Customers of today are spoiled for choice. One unfortunate experience with a company, and they won't take much time to switch to a competitor.

It doesn't matter which industry your business is in or how fast it's scaling up. If you don't focus on customer service from the start, you will bleed revenue.

Here are a few statistics highlighting the importance of customer service:

Social Media Channels Are Great, but Live Chat Benefits Stand Out

Customers who get their queries or complaints resolved from businesses via social media spend 20-40% more on those businesses. However, 62% of customers are more likely to repurchase from a company that offers live chat support.

That's right: 62%.

In the last couple of years, live chat has emerged as a powerful platform for resolving customer issues. A 2010 Forrester study found that customers say having their questions answered by a live person on chat, in the middle of a purchase, is one of the most important features offered by any website. That remains unchanged even after a decade.

Let's take a look at how live chat benefits make all the difference for customers.

1. A High Convenience Factor

Customers who come forward with complaints or issues are usually not in the best mood. They aren't a big fan of long wait times on the phone, nor do they have the patience to sit and wait for their complaint to get noticed on social media.

So, if you don't offer them immediate assistance, they are going to get grouchier and may even vow to never buy from you again. Live chat is a direct link between you and your customers. It gives you the right platform to discuss the issue and solution in detail, without any distractions.

At the end of the day, customers...

  • Want immediate help with minimum waiting time
  • Dislike scripted or automated responses
  • Want to be recognized as humans—not seen as a mere help-desk ticket number

The entire point of customer service is not to irritate them further. Period.

2. Cost-Effectiveness and Easy Setup

Live chat support is cheaper than a phone call by 17-30%. That's because a single support rep can look into multiple customer queries and have them resolved faster.

Moreover, setting up chat tools on websites is relatively quick and straightforward. And all that your customer support team needs is a training session to educating the the basics of the tool.

3. Sales Initiation

Any situation where customers are not convinced to make a purchase or have a general query about the product or can't find something on the website offers a golden opportunity to the live chat reps to convince those customers to convert.

In this day and age, live chat reps don't just manage a chat tool; they act as salespeople responsible for bringing in more business.

4. Insight Into Customer Pain Points

Although marketing teams mine social media and online forums to learn about customer pain points, they are unable to offer direct, immediate support. Live chat is a platform capable of resolving—up front—a problem that hasn't been addressed on any other channel.

Promoting how-to guides and training documents on social media is always a good idea, but doing so doesn't provide direct help to customers.

One of the benefits of live chat is that the reps can push out how-to guides and training documents quickly, whereas otherwise they are "hidden" on your website, waiting to be found by customers. Advanced live chat tools also have screen-sharing capabilities that make explanations visual, and thus more impactful.

5. Reports and Analysis

Customer queries on emails have to be recorded for future use, and emails tend to get lost. Reviewing the performance of the representatives operating phones is a hassle even though a record of all the conversations is kept; going through call logs is a tedious process.

Live chat analytics, on the other hand, give valuable insights into the performance of the reps, common queries, and the requirements of prospective customers.

* * *

Customers want to speak to a real person, and nothing can beat the value of a human-to-human connection. Despite the rising popularity of chatbots, most businesses agree live chat is a support channel that's not just a cost center, but a powerful tool to boost sales, customer loyalty, and brand recall.

More Resources on the Benefits of Live Chat

The State of Conversational Marketing: Online Customer Experience, Chatbots, Trends

B2B Conversational Marketing: What Customers Want

Chatbots' Positive Impact on Customer Experience and Conversions 

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Why Delivering Live Chat Support to Customers Is a Must for Your Business

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image of Asavari Sharma

Asavari Sharma is a marketer and writer who occasionally advises entrepreneurs on their digital personal brand. Her areas of expertise are marketing technologies, data analytics, and e-commerce.

LinkedIn: Asavari Sharma

Twitter: @_asavarisharma