Survey Suggests Live Chat is the Best Way to Catch Millennials

Live chat customer service

What’s your most popular customer service channel? Is it phone, email, or the relative ‘newbie’ – online live chat?

Don’t dismiss live chat channels. At ABCN’s WorldView Forum last year, marketing expert John Milhado advised that live chat was fast becoming an important communication tool for new clients.

“One-third of people who use the pop-up chat function on a business centre website go on to make an enquiry,” he said. “It’s a great conversion tool.”

Now, a report by CRM technology reviews and evaluation firm Software Advice has found that live chat is growing in popularity, particularly with millennials. Key findings include:

  • Millennials are 20% more likely than baby boomers to choose live chat
  • 56% of survey respondents have successfully used live chat at least once
  • Convenience and limited hold time were the top reasons millennials preferred live chat
  • Almost half of respondents prefer using live chat for online-shopping questions, while 74% prefer telephone for complex questions (eg. financial matters)

Research by Accenture suggests that purchases made by millennials will comprise 30% of retail sales by 2020. As this generation continues to make waves in the business world, we can expect online, on-demand channels like live chat to increase in popularity.

“Instant support”

But it’s not just a tool for retailers. Software Advice found that users pose a huge variety of questions ranging from pricing structure and product description to requests for further information.

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According to the Software Advice Report: “Online live chat is proving to be one of the best service channels for meeting customers’ needs throughout their journey, from first contact through post-sale support.

“As an online tool, it meets customers in the very place they increasingly turn for answers: the Internet. And unlike other channels such as email, live chat provides instant support, with minimal customer effort required.”

The report findings suggest that millennials prefer live chat due to its convenience and real-time response. With this in mind, it’s essential to review your customer service strategy and ensure interaction with users via live chat is as prompt and polished as your other communications channels.

John Milhado commented that while pop-up chat is a “great conversion tool”, operators must ensure it is staffed. “It’s no use talking to an automated messaging system. The trick is not the technology – it’s about having the right people at the other end of the line.”

Do you already have live chat functionality in place? Or are you content with more traditional customer service channels? Let us know!

The report by Software Advice surveyed 350 U.S. consumers