A Look at Why Live Chat Improves Engagement

At CES International on January 9th, during a keynote session, Salesforce’s CEO Marc Benioff noted that customer service is “the new marketing.”  Ultimately, if you take care of your customers, their good will shall take care of you.  At SnapEngage, we believe that live customer support chat is the best way to take care of your customers.

One of the first benefits that comes with live customer support is that the support is, by definition well live.  One of the advantages to going to a physical store in the real world is that a customer knows he or she will have someone there to whom they may ask questions. It is one of the downsides to e-commerce that customers are often lost at sea should they need more information. With live customer support, then, the customer has the option to get that assistance if they need it.

Hide and seek is fun, just not with customers
A game best played with kids, not your customers! Image: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sanchez

The immediacy of that assistance is important.  Sure, a customer can send an e-mail with all of their questions, but while they wait for a reply, they may decide to take their business elsewhere.  In a live chat window, however, the customer knows that the question is being considered and will be answered soon. Hide and seek is fun, but not when it comes to supporting your customers!

What’s more, it is cost effective.  Cheaper than other live methods like the telephone, and frankly a lot better.  If it’s the difference between a chat window on a screen and holding a phone up to their sweaty ear while being reassured that “your call is very important to us,” most won’t choose the latter.

And that’s where “the new marketing” kicks in.  Frankly, there is a lot of indication that customers prefer this form of live customer support.  In an article on MoneyCrashers, they point out how they prefer the “7 Benefits of Life Online Customer Service Chat.”

  • They get any agreements in writing (which is also a benefit to the business, knowing exactly what has been promised)
  • They get to appear to remain calm, even if frustrated (reducing stress all around)
  • They can see that they are communicating clearly (and the business can see that they are doing the same)
  • They feel free to call for someone else
  • They save time by not being on hold or repeating the same information over and over again
  • They get to maintain their privacy, since they don’t have to worry about being overheard on the phone at work
Image: Flickr CC ABCArchives
I like the sound of that!
Image: Flickr CC ABCArchives

And as the business offering these benefits to customers, that great customer service blossoms into great marketing.  Client loyalty grows, as does customer confidence. That is awesome Word of Mouth Marketing!

According to WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) people were 55% more likely to recommend a brand or a service if they had a great customer service experience.

If you’re looking to get this road to great customer service started, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

2013 the year of E-commerce: Will your company capture the growth or be left on the sidelines?

Today’s blog post is brought to you by our newest member of the Customer Support Hero Squad, Blake Harris!

2012 was certainly a remarkable year. Facebook got its one billionth user, a relatively unknown band from South Korea took YouTube’s crown for the most watched video ever, and all of us (aside from Mr. Twinkie) survived the Mayan apocalypse.

What 2013 holds remains to be seen, but one trend you can bet on is the continued growth in e-commerce. From 2004 to 2011, e-commerce sales doubled and yet still only represents a meager 8.6% of all retail commerce, leaving seemingly endless growth potential ahead.

ascent-of-ecommerce

However, the growth we have seen and will see is far from evenly distributed. The players in the e-commerce world can be summed up into two groups – the contenders and the pretenders. The question you need to ask yourself is; will my company ride to the top of the e-commerce wave or will we be left on the sidelines as others are showered with prosperity?

To better your chances of riding to the top of the e-commerce wave just follow the 6 steps outlined below…
1. Be unique.
The world wide web is big and growing fast. You need to STAND out. Really STAND OUT.

PSY-gangnam-style

The South Korean Gangman Style video did not become the king of YouTube because it had the best lyrics. After all the video, which has been viewed over a billion times, is in a language that less than 0.01% of the world speaks! Yet the combination of scenery, costumes, characters, music and dance all came together to create quite a hit. Be the best you can be, then once you have done that be the most unique you can be!
– Try something funny.
– Keep it clean but fully professional may not be needed.
– Add content that your visitors will want to share.

2. Focus on usability.
The amount of time and number of clicks a website visitor is willing to expend before they move on to the next site is lower than ever before and this trend is expected to continue. Make sure your website is first-time-visitor-friendly.
– Limit the number of options a visitor has.
– Keep important content on the left.
– Have a clear call to action.

Also consider checking out this great article on website usability
Or consider reading Steve Krug’s book on usability “Don’t Make Me Think,”

4. Add live chat to your website today!
Generation Y and Z consider email passe. This is an enormous market that is casting their vote with credit cards 24/7 as to which companies will dominate e-commerce and which companies will get left behind. If you are planning to stick to just an email address and phone number as means for your website visitors to connect with you, then take some time to tidy up your resume because your customers will start moving to competitors that can help them in real time. Don’t miss out on this $340 billion dollar market, add live chat to your website. Sign up for your Free Trial today!

5. Build with the BRICS.
No, not the bricks used to build your parents’ fireplace. The BRICS that are already responsible for most of the world’s economic growth. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have already begun to dominate many industries and we can certainly expect that as internet access proliferates in these countries, e-commerce will explode there as well. Have various forms of your website designed to meet the needs of individuals in all of these countries. Give serious weight to multi-lingual job applicants when hiring and become familiar with the business customs of the country where your customers are located. (Oh and on that note, if you speak Portuguese and want an awesome job in an incredible city, come apply to work with us at SnapEngage. See more information at www.SnapEngage.com/jobs.)

6. Make 2013 the year you become an SEO superstar!
Make a habit to blog weekly, join google+, create a google place for your business, and keep up with the latest trends in social media. Start now by commenting below on how you are going to make your company a true contender in the e-commerce market in 2013!

January 8th 2013 – Release Notes: Fixes

Greetings – a couple of small changes for today:

  • Fixed how we format city names that come to use from our geo location service, so that city’s like “ottignies-louvain-la-neuve” are formatted to “Ottignies Louvain La Neuve” (rather than “OttigniesLouvainLaNeuve”)
  • Fixed an issue what would sometimes cause the status icon to “spin” for up to a minute after the agent signs into the web client.
  • The JavaScript event API has been extended with a new function, beforeCallMe, allowing the use of alternative click-to-call solutions in place of the default SnapEngage voice service. This feature is still experimental. Documentation will be added once this is fully supported.