Customers today can be a bit challenging. They want to find answers online…until they want to talk to a human. They expect not only the right answer, but, increasingly, a lightning-fast answer.
Enter live chat, one of the most useful tools when it comes to meeting the needs of today’s demanding and connected customer. Why? Chat is the best of both worlds: personal and digital. It offers your customers real-time human interaction, facilitated by a computer or mobile device.
When it’s available to them, more and more customers are saying “Yes” to chat, choosing it more often than they did just 3 years ago. And given where and when they’re requesting information (online and anytime) it’s easy to see why chat works: No need for coworkers to hear the ins and outs of a delivery problem (let alone a financial or health issue) and no long hold periods on the phone. Simply put, chat makes the customer experience smoother and more satisfying.
As it turns out, chat is much more than a nice-to-have customer service enhancement for today’s hyperconnected consumers. A Forrester report, The Total Economic Impact of Zendesk, which examines potential return on investment (ROI) by organizations who adopt Zendesk’s customer support products, reveals new data about the financial upside of chat for businesses that offer it. Forrester interviewed five organizations with experience using Zendesk’s customer support products to shed light on the benefits, costs, and risks associated with a Zendesk implementation. Their findings outline the ROI for companies that implement Zendesk tools, examining results across several critical business functions.
Looking at multichannel solutions and agent interactions, the research yielded significant results with respect to live chat. Specifically, the report found that the organizations Forrester studied were able to “increase deflection of interactions to self-service and also shift interactions to lower-cost channels, especially chat” with Zendesk. For their financial model, Forrester assumed that over three years, chat rose to fifteen percent of total interactions and that a customer interaction that deflected to chat saves an average of six dollars per event. By year three of introducing live chat, those savings translate into a bump to the bottom line of over seventy-five thousand dollars.
Better for the business
Those positive numbers tie chat’s story up in a pretty neat bow, but it’s worth exploring the other ways businesses win with chat. First, and perhaps most crucially, live chat gives agents the chance to answer questions about a product at the moment of check-out. Rather than lose a sale if a customer has a question about shipping or delivery, live chat ensures customers stay engaged, can ask and receive answers in real-time and go on to complete their purchase.
Chat offers companies the flexibility to connect with users 24/7 and worldwide—no international phone number necessary. Research indicates that with chat, agents can manage interactions with multiple customers at the same time, and can quickly assess whether another agent is better suited to the inquiry or issue. Lastly, chat is yet another tool for gathering valuable customer feedback, and thus differentiating the online experience for VIP customers.
Better for customers
While consumers age 18-34 lead the charge, it’s clear that older generations are hip to chat’s charms as well. Over 45% of consumers age 55 and over have used live chat and the numbers are growing. From the customer perspective, what’s not to love? Chat allows for an immediate connection and quick resolution to most queries. No more waiting on hold or sending an email out into the abyss. Then, too, chat is reassuringly familiar to customers who spend their days typing and texting. Another bonus? Interacting via live chat may make it easier for customers to ask questions they aren’t comfortable voicing in person or over the phone.
Whether from the perspective of a company or a customer, chat’s advantages as a customer service tool come through loud and clear. Increased customer satisfaction means increased company profitability. Word.
To learn more about how implementing live chat with Zendesk products can empower your customer service team and save you money, download the full Forrester report: The Total Economic Impact of Zendesk
For even more information, watch the webinar: From Cost Center to Profit Center: the Potential ROI of Zendesk