The Rise, Success And Future Of Live Chat Support

Live chat has grown to become the most effective form of online customer service. But why is live chat so popular, and where will live chat go from here?

A customer support study by Econsultancy revealed that live chat has satisfaction levels of 73%, which are significantly higher than 61% for email and 44% for phone support. Although this study took place in 2013 when live chat was still in its relative infancy, it highlighted the fact that this communication method is especially well-suited for resolving customer queries via a brand's website.

Although online live chat has its origins in the 1970s, it's only relatively recently where chat programs such as AOL Instant Messenger, Skype, and WhatsApp have broken through to mainstream use. In addition to this, specialist software brands such as Zendesk and Acquire have grown to cater to businesses who want to use live chat for customer support.

As a result, live chat support has grown to become an essential part of major businesses' websites. From multinational banks like HSBC to video-on-demand streaming giants like Netflix, live chat is now the human face of a brand's site.

Live chat has proven to be hugely popular among visitors across many different industries, from travelers using the chat option to solve their holiday doubts on travel sites to casino players looking to resolve their issues with money deposits on gambling platforms.

One of the leading brands in the iGaming industry, bet365, is a prime example where chat support agents are especially crucial for gaining the trust of first-timers. The full bet365 casino review shows that its agents are able to resolve any issues such as verifying accounts or resolving technical problems with a speedy turnaround that has resulted with a higher customer retention.

Why is live chat so popular?

Many businesses have found that live chat can work wonders in resolving customer queries quickly and efficiently. While telephone calls and emails can affect a customer's workflow or require them to sit on hold, live chat offers a more personal approach that can easily be carried out while conducting other tasks. Research has shown that running live chat customer support can work out to be 17% cheaper than a phone call service.

Such is the success of live chat that it has been found to boost conversion rates in a way that can transform a website visitor to becoming a loyal customer. This can be seen in the fact that a report by LinkedIn showed that more than 30% of visitors purchase instantly after chatting live with a support agent,

The fact that the live chat takes place in real-time means that it's much easier to tailor the conversation in a way that assures customer satisfaction, and gives the customer support agent a chance to enrich the user's experience of the brand.

Where will live chat go from here?

Although this communication method has been with us many years, recent figures suggest that live chat is enjoying increasing customer satisfaction levels. This is due to the fact that live chat is evolving in new ways to improve the customer experience continually.

Some live chat platforms can now be integrated with social media for increased customer reach, while others allow screen-sharing for enhanced problem-solving abilities.

But it's the gradual introduction of artificial intelligence technologies that spells a bright future for live chat. The rise of chatbots has already proven to improve customer support, and it's expected that chatbots will work hand-in-hand with human customer service agents to offer an advanced level of customer care 24/7.

This corresponds with the growth of voice support in live chat. The UK banking firm NatWest has already successfully introduced the Cora digital human who can verbally interact with customers.

Augmented reality is another feature that could be a big part of future live chat experience. This would allow a live chat agent to be able to use a customer's camera to fix problems remotely via the live video feed. Plus, with the possibility of holographic customer service agents appearing in people's homes, it seems as though the live chat revolution is just getting started.

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