Today, the business environment is more competitive than ever. Customers have a pool of options to choose from, so you must offer superior quality to attract them as a brand. And that’s not where it ends. The next step is establishing customer loyalty and strengthening your brand reputation.
In the past, there were many ways to create and sustain a competitive advantage. However, as industries evolved, it has become more challenging to provide something that others don’t.
What’s more, all of us humans have become less patient. Our attention span is decreased, and we want things fast. In other words, if you don’t provide services to your customers quickly enough, someone else will. Here’s where the live chat feature comes into play.
Fast forward, good customer support has a direct impact on revenues and long-term company performance. If this doesn’t make sense to you, let’s see how you can benefit, thus why you should use a live chat on your website.
Major Benefits Of Live Chat For Your Website
As you probably know, there are lots of options when it comes to customer support. You can go for a ticketing system, knowledge base, email, or phone support. All of them provide some benefits to your operation.
Still, a live chat on your website has proven as the most effective customer support method, and here’s why.
Live Chat is Convenient For The Customers
A successful marketing campaign always starts with the customer. First, you must identify the needs and want of your customers. Then, you can start developing and providing your product and services. The same applies to the live chat feature.
To start, let’s get review some stats!
- 63% of consumers are more likely to return to a website with live chat. (Emarketer)
- Millennials prefer live chat over every other customer support channel. (Comm100)
- 59% of customers are more likely to buy when brands answer their queries in under a minute. (Ifbyphone)
- 38% of customers said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. (Digital Marketing)
- 53% of customers are likely to abandon their online purchases if they can’t find quick answers to their questions. (Forrester)
Fast response times are the number one reason why customers like using a live chat when browsing on your website. And if you do quick research, you will find that the majority of companies offer 24/7 support. In other words, there is always an available agent to answer the clients’ queries. After all, that’s the whole point of this type of customer support. But that’s not all there is.
Instant support is instrumental when it comes to online stores. If a client has a purchase-related question, he/she is more likely to proceed with it if the live chat agent answers the question.
For instance, your potential client might not be able to move with the purchase because he/she cannot apply the discount code. If you don’t assist the customer in this quest, it will cause frustration, and you will most probably lose this conversion.
Live chat also allows clients to multi-task. When talking on the phone, they should be 100% dedicated to the conversation.
However, while using the live chat feature, one might open other tabs on the browser or get some work done during the short wait for a response from an agent.
Live Chat Is Cost And Time-Efficient
Phone and email support don’t just prolong the response time. These methods come with lots of back-and-forths, which eventually increases resource spending. It’s time, and time is money!
If you offer phone support, you will have to hire one or more people for the job. Keep in mind; one agent can handle only one customer request at a time.
However, with live chat, one agent can simultaneously lead several live chat sessions. In turn, this decreases the cost of the service. Real-time customer service provides additional benefits compared to other channels. These two combined (lower inputs and higher benefits) essentially increase the ROI.
There’s another aspect worth mentioning. With the live chat feature, customers also get to choose better-suited products for their needs. In turn, this decreases product returns, indirectly improving your company’s profits.
Live Chat Increases Conversions
Marketers no longer consider live chat as a support feature but more of a sales channel itself. And here’s why!
- Live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate. (ICMI Report)
- Live chat support can reduce cart abandonment, increase sales, and boost conversions. (wpbeginner)
“After implementing Live Chat on our website, conversion rates increased by 23%,” says Post Affiliate Pro.
As mentioned before, a customer is more likely to purchase with the proper guidance. If your live chat support team is knowledgeable and experienced enough to guide customers in their purchases, you will undoubtedly spot a boost in your earnings.
At this point, you can use several additional strategies. For instance, your live chat agents can offer discounts for extra purchases or even promotional codes to “push the clients” along the sales funnel. This strategy is especially beneficial when your employees work for a percentage of sales, namely commissions.
Say your sales agent gets a 20% per conversion. If a customer contacts them for support but thinks about whether to purchase or not, your sales agent can offer a discount.
For instance, they can “sacrifice” 10% of their earning but get the remaining 10%. In turn, all you, as the owner, your employee, and the customer, will end up satisfied with the transaction.
Live Chat Provides 24/7 Support
Providing customer support is a challenging job, especially if you are on a limited budget. Not all entities can provide this “luxury.” Still, customers consider it a necessity. Here’s where automation kicks in.
One balanced and effective strategy is to hire agents during work hours and activate a chatbot to provide self-service to your customers. To be more specific, the live chat will give automated responses or links to a knowledge base article. Either way, you can significantly benefit from it.
