What is Live Chat?
Live Chat is software that allows you to speak with customers in real-time without having to switch from platform to platform. Gone are the days of losing customers to long phone queues and missing customers’ emails in overcrowded inboxes. Gone are the days of messy, non-collated customer feedback data.
Live Chat programs use Chatbots to answer simple questions automatically, forward complex problems to the correct department, and collect and store customer data to inform future interactions. Chatbots engage customers throughout the online shopping process, to bring back some of the human sales elements missing in the eCommerce world.
Companies that have implemented Live Chat have seen sharp decreases in their response times, without hiring armies of Customer Service Representatives. This ease in response is partly due to the use of Chatbots, which respond to customers as they ask questions, even when representatives are not available. Bots can use keywords to link customers to helpful articles. They can also collect information to allow businesses to provide the most useful and efficient experience possible when a representative can connect in real-time.
The results of switching to Live Chat speak for themselves. Tadoo, a German tech company, decreased their initial response times by 92% when they implemented Live Chat software. Their bots were programmed to anticipate customers’ questions based on the pages they visited and the length of time they remained on the page. The bots answered questions as comprehensively as possible and alerted a live agent when the question was too complicated.
Using Live Chat technology, Tadoo achieved a 90% chat satisfaction rate. Compared to the industry average of 81%, this is no small feat. Tadoo was also able to use the software to group customer issues by topic, generate insights, and send these insights to teams of engineers. The engineers now have collated customer satisfaction data to make improvements to the product, all without sending out annoying surveys.
According to a study by Drift of 433 companies, potential customers are ten times less likely to maintain contact with a company after 5 minutes without a response. By ten minutes, almost all chance of making contact is gone. After Tadoo decreased their response times by 92%, they noted a 19% increase in their Service Level Agreements, likely due to their decrease in initial response time.
Tadoo’s is just one of many success stories. Adding Live Chat to your existing website allows you to customize the user experience, respond to more questions without onboarding service rep teams, and streamline your workflow. Here are some actual instances where Live Chat can positively impact your business strategy.
3 Use Cases for Live Chat
Live Chat for Marketing
Let us imagine a situation in which a person clicks on a website link from a Facebook ad announcing a sale. The Live Chat software identifies where they are visiting from and sends them a personalized message asking if they have any questions about the deal. The person asks whether they include the price of shipping in the discount. The Live Chat marketing software can quickly answer this question and notify a sales rep if the conversation continues. The sales rep explains that shipping is not included in the discount but emphasizes that the shipping charge is well worth the product quality. Studies show that 86% of consumers will pay 25% more for a better customer experience – meaning that they are more likely to pay a high shipping fee if they have enjoyed their Live Chat.
Now let us picture another situation that is much closer to our current reality. A customer clicks on a Facebook link advertising a sale, shops around, and upon reaching the checkout, realizes that the price of shipping is a lot higher than they imagined. They click back to Facebook and continue their scrolling. That is one sale lost.
Implementing Live Chat marketing can turn your website into a lead-generating machine. Conversational marketing is the best way to target leads and turn them into inbound opportunities because people are more likely to spend money where they feel a personal connection. Even if the entire conversation occurs through a bot, when people feel that they are being cared for, they will follow through on their purchases and return later.
Live Chat for Support
Now, let us imagine a situation where a customer visits a site looking for support for a product they have already purchased. The website prompts them to begin a Live Chat, where their simple questions are answered right away by a bot. They have a more complicated problem as well, so the bot asks for their phone number. A support staff calls the customer within half an hour, already armed with all the information the bot has collected.
Let us make our imagining job easier. A customer visits a product’s site for Live Chat support, and the site directs them to an email address. They send an email, and after three days have not received a response. They try calling the company, only to wait in a queue for an hour. Meanwhile, the support staff team is overworked trying to answer influxes of emails asking simple questions. They also need to start at the beginning with each customer because the team has not collected and stored any previous information.
Live Chat service can help turn your cost center into a revenue center. You do not need to hire additional staff because bots can answer the simple questions and collect data to streamline support interactions. People do not like filling out lengthy online forms, especially if they cannot see how they will immediately benefit. Chatbots can function as a much more personalized form by collecting customer information in a more casual setting and inputting it into a database. That way, live agents can see all the same information with the click of a button, without any customer frustration.
90% of respondents said that customer service is a crucial factor in their choice of and loyalty to a brand, and 58% would sever their relationship with a business due to poor customer service. For this reason, some companies may be hesitant about employing bots to take over customer interactions. However, it is essential to remember that bots only exist in place of humans until a human becomes available. An interaction with a bot, especially one you can customize to fit your company’s values, is better than no interaction.
Furthermore, long wait times are at the center of many people’s problems with online customer service. Now, a shortened wait time and more streamlined service will leave customers feeling satisfied, all without onboarding teams of support and service reps.
