Live chat is one of the best ways for your enterprise to engage with your website’s visitors. You can use the live chat software to start a conversation with people who are visiting your website for the first time, interact with frequent visitors, and support the loyal ones in real-time.
By using live chat software for your website, you’ll allow your customers to interact with your business through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other popular social media platforms.
Live chat helps in responding to your customers and prospects on time, which won’t only improve engagement but also satisfaction levels. Having live chat software in place will help you close more deals and improve your profitability.
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Live chat vs phone support
For a couple of years now, phone support and email have been the most common tools of communication for most helpdesk teams around the world. However, live chat software has revolutionized how helpdesks respond to customers because it’s contextual, instant, and personalized.
Research studies conducted by Forrester shows that using live chat software for customer support is cheaper by 17% to 30% than using phone support. Helpdesk support can handle four to five customer chats simultaneously while the phone can only handle one at a time. Also, live chat is more accessible, responsive, and faster compared to phone support.
Also, phone support is usually long winding because customers have to pass through several people or departments to reach the right person. With live chat, you can save time and energy with just a few clicks.
Live chat enables customer support agents to have a virtual support system that’s always present. This not only reduces the backlogs of the agents but also improves the response time in general. The support team can prioritize important issues by pushing notifications that help analyze the extent of specific issues with a simple click.
Live chat vs email
Live chat is just as interactive as phone conversations while being as relaxed as email messaging. While the average response time for emails is 24 hours, it’s around three minutes for live chat, in most industries. When it comes to cost efficiency, live chat doesn’t cost more than creating email support for your enterprise.
The modern live chat software allows you to do everything that you’d expect from email support. This includes sending links, sharing media files, and following up on conversations. Unlike emails that can easily get buried and forgotten in the inbox, live chat offers a continuous thread. You no longer need to navigate through hundreds of conversations to spot the last chat with your clients. Once a customer initiates a chat, the customer care agents can quickly pick up where they left off.
Do you need a live chat?
Customers need live chat to get answers quickly on a site. Sales and marketing teams need live chat to collect and convert leads into potential customers. Helpdesk teams also need this resource to solve, engage, and support customer problems quickly.
Live chat is a valuable resource for e-commerce enterprises as it enables them to reduce bounce rates, capture leads, and reduce the number of abandoned carts. The live chat software allows organizations to launch marketing campaigns and use chatbots to offer proactive support and engage with them.
In our competitive market, live chat software is compulsory for businesses that want to reduce website churn, boost sales, and offer high-class customer support. Research studies have shown that live chat increases the ROI of sales teams by around 300%. Live chat also increases the conversion rates by 20% since customers are more likely to shop on a website that has live chat support.
Online businesses that want to stay close to their customers for support, sales, and feedback should not ignore the power of live chat. Live chat is important for businesses that offer personalized and instantaneous services to buyers.
Top features of a live chat software
A study conducted by assignment found out that 92% of customers feel great when using live chat compared to other channels of communication. Therefore, when evaluating the best live chat solutions for your website, there are several factors that you should consider.
Some of the top features for live chat software include:
- Co-browsing – This allows business owners to collaborate with their customers in real-time and guide them through the complex process of filling forms and delivering an exceptional conversation experience.
- Video chat – Enables your customers to connect with you and vice versa–through face-to-face video chat–with just one click in real-time for assistance and making sales.
- Communication – If you want to engage with customers across different channels, having a live chat platform is key to managing conversations and the overall productivity of your team. Live chat offers multiple channels that customers can use to reach you.
Other common features that play an important role in live chat software and improve customer engagement include tags, widget customization, visitor notes, queuing, and visitor analytics.
The Power of Live Chat
You have read it by yourself above that email is good but the response rate could be better. Phone support is also powerful but it doesn’t allow solving multiple customer problems.
Besides, customers can get annoyed when getting transferred from one customer support agent to another.
So, you’re left with one last option: live chat.
But then you might be asking why the heck companies or businesses should choose live chat over the other channels.
Well, read below to learn the importance of using live chat.
Live chat is convenient
Live chat enables faster interaction with customers. For instance, you can help customers looking to learn about your products or services much quicker with live chat.
Usually, the chatbox is located at a convenient place on the screen where with a single click, customers can enter their questions and get an instant response.
That explains why 79% of people prefer live chat support to other channels.
Live chat increases customer satisfaction
The faster you’re going to answer customer questions the more likely you’re going to make them feel satisfied.
With live chat, customers get answers to their questions before they turn off their computers.
Unlike email, live chat offers a no-waiting response to customers.
As stated earlier, live chat allows support teams to share instructional videos, and other helpful material to help customers get what they are looking for fast.
The modern live chat software programs also allow customers to share their screens with support agents and this helps them understand how to help customers better.
Live chat help to identify customer problems
With live chat, support agents can record and analyze chat transcripts as information is usually in text format.
This makes it easier for support agents to discover customer issues and find ways to solve them.
Recording and analyzing phone conversations on the other hand is more complex.
Besides, sorting and organizing email conversations is also hard.
When customers are satisfied, they are more likely to buy your products or services. This is made possible by using live chat software as support agents can build relationships with customers and solve their problems.
What’s more, support agents can use that opportunity to suggest additional products while solving customer problems.
This can ultimately lead to increased sales and revenue.
As stated earlier, live chat is 17% cheaper than setting an email or phone support system. For instance, to set up a phone support system, you will need to buy costly software and hardware.
The costs incurred on telephone calls can also increase expenses as customers make calls.
The good thing about live chat support is that agents can handle multiple queries thereby helping multiple customers within a short period. This saves a lot of costs given that you don’t need to hire multiple support agents.
Helps customers during decision-making
Usually, when customers use live chat, they are either considering buying your offers or are already buying.
How sweet would it be if you could help them at this stage? 44% of customers feel happy when their questions are answered by a live person when in the checkout stage on a website. In a nutshell, live chat can help to reduce cart abandonment and bounce rates.
Now that you know who needs live chat and the benefits this feature has to your online business, let’s find out how you can leverage it to grow your business.
Growing your business using live chat
Regardless of the type of business you have, live chat will add great value in the long run. It will help you generate more sales and offer support to your potential clients.
Here are a few tips that will help you grow your business using live chat:
Turning visitors into customers
The majority of small business owners will agree that one of the main challenges they face is the cost of adopting an online strategy for lead generation. By adding live chat to your website, you’ll provide insights into the behavior and interests of your site visitors.
Live chat can help turn visitors into customers by:
- Triggering personalized messages based on the activities of visitors at the right time, effectively guiding them in the buying process
- Initiating proactive conversations with visitors when they get stuck on a particular page, such as the pricing or product page. Assisting visitors in the buying process and answering questions effectively in real-time encourages quick decision making. Timely and personalized messages can develop trust and enhance live customer service.
Use Live Chat to Generate New Leads
Generally, website live chat mimics the experience customers get when they go to a brick and mortar store. Customers can ask questions and get real-time answers from support agents. That’s why a bigger percentage of customers prefer to make purchases from companies with live chat support.
Besides, the presence of live chat software enables businesses to gather data that could help in marketing and promoting products or services.
With live chat, you can engage with customers even without them contacting you. For instance, you can engage with website visitors using their browsing history or based on their country of origin.
Live chat works powerfully for lead generation.
For instance, when people visit your website outside your business hours, you can set a chatbot to engage them, ask them to provide their email addresses which are then entered into your CRM software so you can reach out to them anytime you want.
Live chat is much more interactive and engaging than adding a form to your website for collecting customer information.
What’s more, live chat allows you to acquire new customers without breaking the bank.
Providing assistance with one click
Live chat for both startups and small businesses can help business owners connect with potential customers with a simple click. By using customer engagement tools, like screen sharing, video chat, and co-browsing, you can actively interact with your clients and make the conversation lively.
