Want Better Relationships with your Customers? Add Chat
One of the best ways to improve your business is to improve your relationships with your customers.
And meeting customers where they are is a big part of that. So where are today’s modern consumers? Increasingly, they are on chat, which has gone mainstream.
Worldwide, there are 6 billion regular users of chat apps like WhatsApp, Apple iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Instagram. A full 88% of U.S. consumers use chat apps—such as Messenger and Apple iMessage—on a mobile device, a recent survey of more than 1,000 consumers reveals.
But those chat apps are for more than just talking to friends and family. Half of U.S. consumers have used their favorite chat apps to also talk to businesses, with younger consumers more likely to do so, research shows.
This means that not only are today’s consumers wanting to use chat to access customer service, get information, track orders and even buy goods, but that many more will do the same in the years to come.
Chat Benefits to Business
Meeting consumers where they are—and in ways they want to be met—is critical to delivering a great customer experience, which goes direct to the bottom line.
Research by Deloitte and Touche found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not focused on the customer. Also, 80% of U.S. customers would pay more for a product or service to ensure a superior customer experience, Marketing Insider Group reports. Gartner notes that 81% of businesses compete purely on the basis of customer experience.
Chat Drives a Better CX
By adding chat to your customer experience, you put the customer first. Also, by using their favorite chat apps, you put your brand in the consumer’s contact list next to friends and family.
The modern consumer wants convenience, simplicity, and digital, mobile-first experiences. Chat delivers all three, and it works throughout the full consumer lifecycle. Your customers can easily learn about your products, place orders, make purchases, return, and track deliveries, engage with live agents, resolve issues, and provide feedback in a seamless process, anytime, anywhere.
Chat improves the customer experience in a myriad of ways, including via:
With chat, customers talk to your business now or later, at whatever time works for them. They don’t have to sacrifice time during working hours to reach you or hang on hold waiting for a customer service agent. They send a message, get a response, and respond when it works for them. This asynchronous communication is a great benefit to today’s modern consumers, who’re connected 24/7 and expect their brands to be, too.
Reduced friction. No one likes waiting on hold for a live contact center agent, and then only to get shuffled to another agent and have to repeat the entire process of why they’re calling. With chat, the content and history of the communication is right there, for all to see. That means no repeating. There’re also no dropped calls or long wait times. Only 3 percent of customersenjoy using interactive voice response. Estimates put the total costs to support the call center industry at $1.3 trillion. That’s a huge price for something few people end up appreciating.
Greater engagement.We live in an era of availability. If consumers don’t find what they want at the touch of a screen or button, they go to another screen or button. Chat provides quick-fire digital interactions that fit into the lifestyle of today’s consumers.
Personalized service. Chat enables companies to gather more data and insight, more quickly, into the customer experience so companies can respond more readily. Lack of visibility into customer data was cited by eight in 10 companies as a key challenge, indicates a study by Aberdeen Research.
Improved efficiency. In its global multi-industry survey of 405 companies, Aberdeen found that at least two-thirds of firms use chat and that those that use chat in commerce experienced a 27% improvement in ability to reduce service costs. In part, this is because agents can operate multiple chats at one time versus serving only one customer at a time via phone. With chat, you also optimize call deflection from the contact center, reduce wait times, reduce call volume to live agents, and reduce operating costs. An estimated 80% of customer queries can be handled by automated response. This leaves live agents free to solve problems, not answer simple, frequently repeated questions. That also boosts the customer experience.
Tools to Optimize Chat
Simplified customer experiences create more successful customer outcomes.
Clickatell’s Chat Flow, a web-based workflow building and management tool, enables companies to build productive conversations with customers, and use automated responses to handle more simple, but critical, issues, such as order status, delivery times, appointment confirmation, finding nearby businesses and hours of operation and more. Chat Flow makes adding mobile chat easy with drag-and-drop, no-code, functionality. It is a low risk, high reward solution.
When customer issues are more complicated, Chat Flow seamlessly sends your customers to Clickatell’s Chat Desk, where a live agent takes over. Chat Desk, used with or without Chat Flow, enables your customers to get immediate answers from a live agent through whatever channel they choose—online web chat or mobile chat apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
Consumers Want Chat
A full 42% of U.S. online adults say it is important for retailers to offer live chat, new research from Forrester Research shows. That’s up from 27% in 2019, underscoring how much consumers are moving to chat to fulfill their needs.
No doubt, consumers have spoken, whether it is retail, banking or other industries, they want the ability to engage with brands via their favorite chat apps, self-service or live.