You’ve seen that little chat box on websites you frequent. You may even have used the live chat function on a consumer or business site to answer questions about a product before you bought it. However, did you ever consider adding live chat to your own business’ arsenal of sales and customer service tools? Live chat has a lot to offer B2C and B2B companies that market their products and services on the web. In this age of instant gratification, being able to answer your customers’ questions and concerns in real time not only helps reinforce the fact that your company cares about its customers, but also helps to increase sales and thus profits.
A Little About Live Chat
Live chat is a web service that allows customers to communicate, or “chat”, in real time with someone from the company whose website they are visiting. Live support applications are commonly used to provide immediate customer support, answer customer questions and guide customers through the sales process.
Benefits of Using Live Chat on Your Website
There are a myriad of benefits associated with using live chat on your website. Just a few of the highlights include:
- Live chat increases conversions and sales.
Because you are able to answer any objections or concerns immediately, live chat helps to increase conversions and sales. One recent study estimates that chat increases conversions by around 20 percent.
- Customers who chat are three times more likely to buy.
The same study concluded that customers who use a website’s live chat function are three times more likely to purchase that site’s products or services than customers who don’t use the chat function.
- Live chat improves customer satisfaction levels.
Nearly 90 percent of customers find live chat useful, concluded an ATG Global Consumer Trend study. Just seeing the chat button and knowing that chat is an option inspires confidence. When you offer chat to your customers, you’re providing an opportunity for a two-way conversation. You’re no longer just lecturing or preaching to your customer about the benefits of your product; you’re sharing ideas.
- Live chat increases customer service efficiencies and lowers customer service costs.
Not only is the initial chat program easy to set up and easy for your customer service team to learn, but the cost per transaction with chat is significantly lower than the cost of other (less effective) communication vehicles, such as a call center or a social media community. In addition, with chat, one customer service person can interact with multiple customers simultaneously (up to four or five persons) while still offering “one on one” service. This decreases your staffing needs and improves efficiency dramatically.
- Chat transcripts and analytics can be used to measure and improve interactions with website visitors and customers.
By reviewing the questions and concerns that potential customers raise via live chat, you can hone your website to better address these issues right on the site, thus improving your customer service.
- Live chat can provide a competitive advantage to your company.
Customers prefer live chat to other communication methods, such as email and social media, according to a 2013 study by U.S. Wireless. That means that offering live chat can give you a leg up over your competitors’ sites that lack such an option.