Young People Prefer Live Chat for Online Shopping Queries

When you open a business, you need to decide which customer service channels you are going to implement. If you have a website, you will probably choose to show your phone number and email address on your contact page. And what about a live chat? Do you think that your clients might need it?

Software Advice, a consulting company for customer service software buyers, conducted a survey of 346 respondents and 30 businesses to find out the impact of demographics on live chat customer service. 

The research shows that younger people (ages 18 to 34) are more likely to have used live chat once or several times, while older people (aged 55 and over) are more likely to have never used live chat, or to have used it without success. 

There is also a strong relationship between a consumer’s age and their preference for using live chat versus the phone. Look at the charts below too see how the relationship persists across three types of queries. 

Financial Queries: Preferences for Live Chat vs. Phone by Age

Preferences for Live Chat vs. Phone by Age

Simple Queries: Preferences for Live Chat vs. Phone by Age

Simple Queries: Preferences for Live Chat vs. Phone by Age

Online Shopping Queries: Preferences for Live Chat vs. Phone by Age

Online Shopping Queries: Preferences for Live Chat vs. Phone by Age

Younger customers prefer chat over phone for simple queries and online shopping queries. The most obvious reason for using chat during online shopping is that the customers are already online, and thus can use live chat with little effort: they do not need to reach for the phone or worry about hold times, and they can expect a quicker answer than if they called or emailed.

Some companies also state, that they successfully provide chat help to the middle-aged people.  Lesley Cowie, marketing manager of Everblue, provider of sustainability training and certification,  explains that its audience is primarily men aged 35 to 55.

“These individuals often come from occupations that include architect, engineer, construction manager, general contractor, home inspector, home builder or facilities manager,” Cowie says. “I don’t believe that there has been too much of a learning curve for our audience to use live chat. We’ve been pleased with the number of individuals who reach out to us through live chat on a daily basis.”

A majority of U.S. adults surveyed have used live chat at least once—and many express a clear preference for it over more traditional customer service channels.  As an online service channel, live chat meets customers exactly where most of them seek pre-sales product information and post-sales support. When you start a business, do not forget to add live chat service to your website.

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