More and more, research continues to show that not only is live chat a popular tool for businesses in any industry, but that it also is quickly becoming the most preferred channel to build customer loyalty, improve sales, and make business productivity more efficient.
For instance, according to a survey of American online consumers, 68% of online shoppers engage in live chat and 63% return to businesses that provide live chat for repeat purchases. Live chat provides a quick, easy and positive experience for consumers while giving business insights and control into their business performance.
1. Real-time Convenience for Consumers
When a consumer reaches your business page, they are often already interested in something you offer – that’s why they are there. As they learn about your business, whether they are a prospect or a returning customer, they may have questions about making a purchase or how to handle a prior transaction.
With live chat, the customer easily reaches out to you the same way they text a friend. The easier the process is for the customer, the better they reflect on their experience with you. They suddenly don’t have to find out how to contact you via phone, email or in-person and then suffer wait times to reach you, often leaving them frustrated. In fact, 44% of online users believe receiving answers to their questions quickly leads them to purchasing, and 38% directly credit using a live chat for why they purchased.
Additionally, when a live representative is available to answer questions, walk users through the sales process, and resolve their concerns, consumers feel cared for and are more engaged. It shows you’re human and not a robot, and that translates to consumers feeling more connected to your business.
2. Cost Efficiency
As a business owner, improving your bottom line is vital to bringing in profits. Cutting costs and increasing revenue are the two main ways your business will increase the bottom line, and you probably already know this because you’re smart.
Live-chats cut costs by improving productivity. You or your company representatives can handle multiple live-chat sessions at once, working with several prospects and customers at any given time versus tying up phone lines. Paying agents or asking yourself to be available to handle the same number of interested shoppers in person or over on the phone is time and labor intensive. Requiring those same shoppers to email you could flood your email and by the time you get to respond, the shopper may have gone to your competitor. You’re running a business, and that’s just not fair to you.
Not only does live chat allow your business to take care of many online users at once, it also increases the volume at which those customers are taken care of. You give your business more opportunity to connect to more prospects and customers, expanding the opportunity to increase sales.
3. Increased Revenue
Saving money, by definition, means you get to keep more in your pocket, but it doesn’t mean you’ve done much to increase how you make those profits in the first place. A live chat tool doesn’t just cut costs, it serves to provide sales growth.
You already know that, higher customer satisfaction increases customer retention. Research has shown time and time again that live-chat leads to customer satisfaction, which leads to customer loyalty, which spreads to prospects and the whole process is repeated. Growing your customer base, grows your revenue and grows your business.
It’s simple, prospects want to be taken care of during the sales process and are much more likely to buy when someone is there to assist them, guiding them to the purchase. In a few small and fast interactions, a prospect or concerned customer goes from inquiring to buying. In fact, chats have been known to provide some big companies with over 20% increase in conversions.
4. Kill the Competition
Most retail business have not tapped into the great potential of using a live-chat tool. This is your chance to get ahead of the curve. You know how important it is to not only keep up with your competitors, but how much more important it is to stand out in your local market. If your prospect is shopping around, comparing products and costs with you and your competitors, providing a live chat while your competitor doesn’t, means you have a better chance of winning their business by simply being available.
If you’re in an industry that is already using live-chat, you probably also realize just how valuable it is. The customers your industry targets are most likely online shoppers. Staying competitive means you offer just as much but even better by the processes you set up for handling your incoming chats. You can’t afford to lose out on customers who prefer to shop for your type of business online.
5. Build Relationships with Customer Engagement
Providing real-time convenience to customers keeps them happy and coming back. When the tool you use for providing that ease means you improve your bottom line and beat your competitors at it, you win all around.
It goes without saying that building positive relationships with your customers in any way will benefit your business. You learn who your customers are, their needs and pain points and how to serve them better. Big businesses invest a great deal into market research to learn about customer behavior. A live-chat tool gives you the in-depth insights, specific to your exact business and the products and services you offer at no additional cost.
Beyond providing you insights, building that relationship is invaluable. In fact, it’s unlikely the customer will switch to another company or competitor because they now trust you, and only you. As this trust solidifies, the customer is also less likely to care about price because the value of your relationship is priceless. You’ve not just build a customer, but an ally who will most likely spread the word.