Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal published a press release regarding the increasing popularity of web chat (i.e. live chat). It highlighted the growing popularity of web chat amongst both consumers and producers. This blog posts looks at the data contained in the article and comments on its findings.

The reasons why web chat is so popular with consumers, over phone and email customer service, are clearly pointed out in the article. 91% of consumers that have used web chat before are satisfied with the results that they have achieved from it. These consumers have been satisfied with a full range of services which web chat has to offer. These 91% of consumers were able to get advice on their purchase decision, get customer service issues resolved and have questions answered in a timely manner - all whilst they were still browsing the company's website.

Web chat means that consumers don't have to listen to mind-numbing on hold music whilst they are passed from representative to representative, and are able to get their problem solved or question answered quickly whilst they are still shopping. In fact, 42 percent of consumers stated that the ability of web chat to enable instant access to a customer service representative without hold time and the fact that it's readily available as the most important benefits of using the service.

 

These are clear consumer benefits which the article outlined but they are also strong benefits to the company providing web chat support. Web chat increases customer satisfaction and therefore improves the brand's image in the customer's eye and encourages them to return. Loyal customers are of course important as a frequent revenue stream but also due to the fact that they spend far more in each visit than first time buyers or people making repeat purchases. Marketers in the United States and Europe must bring in 5 and 7 shoppers, respectively, to equal the revenue of 1 repeat purchaser.

According to the article on The Wall Street Journal, web chat continues to evolve in the U.S., about three out of four (79 percent) of Americans think people will be interested in having a web chat feature that could be used on mobile phones or tablets. Over 67 percent of US consumers think web chat will eventually become much more widely used.

Something which the article didn't highlight is the short term benefits of web chat to eCommerce and other businesses. Yes, web chat can mean fast problem resolution for consumer and company, but it can also mean increased sales and lead generation in the short term too.

 

Here at The Chat Shop we use a range of methods to increase our clients' conversion rates. Having live chat implemented on an eCommerce site means that live chat agents can offer personalised recommendations to customers, chat and solve problems with customers which look like they are about to abandon baskets and offer VIP service to high value customers. Click here to read more about how we use live chat to Increase Conversion. We also use live chat to generate and qualify leads for our clients. Using our Explore Identify Match methodology we develop a potential lead's interest and learn more about them as we chat so that we can provide actionable and insightful information to clients. Click here to read more about Lead Generation and how we increase the number of leads generated and qualified on our clients' sites.

 

To read the full press release "Web Chat to become the Next Wave of Customer Management Adoption..." on the The Wall Street Journal site, follow this link.