It wasn’t that long ago that we used to view customer service as a reactive tool. The only time a customer would ever speak to a real human being would be when they had a problem with something and they’d send in an email or pick up the phone to call customer support.
However, with the latest innovations in digital technology, customer service is now more than just a place where complaints go. With the right plan in place any business can turn their customer service into a powerful tool for sales.
This is where live chat comes in.
Live chat is a function on your website where a prospect visits your website and they’re given the option to speak with a real human being. Instead of waiting until having something go wrong to speak with your customer, your business can now communicate directly with a potential customer, in real-time, and solve any issues before they even begin.
The fact of the matter is that, on average, only 2% of visitors to a website ever turn into a viable lead, much less an actual sale.
There are a multitude of reasons behind thing, but the biggest one is the fact that a website alone can’t tell you everything you need to know when it comes to making a purchasing decision. People will naturally have questions about how the product works, and whether or not it will meet their specific requirements and expectations.
With a live chat function on your site, you can handle all of those customer questions and further qualify that lead right then and there.
Forrester research found that 44% of online customers who had a question answered with live chat said it was the most useful feature on the website. Another study by emarketer found that up to 63% of online shoppers were more likely to return to the site and purchase again, with a further 38% of respondents attributing the reasons behind their purchase to be the chat session itself.
Not only does live chat help with customers in making a purchasing decision but, at the very least, you can ensure that anyone who uses your live chat function leaves reassured and satisfied. With that, they are likelier to have a positive opinion of your brand as a whole, as well as increasing the likelihood of them returning to make a purchase at a later date.
As more and more businesses are taking advantage of live chat it’s also important to remember that live chat isn’t a magical key that will solve all your onsite conversion problems. Like anything else, live chat is a tool and when used improperly it can end up doing more harm than good if you’re not careful.
Which is why it’s so important that when you do start using live chat on your website that you make sure that your support staff is well-trained, that they’re aware of how to handle the most common problems visitors face, and how to overcome any objections and pain points a prospect may have.
It’s not enough to place a chat box in the corner and call it a job well done.
With live chat becoming more and more popular with businesses worldwide, in fact it’s expected to grow by as much as 87% in the next year, it’s time to seriously start thinking about using live chat for your own business. Not only can it be the edge you need to stay ahead of the competition, but it can also serve as a great way to be proactive with your customer service instead of simply waiting around for complaints.
Are you interested in implementing live chat on your website?
We'd love to help, there's lots of tools to use and strategies to optimize. Let us know and we're happy to put our heads together.
Pro tip: take a it a step further using Chatbots.