While phone and email support are better than nothing, more advanced communications like real time chat serve your customers best and are what they recognize as their own level of professionalism.

While phone and email support are better than nothing, more advanced communications like real time chat serve your customers best and are what they recognize as their own level of professionalism.

Last week, Chris Childers made a statement that resonated with the customer service sector: “organizations can no longer limit their customers to telephone and email communication only.” Expanded communications options might include social media, SMS messaging (texting), self-service, and/orreal time chat.

Regardless, the customer side of customer service has inexorably shifted from a mentality that accepts the communications equivalent to “cash only” establishments to one that expects to be able to engage their providers with more current technology. Being proudly responsive to phone and email inquiries only is the equivalent of taking pride in how quickly you can make change for cash transactions but refusing to accept credit cards in the age of online commerce. This is inconvenient to your customers in the first place and makes your company look out of touch in the second place, both of which are bad for business.

Why Should I Believe You, Business Chat Software Blog?

I understand there’s some measure of cynicism with which you must approach a real time chat blog like this, but I hope my emphasis on the fact that a change needs to be made rather than on the specific investment I would normally advocate for (business chat software) helps break past that skepticism. Whether you use real time chat software or not is secondary to whether you do something about your imminent customer service problem.

It’s not the next generation of customers, it’s the current generation of customers, who are sick of dealing with companies that can’t or won’t accommodate the communication that feels most natural and convenient to them.

A survey conducted by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) revealed that a staggering 93% of customers feel that even if their customer service agent provided good service, they would be substantially happier if they had received assistance through their preferred channel. Imagine if the service was less than great!

These customers are going to switch to companies that understand and cater to their preferences, responding within minutes via tweet or text, or within seconds via real time chat.

I understand there are severe operational constraints some companies are operating within, and the belt just continues to be tightened. It’s hard to keep customer satisfaction high when you don’t have the budget to hire staff with the right skill sets and that is compounded by the lack of budget, time and attention you’re able to spare for training new staff.

However, customers know that there are better options out there- some are communicating this directly to the companies they are frustrated doing business with. All of this means that if your company is not addressing this right now, that your customers know that either you can’t help them or you won’t help them. And if you had to pinpoint the moment a customer decides to leave you, it’s when they come to that realization.

For your sake, and for your many customers’ respective sakes, please “get with the times” – whether that means real time chat or something else.

Why Choose Business Chat Software?

Real time chat software is not going to magically solve all of your customer service problems for you – but it is going to put you in the position to do three things well that are really important to do well:

  1. Immediately demonstrate you care about providing quality customer service, moreover that you understand what your customers’ needs are, and that you are actively taking steps to rectify the historically inadequate situation – business chat software is very easy to deploy on your website and can provide valuable intelligence about what your customers are looking for
  2. Be more efficient in engaging your customers – a fully-trained real time chat agent can engage up to four customers simultaneously without compromising the quality of service
  3. Continuously improve the quality of your customer service – live chat reporting can help you identify how you can do a better job providing an excellent customer experience, even long after your first early steps in the right direction

Your customers came to you in the first place because they believed you had *the* solution they needed- don’t let antiquated customer service practices drive them to seek out other, likely inferior, solutions that are more attractive because they are supported in a more convenient manner.