We are living in a century where most of the things are shifting to the online environment. Businesses are moving from the physical market to the online market. Companies are using online space to engage their customers and make a sale.
Therefore, to successfully run a business online, there needs to be a high-quality customer support system that can provide excellent customer service.
You don’t have to be an expert in sales and marketing to understand that good customer service has a central role in developing your business.
As a budding online entrepreneur, setting an effective customer support system can benefit your business. Throughout this guide, we will furnish you with the reasons why every company should integrate live chat software in their customer service provision.
But first, let’s understand live chats and how do they work?
Live chat software definitions
Live chat is a digital online customer service communication app that is incorporated into your website to allow you and your website visitors to chat in real-time.
Live chat is the successful alternative to the phone call, emailing, or traditional customer communication methods. With online chats, all your visitors need to do is type their message or query inside the chatbox and send it to you.
For many years now, online businesses have been adding live chat software to their customer service system to help them provide real-time feedbacks instead of having them leave their sites.
Engaging your customers in real-time gives them satisfaction throughout the shopping journey and helps convert more prospects into buying customers.
According to Forbes magazine’s surveys on online consumer experience in the U.S., 68% of online visitors engage in live chat, and 63% of them always get back to the site as a repeat client. That’s a significant figure, and any business would want to take advantage of it.
For the past two years, the penetration of live chat has become necessary and more popular. It is no longer restricted to only retail and ecommerce.
In the current world, where more interactions and research are taking place online, it is imperative that businesses engage visitors in real-time. Everybody from recruits researching your business and engaging with the company falls under this category.
Live chat helps in customer satisfaction, employee retention, employee satisfaction, sales, customer service, technical support, recruiting, and much more.
Everybody loves real-time answers, and if you are not providing them, you are on the losing end of the boat.
How does live chat works?
Live chat communications occur inside a chat box that is part of the live chat software or app you have installed.
The most important thing is that your site visitor does not have to install any software or app or sign up to any account or service to chat with you.
You may be wondering how your visitor will know you offer live chat solutions. Well, they will see a widget positioned in the lower corner of your website page.
Author credit: By European People's Party – EPP Live Chat with Christian Holm, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33094747
Upon clicking on the widget, a box will appear. Your visitors can type texts and attach files in the box. They can also send links, emoji’s or images.
Note that you will have different views of the live chat from your side. The visitor will only see your replies while you get a chance to learn more details from them.
Here are a few things you can do that your site visitor cannot:
- Track the visitor to see what they search for and how long they stay on the site.
- Access to separate analytics dashboard.
- See what the visitors are typing.
- You can create personalized feedback to respond according to the browsing history.
- Assign operator to personal chats and re-appoint them when necessary.
- Ask for ratings and feedbacks, ban visitors, and much more.
- You can keep chat history for later reference to make a personalized service if the customer returns. Use a live chat with other live chat solutions like chat triggers and various platforms for an efficient workflow.
You can link live chat software to your mobile to engage your customers on the move.
Signs that you need to integrate live chat software in your business
Suppose you may be starting in the ecommerce field and wondering if live chat can work for you or running a business without one. The following are signs that you need a website chat integration.
Trouble developing a growth strategy
The common problem with business start-ups is that they have trouble considering the need of clients and determining they will find useful. With a live chat solution, you get access to customers’ concerns and opinions directly.
Solving their concern in real-time can help you grow your brand much faster. You also get information about feature requests, bugs, reports, pricing policy, and your products’ value proposition.
With such information, you can quickly formulate a growth strategy and move forward smoothly, making adjustments according to your clients’ further engagements.
Receiving fewer conversions
Online business start-ups always struggle to lead their prospect into a successful shopping journey and make a sale.
Suppose you have been receiving incomplete sign-up, too many abandoned carts, and left checkout pages. In that case, you probably need to integrate a live chat solution into your website to find out the problem.
According to a study by the American Marketing Association, visitors who are professionally and courteously engaged via live chat are three times more likely to buy. What’s more, can you wait if you have not had successful conversions?
Suppose you are selling a product or offering complex services because of their features, pricing plans, integrations, and ad-on. In that case, you need to integrate live chat solutions into your website.
