Between 2011 and 2013, web chat between customers and agents has risen from 0.7% to 1.7% of all inbound traffic to UK contact centres.
Research published by ContactBabel has also shown that 37% of UK contact centres now offer a web chat option to customers, a figure which has increased from 14% in 2011.
While still a niche channel in terms of customer take-up, a further 27% of survey respondents plan to implement web chat within the next 12 months, the highest planned uptake of any contact centre technology.
“With the huge growth in online shopping, research and self-service, there is a need to offer customers and prospects a live service channel in cases where the browser needs assistance,” said Steve Morrell, author of the report. “Rather than forcing the customer to break channel by using the phone, or to wait for hours or even days for an email response, web chat offers a quick and flexible service option, allowing the customer to continue with what they were doing.”
“The enthusiastic uptake of this channel by businesses will shortly be followed by widespread customer acceptance, as the public learns that web chat is well suited to improving browsing and web self-service experiences.”
The UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide (11th edition – 2013) is a major study of 210 UK contact centre operations, looking at all areas of contact centre performance, investment, technology, HR and strategy.
Click here for a free download of the full report.