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New Online Banking Report Published: Delivering "Live Help" Online

image At Online Banking Report we’ve written a few reports about online customer service over the years (see note 1). However, we’d never looked in-depth at so-called “live help,” (note 2) which includes:

  • Live chat: predominantly audio, but can also be one or two-way video
  • Click-to-call: a button used to request a call-back from an agent
  • Co-browsing: sharing a screen between user and agent

Co-browsing is still a little too out there for most customers, so we focused primarily on live chat and click-to-call, both relatively widely adopted and proven money makers for online retailers.

clip_image002Bottom line: After reviewing dozens of white papers, talking to a number of industry experts, looking at a hundred websites, and live chatting with service reps in the wee hours, I’ve come to a definitive conclusion on the value of live chat.

It depends. 

Clearly, live chat delivered perfectly can cut costs and lift revenues. But it can also confuse customers, drive up support costs, and get in the way of moving from point A to point B on a website.

clip_image002[10]But as generation text moves into their prime banking years, banks will be chatting more and more with customers, both online and via mobile messaging. So eventually, most financial institutions will need to offer some variation of Live Help to remain competitive (note 3).


About the report

Delivering “Live Help” Online (link)
Live chat and click-to-call promise to increase sales, make customers happy, and save money; what’s not to like?

     Published: April 5, 2011

     Authors: Jim Bruene, editor & founder, Online Banking Report 
                    with Philip Britt, founder, S&P Enterprises

     Length: 60 pages (12,000 words), 14 Tables

     Cost: No extra charge for OBR subscribers, $495 for everyone else here


1. The most recent Online Banking Report on email customer service is here (2004)
2. Our inspiration for the latest issue was Jeffry Pilcher’s post in The Financial Brand (Jan. 2011).
3. However, the first order of business remains turning email into the valued support tool it needs to be. See Email Banking: Revitalizing the Channel (Aug. 2010)