You need a question answered, so you dial the customer service number. You’re confronted with an automated line. You spend valuable time listening to options that just don’t fit the issue, but there is no direct way to get to a “real person.” Once you finally hear a live voice, you go through the motions of stating your question only to be transferred to a different department. A quick look at the phone shows you’ve already wasted 15 minutes. The alternate route is submitting an online form that states responses usually happen within 48 hours.
Do quick answers even exist anymore?
We’ve all endured these types of bad customer experiences. As consumers, they cost us time. But for companies, they cost much more.
Nearly 60% of consumers will switch companies because of poor customer service. It takes 12 positive interactions to make up for just one bad experience. Yet for the companies who get customer service right, they can grow revenues up to 8% above market and develop clients 93% likely to make a repeat purchase.
The main problem with automated phone systems and online forms is a lack of immediacy, which research shows is a top consumer priority.
90% of customers rate an immediate response as essential when they have a question.
Considered the fastest way for consumers to receive support, chat is quickly becoming a preferred service channel. Millennials—the generation with the most buying power today—prefer live chat over all other communication channels. That’s an important group to keep happy.
But despite the data, only slightly more than half of businesses utilize chat. Not only are these companies failing to meet changing consumer expectations, but they are missing opportunities for capturing valuable sales leads as well.
It’s time we talk about chat.
The Business Case for Chat
Think of chat as an alternative to the face-to-face interactions that happen within stores. Chats serve as a friendly guide to answer questions, gather information, and address service issues. It is a more personal approach using targeted messaging that engages site visitors. Chat can involve live agents or leverage automated responses to common inquiries. Either way, they give visitors access to answers at their convenience.
The goal is keeping customers happy while developing loyalty. Chats break down digital walls and phone automation barriers that frustrate consumers. Instead, a friendly live assistant is able to help greet visitors and answer questions.
Here are some other key benefits:
- Live chats and chatbots work in real-time making it easy to assist visitors, gather sales information, and keep customers engaged around the clock.
- Think scalability. Adding call center agents to manage increased call volume is extremely difficult. Automated chats can accommodate as many customer inquiries as needed at any given time guiding them to answers that can be found on your website. Chatbots also don’t need sleep or vacations like live agents.
- Chats improve engagement. They ensure that every lead that lands on a site receives a conversation—something not possible with an all-human support and sales staff. Real-time interactions also limit the need for passive lead forms. Chat automation has the potential to qualify sales leads creating time for salespeople to focus on the prospects that matter most. That increased time and attention helps close deals.
- Chats can be intelligent too. Based on a current web page the user is visiting, the chat can ask different qualifying questions that lead to higher customer conversions.
- Chats give interactions a personal touch. Based on collected data, chat agents can greet users by name or a “welcome back” message. Conversations can be fully customized by user to improve the customer experience.
- Feedback is important. Chats lend themselves to asking questions that solicit input, including commonly used NPS and CSAT scores. Poor performance can generate a follow-up response to truly let a customer know a company cares and wants to do better. Data shows clients are more likely to stick with a company that values feedback.
The Benefits of Salesforce Service Cloud Chat
Salesforce Chat takes the benefits of chat and puts them to work for service agents. The platform expands a company’s service channels to create more opportunities for a user to instantly connect to support—sometimes without actually needing an agent. For example, the chat can minimize call and ticket volumes by guiding users to knowledge bases containing the information needed for them to self-resolve an issue or answer a question. Salesforce Chat is great at handling these types of smaller, faster issues generally resolved in one interaction. That is perfect for lean customer service teams with high case volumes.
Salesforce Service Cloud Chat’s benefits include:
- Speedy interactions ideal for simple questions and issues.
- Expedited ticket resolutions through self-service options that do not require direct interactions from an organization’s busy staff.
- A seamless customer experience created by working across channels.
- Agent support to easily manage multiple chats simultaneously.
Salesforce Chat also offers some handy features to elevate the customer’s experience. Auto-greetings and quick text immediately go to the customer while a chat routes to an agent to minimize lag time. The sneak peek function lets agents see what the customer is typing to help expedite responses. Whisper messages and the assistant flag open the door for management to provide real-time feedback and support. Agents can create cases from Chat and capture the conversation to create a record of what’s been done and what needs to happen next.
The application also is customizable to gather the right information at the right time in the chat. Pre-chat messages capture customer information like name and email to save agents time. Post-chat messages open the door for surveys to gather customer feedback. Salesforce Chat also comes with out-of-the-box and configurable dashboards to evaluate how agents are performing, isolate issues, and assess volume.
Driving Leads and Opportunities with Chat
Question–answer. Problem–solution. Far too many companies limit their view of chat to these two-dimensional options. That’s outdated thinking. Today, CRM-integrated chat can create a 360-degree view of the customer that supports service, marketing, and sales.
Take conversational sales and marketing platforms like Drift, Qualified, and Intercom. When integrated with Salesforce, they create a powerful, real-time sales tool. Capabilities include chats that pre-qualify leads and real-time sales alerts when prospects interact with a website. The systems create personalized automated messages and then let a sales rep take over the conversation. Content also can include a product tour or a personalized video message going well beyond the standard back-and-forth conversation.
Automated conversations model off the most successful sales team members. An automatic meeting scheduler offers up available times on the salesperson’s calendar via chat while the prospect is engaged. The 24/7 access lets chat grow the sales pipeline without needing to hire and onboard new reps. The platforms feed the activity into Salesforce updating records and adding prospects to workflows.
Now take this powerful duo of chat and Salesforce and add in marketing automation through Pardot. Here are just some of the possibilities:
- Creation of new prospects automatically added to a marketing campaign without delay.
- List targeting in which a prospect can be assigned to a Pardot playbook that includes automated message workflows and campaigns that proactively connect with site visitors.
- Lead scoring to prioritize qualified prospects in the pipeline through targeted communications.
- Data syncing and field mapping captured through chat that triggers Pardot marketing automations.
A chat, Salesforce, and Pardot trio creates another seamless connection between marketing and sales to build the pipeline resulting in a better customer experience and more company revenue. Now that’s something to talk about.
Get Chatty with Galvin
Interested in adding chat to your sales and service functions? Galvin Technologies understands how to create chats that customers and companies love. We don’t just see a chat as a back-and-forth conversation but an introduction to automations and workflows that drive business forward. Let’s discuss how chat can benefit your top and bottom line.