For most companies and businesses these days, having an online presence is a no-brainer. Those who don’t have an online offering ultimately lose out to competitors who are accessible via the internet. However, with so many businesses from each sector set-up online, competition is fierce.
The products, services, prices, and overall usability of a website are core factors for many shoppers. Still, in a landscape where everything is not just presented but also interacted with on a screen, some customers struggle if they need help. Websites will invariably offer some form of customer service, be it an email address or phone number, but when it comes to online communications, live chat is far, far better than email.
Presenting a chatbox on your website can make a world of difference for your customers, with many companies using the innovative feature to give them a competitive edge in the crowded online space.
Why online businesses are utilizing the chatbox
A chatbox is a very simple feature: it’s a small box, which can often be minimized to the base of the viewing window, through which users can type a question and then get connected to a customer service representative. Some websites like to go as far as to incorporate some artificial intelligence to attempt to answer questions quickly, but for the most part, people who use a chatbox are looking for a human to help with their query.
Chatboxes have become fairly common online, but not quite common enough that having one doesn’t make your website stand out as being particularly customer-friendly. They are used in many different ways, from the Snap Engage live chatbox that pops up whenever a user lands on a 404 page, to Maids in Black, which offers a simple pre-chat form in its chatbox to help speed up the process. You’ll have undoubtedly encountered a live chatbox when online and looking for customer service with a leading bank, when on a travel agent website, or on several leading eCommerce platforms.
For the customer, the presence of a chatbox means quick, easy, and convenient access to information about a product or service whenever they need it. For the business owner, the chatbox presents an opportunity for the website to allow customers to engage on a personal level, enhancing the image of the brand. According to Super Office, 79 percent of customers prefer live chat to other communication channels primarily due to its speed. On average, customers wait 12 hours for a response to an email, 10 hours for a response on social media, and just two minutes to get a conclusive answer via live chat. Becoming the best brand in your sector for customer service can make a huge difference. People have become accustomed to faceless online platforms making it difficult to get answers to questions or to get refunds, so if you offer a quick, tentative, and responsive chatbox, you’ll become the preferred option. The social interactions side of remote services should be core to your offering as they promote engagement and show that your platform boasts both the ease and convenience of online use with the customer service that many people crave from land-based stores and services
When shopping and services first transitioned to the online space, the hands-on experience and the friendly customer service was lost. Convenience is king, but the vast majority of people now appreciate the online offerings which try to mimic the human aspects of the land-based experience. This is why the chatbox has become a core feature of online bingo.
Bingo moving online was huge for the traditional lottery game of numbered balls for a multitude of reasons, many of which pertained to the hardships the land-based game faced over decades of decline. There are plenty of reasons Wink Bingo maintains popularity as an online bingo platform: the range of live bingo rooms, varied prize values and ticket prices, welcome bonuses, and the inclusion of slot games, all contribute to this. But it’s arguably the in-room chatboxes that have rekindled peoples’ love of the game.
The game became tremendously popular in the decades leading up to the millennium because it was seen as a social occasion. Groups of players would meet-up, go down to the local bingo hall, and chat and game until last orders. Transitioning to online made bingo more accessible, but it only started to grow towards its golden age of popularity once the chatbox feature was integrated into the live bingo rooms.
Now, online bingo is a social experience, just as it once was in the halls, with the increased interactions between players immersing users in the platform and the experience, encouraging them to keep returning for more gaming and chat.
Social chatboxes won’t work for all businesses, but customer service ones will
Perhaps the most necessary online platforms in the world, government websites have notoriously been (and still are, for the most part) the most awkward, convoluted, and unhelpful of all sites. With taxes and fees being among the chief reasons why people venture onto government websites, people aren’t too happy going in, let alone when they can’t quickly or conveniently find what they’re looking for.
While customer services haven’t necessarily been lacking, they have been difficult to engage with in the past. It hasn’t been uncommon to face hours and hours of waiting on the phone to speak to a rep for what is often a quick answer. Luckily, that’s beginning to change with live chatboxes being integrated into many government websites.
In 2017, per EC3, the average monthly chat volume of government and non-profit websites shot up by 155.66 percent, with agents handling 43.24 percent more chats per month than in the year prior. It proves that not only it necessary to have a quick and convenient avenue for getting much-needed answers in the modern world, but that people respond well when they are put in place – that can only benefit website owners at the time and in the long run.
Chatboxes have become one of the most important features of remote services. They make the experience much easier and more personal to customers, which further increases the likelihood of them making a purchase and returning in the future.