In a fall 2011 poll of more than 3,100 consumers in 15 countries, Oracle Retail found that 57% of respondents find Live Help on a web site more important than Ratings & Reviews (44%) or Personalized Offers (32%). “One of the key learnings we found from this survey is the value consumers place on live help services,” noted Kelly O’Neil, Product Strategy Director, Oracle ATG.
In general, U.S. and Canadian consumers lag behind Asian shoppers in online purchasing each month (35% in U.S. vs. 75% in China). Nevertheless, North American shoppers value live help more than the average worldwide. As many as 84% of shoppers in North America find live help an important web site feature (vs. 57% worldwide).
The study, titled Consumer Views Of Live Help 2012: A Global Perspective, also features other notable findings such as:
- 50% have used Live Chat or Click-to-Call to interact with customer service representatives and this is fairly consistent across all types of products and services, including travel, retail, financial, communications and health care services
- 38% said they prefer Live Chat because they can do other things while they are waiting for a response
- 34% said they use Live Chat when they want to save or print a copy of the conversation
Phone Still Viable Live Help Method
Although the use of online live help is increasing rapidly, consumers still prefer to use the phone (74%) when they want to be sure that the representative understands their question. “When the engagement is more complex, then consumers want to talk to someone,” noted O’Neil.
But online chat also is valuable to consumers. As many as 38% said they prefer online Live Chat because they can multi-task while waiting for a response; and 34% said they use Live Chat when they want to save or print a copy of the conversation.
“There’s definitely a benefit to having both (online and phone),” noted O’Neil. In many cases, she added: “You can engage with one, then escalate to the other.”
Quick Response Key To Live Help Success
When using the phone for live help, consumers expect an immediate response, but they also want to hear answers to online help questions relatively quickly.
Expected response times via specific online/social sites are as follows:
- When sending out a query via Twitter, 81% expect a same-day response; 22% want a response within 2 hours; and 30% expect to hear back within 30 minutes
- Facebook users are willing to wait a bit longer for responses: 22% same-day; 29% 2 hours; 16% 30 minutes
For more on the study findings, click here to access the complete report.