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5 Benefits of Live Chat–and How to Get it Right

Monday February 12, 2018

Reading Time: 10 minutes
live chat benefits website

Customers have pretty high expectations of the websites they visit. They want a richer online experience and instant gratification, whether it comes in the form of same-day delivery or real-time live chat if they have an urgent question.

With live chat, most issues can be resolved immediately, but solving problems in a snap isn’t the only benefit. If you implement it optimally and make it work for you, live chat can help your business flourish.

1. It boosts customer satisfaction 
We’ve all been there: the customer service phone call that still doesn’t answer your question, despite being on the phone for an hour, or the never-ending email thread. Getting an answer can be really hard!

Live chat wait times are significantly less than a call center. With live chat, visitors don’t have to stop what they’re doing to call an 800 number and navigate a complicated menu of options or write an email. They can get immediate problem resolution without ever leaving the page.

It’s no wonder why customers report greater satisfaction with live chat, which has the highest satisfaction levels out of any customer service channel: 73% of customers prefer live chat, while email and phone clock in at 61% and 44%, respectively.

2. It saves money 
Live chat is extremely cost-effective customer service. Instead of handling one phone call or email at a time, a live chat rep can manage as many as six chats at once, depending on the issues. Being able to handle multiple chats at once doesn’t require as big of a customer service team, immediately slashing your overall support costs.

This doesn’t mean you have to stop offering phone or email support altogether–but by adding live chat to the mix, you’ll quickly be able to determine which channel your visitors prefer.

3. It builds trust 
It’s a lot easier to sell someone on something in person, but you lose that valuable interaction when the conversation occurs online. Humans are skeptical by default, but the exchange between website visitor and live chat agent can help build credibility and trust.

If you can’t get a customer to trust you, they’re not going to give you their business, let alone any personal or contact information. Engaging in real-time, back-and-forth conversation is such an effective way to build a relationship with potential customers.

4. It boosts sales 
When a visitor has a question or needs help, they’re much less likely to bounce from the page and more likely to take the intended call to action if live chat is available. In fact, according to the American Marketing Association, B2B companies that implement live chat experience a 20% increase in conversions.

Live chat provides immediate assistance and keeps the visitor on your website, allowing you to guide the visitor toward a decision.

5. It gives you customer insight 
As a business, your number one priority is to understand your customer’s pain points and design and market your product or service to serve as solutions to those pain points. By implementing live chat, you’ll get further insight into your customer’s pain points, especially when it comes to how they perceive your website and brand.

Being able to understand your business from a customer’s perspective will help you develop better products or services, finetune your marketing strategy, refresh your website structure and ultimately grow your business. Regularly reviewing chat transcripts lets you see what common questions or issues your customers have.

Maybe you’ll discover that your visitors are having difficulty navigating to specific pages, so you decide to optimize your site structure, or perhaps you keep getting the same question about a service you offer, so you update your website content to make the answer more evident.

How to Get Live Chat Right 
Live chat is useful, and we’re going to see more of it, but if you really want it to benefit your business, there are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Be authentic. Customers are pretty savvy, and they can see right through robotic, impersonal language. Make sure your chat language is in line with your brand voice and customer-directed. Your customers will tell the difference.
  • Make sure you have the bandwidth. Live chat is great in theory, but you need to have the resources to be able to pull it off. Make sure you have someone on your team manning the chat, and train them on best practices. Any live chat agent needs to be ultra knowledgeable about your product or service, as well as your website layout.
  • Use discretion. Live chat is a great tool, but you need to implement it wisely. Slapping it on all of your pages tends to feel a little spammy and impersonal, so consider placing it on your homepage and product/service pages.

Think strategically. What about placing live chat on 404 pages or deleted pages? With a live chat agent present, visitors may be less tempted to exit the window and navigate away from your website.

Give Your Business a Competitive Edge
Brands have been relatively slow across the board to adopt live chat, so there’s a fair chance your competitors haven’t started using it either. Implementing it on your website can give you a major advantage.

After 20 years of helping small businesses keep their digital marketing efforts current, Webconsuls has become pretty good at weeding out digital trends from the stuff that’s here to stay. Live chat doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, and it’s worth implementing on your website. If you’re curious about how we can help your business stay current in such a competitive landscape, contact a Managing Partner for a complimentary consultation.


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