“If we offer Chat2 software on our website will our customers use it?”
This is one of the most common questions we are faced with from our new customers.
If your customers use less effort in getting their questions answered quickly, it makes sense they will use Chat. In 2016, business growth will be about customer service, particularly online.
How to meet customers online
One of the first places customers go when looking for answers on products and services is the internet. So isn’t this one of the best places to meet your customers? They are already there looking for answers on your website.
If your customer had access to chat software at the very place they are looking for answers, they are likely to ask you questions about what they are looking for? That would be much easier than having to search through the web pages to find it themselves. Time is at a premium for many customers these days.
If they receive answers quickly in the space they are searching, they more likely to purchase, book, share their contact details and become a return customer of your business. They don’t even have to switch communication channels. They are receiving great customer service where they are on your website. So they will prefer to deal with your company than your competitor.
Who are these customers using chat?
Who are these customers that are more likely to engage in a live chat conversation on your website? From research undertaken by Software Advice, it was found the usage of a live chat software like Chat2 correlates strongly with age. Younger people aged between 18 to 34 are more likely to use live chat compared to older people aged 55 and over, particularly with regards to online shopping and simple queries. Though this potentially could change as our population ages with the experience of using chat software.
Though once the questions became more complex eg. Financial queries, the trend reverted to a higher preference for the phone over chat in all age groups. In the 18-34 age group, the difference was only around 15% for those who opted for the phone over live chat. However, in the 55+ age group the difference was much greater, where approximately 70% more preferred the phone over a live chat option.
Do older customers use Chat?
Overall, the research shows primarily Generation Y prefers the chat channel to get information on products and services. Though there are exceptions to this trend. Sometimes it is just the fact that chat software allows for immediate answers and offers convenience, even when the target audience is in the upper demographic. The online hearing aid vendor, Audicus reported that their customers tend to use live chat for the obvious questions even though the answer is right in front of them, for example “How do I get a hearing aid?”
Warick Phillips, Manager of NQ Solar – The Energy Hub, an Australian company has found they are connecting more frequently with their clients and obtaining genuine leads through using Chat2 software.
“We are selling a product in the upper price bracket and customers can be hesitant in our industry to pick up the phone and ask about pricing as they fear they will be given the hard sell. Our company is not like that, but Chat2 allows our customers to contact us in a non-threatening softer environment where they can get their answers clearly and quickly. Chat2 allows us to build rapport with our clients, so after a few minutes we are able to obtain details for quotes or to arrange a site visit”
Warick informed us the majority of their clients tend to be in the age group 30-60 age group, so another example of an exception to the trend. It would make sense that as our generations age communication channels like Chat will gain higher usage and popularity into the future.
Why do some Baby Boomers and Generation X’s buck the trend?
Sometimes it is not just about getting instant gratification through quick customer service which is being demanded more frequently by our customers in the online world. There are other factors at play and these can include:
*Not having to listen to hold music on the phone;
*Chat2 provides a written record accessible by the customer;
*Customers can multi-task while chatting;
*Customers don’t have to wait days for answers like email; and
*The environment is less threatening than face to face or on the phone.
Who will use Chat in 2025?
As our generations age it is likely the usage of Chat as a communication channel will become the channel of choice despite age. Chat is slowly gaining more popularity as more people are exposed to the technology and are comfortable in using it. Mobile technology is taking more of the world’s population online so the uptake of Chat technology will become essential for business to stay in contact with their customers. Our hypothesis at Chat2 is that age is unlikely to be a consideration in the future when identifying users of chat technology.
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