The online world is big, global, and 24/7 – this makes communicating with your customers critical to running a successful business. From developing a strong brand image to managing customer relationships, there’s no getting away from the importance of good communication, more specifically: live chat.
In today’s society, people communicate differently. They don’t talk on the phone anymore. They are live and they want to chat, now. Consumers don’t want to be put on hold or wait for a response to an email. They want to talk with someone right away.
Live chat is real-time customer service through instant messaging on the web. This feature can be delivered through a company’s official website, standard SMS, or established platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, or Signal.
Live chat allows businesses to provide customers with immediate support regardless of their current purchasing behavior. The most useful benefit of live chat is clarifying important issues before or after making a purchase. Overall, the process entails receiving an instant reply from a customer service representative which fosters positive customer relations.
When traditional forms of customer engagement and live chat are compared, one quickly realizes that live chat is a superior service. Adopting live chat as a key communication channel provides a number of benefits that result in enhanced customer experiences and more revenue. That’s just for starters, here are 5 more compelling reasons.
1) Live Chat Increases Customer Satisfaction
One of the key determinants of a business’s long-term success is the ability to satisfy its existing customers. If the customers are happy, they are more likely to make repeat purchases. This is doubly true if they have had a bad experience buying from a competitor in the past. Additionally, they are more likely to influence their friends and family to buy from your store through word-of-mouth marketing or social media recommendation.
By definition, customer satisfaction is the measure of how happy customers are with the products, services, and capabilities when interacting with a brand.
Every profit-seeking organization should constantly seek to raise customer satisfaction as it guarantees continued customer engagement. To achieve this goal, a business needs to understand its customers, what makes them tick, what it takes to satisfy them.
Let’s run through some of the reasons why your business should pursue and prioritize customer satisfaction.
Increasing Brand Loyalty
You should never take any of your customers for granted since they are your actual employers! PwC reports that 59% of all US consumers ditched products they love due to a poor experience. The same study found that these customers abandoned a brand after just one bad experience. Talk of unforgiving.
Boosting Trust in Your Brand
Edelman reports that 81% of consumers believe trust to be a deal-breaker in their purchasing decisions. A crucial finding since it sheds light on the most important aspects of any product. By implication, product quality, price, and packaging may be secondary factors to the trust established between your business and the customer.
Shockingly, the study also found that only 34% of consumers trust most of the brands they buy goods from. This means that most businesses are extremely vulnerable and would lose their customers to competitors with a higher trust score in a heartbeat.
A Positive Word Of Mouth
Word-of-mouth is more valuable in the age of social media than ever before. Today, a single positive or negative experience can be shared with millions of people in seconds, affecting the brand in question and on a global scale.
Studies show that 87% of customers read online reviews which impacts their purchasing decisions. An unfortunate reality of electronic word-of-mouth is that people are more likely to share a negative experience than a positive one.
Growth in Sales
If satisfied customers tell their friends and family about your brand, it’ll be easier to quickly register record sales. A lesser-known fact is that satisfied customers tend to be amongst the bigger spenders.
Grow Your Audience and Sales
Customers spend 17% more money on a brand that delivers excellent services as opposed to one that disappoints them, says American Express. And when satisfied clients tell their circle good things about your brand, it gets you in front of a wider audience.
A great way to increase satisfaction is to integrate a live chat function. These customer support services are more effective than email or phone calls from a consumer perspective. This enhanced consumer experience will help boost sales and create a loyal fan base for your brand.
2) Build Positive Customer Relationships
Positive customer relationships are vital for business success since they determine the level of customer satisfaction. Without high levels of customer satisfaction, your business faces an uncertain future.
Various steps can be taken to start improving and perfecting the relationship your business has with customers. An immediate intervention that will have a huge impact is the integration of a live chat feature. It’ll give your customers a voice and allow you to respond in a way that increases satisfaction and strengthens relationships.
It is important to remember that data is key in improving your relationship with your customers. Live chat gives you a chance to capture it directly instead of waiting to read a negative sales report at the end of a quarter, for example.
Customer surveys, monitoring social media mentions, implementing a feedback system... these are all effective ways to make your business better at driving up customer satisfaction rates. These actions will ensure that you utilize data to not only understand what your customers feel about the brand but also to serve up more meaningful experiences. And while we touched on the unforgiving nature of consumers earlier on, they can be more forgiving than one would expect if they feel they are dealing with human beings behind a brand... but, then, only if people show commitment, empathy, and professionalism.
Integrating live chat into a feedback system would allow them to interact directly with your team. In some cases, it will also allow your company to explain any shortcomings or share any future plans. Your business will likely retain a well-informed customer even if there are weaknesses to be addressed.
