It isn’t easy for companies to forge a human connection with their customers through live chat.
In truth, building a meaningful B2B or B2C relationship via live chat takes a hell of a lot more strategy and effort than it does with traditional support.
Think about it.
A live chat team is tasked with showing customers that their brand truly cares…through a computer screen.
No eye contact can be made. No compassionate tone of voice can be heard. Not a smile can be seen.
The entire interaction comes down to a few lines of text popping up within a chat window.
For that very reason, it’s the type of message that a chat team delivers within those lines of text that matters.
For the companies that have found the right formula, live chat is paying off…BIG time.79% of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty. @kayako #livechat #customerservice Click To Tweet
79% of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty (Kayako).
These brands are not only doing live chat right…they’re turning live chat into an experience worth tweeting about.
REI’s Live Chat Team Gives Their Customers A Voice
(Even When They Don’t Have One)
REI is no newbie when it comes to providing stellar customer support.
In fact, CEOs and customer experience (CX) experts have been singing the brand’s CX praises for years.
Customer service author and expert, Jeff Toister, is such a fan of the brand that he included them in his book, “The Service Culture Handbook.”
“I profiled REI in ‘The Service Culture Handbook’ in part because they epitomize a customer-focused organization. I also included them because I love being an REI customer,” writes Toister in his article,”5 Reasons To Love REI’s Service Culture.”
REI’s outstanding customer service has even helped the brand make it to the big screen.
The brand won author Cheryl Strayed’s heart when she lost her REI boots on a 1,000 mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail 1995.
When the company learned about her misfortune, they shipped her a new pair of boots, no questions asked.
The experience stuck with Strayed, so much so that she included it in her memoir.
The book and her experience were later adapted into the movie, Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon.
Nearly 25 years after Strayed’s hike, REI is still blowing its customers away.
But, this time they’re doing it by allowing their customers to reach out to them when calling a support line isn’t possible.
REI has taken its legendary service and brought it to its website via live chat.75% of respondents stated they would prefer to live chat versus calling to speak with an agent. @Go_Moxie #customerexperience #livechat Click To Tweet
According to Moxie survey, 75% of respondents stated they would prefer to live chat versus calling to speak with an agent.
This rang true for Crystal, who was ailing from Laryngitis when she reached out to REI’s live chat team for help.
They successfully helped Crystal resolve her issue without her ever having to leave the couch or use her voice.
Thankful to Megan F. with @REI customer service live chat for helping me get my order straight! Once this laryngitis heals, I’ll soon be ready for travel again.
— Crystal (@NC_Native) February 15, 2019
REI customer, Astoria, was just as thrilled as Crystal with REI’s live chat service when they helped her reschedule her package delivery.
It was one of the most thorough & detailed customer service ever. Live chat rules!!!
— Astoria Runner (@astoriarunner) August 9, 2018
Looks like REI is gearing up to deliver another 25 years of exceptional service.
ModCloth’s Chat Team Saves The Day One Outfit At A Time
Modcloth has been hard at work bringing customer service staples (like speed, friendliness, and quality communication) to live chat.
And, the brand is wow-ing its online shoppers by doing so.
In fact, the online customer service directory, GetHuman, ranks Modcloth’s live chat support at #2 among hundreds of companies.
With an average wait time of no more than 60 seconds and a quality of communication score of 78%, it’s easy to see why.
According to a study conducted by Forrester, 73% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service.73% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service. @forrester #customerexperience #customerservice Click To Tweet
Modcloth’s team does such an amazing job of valuing its customers’ time that one shopper felt compelled to take a moment out of her busy day to give the brand a Twitter shout-out.
Below, customer CaitiJo praises the clothing retailer for maintaining a high standard of live chat service despite being in the middle of the hectic holiday season.
@ModCloth Just spoke with your customer service team member, Emily P. on live chat. Props to Emily P. for fast, friendly, thorough help. Way to keep customers happy despite holiday delays. 🙂
— Caitlin B. (@CaitiJo) December 6, 2018
Modcloth isn’t too shabby personalizing the customer experience either. (Hence, the high quality of communication score).
Related Post: 20 Ways to Make The Live Chat Experience Personal
When I went incognito to investigate, I was pleasantly surprised to find that their live chat agent asked all the right questions.