First and foremost, it can help you cut down on costs:
- Businesses can reduce customer service costs by up to 30% by implementing a conversational chatbot. (Chatbots Magazine)
- Chatbots can help enterprises save on customer service costs by answering 80% of routine questions. (IBM)
Better yet, customers like the chatbot feature:
- 21% of consumers see chatbots as the easiest way to contact a business. (Chatbot Report)
- 67% of consumers worldwide used a chatbot for customer support. (Business Insider)
- 1 in 5 consumers would consider purchasing goods and services from a chatbot. (Ubisend report)
Essentially, live chat provides assistance outside business hours, which is almost impossible with a phone or email support.
Live Chat Is The Base For Long-Term Success
If your customers are satisfied with your services, they are less likely to switch to your competitors, as they feel cared for. Loyal customers are also less price-sensitive.
At this point, you can think of elastic and inelastic demand. If customers find it easy to substitute your brand with another, the demand is elastic. In turn, you cannot increase the prices much. On the other hand, when customers have a strong preference or necessity for your brand or products, you can increase the prices without losing as many clients.
You can use live chat as a unique feature that provides for competitive advantage in the market. In turn, it can strengthen the customers’ loyalty and retention rate.
According to OutboundEngine:
- Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer
- Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%
- The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%
- The success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%
- Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x to forgive, 4x to refer, and 7x to try a new offering
As stats prove, it’s cheaper to retain existing customers than acquire new ones. Sure, you shouldn’t trade-off between the two. You can simultaneously pursue both strategies instead. However, loyal customers will generate better ROI, thus, long-term success.
Live Chat on your website boosts the Customer Experience (CX)
If you are not familiar with the term, customer experience refers to your customers’ opinions and impressions of your brand.
To get a grasp of things, consider the following two statements, both of which are true:
- A bad customer experience can drive away your customers to leave your brand
- A good customer experience can increase your customer retention rate, customer loyalty and boost your recurring revenue
To improve customer experience, first, you need to identify the touchpoint you have with your customers. Then, you can identify issues and find ways to resolve them.
For instance, if you have been losing customers due to long response times or lack of guidance in the purchase process, live chat might be the perfect solution for your business.
With live chat support, you will provide your customers with all the support they need before, during, and after the purchase. Not only does this affect the financial performance of your entity, but it also increases your client’s trust.
When customers have a way to contact you at all times, they are less likely to have a negative experience with your brand. Even if they do, you can find a way to resolve it quickly and retain your brand reputation.
Eventually, your clients will recommend your brand to friends and family, further increasing your brand presence and improving your brand reputation.
Live Chat Provides Valuable Insights
Finally, live chat can provide you with valuable, in-depth reports. Quality live chat software or automated tools usually come with built-in tools that monitor the activity of your agents and clients. The result of these actions is valuable data regarding your company’s performance and principal issues.
Say you are constantly getting the same questions or reports from your clients. For instance, your visitors might have an issue with selecting the right size of a T-shirt. If you are an eCommerce store, this would be a red flag. Your teams should work on better explaining the products or developing size charts for each product category.
In-depth reports can also indicate your team quality. You can keep track of the agents or how much time they spent to respond, on average. You can also spot if some customer requests remained unanswered and take appropriate actions.
Usually, customers get an option to rate the live chat agent after each conversation. At this point, you can include different types of questions, such as “Was this conversation helpful” or “Was the live agent knowledgeable and friendly”?
Including ratings as part of your live chat analytics can essentially help you attract a better team. When employees know that customers are satisfied with their services, they are more likely to perform well.
Once you identify the weak points in your live chat support, you will be able to improve the customer experience. If you haven’t spotted it by now, it’s a never-ending cycle where everything starts with and ends with the customers.
Final Thought – Is Live Chat Worth It?
The most straightforward possible answer is, yes, it is.
Live chat is an excellent option for today’s competitive business environments. Customers find live chat as a convenient solution to get the real-time responses they need. In turn, this type of customer support enhances customer retention rates, customer loyalty, and satisfaction. But that’s not where it ends.
These increased performance indicators eventually affect the financials of your entity. Live chat can increase conversions and sales. What’s more, loyal customers are less price-sensitive than newcomers. In turn, this enhances the revenue side of the P&L statement. You should be considering adding a live chat on your website. It is a low-cost solution and it leads to a higher ROI (combined with increased benefits).
So, if you are in for the long-term, you might as well consider live chat support for your website!