Live Chat for Sales
Let us picture a new scenario: a customer clicks on an e-commerce website, looking for a pair of pants. A chatbot automatically pops up on the screen, asking the customer if they have any questions. The customer would like to know a bit more about the material the company uses for their clothing. The chatbot is programmed to answer questions about clothing material, so they provide a succinct answer and link to an article on the website about the ethical practices used in manufacturing the material. Ethical clothing production is essential to the customer, so they choose to buy the pants.
Finally, let us imagine a more realistic scenario. A customer clicks on an e-commerce website, looking for a pair of pants. They find some that they like, but want to know more about the material and do not feel like waiting in a phone queue or crafting an email to which they might never receive a response. After some deliberation, they choose not to buy the pants, and they go to a thrift store instead.
This customer would have easily purchased the pants if only they had received a simple sales pitch. The company needed no Live Chat agent for this interaction – for almost zero investment of time and energy, the company could have achieved a sale.
82% of website visitors are more likely to convert if they have interacted with a representative first, in the same way that stores with proactive sales reps are more effective than stores with one silent cashier. Live Chat customer service is the most efficient way to streamline these interactions. The mere presence of a Live Chat function on a website can make a customer feel valued, especially if the bot is programmed to introduce itself and prompt the shopper to ask questions.
Research shows that empathetic sales representatives are more effective at facilitating a positive shopping experience, resulting in more sales. In the world of online shopping, we lose this human connection. Live Chat provides an immediate, on-demand selling experience with bots designed to emulate the human connection and connect shoppers to a live sales rep when available.
We know that Live Chat can enhance your business’ sales, marketing, and service platforms. Now let’s dive into the details. Here are six specific ways that Live Chat can strengthen your business model.
6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Live Chat
Live Chat enables you to speak with visitors, prospects, and customers in real-time
In today’s fast-paced world, people do not want to wait around for an answer. Potential customers are ten times less likely to maintain contact with a company after 5 minutes without a response. By ten minutes, almost all chance of making contact is gone. The reality is, plenty of companies likely offer similar products to yours. If you do not respond quickly enough, nothing stops the potential lead from going back to Google and trying another site. Quick responses with links to content on your site are a great way to keep the lead engaged and to begin to develop a relationship.
Without Live Chat, you will likely lose customers to long wait times and poor customer service interactions. Data indicated a 31.1% queue dropout rate in 2020, mainly due to long wait times. Imagine the person with a product-specific question who cannot find their answer in the FAQ section. They send an email and wait five days for a response, but they have found another company and have already completed their purchase during that time. This scenario is the reality faced by companies who are unable to respond to queries in real-time.
Using Live Chat, you can automatically route customer inquiries to a live agent in the department that best corresponds with their question. Instead of waiting in phone queues to be bounced around departments or waiting for days while employees forward their email to the right person, Live Chat software for websites can have customers speaking to a service rep in minutes. The best part is the service rep will have immediate access to all the customer information the bot has collected. The interaction is shorter than it would have been if the service rep had to start from scratch, and customers do not have to repeat themselves.
Have personalized conversations with your Live Chat
Live Chat software makes it easier for your team to have personalized conversations at scale with AI and machine learning. It enables you to create an authentic and meaningful relationship with the customer, which you cannot achieve through the occasional email. Bots can collect consumer data to tailor their customer experience. They can provide direct responses and links to helpful articles – all programmed by your company to reflect the company culture.
The software also enables you to add an avatar and introduce yourself. This way, the customer feels the draw of a human relationship. A 2017 study highlighted that the use of emoticons by chatbots and live agents is exceptionally effective at emulating a human sales interaction’s emotions, which boosts sales. People are more likely to follow through on sales when there is some emotional investment. The internet removes a lot of the empathetic variables in the shopping experience. Using avatars, emoticons, gifs, and other similar features, personal touch between sales rep and consumer can return.
No company is perfect, and there will never be a way to answer everyone’s questions and close sales in real-time, 24/7. Instead, bots can begin conversations, engage customers, provide simple support, and then deposit all the information they have collected into your lap so that you can close the sale. That is about as 24/7 as could exist, all without the need to hire additional staff. Study results indicate that ‘canned’ or automated responses to simple questions have no impact on customer satisfaction, so there is no downside to employing bots where humans cannot be!
Live Chat has a higher ROI
Phone and email are pillars in the customer support industry, but the experience is usually very frustrating. Conversely, Live Chat support for websites is cheap to implement and offers a better customer experience. Website Live Chat services can answer simple questions without the need for a live agent. They can also collect data and direct queries to the correct departments, which drastically cuts down on time spent collecting basic information and redirecting questions around departments.
When all these basic tasks become automated, live agents can focus on selling and supporting their products. A recent study analyzing the impact of live agents on online travel purchases noted that consumers feel the same social pressure to purchase a product as they would in a store when sales agents are attentive and focused on selling their product.
