It can’t have escaped your notice that more and more of businesses are introducing live online chat support through their website.
Not only that, but there’s a good chance you’re one of the growing number of consumers who’ve engaged with brands through their live chat before making a purchase.
Of course, part of this growth has much to do with the increasingly accessible nature of the technology itself.
It has also been helped by the ever-decreasing costs of implementing live chat tools into even the most basic website, with those running their websites on WordPress and other open-source Content Management Systems able to take advantage of cost and hassle-free plugins that allow them to get communicating with customers right out of the box.
Yet really, that’s only one small part of the bigger pictures:
Businesses aren’t merely using live chat because they can, they’re doing so because it’s proven to be an effective tool in both their support and sales arsenal.
Here’s just a few reasons why more businesses are offering live chat support, and why your business should start doing so too.
Improve Customer Satisfaction Levels
Market research firm Forrester Research carried out a study which found that as many as 44% of those questioned felt that one of the most important features of a good online retail site was the ability to ask questions of a live person in real time.
As the years have gone by, these figures have only increased, especially as customers get used to seeing live chat offered by the bigger name sites.
So it makes sense that if you’re going to keep your customers happy and coming back for more, offer them what they want.
Incorporating live chat tools into your website is by far the easiest and quickest way to do that, providing customers with a system that is far quicker than sending a question by email, and much less hassle than picking up the phone to a customer support team.
Boost Conversion Rates and Sales
It probably goes without saying that happy customers = more sales.
It’s a tried and tested business model used by both brick-and-mortar and online businesses since the year-dot, and there’s an ever-growing mountain of evidence which proves that chat can be a particularly invaluable tool in converting potential customers into actual purchase makers.
Having access to a member of your customer support team can play a major part in helping customers overcome any obstacles they face in the purchasing process and get answers they need to make an informed decision about which product or service to invest their hard-earned money in.
More opportunities for upselling
As a result of having real-time conversations with your customers, the opportunity to cross-promote and upsell products and services are abundant with live chat.
Marketing and SEO expert recommends having all of your live-chat operators fully aware of these tried-and-tested sales techniques and how to use them effectively without running the risk of being so pushy that you ultimately lose the initial sale altogether.
Upselling and cross-selling works by convincing customers of the key benefits of upgrading plans or purchasing add-ons and accessories for their initial purchase, something they may not necessarily think to do just by browsing your website.
Reduce the time and cost of phone and email support
Even without the increased revenues that can come from generating more sales, online webchat support can be a welcome boost to your budget simply by slashing the expense of running costly phone support systems, not to mention taking up time that could be better spent on other things.
This is especially true if you’re a sole trader or freelancer, ultimately making you not only the service provider but also the only customer support agent at your business. Imagine spending less time answering the phone and writing lengthy email responses, and having more time to do what you do best with your business.
By using live chat support software that allows you to chat with multiple customers simultaneously, you can save even more time than you would handling each enquiry separately.
Get a better understanding of what your customers want from you
This all goes back to the point we made earlier about keeping your customers happy, and thus returning to make purchases from you time and time again.
Sure, conducting market research every now and again and promoting a survey on your website is likely to provide some insights into how well you’re meeting customer expectations, but is there really any better way to truly understand your audience than actually talking to them in real-time.
Getting into a conversation with both existing and potential customers alike can really help you to discover chinks in your armour that you may not have otherwise uncovered alone, and to learn about how you can make those all-important improvements will ultimately lead to surpassing expectations and growing your business.
What are the Best Live Chat Tools of 2019/ 2020?
Personally, I’m a big fan of major brands like Zoho and ZenDesk. However, I understand that these enterprise-level solutions may not represent such great value for money for small businesses and solopreneurs.
If you’re using WordPress, then I’d urge you to check out Olark, a quality Live Chat plugin which offers up to twenty free conversations per month, with premium plans starting from just $17 per month.
One thing I really like about Olark is that it integrates effortlessly with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM), sales, and other help desk tools to help you better streamline your customer service process.
What obstacles has your business faced when it comes to helping your customers? Would a Live Chat tool help with that or only pose more challenges?
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Get in touch with us on the Web Design DIY Facebook page and let us know. Alternatively, if you have burning questions about how to ensure your business thrives online in 2020 and beyond, send them to us on Twitter @WebDesignDIY and we’ll do our best to answer them in an upcoming article here on the site.