With 2022 drawing closer it has been nearly two years since Covid-19 accelerated the need for businesses to digitalize their customer support to cater to user demands for omnichannel, 24/7 services from the comfort of their preferred devices.
Digital transformation has altered how companies engage with their customers, mainly because technology has changed how these customers behave. These behavioral shifts have also altered customer expectations towards how brands should support and engage with them. With time, physical liaisons with agents have shifted to call center lines and subsequently to the availability of social media channels on corporate websites, but customers keep demanding more personalized, real-time communication online.
Live chat support has become a key solution to meet these new demands.
This is more than just a capricious requisite. By 2022, nearly 85% of businesses are expected to opt for chat support, and in the US only 69% of shoppers are already demanding live chat features. The reason is quite simple. We know customers value meaningful and direct interactions, and over 50% of them will prefer real-time online chat to other channels.
It is however surprising to see very few companies —some reports say only about 9%— using a live chat. And we say ‘surprising’ because data shows it matters. In fact, 37% of customers won’t come back to a website if it doesn’t feature a live chat. Plus, loyalty is not the only reason having a live chat is a must. According to invesp, chatters tend to spend an average of 60% more per transaction than those using other channels, which makes the tool a great conversion boost for e-commerce sites.
We know improving customer support has quantifiable benefits, so the stakes are high for businesses seeking solutions to take their customer experience one step further.
Customers will leave and businesses will lose money if customer demands are not met. With the average customer satisfaction rating for live being over 80%, this explains why live chat support has become a top choice for businesses looking to adapt chat support channels and future-proof them to deliver high-quality experiences.
The key challenge is finding the right technologies to deliver the desired results
New Customer Demands for 2022 💁📝
Customers are used to using digital and online channels to communicate with their brands, but that doesn’t mean that they prefer using email or social media channels over real-time support. Ideally, they want the best of both worlds.
Customers do not want to wait for answers to their requests, which is why embedded live chat support lets people receive the information they need immediately and act accordingly rather than wait for replies. According to Zendesk, customer satisfaction ratings for live chat are second only to phone support, beating social media channels and email among others. However, while phone support may still deliver the most personal, one-to-one, and real-time interactions, customers are often stalled by long waiting queues and agent unavailability. New customer habits require immediacy with personal interactions from multiple channels.
Websites with live chat support open direct communication channels between customers and online sales and customer support, bringing opportunities to deliver efficient engagements that can resolve customer concerns and boost sales. Importantly, these connections are made immediately. According to Econsultancy, 79% of customers prefer live chat because of the instant response it offers as compared to other reactive channels.
Delivering fast responses is a clear factor in boosting customer experience, but it isn’t always easy to deliver replies swiftly and efficiently, nor is speed the only objective businesses should seek when deploying a live chat. Top-quality answers will always be valued over quicker responses that are unhelpful.
Delivering a successful ticket management system needs planning. Supporting customers through a live chat requires all the features this solution can provide to ensure that customers receive an effective service. But, apart from responsiveness, what are some of the top expected features of live chat support in 2022?
Top 6 Features to Future-Proof Live Chat Support in 2022 🚀
Live chat support has become an important solution for businesses that want to engage with their customers on their terms. But they must ensure that their support is subject to the requirements of these customers. The digitalization of customer support means that features like scalable cloud technology have changed the way customer service is carried out. With this, businesses will no longer need to spend excessive amounts of money and can deploy solutions that can adapt to rapid growth and integrate with new systems and software easily, so that they are never left behind.
Live chat support systems must be future-ready, easy to manage, and mobile-enabled to stay ahead of the curve in 2022. What features can live chat support deploy to succeed this new year?
Conversational experiences 🗣️
We have seen that speed doesn’t need to be everything in live chat support. Customer satisfaction rates can still be surprisingly high in engagements that exceed the ten-minute mark, but that depends on the complexity of the request and the quality of the answer. Ideally, chat support can resolve issues that could take days over email in a matter of minutes, but it doesn’t have to be a race against the clock to solve a query. Live chat support provides a perfect opportunity to listen to customer requests and converse with them.
In order to make it as easy and conversational as possible, live chat support can even offer voice messaging, or video chat to make the interaction as easy as possible to the user.