Sales will increase without additional hires; Live Chat reported that businesses made an average of $456 per chat with a sale. Ultimately, you can use Live Chat to turn your cost center into a profit center.
Live Chat saves your visitors, prospects, and customers time
Customers are used to a fast-paced world. They want to talk with representatives anywhere and at any time, but email and phone channels are not providing this round-the-clock support.
Using Live Chat, you can connect to customers through their preferred means of communication, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, and SMS. For example, you could answer questions regarding flight information via Facebook Messenger or send flight updates via SMS to ensure customers do not miss a beat.
The ability to use the customer’s preferred communication method means time saved between messages, and it means that customers do not have to stare at their computer screen while you respond. You can reduce their perception of wasted time as a result of this ability to multi-task.
Live Chat saves the company’s, as well as the customers’, time. The software can easily integrate messages into your email inbox or slack channels, and Bots work to collect consumer data and store it all in readily accessible and customizable files. This streamlining feature will help you save time spent switching between platforms and trying to remember details from previous interactions so that you can focus on selling the product instead.
Live Chat helps you prevent cart abandonment
Think about your experience entering an actual store with excellent versus poor sales reps. You likely felt more compelled to purchase expensive things if the sales reps engaged you throughout the shopping experience. Similarly, engagement through to the cart page will make customers more likely to rationalize their purchases.
Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges online businesses face, with global average rates of almost 80%. Unexpected costs are the top reason why consumers leave their carts before completing their purchase. Using Live Chat, you can proactively engage with these customers and remove some of the uncertainty associated with shopping fees.
It is possible to customize your widget to pop up automatically at the cart page, the same way a sales rep would nudge the customer to buy the product in-person. You can also use Live Chat to notify customers about online promotions. If customers understand why they are being charged and have a satisfactory interaction with a representative or a Bot, they will be more likely to follow through with their purchase.
Humans are creatures of habit. We are used to being serviced as we shop, and we are used to real interaction throughout the shopping experience. Why are we expected to self-serve online? The online environment generally causes more confusion throughout the shopping experience than in-person shopping would, and businesses need to address this confusion proactively. Just imagine how effective your business could be if customers purchased the other 80% of carts.
Live Chat makes your brand synonymous with excellent customer service
A 2019 study identified that the four main factors influencing customer satisfaction are service quality, information quality, system quality, and satisfaction with use. Implementing Live Chat can enhance all four of these variables. It reduces wait time, provides immediate and comprehensive answers, and complements the user interface to provide a satisfactory customer experience. According to Live Chat’s 2020 Customer Service Report, an increasing number of users are satisfied with their Live Chat experience.
Factor influencing customer satisfaction
How Live Chat enhances factor
Decreased wait times.
Previously collected data inform future interactions.
Service agents can spend more time answering complex questions because bots collect data and answer simple questions.
The addition of Live Chat to existing software makes the site more accessible and user-friendly.
Satisfaction with use
Emoticons, gifs, and images, along with customizable avatars, give customers the personal connection missing in the online sphere.
Live Chat software works because it allows you to develop a database of customer service interactions, optimizing future communication through AI and machine learning. Bots can collect simple, collatable, and readable data and use it to make insights and quickly inform service reps of the customer’s profile the next time they visit the site. The bots themselves can begin new conversations with previous customers armed with previously collected data, streamlining the exchange and improving customer experience.
The bots can also automatically collect survey data on the chat’s efficacy, allowing the company to make real-time changes in their service interactions with both bots and live agents. While customers may be unlikely to respond to a customer satisfaction survey emailed days after they completed their interaction, a simple survey within the chat is easy and timely. When Chatbots collect data more frequently and easily than could be achieved by an email or phone survey, companies have more data to train future service reps and program future Chatbots. An investment in efficient and accurate customer satisfaction data collection is an investment in your company’s continued success because customers will keep coming back to the companies that value and implement their feedback.
Bots can also facilitate customer experience by emulating live agents. You can add images, videos, gifs, and other features to give your chatbot personality. Research shows that people respond best to Live Chats that most closely resemble empathetic human interaction, meaning that emoticons and other more personal additions can significantly enhance the customer’s experience.
Statistics show that 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand after a poor customer support experience, while 86% of customers will pay 25% more for a better customer experience. Collecting data to optimize future communications and personalizing communications through gifs and images will enhance customer satisfaction and cause a subsequent increase in sales.
Live Chat is proving time and time again to be a cost-effective addition to companies’ sales, marketing, and service around the world. Yet, only 14% of 433 companies surveyed by Drift in 2017 had implemented Live Chat software.
If your company wants to stay ahead of the curve, Live Chat is a necessity. As we move forward in a digitized world, it is more important than ever to find ways to engage with customers throughout the online shopping experience. Create a social connection, decrease your response time, and collect accurate data on customer interactions, all without a massive investment in teams of sales reps. Join the Live Chat movement today to be a proactive, sustainable, and cost-efficient business in the digital world.