It's Time to Chat
And when I say “It’s time to chat”, I mean that quite literally. Live chat offerings on websites are becoming more and more popular as businesses are beginning to realize the value in engaging with customers in the moment.
It’s no surprise that in today’s fast-paced and digital-driven world customers are demanding more and more convenience when it comes to shopping. Just think about the rising popularity of grocery pickup services, on-demand movies, and 2-day Amazon Prime shipping.
Have you stopped to consider how your business might need to adjust to this new shopping mentality? If you haven’t, you should - and live chat is a great place to start!
Live Chat Statistics Suggest Happy Customers
According to an article by SuperOffice.com, customer service requests often take 10 hours for a response on social media and 12 hours for a response via email. Yikes! That’s nowhere close to the instantaneous information and service that consumers in today’s world have come to expect.
Wait 12 hours to respond to a product inquiry and you’ve likely already lost the sale.
Live chat overcomes this obstacle by allowing you to answer your customer’s question the second they think of it! Maybe someone is considering buying a dress, but she wants to know if it’s machine-washable. She asks the question. She gets the answer. She buys the dress. It really is that simple!
The alternative for a website without live chat? She wonders about her question. She thinks it’s probably not worth emailing customer service. She goes to another website and forgets about your dress. Sad, but true!
It’s easy to see how a tool like this would not only boost sales, but also impact a customer’s overall opinion of a business and their likelihood to become a repeat customer. In fact, the American Marketing Association claims a 20% increase in conversions for companies who implement a live chat feature, and a similar report by eMarketer found that 35% more people followed through with a purchase after engaging with a live chat feature on a website!
Honestly—if you want more proof as to why you should consider a live chat, just browse the information in those two reports. Running low on time? Here are the highlights:
- Live chat can reduce customer phone calls by 59%.
- Customers who chat with a business are 3 times more likely to buy.
- Live chat can be beneficial in all stages of the buying process from marketing to sales to post-purchase.
- 63% of customers said they were more likely to visit a site again if it had live chat.
- 38% of customers claimed that their live chat session is the reason they made a purchase.
- 27% indicated that they purchased more than they intended to because of live chat.
To sum up the benefits, live chat makes customers feel important, gives them an avenue to ask the questions that might be preventing them from a purchase, and helps them to develop a sense of trust with your company—all of this while learning about your brand and interacting with your products. It truly is a dream scenario if you think about it.
Is Managing Live Chat Realistic?
We know what you’re thinking . . . there’s no way that me or my team can handle the workload of maintaining a live chat 24/7.
Well, you’re in luck! First of all, not all companies operate their live chat at all hours of the day or night. Some choose only to have it available during business hours or some other reasonable timeframe. In this scenario, members of your existing sales staff could rotate in responding to product inquiries or you could have one person designated to fill this role. This allows your live chat to be the most beneficial because customers are able to interact directly with those that know your full product offering and services best.
Live chat makes customers feel important, gives them an avenue to ask the questions that might be preventing them from a purchase, and helps them to develop a sense of trust with your company.
It also might not take as much time as you think when you consider the efficiency of your sales team being able to chat simultaneously with multiple customers at once as opposed to responding to one email or answering one phone call. The article by SuperOffice even purports that implementing a live chat is 50% cheaper than handling phone calls in the long run.
Another option that many companies are choosing to consider is paying for a third-party service to manage their live chat. While this isn’t as personalized, it can still fill some of that role in giving customers a timely response to the more basic questions about your product offering if you aren’t ready to commit to an in-house live-chat feature. AccuWeb Hosting provides a helpful comparison of various third-party service chat tools to consider implementing.
If you need help implementing a live chat feature on your website, give us a call. We would be happy to discuss the live chat services that our clients are currently using and to get you on your own way to happier customers!