Our recent Five9 Customer Service Index 2021 surveyed consumers about their communications channel preferences when contacting a business. Turns out that voice is still king with 51% of respondents indicating using phone as their preferred contact channel. Email came in second, with 23%, and chat third at 17%. For younger customers, chat is increasingly preferred. Many contact centers are deploying chat in response to increasing demand from their customers.
Here are some key features you should look for when considering chat vendors:
A blog post from Zendesk has shown that chat also has a very high level of customer satisfaction of 85%, second only to voice at 91%. Links embedded in a web page or smartphone app make it easy to initiate a chat interaction, reducing customer effort.
Finally, live chat has a lower cost per interaction than voice, especially when agents handle multiple customer interactions at a time. This serves to make agents’ work more interesting, which leads to higher agent satisfaction.
Once live chat has been implemented, there may be options for deploying automated chatbots. This can create a new digital workforce for your operation that supplements your live agents. Recent technology advances in artificial intelligence have greatly expanded the use cases, along with their results. Chatbots are always on and available 24/7 and are significantly less costly than live agents.
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For more than 18 years, Brian Spraetz has been helping customer service operations perform at peak levels and deliver loyalty-winning experiences. In addition to his positions in product marketing, Brian has had roles in product development and product management. With expertise spanning the full range of customer engagement solutions, Brian provides unique perspectives and valuable insights on effectively combining technology and processes to gain operational and competitive advantages.