5 Reasons to Use Live Chat on Your Website

Live chat is now a popular tool used on many business websites. Yet many businesses still haven’t jumped on board with this technology. If you’re wondering if it’s worth the effort, you may not realize what a big difference it can make. Let’s look at the top 5 ways live chat can improve your customer service and help your business grow.

1. Learn More About Your Customers

The more you know about your customers and prospects, the better you can serve them. There are many strategies that can help you do this, such as market research, polls, and studying your analytics. Live chat is another tool that can provide you with feedback you can’t get any other way. When people interact with your customer service reps in real time, they reveal many important things and you can note which questions they ask most frequently. This can make your customer service more efficient. As you notice frequent questions, you can compile these into your FAQ’s so your chat agents and other customer service reps can have quick and precise answers for your live chat users.

Chat sessions also reveal your customers’ biggest complaints and pain points. This can alert you to problems with your products of which you may have been unaware. While people can raise issues via email or social media, chat gives them a chance to do so spontaneously. Some visitors who might not bother to otherwise contact you are more likely to do so during live chat simply because it’s so convenient. It’s important to track chat sessions and pay attention to recurring issues.

2. Build Customer Loyalty

One of your biggest challenges is to get people to return to your website and buy your products or services repeatedly. Most people don’t become customers after only visiting your site once. To get people to return, however, you have to make them feel at home. While this is based on several factors such as appealing design and user-friendly navigation, live chat can also help. In fact, one study found that that 63% of visitors were likely to return to a site that offered live chat and 62% reported that they were likely to buy from that site again.
Customer loyalty and repeat business are the keys to building a successful long-term business. Live chat lets you make a personal connection with visitors. When people chat on your website, they’re no longer just passively reading your content. When you can answer someone’s questions in real time, you’re communicating with them and making your website more memorable. This makes people more likely to return.

3. Gain a Competitive Edge

Live chat is a powerful way to differentiate yourself from the competition. As this technology gets more common, customers are starting to expect it. If you don’t offer it, you risk falling behind your competitors. Having chat on your website increases your credibility and trust value. It’s a feature that visitors will note and appreciate even if they don’t make use of it. It shows that you’re attentive to your customers and that you’re using the latest technology.

4. Save Money on Customer Support

Because live chat is a leading edge technology, some business owners assume it must be expensive. The fact is, however, it can actually be cheaper than more traditional types of customers service. Providing phone service isn’t cheap, especially if you offer customers toll-free service. Forester found that live chat is as much as 30% cheaper than talking to customers on the phone.
One reason that live chat saves you money is that this a customer service agent can more easily multitask while chatting. He or she can only talk on the phone to one person at a time, but can work with two or three while chatting on a keyboard. This means one live chat support agent can perform the same tasks as multiple phone agents. Aside from cutting your costs, this can also make your customer service more efficient, reducing wait time. Of course, it’s helpful to offer customers several options for service, including email and phone. However, by offering live chat as an alternative you can cut down on the number of calls you or your customer service reps have to field.

5. Make More Sales

Ultimately, your business website is a tool to help you find more customers and make more sales. Live chat is a tool that can help you do this. You have to assume that your visitors have short attention spans and aren’t going to spend more than a few seconds searching on your website. While you certainly want to make your navigation and menus as easy to use as possible, live chat adds another customer-friendly element. If someone is looking for a certain product or service, he or she can simply ask the chat agent.

Live chat is the perfect tool for impatient visitors – which are most of your visitors. This isn’t mere conjecture and is backed by statistics. A study by the American Marketing Association (AMA) found that live chat increases conversions by 20%. Perhaps even more impressive is that the same study found that the overall ROI for chat software is over 300%. Once someone has decided to buy something, chat can also help increase customer value as chat agents recommend upsells and related products.

Getting the Most Out of Live Chat

We’ve explored some of the advantages of offering your website visitors live chat. Of course, it also matters a great deal how you make use of this feature.

  • • Chat windows should be easy for customers to see and use.
  • • Answer questions promptly. Many customers, while appreciating live chat, end up dissatisfied with their experiences due to slow or even nonexistent responses.
  • • Make sure your customer service reps are knowledgeable. Give them access to relevant links to send. If they can’t answer a question, they should always take people’s contact information so you can get back to them with the answer.
  • • Review and study live chat sessions. This ensures that customers are getting the best possible service and also allows you to take note of recurring questions and issues.

Customers are getting ever more demanding. It’s no longer enough to let people fill out a support ticket and get back to them within one business day. People increasingly want and expect an instant response. When you offer live chat support, you establish yourself as a leader in your industry and make it easier to make more sales and provide outstanding customer service.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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