Whether you find it annoying or helpful, intrusive or convenient, there’s no denying the benefits of live chat. As technology continues to develop [faster than you can say digitalmarketingagency] there has been a massive shift in consumer behaviour. Keeping up with this shift can be as simple as implementing a few technological tools.
Up until recently, it was enough to list a call centre phone number on your contact page along with a handful of social media icons, but that no longer cuts it for most customers. More and more, customers are declaring their preference for live chat – even over social media support and email.
What is live chat?
Live chat is an online communication tool that lets you and your visitors talk in real time. Customers don’t have to install anything on their devices or sign up in order to chat and conversations take place in a chat box [also known as a widget] that pops up on your site.
Did you know? Live chat is the number one customer service option for shoppers between the ages of 18 and 49, and customers that use live chat spend up to 60% more per purchase than those that don’t.
Is live chat the same as a chatbot?
Chatbots are programs that simulate interactions with customers based on predefined answers and can be integrated with other messaging channels such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Sometimes, chatbots are powered by AI and can offer 24/7 support to an unlimited number of customers at once.
Where live chat gives customers real time, human-to-human interaction, chatbots are an interface that mimic human interaction. Live chat allows visitors to your website to reach out to a human customer support agent to get their questions answered.
So, what are the benefits of live chat? How can it improve your business?
1. Build rapport
What business doesn’t want to build rapport with customers? One of the main benefits of live chat [especially compared to chatbots] is that humans can understand human emotions and solve complex issues.
Chatbots aren’t [yet] capable of understanding the mood and tone of what customers are saying, whereas live chat agents can offer meaningful conversations to increase customer satisfaction and build rapport.
The best part about live chat? Customers can experience the human rapport they crave, without having to leave your website in favour of another channel [like making a phone call].
2. Increase conversions
Getting visitors to your website is one thing, but ensuring customers are engaged is a whole ‘nother ball game. Brands without live chat on their website will soon become a thing of the past, so getting ahead of the pack now will give you a significant competitive advantage.
Did you know? 51% of customers are more likely to make a repeat purchase from a business if they offer live chat support.
Adding live chat to your website can lead to an increase in conversions because it speeds up purchasing decisions. When potential buyers are on the fence about a product or service, a live chat agent can help edge them closer to a purchase.
3. Boost team productivity
Typically, a human live chat agent can handle between three and four conversations at a time, so compared to traditional support channels, live chat agents can save time [and money]. Call centres and human support agents replying to email can take time and offer less return on investment compared to live chat options.
Faster customer support is one of the main benefits of adding live chat to your site. You can answer their questions immediately and prevent them from bouncing away into the arms of your competitors.
Customers report being more satisfied with completed live chat support interactions and, according to recent data, customer satisfaction ratings for live chat (85%) are second only to phone support (91%), email support (82%) and Facebook support (74%).
Is live chat worth it?
Whether you decide that live chat is the predominant option for customer support in your business or not, considering it as an option for customers has endless benefits. Answering questions and responding to queries quickly and efficiently will make your customers feel seen and valued and increase efficiency in your business.
If you need help implementing live chat for your business, give us a call today. As digital marketing experts, we have a whole team of professionals ready and waiting to help grow your business.