User interfaces that help both the customer and service agents 👁️
An important part of engaging in conversations with customers is to help them in the best way possible. This means delivering personalized assistance to strengthen the customer’s bond with a brand and increase their loyalty. To do so live chat support can be tailored to also assist the agents who are engaging with customers to ensure that the service they deliver meets the user’s high standards, with intelligent routing and tagging features that manage and transfer chats to the right agent, saving time for both employees and customers.
Live chat support must also be easy for agents to use, so by efficiently sorting and centralizing simultaneous chats and multiple queries into a manageable queue, human agents can prioritize and resolve queries more efficiently.
Data insights and CRM integration to deliver personalized experiences 🤔 💭
In 2022, most customers are digital and businesses must meet them at their point of need. With 84% of customers stating that it is important for agents to answer queries confidently, live chat support can provide tools to help agents perform their jobs better. For example, Live chat support can deliver personalized interactions by leveraging data insights provided by customers when they log into their accounts to help support agents know a customer’s past interactions or purchases in order to better understand each customer’s preferences and habits.
This can be done by integrating live chat support to CRMs or other business tools to help agents connect customer data they already have and use this context to deliver a better experience.
Live chat support can also make use of automated triggers to engage customers when they visit the website with proactive chat messages that, if used sparingly and effectively, can help agents understand the customer journey and trigger personalized messages at the right time and allow agents to guide a user through a product or service. This can improve sales, as 44% of online shoppers state that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an inline purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.
Well-designed scripts for prompt replies 💬
Chat scripts may seem robotic if they are not designed well, but if done effectively and using the brand’s voice, they can help agents deliver swift replies to customers and deliver a consistent customer experience, tone, and brand messaging at the same time.
Metrics to establish live chat KPIs 📈
Live chat support software can deliver chat metrics to help teams monitor their live chat performance and identify weak points. Different KPIs can be established, from first response times, total conversations, total visitors or visitors-to-chat ratios, all of which can provide actionable feedback to improve these rates.
Incorporate knowledge bases, AI, and NLP into the process 🤖💙
Customers want omnichannel, 24/7 support in their preferred languages. While providing live chat support over multiple channels is a clear feature of proficient live chat support systems, the other two points can be a challenge for some customer service centers that cannot always deploy auto-translation or multilanguage chat support or provide 24/7 agent availability. However, there are tools that can be used to encourage self-service support options. Knowledge bases can provide all the relevant content a customer needs, and when accompanied with chatbot automation and natural language processing technology, queries can be handled round the clock.
Chatbots can improve customer satisfaction by handling basic queries 24/7, in multiple languages and channels when live representatives are offline. This can help reduce and streamline support tickets raised by customers. However, chatbots do not replace human agents in live chat support, especially with more complex queries. While they can answer 80 to 90% of questions, customers still need to interact with human agents to solve complex operations.
When interactions need a human touch, solutions like Inbenta Messenger combine live chat solutions with powerful multichannel case management and ticketing systems. Live chat enables seamless escalation of conversations from chatbots to human agents. Additionally, its case management and ticket functionality can convert contacts from multiple channels into manageable queues that can easily be assigned to customer service agents while providing the rights FAQs, prompts, canned responses, and user data to ensure that agents deliver consistent, accurate, and relevant responses.
Live Chat Support Has Become a Key Element When Future-Proofing Customer Service 💁💬
Customer expectations have changed and require faster, more personalized interactions between customers and businesses. At the same time, crises like Covid-19 have shown that businesses must have continuity plans to ensure that regardless of any obstacle, customers can always access their services.
Live chat support meets these demands better than traditional channels and boost customer loyalty by delivering the best possible customer experience remotely.
Businesses are aware of the need to optimize their live chat support and need to leverage the tools and data insights the best customer live chat support solutions and customer interaction platforms can provide.
In 2022, proactive live support with an omnichannel presence, that encourages self-service and leverages artificial intelligence and data analytics to improve customer experience will be a key feature in successful corporate strategies.
By integrating them with other solutions like knowledge bases, chatbots, search and other self-service tools, customers can find the perfect combination between real-time one-to-one interactions and self-service capabilities to ensure that they always find the solutions and services they need and experience a memorable customer loyalty that will strengthen their brand loyalty.