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If you already have telephone and email support, or even in-person support, adding a live chat option might seem like a waste of time, but there are so many benefits to offering it that you might want to reconsider.

For your business

Quash buyer uncertainty and build loyalty

Live chat gives you the opportunity to interact with your customers and help them get over any doubts they may have about purchasing from you. Done right, you can catch a customer on the product page and answer questions on the spot to reassure them, before they leave your site and potentially go elsewhere.

That sort of personal and personalised interaction will build relationships with your site visitors, build your conversion rates up, increase lead generation – in part at least from word of mouth – and build customer loyalty. Just take a look at what the stats say:

“Over half (52%) of consumers are more likely to repurchase from a company who offers live chat support”

“79% of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty”

“63% of people who spend between $250-500 a month online are the most likely to both buy from, and be loyal to, companies who offer live chat.”

(source: Kayako’s report)

You will also be offering excellent customer support for both your existing customers and for potential customers who are considering buying from you, for a much more consumer-centric approach.

Humanise your business

Show off the personality of your business and train your staff to answer questions and respond in a way that suits how you want your business to come across.

You may have seen this incredibly personable and humorous chat from an Amazon rep before, as it was so good it went viral, but it’s still a brilliant example of what can be done to make your customers feel amazing while getting the help they need. You can guarantee both ‘Thor’ and ‘Odin’ went away smiling from this chat. And even if it hadn’t gone viral, odds are certain that ‘Odin’ would have told everybody he knew about how great the customer experience was.

Live chat also has some interesting and highly practical side effects for building your business

As you use live chat to interact with your customers and solve more of their problems, you’re doing more than just providing superb customer support. You’re also gaining in-depth knowledge of what your customers want and what they struggle with that you can use to:

• Improve your business by taking note of common issues that customers have and putting solutions in place.

• Adjust your content marketing strategy by using the information you gain from your chat transcripts to produce content that directly answers common user questions.

• Potentially create new products and services both from customer suggestions, and from any obvious gaps you notice in your offerings from customer complaints and comments.

• Boost your SEO efforts by using the same language and key phrases that your customers use in chat.

• Improve sales funnels by finding where any bottlenecks are and where in your sales process customers tend to drop out of buying, which can lead to improved conversion rates.

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For your customers

You’re giving your customers a far more personal experience that’s much more convenient for them and provided in a format that they actually prefer: “Despite the rise in popularity of businesses offering support through social media, live chat still reigns as consumers' preferred support channel (41% prefer it)”. (source: Kayako’s report)

Using a live chat session is a much more convenient experience, halfway between hanging out on a call centre queue for what feels like forever and swapping slow and painful email responses.

Instead of being stuck with the phone to their ear listening to thoroughly awful music and repetitive robot customer announcements, customers can relax and continue to go about their business until a customer service representative is available to chat.

It’s actually a conversation, where your customers can instantly clarify something if they don’t understand, and ask any further questions that occur to them while they’re there. And for people who are used to Skype chat, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and the like, it’s instantly recognisable and easy to use.

You can offer to email the customer the transcript after they’ve finished the conversation, and that gives them a downloadable copy to refer to – handy if there are step by step instructions to follow. It's also a great reference to reassure the customer what has been done, and proof of what was said if something does go wrong. While that last point may cause you to quake in your boots a little, the fact is that it gives you the chance to deal with a customer complaint incredibly well as you have all the information on what happened at your fingertips.

If you’d like to learn how to do live chat really well, here are 25 tips from Kissmetrics to help you improve: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/25-live-customer-chat-tips/

And if you’re still struggling with how best to implement live chat, get in touch and let us help!

Posted on:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018