Businesses have operated for years with live call centers to meet their customer service requirements. This model for many still serves as the primary way customers make contact with a company. While customers and technology have evolved, too many business call centers have preserved this as the only option.
In today’s world, customers are more technologically savvy. They have become accustomed to alternatives rather than dialling in by phone for information or service. As such, forward-thinking businesses have begun to incorporate live chat service into the customer service options. This not only provides an additional option for customers, but also creates important benefits for the company itself.
To begin with the most obvious factor, every toll-free phone call costs the business money. For a mid-to-large size company, this can comprise of hundreds or thousands of phone calls every day, becoming a very expensive proposition. In addition, every time the call center refers a caller to reference materials, the caller is invited to stop, review, and call back, multiplying both the customer’s frustrations and the company’s costs.
A live chat session, in contrast, allows for discussion while the customer is reviewing materials on the screen. It saves time for the service professional and money for the employer.
Because the session can be conducted while the customer is reviewing information with the service professional, the time to help each individual can be much shorter with a live chat session. Further, most service phone calls can only be completed one at a time. Chat sessions, by contrast, can be done in multiple windows, with three or four customers at the same time. This allows a single representative to take care of many more customers over the course of the day. The efficiency of the call center over time will increase dramatically.
Improved Service and Reporting
Besides cutting costs and improving efficiency, live chat sessions have the potential to greatly improve customer relations and employee development. Phone calls lend themselves to problems of memory; they need to be recorded and transcribed for a company to review the record of the call in the case of a disagreement. Live chat sessions, though, are in writing for company and customer alike. Rather than risk mis-hearing or mis-remembering, both can refer back to the plain text in front of them, eliminating many disagreements and allowing for clean resolution of others. Reporting also becomes much cleaner, as the company can simply save the chat records and file them, perhaps with summary reports attached to each fully recorded session. Everything said, every response, and every resolution is available for anyone to read.
With all of the technology available, instituting live chat for customer service needs is a relatively simple matter. The simplicity of the solution, though, belies the extent of the improvements this can create for a business. Live chat saves money and time, and allows both the customer and the company a greater peace of mind in each customer service session. As businesses look to expand the range of services they provide, live chat figures to be among the most widely adopted options in the coming years.