You can use AI (artificial intelligence) in live chat to further improve the customer experience especially if you’re limited on staffing. Some of the key applications of this integration include: Account safety and client authentication, customizing the experience, and quick response times.
Client authenticity is a critical factor as most people have merged their digital and physical lives through online purchases, communication, and information storage. Keep in mind that most consumers aren’t comfortable sharing confidential information online.
With AI-enabled chats such as that provided by Helpware, your company doesn’t have to push the customer to provide confidential information for verification. Our algorithms can analyze spending patterns, communication records, and other data to render smart authentication.
3) Increase Sales With Live Chat
Despite its effectiveness in improving customer service, live chat is also a very important tool to drive sales to take your company to the proverbial next level.
And with online buyers readily opting for e-commerce websites with live chat features than those that don’t, how exactly does real-time chat increase your sales?
Gathering and Pre-qualifying Leads
Undertaking effective live chat allows you to gather leads and pre-qualify them. For instance, you can require customers to provide basic contact information to start a chat. This is an excellent way to ensure that you’re dealing with potential customers as opposed to trolls. Automating the pre-qualification stage ensures that legitimate customers understand it as part of the “system” as opposed to an unnecessary formality.
Reducing Time to Close
Live chats can make your website friendlier... it gives it a personal touch which increases the likelihood that customers will purchase a product. With live chat you also get instant feedback on why a customer has decided not to make a purchase, for example, enabling you to fix any pain points.
Access to Fast Support
Forbes reports that 50% of online consumers would like a company representative to guide them through the buying journey. This implies that carts could make it all the way to check-out if customers have a way to get quick answers to important questions.
Upselling and Cross-Selling Opportunities
Live chat generates conversations, laying the stage for up-and cross-selling opportunities. Customers can express interest in different products, you can introduce products that aren’t listed on your website. Perhaps even suggesting additions to existing products purchased.
It Reduces Cart Abandonment
A significant number of people who visit an e-commerce website to make a purchase end up abandoning their carts. This problem can often be solved through a live chat. It can ensure that you don’t lose customers due to a lack of information or assuage any lingering customer concerns.
4) Live Chat is a Trend Among the Younger Generation
Millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) are fast becoming the most important demographic segment that businesses should prioritize in their marketing efforts. Despite some of the negative characteristics associated with this generation (i.e. frivolous spending habits), Millennials are actually very careful with money. Therefore, more effort is needed on behalf of businesses to consciously court this spending demographic.
There are three important aspects that businesses should carefully consider to win over Millennials. Firstly, they are extremely loyal to companies that align with their values. This may explain why most popular businesses have adopted a social justice stance over the past few years, despite a history of arguably questionable corporate behavior.
Secondly, Millennials dominate modern platforms such as social media. Businesses that are communicative and have a great social media presence will catch the eye (and wallets) of Millennials. Third, Millennials appreciate the ease of access. This means that incorporating a live chat feature that can easily connect customers with information and solutions will be greatly appreciated among this demographic.
5) Better Customer Support Services Increases Customer Engagement
Customers appreciate a friendly conversation with company representatives. But, this doesn’t mean that the same effect can’t be reproduced if you’ve already integrated chatbots with your live chat feature. The first message a customer sees must be a friendly greeting whether it’s bot-generated or drafted by a person.
It’s important to discover different ways for getting the customer to trust the live chat agent. A smart way to do this is to ensure that any difficult queries are seamlessly transferred to a real customer care agent as opposed to a bot. By cultivating better customer support services through live chat, you’ll further increase the overall level of engagement.
It’ll also be easier to handle core tasks of your company, including:
- Enabling the eye-catcher
- Predict when to add more staff
- Target return visitors
A live chat feature works effectively as an eye-catcher since it invites internet users to ask questions about your brand. Even when an interaction does not result in a sale, all’s not lost. You might get the user’s email or have them book a product to be collected at a later date.
Live chat ensures that you don’t mess up a returning visitor’s experience. This is because most returning customers are usually looking for a second or third product. They’re familiar with the website and will probably make another purchase if the experience is positive.
Amazing Customer Experiences...Together
Live chat is an innovative website and social media feature that lets you interact with your customers 24/7. You simply open the chat on one of several platforms, ask your question and receive an answer, almost immediately. The cool thing about chat support is that you can do this without leaving your house or turning off the Netflix movie you’re watching.
Another bonus is that live chat does not hog all your attention. You can start a conversation with a representative of a multibillion-dollar company as you commute on a crowded train. The feature is critical in driving effective communication and satisfying your customers, two important factors that’ll boost your sales.
Helpware is a digitally enabled People as a Services Outsourcer focused on serving high growth, new economy, market-disrupting, and technology companies to own interaction custody. We deliver some of the most advanced live chat integration features for your website or other platforms. Shoot us an email, book a demo, or engage with us via live chat today.