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Live Chat – Online Customers Prefer Human Touch

November 14, 2014 Patrick Reynolds

According to their recent Global Customer Experience Survey, NICE systems have discovered yet more evidence to support the hypothesis behind Live Chat: that customers want to deal with a real person when they are experiencing issues. While all of the attention may be on social media and smartphone apps, the clear message from 64 per cent of respondants was that these count for nothing in terms of customer service – unless there’s a live person on the other end.

Live Chat combines the ease and speed of social media with the human contact of the customer service phone line. Since it provides exactly what customers are asking for, the use of Live Chat has doubled from 2011 to 2014, with everyone from big banks, retail outlets and media firms to small start-ups taking advantage of the cost- and resource-saving potential.

Remember them and they will remember you

However, just because Live Chat is growing in popularity, it doesn’t mean that a business will suddenly start converting more sales just because they install a Live Chat platform. Visitors still want to be seen as more than just chat windows on a screen and expect that your company will remember the last three to five interactions you had with them, regardless of which channel was used.

Fortunately, Live Chat is made for that level of service continuation. Most platforms give agents an easy way to recall historic chat conversations, enabling them to pick up where they left off. And the rewards are potentially huge, with 96 per cent of customers saying that they would reward quick and effective resolution of problems with loyalty to that particular brand.

Personalization: the root of the issue

Delving deeper into the whys of the NICE findings, it becomes clear that personalization is what customers are looking for. In a new age of web traffic, clicks and conversion rates, people are crying out to be treated as a human being with needs and wants. A strategic Live Chat set up can really help with this by seamlessly blending the power of mass data analytics with the human touch of a caring Live Chat agent. As soon as your tracking software flags that a visitor has satisfied the rules for a Live Chat approach (lingering on a particular page, performing a specific action, etc.), their transition from nameless statistic to real person has already begun. By the time a chat agent engages with that customer they should know enough about them to make a human connection.

The danger of the one-click, no-touch mentality

When a company like Amazon, which prides itself on its one-click ordering and no contact with customers, does an about-turn and starts promoting its customer engagement facility, it is wise to sit up and take note. It is a fundamental law of business that it costs a lot more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, and that principle applies even over the huge global ecommerce marketplace. With so much competition on the internet, it becomes just as easy for a customer to click an order button on one site as it is on another. If there is no opportunity to talk to a human being to resolve an issue, a customer is likely to leave a site frustrated. If a rival vendor engages that customer and solves their problem, that customer my never return.