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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 31, 2013

93% of consumers consider real-time live help valuable to customer experience

A recent survey by LivePerson of almost 6,000 consumers across several countries has revealed that, while price and affordable delivery options play an important part in online purchase decisions, the online customer experience can make or break a sale. In an increasingly social online environment, real-time live help is becoming a valuable customer service tool.

by Helen Leggatt

Ideal_Online_Experience.jpgWhen customers want answers to questions they have many channels via which to contact a brand or retailer. However, an increasingly "on demand" generation of shoppers want their questions answered quickly and efficiently.

According to LivePerson's survey, which involved consumers from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Germany, France, and Italy, 71% expect to be able to access help with five minutes when making an online purchase (81% in the U.S.). A demanding 31% expect help to be on hand immediately.

Almost half (48%) would abandon the purchase altogether if the help they required was not forthcoming.

With social media playing a big role in consumer's online and mobile lives, there is a high expectation that brands will provide one-to-one, or live, help. The vast majority (93%) of survey respondents felt that real-time live help played a valuable role in the online customer experience. Half (51%) said they would be more likely to purchase online if they could get answers via a live chat program, and across all countries 48% said they would be more likely to purchase from a website if this service was available.

"The expansion of digital channels and an increasingly crowded online marketplace are changing consumer spending habits and online behavior. And the more consumers spend online, both in time and money, the more demanding they become of the online customer experience," writes Erin Kang, LivePerson's Corporate Communications Manager, on the company blog. "Consumers are very articulate when it comes to their online expectations, and they're quick to abandon your site if your website experience and customer engagement strategy are not up to par."

Tags: consumer survey, customer service, ecommerce, online shopping, real-time, social media

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