Marketing Advice

Everything You're Missing by Not Using Live Chat on Your Site

By Ryan Gilmore on October, 7 2015

 

Live chat

Does your company offer live chat on your website? If the answer is no, then it's time for an upgrade. Live chat can be a great tool for both consumers and businesses, and you're missing out on a huge opportunity if it's not a prominent feature of your customer service strategy.

Here are three of the most significant and valuable advantages that live chat can provide for your business.

1. Buyer insights
One of the most straightforward benefits that live chat offers is also one of the most important. Live chat presents a very easy, low-effort means for customers to reach out to companies - a client who may not want to bother with a phone call or email may choose to contact the firm through live chat. As a result, live chat can help companies gather more insight into their customer base on a wider range of issues.

What's more, all of these conversations can be easily stored in the form of searchable text for future reference, making analytics a simple matter. Writing for Olark, industry expert Giles Adam Thomas reported that his team used chat transcripts to discover opportunities to improve their website copy. This led directly to a 176 percent increase to the company's conversion rate

This kind of insight is simply not possible if firms rely on either email exchanges, which tend to be less extensive, or phone conversations, which do not leave behind an easy-to-analyze transcript.

All of this means that live chat can help inform business decisions throughout an organization, leading to a more efficient, effective company with better product and service offerings. 

2. Revenue opportunities
Any steps that a retailer can take to increase revenue are obviously worth pursuing, and by that metric, live chat is a no-brainer. 

TotalRetail contributor Ben Congleton, CEO and co-founder of a live chat software provider, noted that online conversations with customers tend to lead directly to greater revenue. Live chat interaction typically led to customers increasing their cart size by as much as 48 percent. Additionally, retention rates tripled with the introduction of live chat. In a separate Olark article, Tevita Lesuma noted that her company usually sees sales of around $250, but this jumped up to between $620 and $2,300 among returning customers using live chat. 

Given these stats, it's clear that companies without live chat are missing out on huge revenue opportunities.

3. Happy customers
Last, but hardly least, live chat can lead to happier, more satisfied customers. Put simply, live chat is popular with consumers - a recent Software Advice survey found that about half of respondents prefer live chat as the best medium to ask questions when shopping online. This trend is even more pronounced among younger shoppers, as 56 percent of participants between the ages of 18 and 34 said they prefer live chat over phone-based customer support. Considering the fact that millennials are an increasingly important demographic for retailers in every space, this is a preference that businesses cannot afford to ignore.

There are a number of reasons why consumers opt for live chat over other support channels. The most popular reason, according to the survey from the help desk research business Software Advice was the lack of hold times. This was followed by the convenience of live chat, the fact that these interactions leave a record for the customers to consult later and the ability to multitask when live chatting.

This last point is also key from the business side. Customer service agents can attend to several clients at once via live chat. For a small to mid-sized business with modest resources for its customer service team, this increase in efficiency is invaluable.

Taken together, there can be no doubt that live chat offers huge returns for businesses. If your firm isn't using live chat yet, now's the time. 

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