TMC has previously reported that end users like to contact businesses in different ways. The driving trend is for people to want to get in touch with call centers through methods that go beyond the traditional phone call. They seek live chat, social media, texting, email, and other services.
Now, eDigitalResearch multichannel business specialists, has completed its first Customer Service Benchmark study. An official announcement about the survey's methods and results reveals that, although live chat use is still relatively small, customers who use live chat are finding a much higher level of satisfaction than customers who use other methods to reach customer service representatives.
The survey included the opinion of 2,000 consumers, and 24 percent of them said they had used live chat to contact brands within the past year. However, that small size, eDigitalResearch says, can be deceiving.
"Satisfaction with the channel is much higher than other customer service touch points," the announcement states, "suggesting that users are likely to return to the channel again and again."
There are two major factors apparently associated with live chat that other mediums may not address at all or as well: control and anonymity.
Concerning control, eDigitalResearch says, "live chat offers customers the ability to chat to a brand representative in real time without the hassle of long delays and automated systems when picking up the phone." People want answers when they want them; they do not want to wait and allow the whims of their brands to conduct their lives. Live chat can often allow for instantaneous connections, and even when it cannot, chat windows in browsers and apps can often remain active and alert users when representatives are ready. In those cases, users do not have to sit by the phone waiting on "hold music" for indefinite periods of time when they could be busy living their lives.
Additionally, the research says live chat can "offer users the ability to remain totally anonymous, allowing people to talk openly about their query or complaint in a comfortable and familiar environment with instant answers and a resolution." A user who knows that a representative is hearing his voice, even if he has not revealed any personal information, may be unwilling to speak freely. Live chat can create a noise barrier, and users will both be and feel more anonymous than they would be, for instance, during a voice or video call.
The research suggests that businesses which offer great customer service are the ones that will find themselves ahead. Consumers who have the option to use live chat among a host of other options will feel more comfortable and may intend to praise, rather than shame, their chosen brands. Consumers are beginning to expect to have those choices, so any business not keeping up with the times will certainly get left behind.