In today’s day and age, speed is crucial. Whether overnight shipping or instant access to their favorite service or product, your customers typically want things as quickly as possible – and they usually get it. However, this is not always the case when it comes to customer service.
Research shows that the standard response time for a customer service request on social media is approximately 10 hours. Even worse, email responses can take up to 12 hours or more. Such response times are not acceptable and can result in you losing customers.
So how can you respond quickly to your customers? It’s pretty simple – use live chat!
Live chat software allows you to have real-time conversations with your customers while they are on your website. It is convenient, quick, and customers generally love live chat because it is so much faster than any other contact method.
Companies, both big and small, use live chat software to serve their customers better and improve response times. It is no surprise that approximately 33% of consumers expect to see a live chat option on every website they visit.
There are a lot of additional benefits for using live chat software beyond providing quick customer support. Here are just some of the ways that live chat can positively impact your business.
1. It Builds Trust
When a customer walks into a store, the retailer gets a chance to build rapport with them during the sales process. This helps a business establish trust with the customer and hopefully make a sale. However, online, you aren’t able to do that.
It is no surprise that consumers are hesitant about buying things from people or a business they don’t know. However, with live chat, you can have a direct conversation with your customer that enables you to build trust and bridge the gap between online and offline purchases.
Trust is a vital aspect in the world of business, and if a consumer doesn’t trust you, they won’t share their details with you, and they most certainly won’t buy from you.
A study done on global consumer trends shows that nearly 90% of consumers stated that the live chat button gives them confidence that they will be able to get help when and if needed. Without a live chat option, you are going to have to work much harder to build trust with consumers that visit your website.
2. Reduces Support Costs
It is no secret that the costs associated with customer service can be quite high. In brick and mortar call centers, a customer service representative would handle both phone and email requests, but only one at a time. A significant benefit of live chat is that multiple contacts can be handled at once.
In fact, according to research done by Telus International, customer service reps can engage in as many as six chats simultaneously – of course, this depends on the complexity of the issue at hand.
The ability to handle several chats at once means you will need a much smaller customer service team to handle any incoming requests, which can significantly reduce your support costs as a result.
If you need a little more persuading, live chat is nearly 50% cheaper than handling phone calls.
3. Improves Customer Satisfaction
Live chat provides an excellent opportunity to enhance customer support and also provide a memorable customer experience. This is why customers generally prefer using live chat over email or phone support.
According to research, live chat has a 73% satisfaction level whereas email has 61% and phone only 44%. The reason that live chat has such high satisfaction levels is due to the efficiency and immediacy of the experience.
Of course, you can still offer other ways for consumers to contact you, but why not communicate with them via a channel they prefer? By doing so, you will improve their experience and in return, retain more consumers.
4. Increases Sales & Conversions
Live chat gives potential customers the ability to ask questions about your products or services in real-time. This can greatly influence their decision to make a purchase.
One massive benefit of using live chat on your website is the potential to increase sales. The American Marketing Association found that B2B businesses that used live chat see, on average, a 20% increase in sales.
While customers and prospects browse your website, they will likely have several questions about your products or services. With live chat software, you can answer them immediately and while the buyer is still on your website. This is why live chat is so powerful.
Live chat provides you with the opportunity to hold your buyers’ by the hand, help them to overcome any objections and reach a buying decision. Live chat is essentially like having a sales associate on standby, live on your website.
5. Improves Website Experience
With live chat, your customers don’t have to stop what they are doing to call you or send an email when a question comes up. Instead, with live chat, they can have their questions answered immediately by a real person. This is especially important when it comes to purchasing or subscribing to a product or service online.
Forrester Research found that nearly 57% of consumer abandon their purchase if they aren’t able to get a question answered quickly. Additionally, the same study found that approximately 44% of online consumers rate having questions answered by a live person in the middle of their purchase as one of the most essential features that a website can provide.
Improving the website experience helps customers, but the business benefit is that customers who use live chat while on a website are three times more likely to make a purchase – this will significantly impact your bottom line.
6. Increases Order Value
Not only does live chat help you increase sales, but it can also help you increase the value of a sale as well.
Using the live chat feature to talk with a buyer and understand their needs, you can recommend services or products by upselling and cross-selling to increase the order value. As an example, if a person is looking to buy time tracking software, the chat representative can recommend a solution that would meet their needs, but they can also increase the average order value by suggesting that they also invest in a scheduling software which generally goes hand-in-hand with time tracking.
7. Better Understand Customers
One of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign or sales process is understanding your consumer’s needs and then being able to provide them with the right solution. Not only does live chat offer the opportunity to make a sale right then and there but it also allows you to gain access to the consumer’s mindset by gathering what is commonly known as, “Voice of the Customer.
Voice of the customer data is a common market research tool that can help you to understand your business from the customer’s perspective. By collecting this type of data, you can understand their opinions and behavior which can be used to shape the development of your product, your marketing strategy, and the way you grow your business.
8. Continual Contact
An unfortunate reality is that not everyone who visits your website will buy your product or service right away. So, what happens when a visitor leaves? Do you just sit back and hope that they will come back at some point in the future, or do you take proactive steps to ensure you don’t completely lose contact?
For businesses that use live chat, they can collect information about visitors and easily turn them into leads. During the live chat session, you should ask the consumer for their contact information so that you can provide them with additional information about your services. This is an excellent tactic to obtain consumer information. Not only does this help in gathering consumers information but also by asking for their name, you can provide a more personalized experience.
Another benefit of using live chat is that even if you are unable to collect a consumer’s contact information the first time around, approximately 63% of consumers are much more likely to return to a website that offers chat.
In conclusion, most customers want access to immediate and fast support that helps them along during their purchase process. The good news is that there are still a lot of companies out there that don’t use live chat, making it much easier to stand out from your competition. So it’s time to take the next step and invest in a live chat solution if you want to be successful in today’s business world.