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If you’re reading this blog, then you probably already know that live chat is the most popular digital customer service channel – and it keeps on growing. From January to August 2020, chat volume increased by 24% compared to 2019. And the reasons are straightforward.
When a customer is looking for an answer to their question, they want three simple things – speed, ease, and accuracy (plus often a touch of personalization). Live chat provides all this and so much more as agent and customer message one another in real-time via desktop or mobile.
But did you know that live chat can be so much more than just messaging?
Live chat – message, call, interact, share
If you ask 100 people what live chat is, 99 will explain how agents and customers can type messages to one another, just like instant messaging. This is true, and it’s the basis of what makes live chat so popular.
But a good live chat system isn’t restricted to messaging. After all, to deliver great customer service you need to:
If you were a customer, wouldn’t you like the choice to connect with an agent in the way that best suits you and your question?
When a customer reaches out to you on live chat, why restrict them to messaging? To provide the best support, live agents should be able to also resolve customer queries through a choice of:
This not only gives the customer the choice to interact with the agent how they want to, it also helps the agent to resolve the query in the most appropriate and efficient way because each type of communication is suited for different scenarios, questions and customers.
Let’s go through each of these additional live chat communication types and explain their key benefits to customer experience (CX).
In an age of increasing automation, customers value the human experience. While phone scripts and canned messages can help save you time, they can also take away from developing more personal relationships with your customers.
By seeing or hearing one another over audio or video chat, the interaction becomes more genuine, increasing trust in the agent. While you may not have the full attention of an agent who is in a live chat conversation handling several queries at once, customers appreciate the attentive one-on-one help that audio and video chat offer.
Over the past year, the importance of human interaction has become clear for all to see as Covid-19 continues to prevent many businesses from communicating face-to-face with their customers. VantageOne Credit Union is a great example of this. As with many credit unions, in-person interaction is key to building and maintaining relationships with their members. Many of their members are also from an older demographic and are used to visiting their local branch. With Covid-19 either forcing branches to close or visits to decline, VantageOne looked for a solution – and landed on video and audio chat.
They were already using Comm100 Live Chat which has a built-in video and audio feature. Overnight, VantageOne agents were able to interact with their members via audio and video chat. All they had to do was get the word out. Audio and video chat is helping VantageOne provide genuine, one-to-one support and maintain strong relationships with its members. You can hear more about VantageOne’s story from their CEO here.
As VantageOne showed, some conversations are simply better suited to talking rather than typing, and this can be for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps a customer has a complicated issue that would take a long time to type out. Or maybe they are on the move and typing is inconvenient. With video chat, agents can even showcase and demonstrate products to customers, giving them more detail than you could even get from an image. Car dealerships and retail showrooms could even take customers on virtual tours (again, particularly helpful during store closures). The possibilities are virtually endless!
No matter how tech-savvy you are, sometimes you just need someone else to show you how to do something. This is where co-browsing comes into play. Co-browsing lets the agent either view the customer’s screen (to show them how to do something) or ask for permission to take control of their keyword and mouse (to do something on behalf of the customer).
This can be helpful in a variety of situations, particularly in sales and technical support. Many live chat agents use it when tackling more difficult website-related issues or guiding customer through troubleshooting steps. It speeds up the process, decreasing time to resolution and increasing customer satisfaction. And like with audio and video chat, Comm100 co-browsing is a browser-based solution requiring no additional downloads or plugins for the agent or customer (beware of co-browsing solutions that do require plug-ins because this can put off customers or even render co-browsing impossible due to local computer settings).
Very often, files or images need to be shared between customers and agents to resolve queries. We all know you can attach a file to an email – but what about file sharing within the live chat window?
During a live chat, agents can easily exchange files with visitors to help resolve an issue and improve chat efficiency. Agents can send a range of files to provide more information to the customer such as screenshots, presentations, guides, and catalogues – all without having to force the visitor to change channels to email. With Comm100, you can even share files with a quick drag-and-drop feature, making the interaction even faster for both parties.
The visitor can also send files to the agent to save them from typing long descriptions and helping the agent get a better and quicker understanding of what they are trying to explain.
To deliver the best customer service possible you need to give your customers choice and give your agents the tools they need to resolve questions quickly and accurately. Live chat software that includes messaging, video and audio chat, co-browsing, and file sharing achieves both goals. And with Comm100 Live Chat, it’s all built into the live chat window – no extra plug-ins or downloads required for the agent or customer.
To find out more about Comm100’s audio and video chat feature, watch this short video and discover how you can improve your customer service and support.