With complex products or services, it is always hard to convince your visitors using mature content or a robust FAQs page only.
Because visitors will have a hard time understanding the product details, like payment plans or how it works, you definitely need a website chat integration to give real-time opportunities to explain more about your products or services.
If you engage them professionally and courteously with clarity, the chances are high that you will make a purchase and even become a repeat client.
Selling expensive products
Selling high-priced products online has its own ups and downs; customers need to be assured of the quality and the security of any transactions before paying for anything expensive.
They can easily take a risk with the low-priced product, but you will need to put in more effort to sell expensive ones. Live chat can be the best platform to inject this extra effort in negotiating for purchase.
You get the chance to address their concerns, answer their questions and guide them into making a final decision in your favor.
If you are alone in your business
As a sole proprietor without a support team, having live chat software integrated into your website help you handle various technical parts of your business. Live chat solutions help you do marketing, give customer support and also build business contacts.
These solutions enable you to set working hours and help improve the quality of your customer service.
As a final take, if you fall victim to the signs described above, don’t hesitate to integrate live chat solutions into your website. You will surely appreciate the change.
Reasons for the need for live chat solutions across various industries
Converting site visitors into customers is a problem faced across all the industries engaged in online business. Despite the industry you are operating within, the primary target is to get clients and them through the shopping journey and get them to make a purchase.
Worry less because there is an excellent way of providing quality customer service and converting your visitors to buying clients. Including live chat software in your business website can be beneficial in helping you achieve these.
According to a study done by Forrester, live chat can lead up to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% conversion rate.
Checkout below to understand why there is a need to have live software across all industries.
Offer real-time convenience to customers
We live in a digital world where speed is the most memorable service you can offer to people, especially if you are engaged in ecommerce.
From delivery to instant access to your services or products online, online customers want things now. And they always get it. The power of the real-time online conversation with a client should not be looked upon.
Several studies show that 44% of online visitors say that having their concerns and questions answered by a live agent during their online shopping journey is one of the best things a website can offer.
Author credit: By Fakhri Putra Tanoto – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=112608228
There are two types of online visitors who are looking for help and resort to using live chat.
The first group is the potential buyer. The following are the most common instances where potential online buyers will use live chat:
- When they are having a hard time getting a product within the website.
- When they want to inquire about a product or services.
- When they want to compare products
- When they want to check the payment plan of a specific product.
These situations significantly impact purchase decisions. Actually, 38% of online customers make their purchase decision because of engagement in live chat solutions.
The second category of those using live chats is your current customers. And the common reasons they use live chats include
- When they want to confirm the status of their orders.
- When they want to know about the return policies.
- When they want to give suggestions about your products or report a bug.
Additionally, you get instant feedback or notifications if there is a wide-scale of customers experiencing a problem. For example, if you operate a SaaS business, you will get an instant view of a problem when anything goes run on the customer side of using the software.
Integrating a live chat software saves money
Anything that cuts the cost to a business always helps the company maximize profits. Therefore, how does live chat save you money?
Live chat increases efficiency by having several tasks handled simultaneously by live chat agents, thus reducing the need to employ more agents. Live chat solutions offer enough options for chat distributions and applications.
Live chat boosts order value by giving real-time feedback to customers’ questions and concerns. It also cuts on product return rate since a customer care chat agent is available to guide the buyers on the right product to buy.
Additionally, it reduces the cost of a customer service center by reducing the wait time compared to a call center.
Implementing live chat software is very simple. You don’t need web development skills to set one for your website. You also find the most commonly used online business and content management systems included in the software.
Live as a competitive advantage
There is no better feeling in business than that of standing out among your competitors. And it had never felt better as nowadays.
The number of business competitors is increasing every day. Taking a step ahead of the pack may be fruitful for you and your business.
Whether you are a start-up, medium-sized or corporate business, live chat gives you an upper hand over your business rivals.
Many online businesses have been implementing live chat support in their customer service to give real-time help instead of leaving their site for the competitors’ site or resorting to other options.
Even major brands and companies like SKY, Apple and Virgin Airlines use live chats to stay ahead of their competitors.
Long-term customer relationships
Satisfied repeat customers are less likely to shift from your products. As an advantage, these customers are not as price-sensitive as first-time clients. Customer relations experts say that satisfied clients are not concerned with the price they pay for a product.
