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Customers Prefer Live Chat Over Phone & E-mail

2 minutes
Tanya Stanfield

Online retailers like AT&T and Comcast have figured out what everyone from college dorm residents to cubicle dwellers have known for years: chatting online is convenient, easy and popular. A recent survey conducted by Bold Software shows that live chat is fast becoming the preferred method of communication among online shoppers – ahead of phone or e-mail. This is no surprise, given today’s fast-paced culture. Most importantly, regular and affluent shoppers seem to prefer e-commerce sites with live chat functions. Sixty-eight percent of those who identified themselves as weekly shoppers and 66 percent of those who spend more than $1,000 on a single purchase are more likely to buy a product or service from sites with live chat. The survey also indicates a loyalty effect among 72 percent of those who have used live chat in the past. The results also suggest that live chat is especially useful during the following scenarios:

1. When order processing errors occur.

We’ve all encountered technical problems when shopping online once or twice in our lives. Forcing customers to wait around for support staff to return e-mails or endure endless hold music over the phone is sometimes enough to kill repeat business. Live chat is a great way to solve ordering issues and make life easier for your customers.

2. When customers want to check an order status.

Again, we live in a culture that doesn’t like to wait. Customers can easily access live chat to check the status of their order, without picking up the phone or sending an e-mail.

3. When customers have general questions about products or services.

Even the most concise product descriptions and comprehensive FAQ pages sometimes fail to cover all of the bases.  Live chat is a great way to answer those random questions that stand between customers and their purchase. Live chat software might be something to consider if you are expecting a high volume of sales during the fast-approaching holiday season. Do your research before deciding if it’s right for you.