It’s safe to say that customer expectations when it comes to customer service have reached new heights. These days, consumers want their questions answered at the speed of need. Failing to deliver this kind of support usually results in the loss of a sale, a decrease in customer satisfaction or potentially the loss of a customer.
Today, companies are turning to technology to ensure that customer needs are addressed as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to meet customers when they are most engaged with your business is through live chat. Live chat software cannot only improve the way you deliver customer service, but it can also help differentiate your business and give it a competitive edge. By meeting your customers instantly in their moment of need, you can provide a better customer experience and grow your business simultaneously.
Here are the key benefits you should take note of:
When a customer service rep is on the phone with a customer, it can be hard to multitask. Especially since the rep should be keeping their focus on the customer at all times. This is where chat is different. Most customer service reps can manage concurrent chats, assisting 3-5 customers at any one time without the quality of support suffering. Because of this increase in productivity per rep, you won’t need as many customer service reps to handle your customer inquiries, cutting department costs tremendously. Additionally, when businesses introduce live chat, they often experience a decrease in number of phone calls too, which can cost over 50% more per contact than a chat on average.
Your sales will increase
Offering your customers the option to talk to a real person when they are in the middle of making a purchase decision online can do wonders for your conversion rate and sales in general. Research conducted by Forrester revealed that customers who engage in live chat spend 10% more on average and are 3x more likely to make a purchase. Live chat is especially helpful for customers who may have a quick sizing question, need assistance at checkout or are just looking for that extra boost of confidence and reassurance in their decision. By being readily available to help customers throughout their entire shopping and checkout experience, it’s no surprise that online businesses who use live chat can decrease cart abandonment by up to 30%.
Customers enjoy the ease and immediacy live chat provides. In fact, a study conducted by Econsultancy found that 79% of customers who prefer chat over other channels note that this is because they are able to get their questions answered quicker. Additionally, 46% believe that it is the most efficient way to communicate. This kind of speed and efficiency is what businesses today need in order to let their brand stand out and actually improve their bottom line.
It builds trust with customers
Simply knowing help is only a couple minutes away makes your customers feel much more comfortable and confident when shopping with you. Offering a convenient method for customers to get in touch, should they have any issues, saves your customers time and effort and shows them their questions and concerns are important to your business. This helps build trust between you and your customers, enhancing their overall shopping experience and impression of your brand. And it appears most shoppers feel this way given that nearly 50% of consumers today say that having a real person available to answer their questions while in the middle of their purchase is one of the most important features a business can offer.
On the other hand, failing to provide this level of support can cause businesses to miss out on numerous sales opportunities with 57% of customers abandoning their purchase if they can’t get their question answered quickly.
It improves customer satisfaction
Surprise! Offering live chat makes your customers happy and more satisfied. In fact, when comparing customer satisfaction ratings across all channels, customers who engage in live chat are far more satisfied with their experience (73%) than those who engage with businesses via email (61%), social media (48%) or phone (44%). The main reason for this is simply because they don’t have to waste time waiting around for help, which unfortunately is the experience for many customers contacting businesses on other channels due clunky customer service software setups. Not only do customers who engage in live chat get their questions answered faster, but they can also multitask, continuing to shop online, while they wait for a reply.
Having a positive experience with a company, especially one where you interact with a real live person, helps establish a better relationship between you and the company and inevitably increases customer loyalty. That is why customers who chat with companies are worth 4.5x as much as those who don’t.
It helps you understand your customers better
Knowing what your customers want is crucial to meeting their expectations. Implementing chat software opens a door to your customers, bringing you and your customers closer. Chat gives you access to what your customers are experiencing and potentially struggling with when shopping on your website. It provides businesses with tons of Voice of Customer (VOC) data to analyze and use to improve their products, marketing and overall customer experience.
One way to make use of VOC data is to try and identify common questions or phrases shoppers use when chatting with your support. Once you have identified this, you can use those insights to enhance your website copy, ads or product descriptions to better relate to your customers with more familiar language, clearing up any concerns they might have about your product while they browse.
Chat won’t overload your support team
It seems obvious that adding live chat to your website is a good idea, so why do only 9% of online businesses offer this kind of support? The answer is many businesses are worried they won’t be able to handle the increase in customer contacts with their current team and don’t have the time and/or resources to hire more employees. We’re here to tell you that this train of thought is flawed for a couple of reasons.
The first being that although customer contacts may increase initially, they won’t take nearly the same amount of time and resources to answer as inquiries via phone, which your current team should be able to manage. The second being that even though you are receiving more contacts, they are coming from customers who previously were not able have their problems resolved. Therefore, helping these customers on chat is an opportunity for you to provide support to more of your customers!
Get ahead with live chat
Given that most online businesses still haven’t caught on to the benefits of implementing live chat, you have a tremendous opportunity to get a leg up on your competitors by offering your customers with this level of real-time support. Not only will you surprise and delight your customers, establishing a stronger connection, but you will also be future proofing your business. Live chat’s popularity is continuing to increase, especially among millenials, with the majority (63%) preferring it over all other support channels.
If your business is considering implementing chat software to improve your customer service and enhance your customer experience, keep these advantages in mind. Technology is truly changing the way we deliver top notch customer service today and can make a real difference to your company’s growth.