Specifically, 63% of visitors who have interacted with the business via live chat tends to return to the site more than those who have not.
Regular customers buy more often and are less challenging to maintain since they have become familiar with the business and the procedures involved.
When a customer chats with the people within the company and feels their voices are heard, it very likely they will develop a strong connection with your business and become your business ambassador by sharing the positive experienced.
Increased conversions and sales
Having a person guiding customers through their shopping journey boosts their confidence, and they end up spending more time on your site.
Having a positive customer experience results in an increased average order value. Basically, your sales are directly depending on live chat. Several studies have shown that one of the benefits of live chat is a 20% increase in conversion rates.
One of the notable success stories of a company that implemented live chat software is Wells Fargo. In 2008, they registered a double-digit increase in conversions after setting their online support system and added a live chat solution.
The secret to conversion increase using live chat is to have a team of trained representatives. Equip them with insightful knowledge about your services or products to recommend the additional purchase to customers.
Provide them with discount coupons to offer customers idling in on the page before making a purchase.
Ensure your representatives are fast typers to utilize live chat effectively. Check how many words they can type per minute. Make a typing competition to improve your agents’ typing skills.
Live chat offers around-the-clock service
Providing a service on a 24/7 basis can be a far-fetched dream company that cannot hire enough agents to cover extra shifts.
Your business can currently operate within the regular working hours and activate a chatbot to provide self-service to your customers for the rest of the remaining time.
An automated self-service solution like a chatbot will give the necessary information and knowledge-based copies to help the client.
In-depth customer reports
Live chat software features a built-in activity monitor to see both the clients’ and customer activities. Consequently, you can collect important data about the client, which can help you improve where necessary.
For example, you can use this data to identify a low-performing agent in your customer care department and provide necessary support and training. Meanwhile, you also bet to keep track of clients’ inquiries that took a long time or were ignored.
Such a consistent monitoring process can lead to improved customer service quality by quickly finding the bottlenecks and pain points in the customer service delivery.
Fast customer inquiry resolution
Live chat solutions are rich in features. Another great importance of live chat, which should compel you to have one, is its ability to allow for link sharing, attachments, and images.
Imagine the process of guiding or explaining things to a client over the phone; it becomes hectic at some point. Sometimes using attachments like videos, sharing knowledge-based articles can help outline step-by-step guidance and avoid confusion to customers.
Customers also get to share screenshots of their problems and share them with you in real-time. This helps solve their needs instantly while still on the site, stopping them from leaving for competitors.
Live chat improves customer service productivity
Live chat allows your agents to multitask. The agents can effectively attend to multiple customer concerns while customers also reply to them in real-time. A professionally trained customer care agent team can significantly improve their production.
One of the important tools of live chat solutions is the free typing test. It allows you to check how many words they can type per minute. This test is a useful exercise and tool that would enable your service team to improve.
Live chat also improve productivity using its features like the canned messages, which saves a lot of time dealing with customer needs. It helps you avoid explaining and repeating one problem to all the customers experiencing the same issue.
It can be frustrating, repetitive, and tiring. Designing canned responses conveniently answers the same questions asked from different customers at the same time.
Additional tips to help you fully utilize live chat
- Ensure you have one standby operator who will be working throughout the working time. Having a live chat that is always offline cannot be useful to your business,
- Provide humanly services. The primary target of live chats is to integrate humanly help to customers during their shopping journey. Too much use of automated responses can kill the effectiveness of live chat.
- Ensure your team is furnished with enough knowledge and information to help them answer customers’ questions effectively.
- Learn from your customers, review the most common concern and problems they face.
- Track the performance of your support team. Provide assistance and training where necessary.
If you are looking to get the most from your website, from boosting conversion rates to having positive customer service, then you should include live chat software in your processes.
Live chat solutions have proven to help increase revenue to businesses by cutting costs, creating long-term customer relationships, improving your team’s productivity, and making satisfied customers.
Regardless of the level of your business, a start-up, middle-level, or corporate live chat solution is ideal for you and will bring the most needed change in your business growth. So, don’t hesitate to integrate into your operations despite the industry you are in.