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|Benefits of Live Chat Support Services

Benefits of Live Chat Support Services

In the battle for customer loyalty, it’s no longer enough to just provide good service. To keep customers happy, organizations must provide service that’s fast, seamless and available on the channels their customers choose - and 83% of customers prefer live chat.

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by Sitel staff November 29, 2021 - 5 MIN READ

In today’s digital-first world, 81% of Americans own a smartphone and spend, on average, 24 minutes per day on messaging applications. This easy communication is fueling a demand for brand interactions that are just as seamless – and fast – yet businesses are struggling to deliver the best-in-class experiences for which consumers are looking.

What Are Live Chat Support Services?

Meeting customers in their channel of choice requires brands to reconsider their chosen communication channels. Live chat support services bring you closer to your customers.

While live chat and messaging are oftentimes confused, there are significant differences between the two. Live chat is embedded into your website or mobile app and is a real-time conversation while messaging is an asynchronous conversation taking place over time. In a live chat conversation, the customer must be present throughout the interaction. Messaging, meanwhile, is often facilitated through social media channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Apple Business Chat and enables customers to reach out to brands and carry on with their day, returning to the conversation when it’s convenient for them.

As many as 71% of consumers expect brands to offer customer support over digital channels, and 56% of consumers prefer connecting with brands via digital channels for their customer service or brand engagement needs. This demonstrates the importance for brands looking to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty to ensure that live chat support services are easily accessible.

Benefits of Live Chat on Your Website

Meeting and Exceeding Consumer Expectations

There is nothing better than getting what you want when you want it, and today’s consumers expect nothing less. Consumers are no longer willing to accept long hold times to speak to an agent or the inconvenience of slow email responses. Live chat helps you reach your customers at the exact moment they have a question or a problem they can’t solve. Live chat support services that are easily accessible and available deliver greater customer experience (CX), generating a global satisfaction level of 83%.

Strategically, live chat can be applied to certain pages, or made available during peak hours or seasons, to proactively reach out to customers by helping to engage inactive or indecisive website visitors. Customers are 3 times more likely to make a purchase when you reach out to them via a live chat, demonstrating a brand’s stellar customer experience delivery right from the beginning. In fact, 90% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service if it comes with such great customer service. Without outsourcing, providing consumer service that is fast, seamless and available 24/7 is difficult and costly. Outsourcing your live chat support can make a world of difference to your business. Capitalising on labour markets in a range of times zones can provide 24/7 support, in multiple languages and across multiple industries. Having a team in another time zone can also give you a competitive edge: more productive hours. You can maximise your time and finish projects faster. Increased productivity and good customer feedback equal growth. Your turnaround time improves as your business operations run smoothly. And, your customers are happy as you have exceeded expectations.

Engage in the Channel of Choice

In 2020 around 1.38 billion smartphones were sold worldwide. Together, Google Android and Apple iOS jointly possess over 99% of the global market share. So, it’s no surprise that if given a choice, 65% of U.S. consumers prefer to interact with brands via digital channels. In addition, some customers find chatting online more convenient, they are easily understood and it’s less stressful than talking on the phone to a stranger.

Increased Sales Conversion

Live chat support can be designed and triggered to interact at specific points along the customer’s journey – a journey that can be fine-tuned resulting in the customer receiving proactive and deliberate support at times when they need it the most. Customers who purchase via live chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert to sale and 3 times more likely to make a purchase than those who don’t. And, 52% of customers are more likely to repurchase from a company that has live chat support because they received support when they wanted or needed it the most. Live chat integrated into your website can drive visibility, traffic and sales.

Promotes Cost Efficiency

Live chat support agents are skillful multitaskers who manage concurrent chat sessions versus the one-on-one interaction of a voice call. Reducing operational costs and voice-based support while continuing to deliver customer service excellence creates operational efficiencies such as:

  • Production time reduced by 33%
  • Call volume reduced by 42%
  • Conversations by the same number of agents improved by 2 times
  • Customer satisfaction improved by 92%

Source: Sitel Group® data, 2019-2020

Why Customers Prefer Live Chat

  • Chat puts your customers in touch with your team in seconds
  • Choice customers, especially younger age groups, increasingly want to connect via chat
  • Chat consistently achieves 80%+ customer satisfaction

Why You Should Consider Live Chat Outsourcing

Chat enables customers to interact in real time with live agents, offering customer service and support in a similar way to voice-based agents, but digitally. While the service offered is similar to telephone support, delivering best-in-class chat support requires a different approach.

Live chat agents need a different skill set than those providing voice-based support. The ability to multitask effectively, understand emotion and display empathy digitally while also effectively handling concurrent conversations without confusing information is essential.

Your outsourcing partner will be well placed to identify the candidates with the soft skills you need. Simply asking phone-based agents to manage chat conversations will not deliver the best results.

Outsourcing also ensures that your live chat operation is set up to deliver using industry service-level agreements (SLAs) to ensure customer satisfaction. This includes, for example, ensuring customers waiting no longer than 45 seconds for the conversation to begin and no longer than 30 seconds between customer and agent interactions. Live chat is particularly well positioned to be delivered from an offshore location, creating additional cost efficiencies. India is one of the outsourcing locations uniquely qualified to provide live chat support. India’s new generation of globally savvy young professionals, with strong English-speaking skills, has one of the largest, highly skilled labour pools in the world. India also offers multilingual support to meet all of your CX needs. Having the flexibility to satisfy your customer’s needs strengthens customer loyalty and support for your brand.

Avast Case Study

In 2015 Sitel Group® partnered with Avast, a Czech multinational cybersecurity software company headquartered in Prague, to provide sales and technical support in English, French, German and Japanese via voice, chat, email and social media. These services were outsourced to Sitel® India in Chennai, India.

There were specific challenges that the Avast team faced; they needed to:

1. Ramp headcount to meet the pandemic-related surge
2. Lower the average speed of answer (ASA)
3. Reduce the chat channel customer abandonment to within 10 days
4. Transition the chat queue from in-house to Sitel Group.

This offshore outsourcing partnership provided the services, skills and expertise not previously available in-house. The results:

1. 62-point NPS increase within a month, exceeding onsite team’s performance
2. 88% on-call resolution rate
3. 95% volume handled within a month

With lower operating costs, higher returns and perhaps most importantly increased efficiency and ROI, India should be reconsidered as your global customer experience hub or one-stop outsourcing hub. As a global business process outsourcing (BPO) provider, Sitel Group has made India a part of its foundation for customer experience delivery. Since opening its flagship site in Mumbai in 2000, Sitel India has seen continuous growth in the market.

Adopting chat as part of an omnichannel customer experience  strategy is key in meeting your customers’ growing expectations and meeting them where they are. Delivering the best CX through meaningful connections leaves a positive lasting impression of your brand.

Businesses can save time, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction by deflecting calls from the traditional voice-based channels. As customers seek out new digital alternatives, brands must be ready to support across all channels.

If you have made the decision to implement live chat or messaging as part of your omnichannel strategy, or if you want to improve the customer experience you deliver through your existing chat and messaging channels, download our customer care guide, Create Cost Efficiencies and Deliver Powerful Digital Brand Connections with Chat and Messaging to learn more.

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