Chat is one of my favorite channels of support. Think about it from a customer’s perspective. What is the easiest way to get one and done support?
Voice support is quick, once you get past the IVR prompt and holding queue. Social channels can be limiting based on #characters and can take time to turn around. Email support generally has 24hr turnaround for the first response and is rarely one and done. Portal self-service takes authentication and can require much back and fourth.
Chat is natural, it is how we interact with friends and colleagues over instant messenger, it’s how we SMS each other, it’s how we blog or ask questions on forms – only there is (most likely) a real person at the other end listening and waiting to help you real-time. It is often more honest, as your customer base will likely tend to be more candid within a chat session than speaking directly over the phone. 2013 also saw a 24% increase in chat usage for support.
More importantly, chat offers the highest level of customer satisfaction after voice.
Think about that for a second. Then think about the setup costs and effort involved for voice vs chat support. With chat, you don’t need hardware, or IVR tree maps, or soft-phone integration, or teams of agents huddled in call centers. It’s a quick and easy setup, easier to audit and train on, independent of hardware, more conducive to telecommuting & easier to quickly expand to new geos.
Chat a support channel is on the rise and the way we socially interact is prompting this change. Will your business be prepared to support this channel?