Application Support

Benefits & Drawbacks of Live Chat

Did you know that SuperOffice now offers an online live chat facility?

Included in a recent software upgrade, this free-of-charge service enables can customers to interact with your support staff in real time, helping you to solve queries and issues using your SuperOffice system.

When used correctly, a live chat facility can help to increase customer loyalty and retention rates as well as lower costs. Live chat can be a useful way to connect customers with your service department. However, this technology can also prove problematic.

To celebrate its release, we wanted to examine the benefits and possible drawbacks of using SuperOffice Chat.

4 Pros of Live Chat

Here are four reasons why live chat is useful to both companies and customers:

  1. Convenient for Customers – If your customers need assistance with an issue, there is no more convenient way for them to get in touch than by using online chat. This technology facilitates support on any browser, on any device, at any time and without interrupting what each client is working on. In today’s world, this level of convenience – as well as reacting efficiently to issues – is paramount when it comes to earning customer loyalty and improving satisfaction rates. However, this expectation can cause problems, as we will discover later.
  1. Enables Faster Solutions – Live chat lets you direct attention to online resources to help solve queries, from instructional videos to articles and more. Use it to link your customers to relevant online information quickly and easily.
  2. Lower Costs – Recent research has found that using live chat is 17-30% cheaper than a phone call. That figure speaks volumes in itself but can improve even further if agents are responding to multiple queries at the same time.
  1. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Integration – Live chat makes it easier than ever to track conversations, keeping an accurate record of any topics discussed. The ability to access this data is essential in the effective management and analysis of customer interactions.

Unlike traditional channels of communication, live chat also helps to build a database of common queries and issues. If similar problems are being encountered frequently, patterns can emerge in the data and help to identify any recurring errors or shortcomings in customer care and support.

4 Cons of Live Chat

As with everything in business, there are also potential downsides to utilising live chat:

  1. Long Wait Times Annoy Customers – With an instant messaging service comes the expectancy of immediate response. If you don’t respond to queries fast enough, customer satisfaction can fall substantially. Broadly speaking, it is essential that responses are delivered within 5 minutes.
  1. Poor User Experience – Despite evidence that live chat increases customer loyalty and conversion rates, many feel that this service is unsatisfactory. In fact, research has shown that 38% of consumers believe it is simply not a good enough method of accessing customer service.
  1. Customers Dislike Scripted Responses – Scripted responses can cause frustration among customers who may find them impersonal and/or patronising. Unless you have a large team of operatives at your disposal, using such auto-responses can prove unavoidable.
  1. Staffing Issues – The expectation of immediate response means it is difficult to understaff your live chat response team. Any customers left waiting will not be forgiving which means you must preserve a full quota of operatives during all working hours.

Although live chat offers a quick and convenient method of enabling customers to access support, its use does necessitate a considerable commitment for businesses in terms of both time and energy.

Are you unsure if live chat is a viable option for your organisation? The Synergy Technology team will be more than happy to assist with any queries you may have.

If you’d like to learn more about this service or any other aspect of your SuperOffice system, please contact us on 0345 456 0050 today.