A report into online customer service suggests that online chat is the channel of choice for young shoppers wanting more information for a website.
Using stats from a YouGov nationally-representative sample of 2000+ people, the study found that more than 20% of 18-24 year olds would use live chat with an expert if they had a query with an online transaction, compared with the overall average of 13% for the whole sample.
The age group least likely to try a website’s live chat function were the 55+.
This demographic was the most likely to try to contact a website by email.
Using the FAQ section of a website would be the most cost effective for a business, as once the page has been created there is little additional cost. However, this channel is preferred by only 22%.
A call centre was still demanded by just under 20% of the sample.
However, businesses are warned that customers’ biggest frustration with online customer service is being kept on hold by the call centre, with 66% saying this is a big turn off.
However, waiting for a response to emails also annoyed one-third of the sample.
The survey was commissioned by nGenera, a customer interaction management specialist.
Its European managing director Matthew Haines said: “It is clear from the research that the customer service landscape is changing.
“Online channels such as email, web self-service and live chats are quickly overtaking phone as the preferred contact method for UK consumers.”