Instant Answers: Should You Offer Customer Service Chat?

customer service chat

You know that the better customer service you offer, the happier your customers will be. You know you have to invest in technology and customer service features to remain competitive in your marketplace.

One possible avenue to consider investing in is customer service chat.

Why You Need Customer Service Chat

If you’re like many shoppers, the last thing you want to do during an online shopping sesh is actually call a business’ 800 number to ask a question. You already know you’d be on hold forrrreeeevvver, and you’re ready to pull the trigger on those red suede heels like now. 

Your customers are the same.

They may have a quick question that will help them make a decision about your products. Or they may need to process a return or exchange. Talking on the phone is so 2000.

Your customers have come to expect brands, both big and small, to offer customer service chat. If you don’t yet offer it, you’re missing the boat: 63% of shoppers who use chat on a website say they’ll visit the site again in the future.

Benefits to Using Customer Service Chat

There are perks for both you and your customer when it comes to offering a chat communication channel.

1. Convenience

Being able to get a question answered or issue resolved without the headache of calling an 800 number is one of the top convenience factors for shoppers. Because they can chat with your customer service rep while still browsing your site, you don’t disrupt their experience.

And 44% of consumers say being able to do just that is one of the best things a website can do for them.

2. Cost Savings

A benefit for your company is the fact that customer service chat can actually lower your interaction costs. Because reps aren’t spending as much time on the phone, they can handle more customer interactions via chat (and even multitask while they’re on the phone. Shhh!).

3. Opportunity for Upsell

During an interaction with a customer, your customer service reps can incorporate upsell opportunities, increasing a customer’s average spend.

You can be generous with special offers and incentives that you don’t offer elsewhere: simply give your reps free rein to offer coupon codes to customers they think will buy more if they have them.

Getting Started With Customer Service Chat

Before you assume that adding chat to your customer service budget will break the bank, realize that chat is now offered by most outsourced customer service providers at an affordable price.

In fact, if you’re already working with such a provider, you might have the ability to bundle services and expand your communication channels. So check with your provider first to see what’s available.

If you don’t have a customer service provider, look for those that cater to small businesses like mylivechat, which has a free account for the very small business, then starts at $15 a month for other plans.

Or LiveChat, which starts at $16 per seat per month. As your business scales, you can always add additional customer service seats to accommodate your growing customer base.

Customer service chat is your customers’ preferred method of communication. Deliver what they want, and see how happy you can make them.

Have you tried out customer service chat for your business? How do you like it?

About the Author

Susan Guillory

Susan is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing and social media firm. She’s written three business books, and blogs about small business on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *