By Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC
What’s the old saying?? Better late than never! Stands true for BBB serving Mainland BC at the moment. While I understand it isn’t all that flattering to feel like we are behind the 8-ball, there is still plenty of time for organizations like ours to expand our ability to connect with consumers and businesses alike. So we are.
For several years, businesses have been taking advantage of the Live Chat functions on websites. Plenty of big global communications and service providers do this as a way to make it easier to connect, troubleshoot, and problem solve.
We at BBB serving Mainland BC are happy to say we now offer this service to British Columbians. There are many other BBB’s who offer this as well and have been for some time.
A Live Chat function allows consumers to open a real-time dialogue with organizations without picking up the phone. Same messages, slightly different medium. So what are the benefits?
Here is a snapshot:
- It’s cheaper. Typically using a Live Chat service doesn’t cost any more than using an email service provider. This is far cheaper than going the old fashioned (shudder) phone method.
- There have been studies that indicate sales actually increase through the use of Live Chat. In fact, we literally just launched our Live Chat service and while we were training a couple of in-house staff, two companies approached us on Live Chat seeking BBB Accreditation. Holy cow!
- This is a big one. Faster resolutions for concerned customers. What will that do? Easy...build loyalty and retain them.
- For the consumer, and your often bottle-necked phone lines, it’s convenient. It makes it easier for your audience to contact you. The Aberdeen Group did a survey and found this is now the preferred method consumers want to reach companies with.
- If you want to target the ubiquitous yet hard to reach millennial demographic, using a Live Chat function will help.
- It’s a great tool to collect business intelligence. Using Live Chat can help you understand your consumer’s pain points which can help you make changes to your service levels.
- People use the web for entertainment. While they may have to wait a short while to talk to someone, they can at least browse the Internet while they are waiting instead of hanging onto their phone.
- Gives you a competitive edge. Does your competition use Live Chat? If not you now have the potential to win them over and increase conversions.
- It’s engaging in real-time. No messages to leave and hope you get a callback. No email to wait for a response. The consumer is heard now and the issue can be dealt with, not always, of course, some fixes take time, but the consumer is placated now.
- Consumers simply like it the best:
“Within the online channel, the chat feature has become the leading contact source, as 42% of full-service customers indicate using a live online chat feature vs. email (23%) or other social media forum (16%). Additionally, online satisfaction is highest among customers who use the chat feature”
(from 2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study)