If you spend any time looking at company sites on the internet, you might notice that more and more companies have chat features set up on their site. This allows customers to talk to a representative in real time. What is live chat and why does it matter for your brand?
Having chat options on your website is the equivalent of having a salesperson greet you in a brick and mortar store or a receptionist in your office. While some customers may find it intrusive, others will react positively to the idea that the company is right there waiting to answer their questions.
In fact, 44% of consumers find chat options to be one of the most important features on a company’s website.
Here are some more reasons to consider adding chat features to your website:
A potential client does not have to pick up the phone and make a call and can ask the questions while they browse with less multi-tasking.
More and more customers are using mobile to do their initial search for a vendor, and when out and about with your phone it is not easy…and sometimes not possible…to phone a call center.
In today’s global world, you may have international clients who might not be able to afford to call a call center.
Representatives can handle multiple calls simultaneously. This cuts down on customer wait times but also means that you need fewer employees and representatives.
Also, just like the customer, it’s easier for the representative to multitask and, say, look up the information the customer needs quickly. (The customer also will not notice being put “on hold”).
Most live chat representatives can handle at least three chats simultaneously. You can save even more time for your employees by providing canned responses that can be pasted into the chat for the most obvious questions – however, this should be balanced with making sure the chat appears natural.
Numerous studies show that it’s good for that “being greeted” factor. When somebody feels as if they are being welcomed into the office, they feel as if the company cares about them – and customers who actually use the chat feature are three times more likely to purchase a good or service from that company.
Customers who use live chat are more likely to come back in the future. One survey shows that 90% of customers feel that just seeing a live chat button makes them more confident that the company is going to provide good service.
Loyalty is even more important for companies that provide ongoing services.
You can see the needs that have not been addressed. This may be as simple as the realization that people can’t find important information on your website, or it might be a new product need you can fulfill.
It also allows you to track conversion and establish which agents…and practices…attract the most customers. For example, modern chat widgets allow agents to initiate a conversation, but some might find this intrusive.
Analytics can show what the best time is for agents to initiate to balance attracting potential clients with driving them away.
There are a few things to consider when setting up chat features. If you have a global customer base, then you will need to cover multiple shifts.
Outsourcing can make this cheaper – it is often easy to find experienced agents who wish to work from home and can cover the off shifts.
Also, make sure that queue times are clear when needed and allow customers to request a transcript of the chat for their own records.
Finally, make sure your team is trained on your products and services, website navigation, etc, so they can answer the most common questions quickly and easily.
Chat options on your website can significantly boost your sales, but it needs to be done right.