By Chris Lee
Live chat has been rated by consumers as the customer service touch point that requires the least effort, according to the latest Customer Service Benchmark results from eDigitalResearch.
The benchmark results indicate that – as indicated by other recent studies – consumers are most satisfied with their live chat customer service experiences, suggesting that satisfaction and customer effort are closely linked when it comes to contacting companies.
Of the 2,000 consumers surveyed, a quarter (26 per cent) have used live chat to contact a company in the last year, of whom 73 per cent said they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘extremely satisfied’ with the service they received via the touch point.
“In an age when consumers are firmly in control, driving change and forcing brands to innovate, live chat offers customers the ability to chat to a brand representative in real-time without the hassle of long delays, automated systems or dreaded ‘hold’ music,” the report’s authors said.
Younger age groups warm to live chat
Analysis found that live chat is used widely amongst age groups and demographics, especially in the 21-24 and 25-35 age groups, and therefore has a big implication on all brands across all sectors. One third (30 per cent) of those surveyed now expect to be able to use live chat to contact a brand – a figure that is only likely to increase given the channel’s high satisfaction points. Brands consequently need to ensure that they are adapting their contact centres to incorporate these emerging touch points, edigitalresearch said.
Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, said: “The latest Customer Service Benchmark results suggest that the easier a company makes it for a customer to contact them, the more satisfied they are likely to be. Live chat offers consumers the ability to quickly and easily contact a company – there’s no long-winded automated systems, repetitive hold music or lengthy waiting periods. Brands who are executing their live chat touch point well are clearly signalling to users when an customer service agent is available and how long they may have to wait, as well as allowing them to remain anonymous if needs be so that they can talk openly and honestly about their issues, queries or complaints.”
Digital touch points trump traditional contact methods
The study also found that digital touch points are now rated much higher than their more traditional counterparts. Live chat, email and social media were all ranked as the top three ways to contact a brand – users of these three channels were much more satisfied than those using the phone or post for their customer service queries.
eDigitalResearch concluded that while the number of consumers turning to these channels as a first port of call to contacting a brand are currently lower than their traditional counterparts, the higher satisfaction rates suggest that they are likely to return to these channels again and again.