Is intelligence the key to live chat success?

22nd Oct 2014

Live chat is in vogue in the customer support world, with ContactBabel research recently announcing there were over 250 million chats handled through UK call centres across 2013/14 –a rise of 300% since 2011.

As consumer demand for the medium increases, so do expectation levels. Live chat is no longer something run solely through a desktop website via the contact centre, but a user experience-driven tool that features at certain points along the customer journey and offers real-time resolution to queries, regardless of the device.

[24]7, a company specialising customer experience, are calling this ‘intelligent chat’, and believe that companies offering conventional live chat tools will soon be forced to reimagine the where and why of their chat support services.         

“Consumers are increasingly time-pressured and turn to chat services to get queries resolved quickly and efficiently,” said Nick Mitchell, Managing Director, EMEA, [24]7.

“But legacy chat services that show no understanding of who the consumer is or what their issue might be, are simply not fit-for-purpose and are impacting on sales – one in ten have abandoned a purchase because of poor live chat. Intelligent live chat has proven to grow chat channel revenue by predicting visitor intent, deciding when to intervene, how to engage customers and even what to recommend.”

In a recent consumer survey, [24]7 found that having more intuitive live chat services – in which user journeys across devices dictated where and when live chat became available – made one in five    customers “more brand loyal”, while 34% found the intelligent chat experience more appealing than traditional straight-from-the-homepage chat services.

Further adding to this demand, 28% of consumers wanted an agent that was already familiar with their previous online journeys and knew who they were, while 27% indicated context and knowledge of previous interactions was critical to query resolution and subsequent brand loyalty.

Despite this, many call centres may still have to get to grips with multi-device live chat before incorporating chat options into customer journeys. In a recent study into ecommerce consumer behaviour, Moxie found that live chat for mobile shopping was becoming increasingly popular.

While 67% of people state they are satisfied with the current shopping experience they gain through their mobile phone, this level increases to 88% when live chat is incorporated into the process.

“Rather than merely scaling down a ‘heavy’ website to accommodate the smaller screen sizes and slower download speeds of mobile devices, brands must devise bespoke content that is optimised for a wide assortment of specific devices,” Rhomas Gronbach, digital quality expert at Keynote recently told MyCustomer.  

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