Your customer service can make or break your business. Today’s customers are basing their purchasing decisions on more quality and price: 95% consider customer service as a key influence on the brands they choose and remain loyal to.
The level of service you deliver depends on speed and quality. To win your customers’ hearts and dollars your support must be fast and awesome.
A recent Forrester report states that 66% of customers regard companies that clearly value their time as providers of good service. You’ve probably experienced the frustration of navigating IVR mazes only to be put on hold to soul-sucking music when calling helplines. You may have lost time stumbling through a self-service mashup of wikis, FAQs, and support forums.
However, as important as fast response and resolution times might be, quality trumps speed. 95% of customers regard service quality as more important than time saved.
So if you waste your customers’ time or fail to give them useful service, you’re most likely going to send them to your competitors, suffer negative word-of-mouth, and increase your cart abandonment rate. You’ll also end up spending more trying to compensate for churn and plummeting acquisition rates – customer loyalty expert Ruby Newell-Legner says it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved bad experience.
Of course, you want to provide support that does far more than prevent losses and expenses. You want to deliver experiences that have your customers singing your praises from the rooftops, and, of course, buying your products or services.
Live chat is one of the best ways of giving today’s customers the high level of service they expect.
Over 50% of customers prefer online chat over calling for support. Among customer service channels, live chat scores highest for customer satisfaction, with 73% of customers stating they’ve had good experiences with this support channel. For comparison, 48% said they were satisfied with support provided via social media; phone support scored 44%.
Offering live chat is a great start, but you’ll also need to consider the experience your chat solution is going to deliver. For instance, 44% of consumers prefer chatting with a live person over a chatbot. You can still win over the other 56% with a chatbot, as long as it’s smart and therefore capable of delivering personalized service that is relevant to their interests.
One surefire way to help your customer service agents deliver great live chat experiences is to support them with an intelligent, well-organized knowledge base.
A knowledge base can amplify the benefits of live chat
Fast, accurate, personal support for a better customer experience
When you combine your AI-powered internal knowledge base with your live chat you can deliver faster, more accurate customer support. During chat sessions, your agents need to access the right information quickly, so the service they deliver is highly dependent on your knowledge base. A knowledge base that grows more capable of resolving issues based on keywords in customer queries, as well as customer profiles and histories, increases agent efficiency and effectiveness.
Short response times and personalization is only valuable to customers if the solutions your agents provide are accurate and consistent. Integrating a comprehensive knowledge base into your live chat processes will help ensure you’re providing the best possible customer experience during every support session.
In knowledge we trust
In addition to the immediacy and better customer experience, the capabilities of your live chat and internal knowledge base combo will boost your company’s trustworthiness. Once you’ve won their trust, your customers will stick with you for the long haul.
Happy customers spend more and spread the word about your excellence
An excellent live chat session can also motivate your customers to buy more from you. Not only have 38% of customers made purchases based on a successful chat, but they also spend 60% more than customers who don’t use live chat.
In addition to boosting your revenue through increased conversions, powering up your live chat with a knowledge base can win loyalty from big online spenders. 63% of customers who spend $250-300 online every month will continue buying from you for providing superior live chat support.
Your customers are more likely to become advocates after experiencing a positive live chat experience than becoming detractors after a negative experience. So investing time, budget, and resources into connecting your knowledge base to your live chat solution can potentially reduce customer acquisition costs while driving up revenue.
A smart knowledge base can also increase your support team’s productivity. Not only does it enable them to instantly direct customers to solutions to frequently repeated queries, predictive search can save agents the trouble of hunting for answers.
Finally, pairing the right internal knowledge base with your live chat solution drives profits. The faster your agents can solve customer queries, the lower your cost per support session. This means you get to keep more of the increased revenue you gain through improved service.
What to look for in your knowledge base and live chat solutions
Get a smart knowledge base
Not all knowledge bases are created equal; you want to be sure yours integrates with live chat so it adds value not only to your customers but to the customer support agents who use it. To achieve this, your internal knowledge base still has to satisfy several key requirements.
First, make sure your knowledge base is comprehensive. As you’re building it, refer to past support tickets and find common patterns in queries and responses. You can also review your social media channels, call center reports and/or transcripts, customer reviews, and forums that contain discussions about your products or services. This will place a higher short-term demand on resources at first, but your returns on this investment make it worthwhile.
You also want an internal knowledge base that automatically measures usage. This helps you identify and fill knowledge gaps, fine-tune categorization, and, with AI and machine learning technologies, provide your customer service agents and chatbots with the answers customers want in real time.
The importance of smart technologies cannot be understated. A knowledge base that’s capable of identifying customers, their product or service, and queries can suggest possible solutions to agents instantly. To do this effectively, your knowledge base should feature predictive search based on keywords in the queries customers submit via live chat.
Intuitive navigation and dashboards are vital to the efficacy and efficiency of your customer support agents. This shortens training time and the ability to deliver better service more quickly will boost agent engagement. Syncing the automated features of your knowledge base with chatbot AI enables them to handle simple, frequently submitted queries while your agents take care of more complex cases.
Finally, you need an easily scalable knowledge base that will be able to support your growing customer base.
Find a flexible live chat solution
The customer-facing part of this winning combination must make customers feel valued. When chatting with them, engage with them on a personal level. Scripted responses may deliver speed, but with the wrong wording or, worse, inaccurate solutions, they can also result in customer frustration and churn.
It’s obviously easier for support agents to take a more personal approach than chatbots. Yet automated support makes good economic sense when your live chat solution uses smart technologies that teach chatbots how to provide fast, accurate, and even personal support. They’ll also learn when to relay queries to human agents.
Regardless of who or what is on the other end of a live chat window, customers want real-time responses. A solution that sticks them in a queue isn’t of much use to them. Sure, customers can multitask more easily while waiting for a live chat agent than while on hold for a call center operator, but there’s still a missed opportunity to show a little care that will go a long way.
While your agents are chatting with customers, co-browsing can be helpful in solving issues involving software products and digital services. At the same time, your live chat should be capable of collecting non-sensitive customer data, such as date of purchase, product or service codes, and warranty details. Such information can help expand your knowledge base and help resolve future queries.
Some cases may require support from outside your customer service team, so your live chat software should make it easy for teams and departments to collaborate. You’ll need to ensure seamless integration with your internal knowledge base to keep everyone that’s helping resolve a customer query on the same page.
Just like your knowledge base, your live chat solution needs to be scalable and capable of providing useful measurements and actionable insights that can help improve customer service as well as your products/services.
Chat and knowledge for the win!
When you combine live chat with a smart internal knowledge base, you stand to gain massive benefits. The increase in customer satisfaction will ultimately lead to increased revenues. Your support costs will decrease thanks to automated and accelerated service. And support agents are likely to be more engaged by handling more challenging and stimulating customer service requests, while chatbots learn to take care of the more repetitive ones.