For financial institutions around the globe, the online channel has become an absolutely crucial one. Over the last two decades we’ve seen an overwhelming shift to virtual banking.
Right alongside that shift, we’ve also seen a change in where customers go for support. Phones are unpopular with some; email requires a wait. On-site help only works if you’re willing to set foot in a branch, which some customers have stopped doing almost entirely.
Hands down, the most popular service channel today is live chat – and we’d like to take a moment to understand why.
Live chat boosts profits.
Numbers vary, but businesses reporting a 20% conversion rate after rolling out live chat are not uncommon.
Did you know that 83% of customers need some level of assistance while they’re checking out? That’s at least one factor in the fact that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is almost 68%. Live chat interrupts abandonment by providing the right answers, fast.
Live chat cuts costs.
Because chat lets reps handle multiple service requests at the same time, it streamlines your operations. When Internet pharmacy ITSRx adopted Live Guide, for example, it noted a 25% drop in customer service costs.
A financial institution’s chat history represents a cumulative bank of information that can be harnessed to design customer service training initiatives, website developments, business improvements and so on (source).
Two words: retention and attraction.
Customers don’t just appreciate live chat – they expect it. That’s true for customers of all stripes, but especially millennials, many of whom rate live chat as one of the most important features a site can offer. In order to draw new customers, it’s essential for a financial institution to bring what their audience is looking for. That’s true for keeping the customers you have, as well.
Because live chat offers situation-specific answers, provided directly by a human being, with no wait, it presents a powerfully satisfying experience. In fact, even if a customer’s first live chat session is not actually their “first impression” of your organization, in many cases that’s the one they’re going to remember.