In the last decade we have witnessed so many changes in the way we do business. Most of them were boosted by technological achievements and new channels for buyers and sellers to converge. Today’s market is dynamic, yet it is also oversaturated.
A sustainable business requires founders to continually find proven and new ways to attract and retain customers. For most, it has been hard to keep up either because they lack capital or new ideas. Thankfully, there are ways to transform some aspects of your online business at a much lower cost, but with amazing benefits.
For instance, small customer support improvements can make a tremendous difference in customer satisfaction and sales. Rather than watching potential customers click away from their e-commerce sites, many businesses have been adding live chat support.
Here’s a look at the surprising benefits of live chat software.
1. Improve online shopping convenience
When customers look for assistance they usually turn to email, telephone support or social media. With live chat support on your e-commerce website you will be able to offer real-time help and convenience to visitors that may otherwise click away.
In fact, a Forrester Research study found:
“Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.”
The enjoyable experience customers have by being helped this way allows companies to build strong relationships. Live chat provides quick help around the clock and increases buyer confidence. Furthermore, you can provide shopping advice to aid in decision making and direct site visitors to options that meet their interests and needs. It’s a remarkable way to boost your conversion rates.
2. Generate more leads
All of the major search engines employ optimized ranking algorithms to calculate the average time a user spends on a website. With live chat support, you can engage users and keep them on your website longer than average. This contributes to increased search ranking, which results in more traffic to your site.
As long as your website is well-designed, user-friendly and has plenty of useful content, getting more traffic to your website will help you generate more leads.
One thing that is amazing about the internet is that it is always “on”. This also applies to live chat support. Even when no one available to answer an inquiry, you can set a live chat dialogue box as an automated email capture form. This can fuel 24/7 lead acquisition.
3. Reduce customer support costs
By providing live chat support you can cut down on post-sale customer service such as contact reduction, first contact resolution (FCR) and escalation rates.
Contact reduction: Identify the top reasons why customers contact you and eliminate the problems before the sale takes place.
First contact resolution: How many issues are resolved on first contact with customers? This handy guide from Oracle explains how improving FCR means reducing wasteful contacts; resulting in savings.
Escalation rate: Escalating an issue from an email or chat to the phone costs extra money. Start tracking the number of escalations per week and incorporate live chat to compare how live chat offsets this figure.
Ultimately customer support can become costly with increased contacts and and escalations to live reps. The goal of live chat support is to make the process more efficient and cut costs.
4. Tweak customer service in real-time
When you offer live chat support on your website you can gather valuable data from your customers. Live chat software offers key features including chat transcripts. This data can be analyzed to determine weak spots in your operations, identifying trends of customer issues, and provide valuable learning material for your support team.
The right data empowers your team to learn how to adjust to meet customer needs with greater efficiency. This way, you will have a unique window into the world of customer opinions, which is otherwise impossible and often left to negative online reviews — a last resort for unsatisfied customers who feel they aren’t being heard.
You can also use live chat data to create support team policies and innovations. For example, transform live chat data into a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on your website or add it to an internal searchable knowledgeable for reps to gain access to answers in real-time.
5. Stay competitive
There are still many businesses that haven’t tapped into the full potential of live chat support. By implementing it, you will have an edge over the competition.
There are no boundaries for live chat technology. For instance, you can hire live chat agents that speak different languages and better serve international customers. The benefits of having live chat software on your website are quite compelling.
If you’re striving to make improvements in customer service, live chat is a no-brainer. It provides the much needed momentum needed to retain and engage customers.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Stephen Wilson is a developer and a tech support executive with over 5 years of experience in the field of Information Technology. He is currently working with Live2Support, a live customer and sales chat solution powered by ProProfs.com. Stephen has created numerous applications and plugins for the organization and continues to do so. Connect with @StephenWilson_2 on Twitter.