After toying with the idea of adding live chat to our website for a while, we recently took the plunge and went ahead. Immediately, the positive results were evident. We then applied it to our clients’ website’s and achieved the same thing. Tons of great feedback and quantifiable data. All because of a simple addon that doesn’t cost too much to install or manage. You’d think that as digital experts this would come as a no-brainer to the team. But there hasn’t been much documentation on the effects of live chat on business growth, sales, and user experience. Which really meant we were taking a chance and investing in something that could have minimal ROI. Thank goodness we took the plunge because now we’re able to share our experience with you. And tell you what live chat gave us and our clients – and what it will give your business as well.
1. Gather Essential Data
Using live chat you’re able to gather data that you otherwise would not have access to – data that doesn’t even require a user to be have made a purchased or carried out a specific action.
From the interaction a user has with a live chat agent you’ll be able to determine:
Why they’re visiting your site
What problems they’d like to overcome
What hurdles prevent them from making a purchase or taking a specific action
All of this because people don’t mind giving this information away to the human aspect of the business. If your live chat respondent were to ask them why they weren’t making a purchase now, they’d respond. A response they’re less likely to communicate on a survey or form.
2. Drive Action
If you want your site’s visitors to complete an action there’s no better CTA than your chat agent. Firstly, a simple introduction from your chat agent will already warm users up to the actions your chat agent recommends. Recently released a white paper or ebook – your chat agent can recommend that to clients. Want more users to participate in an upcoming sale – once again the job of your live chat. The CTA an agent offers is unlike any you could place anywhere on your site. It’s a live communication and recommendation from a person. And that’s ultimately what users want. A personable experience that makes the internet feel less isolated.
3. Increase Engagement
Just like chats ability to drive various actions on your website you’re also able to increase engagement. Firstly, because you’ve already gotten users into the habit of engaging with your business online. Part of digital success is relying on “habit forming”. Secondly, once they’ve formed this habit – if you were to ask them to follow you on social media or read your blog, even sign up to your newsletter they wouldn’t be averse to this. As it would all form part of the communication funnel. The funnel you started when you first invited them to “chat”.
4. Deliver Quickly
There isn’t much worse in these days of instant gratification than to ask a client or customer to wait for a response. Sort of like a “fill in this form and we’ll get back to you”. That’s off-putting enough and will drive customers and clients away in droves. People want solutions or information instantly – something you’ll be able to offer them with chat.
5. Communicate Effectively
Part of the biggest problem websites face is that the information on their FAQ pages, service pages, and product pages can become outdated and redundant in the blink of an eye. Perhaps, a part of the site is down, or customers are having trouble checking out, it could even be that a question a user needs an answer to is not on the site. Then what? Well, then your live chat is there to plug in those holes and give your users a seamless experience. An experience that allows them to navigate your site effortlessly.
6. Improve Your Reputation
If you’re communicating effectively, delivering information quickly and creating a personalized experience for your users they’ll feel appreciated. That feeling is already the first part in building a solid reputation in your industry. When you build on that appreciation users will feel as though they’re part of your community. That’s what you really want. Once they feel as though they’re part of your community, you’re building loyalty and trust which ultimately leads to increased sales volumes.
7. Extend Working Hours
Just like waiting a few days or 24 hours for a response to a pertinent question is terrible – coming to a website and it feeling like an abandoned strip mall is even worse. For live chat to be effective it needs to be live throughout the day. This way you’re communicating with customers and potential customers whenever they come to your website. And that’s probably not from 9 am to 5 pm EST. That’s the beauty of doing things online – that you can purchase anything at any time, from any corner of the globe. Sometimes to do this a client will need to chat with someone live. Make sure you have someone available.
8. Increase Sales
All of the above leads to one thing – increased sales. At the end of the day, live chat is worthless if it isn’t giving you the value you’re giving your clients. And while there may not be a direct link between live chat and sales, if you follow the breadcrumbs you’ll see that since you installed live chat your sales have gradually increased. That’s reason enough to add this function to your website.
9. Give Value
Marketers rave on about how your content, social media presence, and email marketing should add value. What we really mean is every aspect of your web presence should add value. Live chat makes your website a source of value to consumers. When push comes to shove users will use sites with live support and chat over those without. As I’m sure you would choose the former over the latter time and again.
10. Cut Costs
Probably once you think about offering 24/7 live chat you’ll figure that it’s something your business can’t afford, so why bother? Well, live chat is becoming cheaper and more streamlined as the years’ progress. But, most notably is that you can hire a remote correspondent to interact with users after general working hours. You could also downsize your client service team to include those who’ll actively participate in live chat. Remember live chat is an on-the-go thing and doesn’t require employees to be in the office when responding.
Take it from us, you certainly won’t be wasting any time or money using live chat. It’s a cost-effective alternative and gives your website and business the first thing it needs to achieve long term growth – happy customers.