You may have read last month that Best Buy chose to ditch email support in favor of live chat. A brave move and, according to the article (on the STELLAService blog), it’s part of a strategy to overcome customer service problems that plagued the electronics retailer in the past.
So, as a live chat company we should be completely on board with a decision of this kind, right? Not necessarily. There are many factors at play that determine whether or not this would be a good idea. Consider the following.
What is your website visitors preferred way to contact you? It’s important to note a large percentage of consumers still choose email as their preferred method of contacting customer service. (Even if etailers aren’t particularly good at answering them.) Find out how your visitors want to contact you and then do it! And maybe add live chat as a compliment to email.
Do you have an email problem? For this instance, an email problem would mean a backlog of emails making it impossible to answer customer support inquiries in 24 hours or less. If so, removing it as a channel of communication only promises to transfer the problem to another channel – a channel that may require a more immediate response. In this scenario, the best way to solve an email problem is to manage email, not to ditch it altogether. When our customer, Vornado, mentioned delaying a case study with us because they needed to catch up on emails, we wouldn’t have dreamed of recommending that they get rid of email, but we did ask them to try out our email management tool.