Customer service is an integral part of doing business in most industries, including B2B businesses, where the “customer” is another business or professional. With the consistent growth of the digital marketplace over the last two decades, customer service has changed in significant ways to support both software services as well as retail and other business practices that now take place online.
In the past, customer service outside of in-person interactions took place primarily over the phone, with massive call centers on down to a handful of individuals who were responsible for answering the phone to handle customer complaints or answer their questions. However, phone-based customer support has received plenty of flack. Customers hate waiting on hold for long periods of time, and even if wait times are just a few minutes, today’s customer expects more of an instant response.
Email has offered a different avenue that works in some cases, if the customer is willing to wait 24 to 48 hours for a reply, but it doesn’t satisfy the customer’s needs or desires for many business transactions. For retail and other consumer-facing industries, a lack of instant service almost always results in a loss of the sale.
Luckily, the growing spread of online services and tools has changed the game in everyone’s favor, if businesses will only take advantage of them. Live chat tools have radically transformed the opportunities for improved customer service in a variety of ways.
Business Benefits of Live Chat for Customer Service
Several popular live chat tools are available for businesses to manage or augment their customer service offerings. While it may be beneficial for these businesses to continue to offer customer service via phone and email, live chat creates several opportunities that benefit both the business and their customers.