Having first launched in 2002, Live Chat is an online customer service software used on websites and online applications to allow users to get live support and answers to their queries. Over the past couple of years, Live Chat has appeared on many websites. But is this popularity warranted?
Live Chat can have real impact and help to increase conversion on your website. At DS Creative, we have had Live Chat on our website for nearly a year so I will share some of our thoughts and opinions on how it has helped us.
A few studies have found why users like using Live Chat. I have summarised the key findings below:
1. Immediate response
Users like being able to get an immediate response rather than having to wait for an email response. Live Chat is also a great way to avoid being put on hold for hours with a customer service department.
2. Provides ability to multi-task
Chatting online makes it easy to do other tasks while chatting. This is especially useful if you are at work and need to get tasks done at the same time.
3. Efficient method of communication
Live Chat is quick, simple and is straight to the point.
4. Better & faster communication
Particularly with email, there may be rounds of back and forth communication with questions and clarifications until you get your answer or a solution. Due to the nature of email, this can take a lot of time and effort. Compared with Live Chat, you can communicate in real time to get your questions answered immediately.
5. People who don't like talking on the phone find it easier
Live Chat avoids awkward phone conversations and allows people to find comfort in the screens that separate them from the person they are chatting with.
Live Chat benefits to businesses
1. Increased sales
Many studies highlight the great influence Live Chat can have on a company's sales. Last year, an American Marketing Association study found that live chat increases conversions by at least 20% and that the typical ROI rate is about 300%. The same report states that customers who use live chat are three times more likely to make purchases than those who don’t.
2. Increased conversion rates
Providing users with more ways to get in touch on your website helps to increase the conversion rate from your website's traffic. You can modify Live Chat settings so that users are required to enter their details before entering a chat. This allows you to gain their details to follow up with them after the conversation. Alternatively, if you don't do this, you can always ask for these details during the conversation.
3. Improved customer service
Live Chat, it is a great form of customer service. Having the chat software allows you to solve problems faster, give quick answers to questions about your services/ products and provide assurance to your customers that you’re there when they need you. This is a simple, yet very effective, recipe for improving both customer service and loyalty.
4. Discover issues/confusion on your website
If users tend to ask you basic questions over Live Chat this could be an indication that you don't have enough information on your website or that the website isn't structured well so users can not find the information they need. On most Live Chat software, you can view what pages each current website user has visited which can give a great insight into how users experience your website, opening opportunities to notice issues that need to be improved.
5. Competitive advantage
Although Live Chat is a popular feature, not all websites have adopted it yet which can give you a real advantage over competitors.
6. Real-time insight into web visitors
On most Live Chat software, you can see how many users are on your website and what pages they have viewed. This gives great insight into how your website is used and what the most popular pages are.
7. Encourage conversation with web visitors
From the software, you can view a list of users on your website at that moment. There's even a feature which allows you to invite them to a chat. This can be helpful if a user has been on your website for a long time or they are on one of your service pages. Not only does Live Chat help to increase the number of inquiries you get but having this feature provides you with the ability to encourage conversation and the chance to gain leads from users who, without Live Chat facility, may have just clicked off your website without engaging with you at all.
8. Customer convenience
At the start of this article, I wrote about why users like Live Chat and why they may prefer this over other methods of communication. These reasons highlight why having Live Chat on your website will provide convenience and satisfaction with your customers.
Would we recommend it?
In one word - yes.
Since we installed Live Chat, we have had an increase in leads obtained through our website. Many of these initial conversations have turned into new clients. Live Chat has also helped us to engage with current clients by answering any questions they have. We have found Live Chat easy to use and manage so maintaining it has been no problem.
In terms of cost, we pay a monthly fee which is minimal compared to the number of existing clients we have helped and new customers we have gained by having Live Chat.
If you are a business that provides either a service or products to customers, Live Chat can have real significance in both sales, customer service and customer satisfaction. Even if you want to trial it for a month or two, it is definitely worth it.
By Alice Turton, marketing manager at DS Creative
You can find DS Creative on stand A15 at Integrated Live on 16-17 November, but you'll have to register for your free ticket first:
Originally posted on Digital Marketing Magazine