I told her I needed help finding a holiday outfit. And, she soon produced a link to a July 4th ensemble that would fit my taste and (get a load of this…) my local weather conditions.
At each conversation’s end, the brand even offers to email customers their live chat transcripts.
It’s worth mentioning that 55% of companies fail to do this! (Super Office).
It’s also worth mentioning that Modcloth is sure to save the day for any busy lady who has waited until the last minute to plan out her holiday look.
Zappos’s Live Chat Experience Is Shoe-In To For Its Customers
Since its inception in 1999, Zappos has been making a name for itself in the customer service game.
Seriously, there are entire articles chronicling the amazing things that the Zappos team has done for its loyal shoe lovers.
Once, they even partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thanksgiving to pay motorists’ tolls on a busy stretch of the turnpike.
Why? They just wanted to make people’s lives “less stressful.”
Imagine the challenge of taking that level of above-and-beyond service and delivering it through live chat.
How is Zappos doing it? They’re making live chat personal that’s how.
According to a Reaserchscape International study, the top five benefits of personalization include increased visitor engagement (55%), improved customer experience (55%), improved brand perception (39%), increased conversion rates (51%) and increased lead generation and customer acquisition (46%) (source).
Customer, Tess Garcia, was devastated that her new boots weren’t the right fit. Not only did the Zappos rep help her resolve her issue, but they also engaged in some girl talk along the way.
my new boots are giving me blisters and i’m panicking to the woman on the zappos live chat and she’s telling me about the high school reunion she had this weekend and for some reason that’s exactly what i needed A+ customer service
— Tess Garcia (@HiThisIsTess) January 14, 2019
In fact, they’re making it so personal, that they have their customers falling in love with their agents and ready to move in.
do i have a crush on my zappos live chat assistant or is he just good at his job?
— jianna justice (@jiannajustice) August 5, 2018
This @Zappos live chat rep is so damn friendly and conversational that by the standards of internet customer service agents we’re living together, own a nice couch, and have a corgi named Ruckus.
— Ξεσκεπάζω τὴν ψυχοφθόρα βδελυγμία. (@laerm) February 28, 2019
Chewy Types And Tugs On The Heartstrings
I’ll admit it. As an animal lover and a customer, I have a special place in my heart for Chewy.com.
The important thing to note is that I’m not the only one.
The internet is inundated with heartfelt stories about how Chewy’s customer service team has touched the lives of its customers.
Even through live chat, their customers know Chewy’s team understands the joys and struggles of being a pet owner.
Just had another great experience with @Chewy. Live chat with a real person with their own real pet who totally understood my pet parent experience. Really love their customer service!
— Stefanie Coxe (@StefCoxe) November 14, 2018
Most importantly, their customers know they care.Customers that have an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value. @Motista #customerexperience #customerservice Click To Tweet
Customers that have an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend the company at a rate of 71%, rather than the average rate of 45% (Motista).
Do a simple Google search. Their team’s generous and empathetic attitude is well documented. You’ll find countless feel-good reviews that praise the brand’s grand gestures.
From donating pet food and supplies to those in need to surprising customers with handwritten cards and custom pet portraits, there’s nothing they haven’t done.
Customer Sheree Flanagan’s live chat experience was featured in InspireMORE.com’s article, “Grieving Dog Owner Gets Sweet Surprise From Pet Food Company After Asking for a Refund.”
When Flanagan’s dog and cat passed away within days of each other, she was devastated.
Faced with the harsh reality of life without her fur babies, she knew she had to cancel their automatically shipped food order from Chewy.
When she connected with live chat agent, Ashley, Flanagan never could have imagined the connection they’d have or that when she got home from work that night she’d find a bouquet of flowers and a sympathy card waiting for her.
The brand isn’t just there for their customers hard times either. The team finds ways to connect with their customers across a wide range of emotions.
In the Tweet below, one live chat agent impressed customer Jeremy Hewitt with his/her quick wit.
…and @Chewy uses puns in their live chat experience. Could their UX get any better?!
— Jeremy Hewitt (@JHewittDesign) January 9, 2019
To answer your question, Jeremy…I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better live chat user experience anywhere else.