Sending proactive messages allows you to respond to customers’ queries and close sales quickly. Being available for your customers enables you to resolve queries and make decisions quickly, too. Also, live assistance allows you to provide customer satisfaction.
Enhance customer experience
Using the live chat feature, you can communicate immediately without having your customer wait. Real-time assistance that you provide to your customers helps you get a quick response to problems or queries. Personalizing the chat helps you build trust in customers and enhance the customer experience.
Providing assistance and support through the use of customer engagement tools will make your conversations more effective. The co-browsing solution helps supporting agents to guide customers in filling forms and other types of applications. It provides a better experience in real-time. Also, integrating co-browsing and video chat makes conversations lively and enhances personal experience.
Connecting and helping customers at the right time encourages effective decision-making. Getting the right messages based on the visitor’s activities helps resolve queries and boosts sales.
To increase your sales, you have to adhere to live chat best practices to give your clients a memorable experience. Some of these practices include:
- Using canned responses: To improve customer service, you have to reduce the waiting time since it can either make or break the sale. Customers want quick and effective responses.
Canned responses are some of the best ways to improve response time and customer experience. Depending on the nature of your business, you can prepare canned messages beforehand.
- Placing live chat at the right place and page: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and look at your website through their eyes. By doing this, you’ll be able to think like a potential customer, allowing you to know their needs.
When the customer visits your site, they will take action based on their instincts. To deliver an exceptional experience, you have to place live chat in the right place and ensure that it’s visible.
- Using intelligent routing to improve resolution time: When there is a new chat request, you can always route it to the specified department for an effective response. This will reduce the queue time, hence significantly improves response time. In addition to that, Intelligent routing boosts sales and directs clients to the right agents quickly.
Live chat is cheap
Live chat is a great tool that’ll help you minimize operational costs relating to support and sales. This is especially true for small businesses or startups where hiring is a big issue. It’s expensive to handle a query than resolving it when you are communicating with the customer for the first time.
Routing queries to qualified agents saves customers the time and energy required to explain themselves repeatedly to different customer care agents every single time.
Live chat helps save money because:
- Agents can handle several chats at a go. This improves efficiency while eradicating the need to hire more customer care agents.
- It minimizes help desk costs by lowering queue time with fast and effective resolutions.
Helps build long-lasting relationships
Satisfied customers are not likely to buy from competitors. They tend to become less sensitive to price while adding value to how they are handled. Customers who communicate with you tend to come back and buy your products and services more often since they are familiar with your business and its operations.
Effective communication is critical to building relationships. Listening to your customers and clearly explaining your solutions to them will ensure that all their needs are met, boosting sales.
Builds customer loyalty and trust
Customer loyalty and trust are the building blocks of a successful business. Personalizing live chat sessions with visitors helps you create a personal connection that leads to more conversions and enhance business growth.
Apart from improving customer experience, companies use live chat to get more customers by adding live engagement tools, like co-browsing. These tools help collaborate with customers and offer instant solutions. Customers will value and stay loyal to businesses that treat them as individuals through personalized conversations.
Connects with other tools
Most startups and small businesses do not have enough resources. Every business has a wide range of tools to streamline and automate its operations. Adding the live chat feature to the website helps resolve the issue of a lack of resources.
Automating tasks by connecting live chat with other tools will boost your productivity and save time. Having these integrations will help you spend more time on customers than on administrative duties.
Some of the best tools that you can easily integrate with live chat include CMS platforms, CRM tools, and e-commerce platforms.
Embrace live chat
All types of businesses today need to build and maintain relationships with their customers to stand out from the competition and offer products and services that are of high quality. Businesses need to focus on building rapport with customers and answering queries in a quick, timely, and personal manner to improve their brand.
Live chat software helps you build meaningful relationships and allow you to be available to customers when they need you. With all the benefits that live chat offers, it’s difficult for a small business owner to ignore. Live chat empowers effective customer communication, which won’t only boost sales but also customer loyalty. Putting it in the right place and page on your site is critical for your success.