Research carried out by LogMeIn, a remote connectivity specialist, has discovered that more than one in four shoppers would be more likely to pay for a product or service if they were able to speak to an assistant online.
It was found that just 20% of online stores currently give their customers the option of engaging in a live chat when accessing the e-store via a desktop computer, while just 12% do so for mobile users – despite the findings of a survey last year, which showed that live chat is the third most popular channel with consumers.
The Live Chat Effectiveness report found that 23% of those surveyed preferred to contact a business via telephone, while 53% opted for email.
Perhaps surprisingly, despite the high response rates of retailers on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook (standing at 97% and 94% respectively, according to the report), fewer than one in ten of the respondents (7%) listed the social route as their preferred line of communication.
While social media fell behind in the study, a strong Twitter or Facebook strategy offers much more for a business than simply a customer service line; it can help give a company a strong, organic insight into the tastes of its customers; significantly increase brand exposure and establish a company as an authoritative voice within its industry – particularly if it acts as a news supplier by commenting on current events within its field and providing links to relevant articles.