How does a web chat benefit the customer?
Getting a customer service issue taken care of is often a daunting task. The customer calls in, patiently listens to an automated system, and then waits on hold until they can speak with a customer service representative (CSR). With a web chat feature, a customer can go straight to a company’s website, skip the phone call and start the chat. Many companies report being able to respond to inquiries within 20 seconds of their initiation.
Additionally, most companies have live employees standing by to answer questions quickly. For frequently asked questions, companies and employees can come up with canned answers, quickly providing the correct information to customers. And for the more complicated questions, the customer is already chatting with a live person who can think on their feet and deliver the appropriate information.
Another added benefit to the customer, especially in comparison to a phone call, is that the customer can multitask. Customers might be at work, or maybe they are out running errands. Still, they need to get this specific task completed without blocking out hours of their day. In the past, since customers had to commit to a long wait on the phone; they would often avoid initiating the conversation with businesses altogether. Now, they can ask questions in the chat, and while the CSR finds the answer, the customer can put the phone down and accomplish something else. This method of indirect communication is less intrusive than phone calls and gives freedom to the customer.
With that said, phone calls are still an option. If the webchat feature isn’t meeting a customer’s needs, a customer can still call in and speak directly to the CSR they were already chatting with in the webchat.
The webchat feature does not need to solve all of a customer’s problems. It is an additional and convenient channel in which customers can contact a company. Businesses can create welcoming communication options that encourage customer-company interaction.
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How do web chats benefit the companies that use them?
Instead of one CSR talking with one customer at a time, webchats allow for one CSR to have multiple chats open simultaneously. Most companies that use webchat find that one CSR can work with two to four clients at a time. In addition, each client interaction lasts approximately three to five minutes. Interactions are quick, effective and potentially decrease the amount of staff required to complete customer service inquiries.
At the moment, most web chats are not directly integrated into databases and APIs (application programming interfaces). Most CSRs can gather information from customers through chats, and then manually manipulate data, just like they would on phone calls. However, there is the possibility that companies could develop the use of APIs to securely integrate database access into their chats. This would allow CSRs to quickly access customer information for seamless interactions, providing more efficiency for companies and their customers.
It is important to remember that the text interface is just as personal as a phone call. CSRs using the text interface of web chats still need to be empathetic to customers and their needs. The same training that makes CSRs great on the phone will make them great CSRs with web chats’ text interface.
How does a company implement a web chat feature?
The webchat producer comes alongside the client to implement and integrate the software within the clients’ existing environment. With just a few lines of code, clients can be experiencing the added benefits of web chat features.
Some companies might be hesitant to get started with these new features. It is easy to start small both in scale and investment. Many companies recommend just giving the software a try. An interested company does not have to complete a total makeover of their customer service center operations. Instead, as an example, Company A can add the webchat feature to their website and one or two CSRs can test the new feature. The employees then report back on its effectiveness. If the company finds it is not working out, they can abandon the project with little effort and little capital spent. And if it does work out, the company took on only a little risk for an effective outcome that they can now scale.
Webchat features are still a newer tool. Not every website has them, but they are already widely adopted. Webchat features are a simple and excellent way to demonstrate to other clients and customers that an organization is on the cutting edge of modern technology and is committed to its customers.
Ultimately, webchat features provide companies and their customers with an additional communication tool that is efficient and effective. Its correct implementation can lead to savings for companies while meeting customers’ needs in a comfortable, hassle free manner. This software is worth a try for any company looking for a way to increase customer satisfaction.
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