To Live Chat, or Not to Live Chat? That is the Customer Care Question

The combination of multi-channel marketing solutions you choose to implement in your customer care strategy weighs heavily on your customers’ preferences.

That’s right, it’s up to your customers to shape your contact center’s use of preferred communications methods. After all, if you don’t heed the clues your customers offer you each day you are probably making more missteps than achievements. For example, it’s true that many consumers appreciate a Web-based live chat option for customer care inquiries, but no two consumers are the same and oftentimes communication preferences vary by age group and other important demographic and situational specificities.

In fact, a recent survey from the online CRM review firm Software Advice titled “The Impact of Demographics on Live Chat Customer Service” revealed that 49 percent of respondents prefer using live chat for online shopping questions, while 74 percent prefer telephone for complex financial questions. Furthermore, the survey also revealed that regardless of the nature of the inquiry, 56 percent of those aged 18 to 34 prefer live chat to phone, while only 27 percent of those aged 35 and older share  that same preference.

Case in point: it’s essential that contact centers provide a multitude of options for their customers while remaining attentive to age or industry-defined preferences. And while it will undoubtedly prove difficult to gauge an overall consensus of your customers’ preferences simply from their interactions, it is advantageous to leverage data analytics to glean more accurate conclusions.

For instance, your contact center should compile a complete customer profile database. By analyzing this information with data analytics you can gain more insights about the demographic makeup of your consumer base. As well, it’s important to have a database of customers’ transactional history, this way you can also understand which customers made contact with your business over which channels.

So, do your research first, then decide whether certain solutions make sense for your business or not.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.