•13 days ago
Whether it’s a text to update your partner on dinner plans or a Slack message from your colleague following up on a new project, live chat messaging is everywhere. It’s how we talk to one another for work, how we game together, how we follow up on purchases, and how we contact support. When your business provides live chat support, you’re connecting with customers in a trusted communication channel.
But building a seamless customer experience is only half the story. Providing live chat support also helps build stronger relationships with customers who support your business growth. According to a Kayako study, 79% of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive impact on their sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.
As your company grows, it can become difficult to engage with your customers in a meaningful way. When you offer live chat, whether it’s in-app, via chatbot, or direct support, you make it easier for your team to connect with customers at scale. And when so much depends on building engaged relationships with your audience, it’s important to nail the live chat experience. And that all starts by understanding how the platform makes scaling customer engagement simple.
Live Chat Engages with Customers in Their Preferred Channel
When someone reaches out to your company, their interaction can have a positive or negative effect on the customer experience. Being able to connect with customers in their preferred channel is the first step toward ensuring that experience is a good one. When 41% of consumers say they prefer live chat over other support channels, providing that functionality makes boosting engagement with your company and your team that much more effective.
It’s easy to understand why live chat support is so powerful. The core drivers for this preference can be broken down into three themes:
- Ease of use
Live chat helps your team provide quick answers to customer questions without the long wait times often associated with email correspondence. Plus, you’re not making customers sit on hold just to talk through their issues over the phone.
Instead, live chat support makes it easy to diagnose individual customer issues without forcing people to stop what they’re doing entirely. Customers using live chat can toggle through multiple tabs in their browser or between tools on their computer, while also maintaining a conversation with your team.
Most of your customers will also be much more comfortable using chat than other support channels. Part of that is due to the perception that companies using live chat value their customers’ time more. Seventy-three percent of people say that valuing their time is one of the most important things a company can do to make the support experience better, so it’s definitely something you need to prioritize.
When customers feel comfortable using a communication channel, it can increase the potential for them to share important information freely. Plus, there’s a running record of previous chat conversations that the support team can easily reference in the future. Instead of spending their time trying to surface information the customer has already shared, your team can easily scan through the chat transcripts to gain additional context quickly.
Incorporating chatbots into your live chat support provides simple answers to commonly asked questions. Instead of spending their time directing customers to a specific area of the site or sharing a quick knowledge base article, your team will have more time to spend on complex and in-depth customer queries.
Live Chat Boosts In-App Engagement as Well
Not only does live chat help you connect with customers in their preferred communication channel, using in-app chat helps you boost usage and retain customers longer. When someone has to stop what they’re doing to connect with others outside of an app, it’s a poor experience. Learn more in 4 Ways In-App Chat Increases User Engagement.
As your customer base grows, providing great support becomes much harder unless you find ways to scale your processes alongside company growth.
Live Chat Fosters Strong Relationships by Highlighting Your Team’s Personality
Incorporating live chat support into your customer engagement strategy gives your team the opportunity to talk with customers in a more conversational setting. Every employee chatting on your company’s behalf can develop their own voice and personality when connecting with customers one-on-one.
This conversational tone is also easier to maintain in live chat as your team grows. Most people, both employees and consumers, interact with their family and colleagues via live chat, so they’re used to the cadence of those conversations. This makes it easier to scale than email or phone support, where more time is required to make the same kind of connections.
Live chat gives your team the opportunity to include emojis, GIFs, and other media directly in the chat window, making each interaction engaging for customers as well as your team.
Including more personality not only increases engagement from customers but from your team as well. Managing a chat queue can be a daunting prospect, prone to burnout and stress. By making the chat experience more personal for everyone involved, you’re giving your team the agency to build stronger relationships across the board.
The ability to embed media, such as hyperlinks and videos, at any point in the conversation is a great way to make live chat support more useful. If your team needs to help customers navigate to a specific area of your website or they need to share a quick Soapbox video to walk through a complex process, they can do everything directly in the chat window. This kind of in-line sharing cuts down on the time it takes to understand customer issues, find a solution, and share relevant support material directly.
Having a running chat history helps you document these interactions at scale. As your team begins supporting more customers more frequently, being able to automate the documentation process helps you streamline how your company keeps track of important customer information. With the Chat API & Messaging SDK from Stream, you’re able to integrate with various other platforms and support tools, giving back valuable time to your team.
Live Chat Maintains Data Privacy and Security to Build Trust
Live chat support is more secure and easier to use than both phone and email support. When you’re dealing with sensitive customer information, maintaining proper data privacy and security helps your team build trusting and loyal relationships with customers. Using Stream’s Chat & Messaging API, combined with Virgil Security, makes it easy to create end-to-end encrypted chat that keeps your customers safe.
The relationships you build through secure live chat support are stronger and longer lasting than relationships built without trust. Eighty-one percent of consumers say trust is an important factor in whether or not they make a purchase from any company, so anything your team can do to foster those relationships through chat is beneficial to your bottom line.
Including encryption in your live chat support makes it easy to share valuable context in a single conversation. This bypasses the need to talk through personal identifying information over the phone or send it via email (which can be significantly less secure, depending on the customer’s security settings). Whether you’re working with telemedicine and HIPAA compliance or helping customers make an order on your site with their credit card, live chat is a great, secure option.
When you’re able to build this kind of trust at scale, it makes your product or service more appealing for more enterprise clients. These types of customers tend to be more concerned with the overall data privacy and security of the tools they use, so you’re also gaining a competitive advantage.
These security gains impact how quickly your company evolves. As your team gets bigger, the potential for unintended privacy issues increases, so you need to have a secure platform in place to handle incoming customer requests.
Live Chat Integrates with Other Platforms to Create Better Experiences
Live chat is adaptable. As one of the most popular communication methods for business and personal relationships, chat platforms naturally integrate with a number of other tools and services. This makes the experience of interacting with your brand feel more powerful—as seamless integration is one of the most important drivers of increased customer engagement.
When you provide a consistent experience for users, which nearly 80% of consumers expect from every brand, your customers can easily talk to support without having to stop what they’re doing entirely. That helps keep customers engaged with the task at hand, making it easier for your team to guide people through complicated issues.
Modern-day consumers need to do a lot of context switching throughout the day, so making that experience easier helps increase user engagement. And when users are more engaged with a product, they’re more likely to stick around longer.
When you connect your live support platform with other tools, it makes sharing information between tools less painful. Your team will be able to access chat history, pull up account information, and share links to knowledge base articles faster. Customers will benefit from these integrations as they make it easier to provide the necessary context your team needs to better resolve their issues.
This kind of consistent, easy-to-understand experience is what makes live chat the most preferred channel for scaling customer relationships as your company grows.
Live Chat Support Is Your Key to Scaling Customer Relationships
Engaging with customers via live chat helps your team make connections faster and more efficiently. With live chat support, you’re able to connect one-on-one more frequently and elevate your relationships with customers at key points in their experience with your company. This builds trust and loyalty quickly, making it easier for your team to spend their time and resources ensuring that every interaction is the best it can possibly be.