Live chat is a tool that’s becoming more popular on websites today. Although, many businesses are reluctant to embrace live chat due to uncertainties of the cost versus benefit. Would a business really need live chat if phone and email customer service options are already available? Yes, because it offers benefits that other modes of communication cannot provide. Here are seven reasons why live chat improves the customer service experience:

Customer convenience: Studies have shown that most people prefer live chat because it’s easy to use, efficient, and requires a relatively low time commitment compared to other modes of communication. Convenience is a huge business driver in a world with limitless options, and live chatting is an element that will really enhance a website’s ease of use.

Cuts cost: Live chat is best used to increase the value of customer service. Customers can ask questions and get answers in real time, and the customer service representatives are able to multitask by engaging in multiple chats at once. With multiple chats active, one customer service representative can handle more work, thus reducing the number of employees a customer service department may need. Live chat is also less expensive than alternatives because there are no added fees, like long distance calls, that are associated with a typical phone service.

Increases sales: A study by the American Marketing Association showed that live chat increases sales by about 20%, and customers that engage with live chat are three times more likely to a make purchase. This is because live chat decreases the customers ability to abandon a sale. If a customer has a question during any point of the sales process, a customer service representative can walk them through the answer, thus completing the sale.

Competitive advantage: People who use live chat are much more likely to make a purchase online compared to those who do not. By incorporating live chat within a website, it allows the business to engage with the most prospective buyers. According to a survey conducted by TELUS International, many major corporations aren’t incorporating live chat into their website, and using this service would vastly increase a business’s competitive advantage.

Addresses customer pain points: Many if not all customers have been through an experience where their issue was unable to be resolved, which certainly leads to frustration. For a business, identifying these pain points is not always an easy process. Live chat allows a customer to address their concern, and get immediate help and guidance to solve their problem. On the other side, the business can save these chat histories and use them to identify common pain points. This information can then be used to better the business process, as well as educate customers through content like blogs or FAQ pages.

Improves customer service and loyalty: Live chat tends to have the highest customer service rating compared to other options like email and phone. Live chat is often the most efficient way to get an answer, and the customer service representative is able to provide the customer with easy access to additional resources if necessary. Good customer service is what keeps customers coming back to a business, and live chat will certainly aid in providing a great customer service process.

Better Reporting: Live chat gives in-depth insights into the customer service process. In a phone conversation, the call can be monitored, but it would take some time to listen to the entire call and analyze the quality of service. With live chatting, the histories are saved and can be reviewed quickly and easily at any time. Furthermore, chats keep record of how many sessions were requested and completed, time spent on each session, as well as overall performance reports for each customer service representative. These analytics can help drive better sales and marketing support, and customer service training programs.