If you have ever used the live chat option while browsing online, you are well aware of the difference it makes to your online shopping experience. Live chat provides customers with a convenient, fast, and effective means of communication while offering significant benefits that can help improve your business and sales. Major companies, including Verizon, Bank of America, CenturyLink, and Apple have added the live chat option to their websites, capitalizing on excellent customer service and reaping the rewards. Even airlines are following suit – one of Europe’s largest low-fare airlines, Ryanair, has a live chat button available when booking flights or hotels. These companies know how to run successful businesses, so why not follow in their footsteps when it comes to customer service?
Quality customer service is crucial to the long-term success of your business; below are a five of the most notable reasons why you should consider adding live chat to your online support system.
1. Increase sales.
A common trend among e-commerce sites is a shopping cart that gets filled but is left without any completed purchases. Live chat can help solve this issue in the sense that if the consumer has a question before or during the checkout process, there is someone there who can immediately help them. Often times, this can make or break a sale and can turn prospects into paying customers.
Live chat has also been shown to improve sales numbers due to the increased opportunity to upsell products. Once the customer service representative has an idea which products the customer is using or is interested in, they can suggest other products and services that may be a perfect match (and can answer additional questions on the spot).
2. Cut expenses.
The cost per interaction with live chat is lower than other methods, such as phone or email assistance. Faster response times and the ability to multi-task several customers at once results in less time spent with each interaction. This reduces the need for more agents and causes fewer customers to use the toll-free numbers, ultimately saving money on employee task time and service costs and increasing customer service efficiency.
3. Speedy Troubleshooting.
Live chat greatly improves the overall customer service of your business. Real-time responses get questions, concerns, and other issues taken care of significantly faster than phone or email. By resolving problems quickly, you will create a trusting relationship with happy customers – which leads to repeat business.
4. Comfort and Convenience.
A study conducted by Forrester Research (“Making Proactive Chat Work”) shows that 44% of online shoppers say that “having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.” A survey from emarketer.com states that 90% of customers find live chat helpful, 62% would be more likely to return to a site that offers live chat, and 38% credit their purchases to the chat session itself.
The bottom line: consumers crave convenience. Instead of having to take the time to call or email (both of which have considerably longer wait times), customers have immediate help right there on the page. Chat is the preferred method of communication for a large majority of online shoppers, so by offering it on your website you are catering to the needs of your customers. This results in increased customer satisfaction and allows for faster conversions.
5. Advantage over the competition.
Surprisingly, many top retail businesses are not yet offering live chat customer service. To gain a competitive edge, get that chat option on your website, stat! The amount of e-commerce available is overwhelming, and anything that can give you a leg up is worth trying.
How has live chat affected your online shopping experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below!