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Once a new form of customer service, live chat is increasing quickly and steadily in popularity. Between 2015 and 2016, the total volume of live chats received by companies offering the service nearly tripled. And this trend of growth continued in 2017, and in 2018, according to our latest Live Chat Benchmark Report 2019.
For those of us who are familiar with live chat, it’s easy to see why. Live chat is faster than traditional phone support, more satisfying for customers, and is a favorite means of support amongst millennials. For companies, live chat offers increased sales, a lower queue, and reduced costs.
As live chat technology continues to evolve, so do the possibilities that come with it. Nowadays, live chat doesn’t necessarily involve only typed correspondences (in other words, traditional chat) between the customer and the agent, but audio and video chat as well. These advanced customer care options offer customers a personalized and immediate customer service experience, and come with their own array of unique benefits.
So, what are those benefits? Why is audio and video chat so useful? And what could these services do for you and your business? Read on to find out!
Customers love new developments and technologies. According to a 2015 research report by Lab42, 84% of survey respondents say it is somewhat or very important that the company they buy from is innovative. The survey also found that consumers are willing to pay a premium for innovative goods and services.
By adding audio and video chat to your customer service strategy, you will be introducing an innovative customer service platform that customers will value and appreciate. This sends the message that your company is constantly looking for new, modern ways to serve your customers better, and will win you points and fans.
In an age of increasing automation, customers value a human experience. While phone scripts and canned messages can help save you time and keep the conversation up to company standards, they can also mean that the human interaction that is available in in-store experiences doesn’t always translate well to remote assistance and service.
Video chat for businesses can change that, and can show your company’s commitment to making personalized contact with your customers. The fact that your customer can see the agent who they are chatting with makes the chatting experience more human, and even helps to increase trust in the agent, and your business. While an agent who is in a phone call or a live chat conversation might be multitasking, or even texting at their desk, customers appreciate the personal, attentive one-on-one help that video chat offers.
Audio and video chat offers customers the option of faster help. When customers call a traditional phone support line, they often encounter annoying automated messages and a long queue—both of which can be substantial roadblocks for a customer who is pressed for time.
With audio and video live chat solutions, customers often don’t have to wait as long to reach an agent. And, once the customer and the agent have been connected, customers can ask multiple questions at once, and get much faster answers than they could were they to type everything out.
Many companies are only just starting to explore audio and video chat as a customer service solution. If you offer audio and video live chat and your competition doesn’t, your company’s customer service is going to be the one that customers remember.
According to a study by Bain & Co., a customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related rather than price or product related. By keeping your service top notch, customers will be leaving the competition and coming to you, not the other way around.
Live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73% customer satisfaction, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone support. With audio and video chat software, you are adding an even greater potential for satisfaction onto an already satisfying customer service channel.
Every single one of your customers are valuable, and deserve timely and quality assistance.
Video chat for businesses allows agents to communicate with deaf customers via sign-language, and provide a valuable service that just isn’t possible over the phone.
Additionally, video chat software can be used by medical professionals to help diagnose and treat patients with anxiety, mood, or mobility disorders, who may be incapable of leaving the house for a face to face appointment.
Audio and video live chat are also compatible with features such as remote desktop control and screen sharing. This allows your agents to remotely access a visitor’s desktop and locate technical problems more easily in order to speed up the troubleshooting process. It also means that agents can walk your visitors through your product selection or a certain process while chatting, reducing the need for lengthy, time-consuming explanations.
High-spending customers aren’t your ordinary customer; since they are planning on investing (or have invested) a greater sum in your company, they often demand an even more personalized service and exceptionally quick attendance.
Unlike traditional phone systems, live chat allows your company to establish automatic routing rules, which means high-spending or VIP customers can be routed directly to their account manager. With the one-on-one contact potential of audio and video chat, you will also have an easier time building personal relationships with these clients (or prospective clients), who could as a result become a long-term asset for your company.
Audio and video chat software is more secure than regular phone conversations, or standard live chat. With video chat, you can reach your customers eye-to-eye, which can help you confirm that your customer is who they say they are, and guarantee that no identity fraud is taking place.
In Albert Mehrabian’s 1971 book Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes, he discusses on what criteria viewers judge the credibility of salespeople. He found that the participants of the study assigned 55% of their weight to the speaker’s body language and another 38% to the tone and music of their voice. They assigned only 7% of their credibility assessment to the salesperson’s actual words.
While these numbers have since become a topic of discussion and debate, the message is clear: body language and tone are an important part of communication. Audio and video chat can play an important role in effective communication with customers, thanks to the numerous vocal and physical cues that they make available.
With audio and video chat, if a customer speaks hesitantly, your live chat agent can tell that he or she may not be convinced or totally satisfied with the solution. If he or she makes a certain face, or uses a certain tone, your agent will be able to gauge the customers’ emotions, and proceed accordingly. This can help reduce repeat contact, especially for passive customers who may be reluctant to tell your agent what exactly it is that they need. It can also help keep conversations with aggressive customers from escalating due to a preventable misunderstanding. Clearer communication is yet another gateway to increased customer satisfaction.
More and more, internet calling services such as Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger are receiving traction across the globe. This is because these services allow you to call anywhere in the world for free.
Audio and video chat works similarly; when customers contact your company through live chat, neither they nor your company is charged, regardless of whether they are typing, talking, or video chatting with your agents. This can help your company shed some of the costs of toll-free calling, and at the same time, it can help customers who are overseas reach your company without the high-rates of international calling.
Studies show that by adding live chat to your support system, you could save 17-30% of what you spend on phone support alone. Our audio and video chat solution can also help you cut costs and improve efficiency by providing trackable analytics that can help you identify organizational strengths and weaknesses, and assess where else you can save.
In most big cities, cell phone reception is practically a given. However, in some smaller towns or hilly terrains, customers experience dead zones or poor or reduced coverage.
Luckily, where there’s internet, customers without good cell phone reception can still reach an agent over live chat. And, with audio and video chat, these customers can often look forward to an even better, crisper sound quality than over the phone.
All in all, audio and video chat provide for the same quality, personalized experience that your customers would wish to receive in store, from the convenience of their homes.