Business Technology

Chat-First for a Modern Call Center

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Users want instant customer support. Traditional ways of customer support, like phone calls, are quite inefficient, with long waiting times and slow response rates. With many people dialing in for customer support, there are usually long waiting times.

According to a study by Inc, 42% of people prefer live chat support to other means of support. Real-time chat allows them to answer their questions without waiting on the phone. The average wait time for live chat support is just 46 seconds. This is much less when compared to the hours on hold times when calling. With email customer support, this easily stretches into days.

One of the most significant issues with phone support is the limited efficiency of employees. Phone support means an employee can only talk to one customer at a time. This is also the reason for long wait times, which is a huge inconvenience for customers. According to a Forrester report, 53% of customers will abandon their purchase if their questions are not answered. 73% believed valuing their time is the best customer service a company can give. 

This suggests that traditional customer support methods are increasingly becoming ineffective and redundant, especially with the younger generation. Statistics indicate that 63% of millennials prefer their query to be resolved on a live chat rather than a phone call. This is because millennials use their phones more than their previous generation and prefer to initiate live chat queries from their phones. 

Benefits of Live Chat Support 

There are many advantages of using live chat support. The benefits go beyond speed, efficiency, and convenience. Let’s have a look at the top benefits: 

1. Makes the Customer Support Experience Better 

The most crucial reason people prefer live chat is it answers their questions instantly. Live chat reaches customers the exact moment they have questions or problems. This way is much better than email support or generating a ticket through their online form, as customers don’t know when they will receive a response. It also offers a more personalized experience to the customers by learning from their previous behavior, patterns, and activities. Consumer satisfaction and service ratings increase with immediate response. 

2. Customer Onboarding and Acquisition 

Live chat is a smart way to connect with new potential customers by being available for them. The option of live chat gives confidence to customers in your product and website. According to a Forrester report, customers who use live chat are 2.8 times more like to convert than others who don’t. Being available for the customers helps build trust even though they don’t need customer support immediately. 

3. Live Chat Reduces Repetition

People usually get frustrated if they have to explain their issues repeatedly. Most of us have experienced having to repeat an issue to multiple departments before actually getting help. Research suggests that 72% of customers expect their agent to know the details of their problem, including product information and support history, without even asking. 

Live chat support allows agents to read the customer’s message and review details. By creating a written record of the problem, live chat reduces customer frustration of repeating the same things. All agents and departments will know about the issue and collaborate on a solution. Customers can share their screens with the agent through live chat support. This helps the agent assist customers better. 

4. Improve Productivity 

Live chat support boosts the customer support team’s productivity. While the customer support agents can only manage one customer on a phone call, they can juggle several on live chat. Agents might need one-to-one support for questions requiring research and extensive support, but handling a couple of customers together is quite manageable for simpler questions. There are several live chat software solutions that handle all kinds of support channels, including chat, emails, and forms, within a single tool to improve agents’ productivity. 

Additionally, live chat allows customers to be more productive as they can leave the chat open in the background of their computer and continue carrying on their work. This leads to improved customer experience and satisfaction. 

5. Live Chat Improves Customer Engagement 

Since live chat is readily available, there’s the possibility that your customers will be switching to live chat support instead of phone/email, while there might be some customers who were about to ditch your product but found live chat support instead on time. As such, live chat support improves customer engagement and gives customers a reason to stick with your brand. To make live chat more interactive, you can display agent names with their role and photos (if possible) and use a conversational tone. 

There are many benefits of using live chat over traditional customer support options. With technological developments and improvements in artificial intelligence, live chat support software has advanced to imitate human-like conversations so that customers get the human touch while receiving instant support.

About the author


Srini Pagidyala

Srini Pagidyala is a seasoned digital transformation entrepreneur with over twenty years of experience in technology entrepreneurship. In 2017, he Co-Founded, a new category "chatbot with a brain" that delivers hyper personalized conversational experiences.