“More and more customers are willing to use live chat when contacting brands, but their general satisfaction rate has gone down slightly.” This is a finding from the recently released LiveChat Customer Service Report 2018, comparing results from 2017 to 2016. The report pulled in data from 21,000 companies, nearly 334 million chats and 17 million inquiry tickets.
Although the overall satisfaction rate has gone down, it’s worth noting that satisfaction has decreased because the demand for live chat is increasing. It’s certainly becoming a more popular method of communication for consumers. All of the CX predictions have included embracing AI and chatbots, but companies shouldn’t just do it willy-nilly. You need a strategy in place based off your customer journey.
Consumers are getting more savvy when using tech to communicate with businesses, and their expectations continue to increase. This means that organizations have to step up their game to keep up with the demand to provide a smooth customer experience that solves customer issues and leaves them feeling satisfied.
Have A System That Fosters Customer Convenience and Ease
According to LiveChat’s report, tech companies have the happiest customers. On average, they have a satisfaction rating of 89%, which is higher than the global customer satisfaction rate of 83.54%. And why is that you ask? Because tech companies spend more time with their customers trying to solve a problem in one touchpoint. This is a concern that many CCOs and CX experts share when I interview them on my podcast, The Chief Customer Officer Human Duct Tape Show. When it comes to customer experience, good CX leaders want to have a system in place that helps their frontline mitigate customer issues as seamlessly as possible.
As shoppers who grew up on chat services (think AIM to Snapchat) take over a more significant portion of the consumer base, brands are needing to add additional chat options to their repertoire. From live chat on your website to Facebook Messenger, SMS and everything in between –– it’s less about preparing for the onslaught of customer responses and more about having a good system in place to make sure you are fielding questions and answering them intelligently and quickly every single time.
–Tracey Wallace, Editor in Chief, BigCommerce
Unfortunately, much of this experience dissatisfaction stems from a lack of resources. LiveChat’s report found that small to mid sized companies can’t handle live chat demand the way larger, enterprise businesses can. When a customer clicks to have a live chat session, that’s what they’re expecting, a live chat. Don’t make a promise that you can’t deliver on. Unless stated upfront, they’re not expecting another step that leads them to set up an inquiry ticket for someone to get back to them. Live chat = real time responses.
Assess Your Customer Journey to Implement Solutions
Larger companies can handle real-time inquiries at a fast pace because they have more resources to invest in real-time chat bot services. Since these companies have a dedicated team, their employee onboarding and training equips them to be better at their jobs. With increasing competition from companies like Amazon and Walmart, this really puts pressure on SMBs to invest in tools and systems that can help them solve customer issues while also supporting customer loyalty.
Don’t lose your customers because you can’t keep up with a technology that doesn’t work to its full potential. I always stress the importance of assessing your customer journey with the leadership team. Is your live chat bot actually helping the overall experience or causing frustration? Determine what resources or finances can be used to implement a system that doesn’t leave your customer disappointed in the end.
The two biggest conclusions of the report that I advocate for when it comes to customer pain points along the journey is “try to solve the case in one touch, no matter the handling time” (Shep Hyken has a good blog post and comic that supports this theory as it relates to customer call centers), and “no matter how small business you run, always have somebody on chat.” This means that during work hours, there should be a dedicated person (or two, or team) for a quick first response. After work hours, set up an offline form that customers can use to answer questions, and offer an estimate in which they can expect a response. There’s also the opportunity to set up a chatbot that can answer some of the most basic and frequently asked questions in the absence of a live human.
Ultimately, do as much as possible to provide a touchpoint for your customer as soon as their inquiry begins, and try to solve the issue all in one interaction. The customer shouldn’t have to reach out to you again to resolve the same problem. And if you’re touting your chat service as live, someone should be on the other end to handle the inquiries and there should be a wait time listed if a rep isn’t immediately available.
Ultimately, do as much as possible to provide a touchpoint for your customer as soon as their inquiry begins, and try to solve the issue all in one interaction. #CX Click To Tweet
Download the full LiveChat Customer Service Report 2018 here.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts. How has your company incorporated live chat, chat bots and social media messenger services to the overall customer experience?