The importance of live chat for customer service

Additionally, it wanted to ensure clients had the same high-quality experience using all of the store's channels, especially as online shopping gained popularity.

Florist 1-800-Flowers.com launched it's business and customer service philosophies in 1976, according to Basline. The company wanted to offer a variety of original flower arrangements that would leave customers and the recipients of their gifts happy. Additionally, it wanted to ensure clients had the same high-quality experience using all of the store's channels, especially as online shopping gained popularity.

To achieve its customer satisfaction and loyalty goals, the company uses a service that features live chat, the source reports. The program has helped 1-800-Flowers.com maintain customer support standards even during peak holidays, such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Christmas.

Live chat has earned a good reputation for customer satisfaction. In 2011, it scored first among all online customer service channels in a Forrester report. However, many companies have yet to deliver this benefit to their customers.

A study of UK consumers and businesses found that 93 percent of companies are not offering live chat, while 52 percent of customers think that it would cut back on long phone calls to customer support centers.

"Live chat resolves almost all the problems of a call center and does so much more quickly," said Kurt Bagar, the chief executive officer at Netop. "At the same it allows businesses to give a personalized service experience making customers feel more valued and bringing them closer to their brand."