Why live chat is the ideal first point of contact

Today’s customers can choose from a broad mix of technologies to communicate with your brand. They can call, they can email, they can drop you a message, fill in a form, submit a ticket, mention you on social media – the list is increasingly long.

But every one of these channels is suited to a different point in the customer journey.

And perhaps the most critical point – the first point of contact – is ideally placed for fast, efficient, and accessible contact.

Enter live chat software.

Here’s why a live chat channel is the ideal first point of contact for customers looking to engage with your brand.

Quicker than calls

A live chat option is quicker — and more efficient — than a phone call as the first point of contact.

Agents can take more than one chat at once, which reduces first line support bottlenecks. (As well as reducing contact centre costs.)

A trained live chat agent can speak to multiple customers at once

Plus, the semi-automated nature of chats through canned responses and bot assistance means that conversations wrap up quickly.

At the other side of the query, customers aren’t forced to wait in long phone queues for an answer to a simple enough question. Instead, you’re right there, ready to chat.

Natural flow

Another reason why chat is the ideal first point of contact is the fact that it comes as a fluid part of the online customer journey. There’s no disruption for the customer.

They don’t have to make any effort to dial you up for a call or launch an email client to message you.

It’s perfectly natural for a web visit to include a web chat session. Less so for a website visit to lead to a phone call.

With a chat channel, you’re meeting your visitors where they are, making for a smoother journey.

Casual tone

Live chat sessions lend themselves to a more casual tone and atmosphere. After all, chatting and messaging is something you do with friends — and that’s the kind of atmosphere a live chat channel can help to create.

This is ideal as a first point of contact tool because it helps to keep the customer relaxed. They aren’t in a formal business mode. So, they don’t feel a sense of pressure or obligation.

In short, chat sets a friendly first impression that’s relaxed and easy for the customer to ease into. And this, in turn, encourages a friendly view of your brand.

No extra contact costs

In terms of encouraging a friendly view of your brand, it’s also worth noting that chat incurs no extra contact costs for the customer. With phones, someone must pay for each connection — or the minutes spent talking. With chat, this isn’t an issue.

Plus, the same low-cost of entry applies if you’ve taken your business worldwide. In such cases, offering a (usable) first point of contact for each customer may mean supporting different languages. And chat can do this without the eye-watering associated costs.

Thanks to real-time chat translation, you can support global customers in any language without delay. And, better yet, without incurring extra phone bills or the costs of bilingual agents.

A look inside live chat translation

Encourages conversion

Naturally, one of the goals for the first point of contact is to funnel the visitor closer to conversion. Live chat software is great for encouraging exactly that.

Specifically, live chat software is the perfect channel for quick-fire Q&A. Your visitors can get all the answers they need to decide to convert, one after the other.

Chat can also encourage quick resolutions to problems. As the first point of contact, getting a solution right away demonstrates the competence of your team. It builds trust in your service and your brand. And that, in turn, encourages conversion and loyalty.

Demonstrates accessibility

The last thing anyone wants is to try to open a conversation with a brand, only to get radio silence in return. No one wants to battle inaccessible service.

Having real-time chat for the first point of contact demonstrates accessibility. Not only does it create the impression that service is at the click of a button, but it caters to a wide range of needs.

For instance, chat is often an easier option for people who are deaf, or those suffering from social anxiety.

Comes equipped

Live chat software comes equipped with a host of tools and features to help agents make the first impression a good one. (For instance, file sharing, suggested response, and co-browsing.)

This is another element of chat that makes it ideal for first point of contact.

With an arsenal or service tools at their disposal, agents can handle any need. So, the first point of contact becomes first contact resolution for many of your online visitors.

First point of contact

Live chat software is the ideal first point of contact. As a service channel, it’s smooth, accessible, and welcoming.

But don’t just take our word for it.

Explore what live chat software can unlock for your service, with a 30-day WhosOn free trial.

Useful links