7 Ways Live Chat Benefits Your Business

Consumers rule the digital landscape these days. They do their own research and often prefer self-service. But eventually, even the savviest online customer will have a question. What then?

Let’s face it, most FAQs don’t answer the true make-or-break questions, and most people don’t have time to call in and wait for an answer. Email is a great option, but customers might not get the immediate response they’re looking for and find a competitor in the meantime.

If your website offers live chat, customers can ask their questions with relative ease, make their purchase and go about their day. Sounds good, right? But is live chat really worth the investment? Here are seven reasons we think the answer is a resounding yes!

1. Gain Insight Into Visitor Behavior

What better way to learn about your customers than to talk to them?

Live chat gives you instant access to the thoughts and concerns of your clients. And since it allows you to engage in actual human conversation, you can gain relevant information by asking questions. This allows you to identify the true pain points of your clients, which can prove invaluable as you work to improve your products, services and marketing strategy over time.

2. Engage When It Matters Most

It may sound cliche, but live chat puts you in the right place at just the right time. It gives you an opportunity to connect with virtual window shoppers, many of whom are just a few questions and answers shy of sales-ready, and convert them into qualified leads. So whether you pop the chat automatically or wait for the client to contact you, you’re in a unique position to engage when it matters most.

3. Build Stronger Customer Relationships

Live chat provides an immediate connection, one that customers have come to expect in this age of instant gratification. What’s more, it’s personal! Customers know they’re speaking with a real person, someone with actual knowledge of your services who can provide expert advice and answers.

And let’s face it, real answers from real people mean so much more than a lifeless auto-response. Because no matter how well prepared that response may be, it just can’t consider the specific circumstances of the client’s question.

Maybe that’s why 63 percent of consumers say they are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat — real people, interaction, trust, and relationships.

4. Make Life Easier for Customers

When a potential customer visits your website, you want them to have the best user experience possible, right?

Well, consider this: 44 percent of consumers say that having a live person available to answer questions during an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.

And why not? Live chat is convenient. It saves time and allows the client to multitask while waiting for an answer. Plus, no annoying “on hold” music. Another added bonus is that visitors can request a chat transcript for future reference.

5. Cut Costs and Increase Efficiency

Live chat offers a unique opportunity for savings. Due to the nature of chat, one representative can often handle multiple chat requests simultaneously — a feat that just isn’t possible when answering calls. This not only means shorter waiting times for customers, but it also means fewer reps are necessary to provide excellent service.

6. Increase Sales

Customers love having someone to turn to when a question arises. In fact, when surveyed about the importance of live chat, 38 percent of respondents credited their purchase directly to the live chat session.

Why? Because having a live chat representative handy is a lot like having a sales rep on the floor. Representatives can walk customers through the sale, answering questions along the way. This results in fewer bounces and helps push more shopping carts through completion at checkout.

7. Stay Competitive

Being the first to offer live chat will help you get a leg up on the competition. And if you’re not the first — you’ve got some catching up to do! But here are a few tips that will help make your live chat the best of the bunch:

  • Train hard: Make sure your reps understand the product in addition to website navigation. After all, you’re looking to increase sales, not just troubleshoot.
  • Be available when needed: Keep an eye on the analytics and make sure you have reps available during high traffic times when customers are most likely to inquire.
  • Don’t sound over-rehearsed: People know when you’re reading from a script — so don’t! Instead, use templates to keep reps on message, but allow them to add their own personality.
  • Don’t make customers repeat themselves: Give your reps a 360-degree view of customer interactions across all channels. So if a client has previously emailed, called or sent a message via social media, your chat reps should know about it!

Wrap-up

There you have it — seven reasons why live chat can be beneficial to your business and your customers. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Do you think live chat is a worthwhile feature for your customers? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

For our part, we can say this — ReadyChat increases lead volume by over 40 percent and our leads are known to close three times higher than the industry average. Not bad right?

Not bad at all!

Erin Myers
erin.myers@outboundengine.com

Erin is the former Content Marketing Manager at OutboundEngine. She's passionate about tracking the latest trends in social media and marketing to help business owners build relationships and reach new customers online.