat is a Vital Part of Your Support Model


Live chat plays a significant role in your support model yet most live chat experiences still end in frustration! That’s because businesses are failing to focus on the right business objectives.

The importance of live chat can’t be underestimated.

Deliver live chat incorrectly and you will put customers off using your business: 

  • 83% of consumers report they’ve given up on a live chat session due to frustration.
  • 56% of consumers could not recall a positive live chat experience  – ever.

But live chat done correctly will boost your sales, revenue, and loyalty:

  • When the chat experience is geared towards the user, consumers are 51% more likely to return.
  • 29% are likely to speak with their friends about the business positively, and
  • Spend up to an extra $500/month.

Still not sure? We conducted a study on the behavior of 400 consumers and asking for data from 100 businesses that found:

Live chat is essential, and it must be better

Our study found consumers are looking for a live chat experience that:

  • Doesn’t keep customers on hold
  • Offers high-quality support
  • Non-scripted responses
  • Quick replies, no waiting
  • Has a terrific user experience overall

But how do you offer live chat support that ticks all the boxes? Let’s take a deeper look.

Our study shows that live chat is the preferred method of support for customers but the user experience is often handled incorrectly.

Businesses still focus on quick response times, even though customers care more about their issues being resolved, even if it means waiting a little longer.

High-quality support, quickly

When users enter a live chat session, they’re probably already frustrated. Waiting for a customer service agent to come online fuels that frustration, especially if responses are slow, and subjected to scripted messages and terrible replies.

As many as 83% of consumers report they’ve quit a live chat session because of frustration.

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And while not as annoying as scripted responses, 24% of consumers report they can’t bear long waiting times.

For 9% of consumers having to repeat themselves is the worst thing. And sadly, this is common because of scripted responses and disorganized customer support teams often reassigning customers to another agent.

While 95% of users say they would prefer slower support if it meant the quality of help was higher, it’s clear both high-quality support and quick response times are the ideal solution.

What can we do improve live chat user experience?

  • Listen to user feedback
  • Request customer satisfaction ratings
  • Don’t disconnect the user abruptly, ever
  • Don’t (or try not to) forward them to another agent
  • If the support team is online, don’t increase friction by making them fill out forms. (Try to have their data already.)

Cater for all demographics

In the past 3 months 41% of consumers have used live chat to receive support; 36% in the past 6 months; 57% have used it between 2 and 5 times, and 7% more than 6 times. Many of these consumers are younger c whereas “baby boomers” (older consumers) would still prefer telephone customer support.

With 29% of consumers finding scripted responses the most frustratingly negative experience in a live chat session, it’s little wonder some prefer telephone support. Consumers want to speak to a human and to receive personalized support. Younger consumers are likely to be more tolerant of live chat with its resemblance to the messaging app interfaces they use socially.

So, do we offer telephone support for older consumers, or more human customer to business interactions in live chat? With 40% of consumers not confident of receiving the timely support they need in a  during a live chat session, it’s fair to say faith in live chat could be higher. And yet consumers still see live chat as the least worst customer support option.

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Which method should we use: live chat or phone?

Offer live chat for younger consumers, but for older consumers, offer telephone support only as a backup. If we prioritize live chat, we can improve its overall reputation.

What consumers really want is personalized support

Consumers want to speak to a real customer support agent whether that’s over the telephone or via live chat. Since live chat is cheaper for businesses, it makes sense to prioritize it as a means of customer support, while using telephone only as a backup.

With 29% of consumers finding scripted, impersonal responses the most frustrating, genuinely helpful scripted responses are rare. Scripted responses are an art form that only the most sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can master. They deny, the customer the support they need, and the business loses the customer.

With scripted responses, everybody loses, with 56% of consumers unable to recall an exceptional live chat experience, ever!

What can we do to make live chat more personal?

Customer support teams need to leverage scripted replies to create scalable customer experiences where content can be adapted. Semi-automation combined with smart replies offers live chat users quick yet heartfelt experiences.

The importance of live chat can’t be underestimated

It’s hard to understand why 38% of consumers are being left frustrated by poor user experiences in live chat sessions when this can be easily fixed: choose a live chat solution geared towards user satisfaction. Your business goals will not suffer. Indeed, exceptional chat experiences offering memorable, human-to-human support will result in a significant ROI, especially if agents are using customer data to offer personalized support.

Modern live chat support needs to be as easy and effortless as messaging a friend, with minimal friction and quick responses.

Make sure the good news spreads. As many as 20% of consumers have told friends or colleagues about a poor live chat experience, yet 29% of consumers have spread the word about a positive experience. Live chat not only increases customer loyalty, it generates new customers via word-of-mouth. Positive experiences improve your brand reputation and will generate more revenue from new customers!

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