What is a Live Chat?
Having a website chat is quickly becoming the norm, and whether you're a small business owner or the owner of a growing enterprise, live chat tools can be beneficial for upgrading customer experience.
But what is it? What does it do and how does it help? How is it different from a chatbot, phone or email? Do I even need one?
To answer some of these question, we'll be taking a deep dive into what a live chat is and how it can help your business grow.
Here's what we'll cover:
- What is a live chat software?
- Why is live chat important for online businesses?
- Benefits of having live chat support for your business
- What type of live chat you should be looking for
What is live chat software?
Live chat is a customer service channel that utilizes instant messaging through a live chat widget on your online store to provide customers with immediate support.
The purpose of live chats is to help businesses to answer questions from customers, and for customers to have easy access to a support agent while browsing a website, if they have any issues where they need further help.
These chat widgets can normally be found in the bottom right or left hand corner of an online store's web pages, and opens up a chat window when they're clicked.
If your website is custom built, these messaging apps can be installed by embedding script into a website's code. If your website is built on popular website builders such as Shopify, Wix or Wordpress, some live chat apps are available in their corresponding app stores for one-click installations.
Live chat is a great alternative to phone calls and email support, and it offers other communication channels for customers to reach businesses online.
Why is live chat important for online businesses?
As ecommerce or businesses online have limited opportunities to interact with customers, installing a chat widget provides a window of opportunity for your support team to engage customers through a chat conversation and increase your chances of making a sale.
By integrating this powerful technology into your online business or ecommerce store, you’ll be able to provide a potential customer with up-to-date information about services or products in more detail and attend quickly to any questions they may have.
It not only enhances customer engagement with website visitors, but it also helps improve the overall customer experience while shopping on your website.
Businesses can quickly answer customer inquiries in real-time, without them having to wait for a response from support agents. This helps customers get their questions answered faster and keeps them engaged throughout the entire customer journey.
Companies often opt for live chat as it offers a simple setup, frees up resources for their support team, increases efficiency and easily integrates with existing systems.
Benefits of having live chat support for your business
There are several statistics that highlight the benefits of live chat software for businesses:
- Increased customer satisfaction: 79% of customers prefer live chat because of the immediacy it provides, and 92% are satisfied with their live chat experience.
- Improved conversion rates: live chat can increase website conversion by 78%.
- Higher customer engagement: customers who engage with a company via live chat are 4.6 times more likely to make a purchase than those who don't.
- Cost savings: live chat can reduce customer service costs by up to 50%.
Other benefits of having a live chat solution:
- Efficiency - Improving response time through real-time customer service
- Customer loyalty and retention - improving customer service experience and providing a personalized service
- Increase sales - Lead generation and developing a new sales funnel
- Knowing your customer - Understanding customer behavior and getting feedback
Efficiency - Improving response time through real-time customer service
Live chat is an effective way of reducing the time it takes to respond to customer queries and providing support. It allows customers to get help quickly, reducing wait times through real-time communication.
This not only saves time but also money as there’s no need for businesses to hire extra staff to handle backed up emails or support tickets.
It also helps agents become more efficient by allowing them to handle multiple chat windows and many customers at the same time. This speeds up the process, as they don’t have to wait for each customer query to be completed before starting on the next one.
Some live chat software also come with automations and self-service options that can further free up existing resources for staff.
Customer loyalty and retention - improving customer service experience and providing a personalized service
Gaining a loyal customer takes effort. But a lot of business owners forget this when they're first diving into live chats.
One of the most overlooked benefit of having live chat support available for an online business, is the fact that it connects customers to a real person. Through live chat conversations, you gain the opportunity to get to know your customers more intimately.
Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses turning towards AI or chatbots to handle customers inquiries with the expectation that it will be able to solve all customer inquiries.
But the whole point of having live chat support in the first place, isn't to replace the live agent, but rather to build lasting and genuine relationships through a real-time conversation.
By talking directly to customers, you're able to learn more about them and what their pain points are, and provide personalized recommendations that are most suited to their needs. In most cases, this can result in an increase in the average order value.
Customers love the extra attention, and the personalized service can greatly improve customer satisfaction.
Increase Sales - Lead generation and developing a new sales funnel
Live chat offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to boost sales and create new opportunities through customer conversations.
When customers attempt to speak to a live chat support or sales team through the live chat widget, it's usually because they are interested in what the business is offering.
Real-time conversations allow businesses to quickly convert leads into paying customers by providing timely assistance and addressing their concerns.
Another benefit is that through direct interactions with customers, agents will be able to identify new potential leads or sales funnels, and take advantage of these opportunities that would otherwise go unnoticed if a live chat wasn't installed.
And as we've mentioned in the previous section, if customers are satisfied with the personalized customer service they receive, they're more likely to refer friends or family to the business, creating more opportunities for sales in the future.
Knowing your customer - Understanding customer behavior and getting feedback
We all think that we know what customers want, but that's impossible. The reason is because customers always want something different at different points in time.
Even if we know what a customer wants now from our business, we won't know what customers will want a week later if their preferences change.
Live chat provides a unique opportunity to get this information from customers, by simply asking them.
By asking customers simple questions on their preferences, you'll be able to make better recommendations and increase the chance that they'll make a purchase on your site.
Another benefit of having a live chat, is that you can get feedback on your business.
If your business is stuck and doesn't seem to grow any bigger, the best way to figure out what you need to change, is by getting feedback directly from your customers.
Their feedback could provide insight on what might be wrong with your business, which you might not have noticed before asking them.
What type of Live Chat you should be looking for
When choosing a live chat, there are certain features you should be looking for.
First of all, a good platform should have an easy to use interface that won't confuse customers while using the live chat support, or agents while they're managing their help center.
Second, it should come with automated messaging, chatbots or even marketing automation, so that customers can quickly get the information they need through self-service, without having to wait in line.
Third, it should have a reporting feature that allows you to track how effective your customer service is and where you can improve customer engagement.
Finally, the best live chat software come with additional features that enhance the ability of your support teams. It should be able to integrate with other platforms such as email or CRM systems to provide a seamless experience for not only your customers but also your chat agents.
Finding the right live chat technology can be daunting, but look around and you'll be sure to find something that can meet your needs while helping you reach your business goals.
Live chats are increasingly becoming a standard feature for those operating an ecommerce website or an online business. Yet, not all companies realize the potential power of this new form of communication.
It provides businesses opportunities to increase their customer base, engage with site visitors and improve service quality and customer experience.
By looking at all the benefits that having a live chat can provide, it would make sense to at least try it out for yourself and see the impact it has on your business growth.
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