Companies, especially in the B2B (business-to-business) industry, are always looking to improve how they communicate with their customers. Forcing conversations to happen on certain channels, be it phone or email, can get a support experience off on the wrong foot. This makes customers feel like they can’t always talk to a business the way they want to, which is prompting change and evolution across the customer support industry. One of the emerging and preferred technology channels for customer support is live chat, mainly due to its benefits for appeasing customers but also its impact on the bottom line of a business. With a focus on the latter, here are four ways live chat saves B2B customer support teams time and money.

1) Live chat is perfect for simple questions – Imagine you want to find out a company’s Sunday hours only to call support and learn that the hold time to speak with an agent is thirty minutes. Waiting this long to get a routine answer to a common question just doesn’t seem practical. Chat shines here because an agent can help a customer instantly with a simple answer to this basic question. There’s no worrying on the customer side about when (or if) you’ll be able to get the answer you desire.

2) Agents can support multiple customers at once – The most obvious way live chat impacts the balance sheet is how it enables support agents to help more than one customer at the same time. While it’s not advised for an agent to have 20 chat windows open, it is fairly common to have an agent chatting with multiple customers concurrently. With chat, agents help more customers in a day, meaning fewer agents are required compared to a company that offers customer support only through phone and email.

3) Live chat is more than just typing responses – Especially in the B2B industry, many companies only associate chat with text replies. The reality is, with the right customer support software solution, chat is so much more. A chat conversation can have real-time image and file sharing between the agent and the customer. If this isn’t enough, a video chat or screen sharing session can be started so an agent can see the exact issues a customer is experiencing. A few minutes on a screen share can immediately solve an issue that may have taken hours to describe with typed words.

4) Customer retention needs decrease with live chat – The quicker and all-around better responses provided to customers through chat have a direct impact on other areas of a business. Although customer retention efforts shouldn’t be eliminated entirely, some companies do experience an increase in customer satisfaction after implementing a live chat solution. Not only are you more accessible to your customers by creating another channel of communication, but you are also able to do a better job at meeting their needs. This means less time, money, and resources are devoted to “at risk” customers because your support team isn’t contributing as much to their unhappiness.

To summarize, live chat saves B2B customer support teams time and money in several ways. Your company will be easier to contact and, because agents can help multiple customers at the same time, you’ll need fewer resources. Add in screen sharing along with other modern solutions and it’s easy to see why companies who invest more in live chat are seeing a boost in customer happiness. Live chat isn’t a “magic bullet” when it comes to customer support, but it’s a solution that is becoming more popular with customers and shouldn’t be ignored in the B2B support industry.