How live chat contributes to “the Age of the Customer”
You’ve probably had to deal with live chat in a business setting before. Perhaps you were visiting a website and a chat window opened, politely asking you if you were in need of help to make your choice, or maybe you read a Frankwatching article about it. One thing is certain, live chat is a great addition to your customer service mix in a time in which customers are increasingly in control.
The employment of digital contact is such an important part of customer service, but let’s zoom in on the role that live chat can play in this. Because it all sounds very interesting, and you may think live chat has potential, but how do you truly find out what it will contribute to your company? Are you wondering what live chat will contribute to your customer satisfaction levels? Please continue reading, because we will explain what the advantages of live chat are below.
Expansion of the helpdesk
By outsourcing live chat to a specialised company you are also available outside of office hours, expanding the customer service your company provides. If your customers have bought a product, but they are unable to phone you to return it, this takes away from their customer experience. In future, they will simply turn to the competitor, who is on standby for them around the clock to answer questions or provide assistance.
Good customer service is crucial, because satisfied customers are returning customers who spend more per purchase and even recommend your company to others. In this way, you stay one step ahead of competitors who don’t offer digital customer service, while establishing your company more firmly in the market.
Live chat is fast. This means that customers are helped on the spot. They aren’t required to wait until the email they sent has finally been read and answered. Questions and/or problems can be immediately dealt with, which results in satisfied customers and an empty inbox.
Anonymous way of communicating
Not everyone enjoys talking to someone in person. Going to the shop to return a product is too time-consuming and picking up the telephone is difficult for some. We live in an age of digitisation. The youngest generation of consumers prefers short text messages that are as anonymous as possible. Companies must adapt to this trend and to people who don’t want to speak to someone in person need to be served. Live chat is a perfect tool for this.
Like in a physical shop, some people require tailored advice. By engaging the people visiting your shop or website in conversation, you can find out what their needs are. You can offer advice and guide them towards a purchase in an informal way. This works both offline and online.
Leaving customers to wander around your shop and leaving empty-handed is a missed chance that results in unhappy managers, and can sometimes even be the reason that someone is sacked if it happens too frequently. Why would you simply leave your customers to it in an online environment? If customers aren’t able to find what they’re looking for, they will simply leave your webshop without purchasing anything. Dissatisfied customers will not recommend you to others and will not return to your shop.
Live chat allows you to provide advice to and guide your customers towards a purchase, but, at the same time, it also gives you the opportunity to upsell, since you know exactly which products go together well and in which situations a similar, though slightly different product, might be the better option. This allows you to provide advice to your website’s visitors. Good advice reduces the chance that customers send products back, which is often annoying and time-consuming. A well-advised customer is a happy customer.
Live chat can also be used to develop a connection with your customers. This is because, although it might not feel like it, customers are still talking to a real person. By giving customers a personal experience and providing them with excellent service, you can stimulate customer loyalty, and by making customers come back in the future instead of sending them to the competitor, you can guarantee future repeat purchases.
Live chat can reduce costs in three ways. By offering tailored advice and assisting customers with the purchasing process, you can make sure that customers purchase the right products the first time around. This results in fewer products returns, thus reducing costs.
We previously mentioned the need of the latest generation to communicate via short text messages. This has another added advantage: it means less (irrelevant) information is exchanged. This efficient and to-the-point form of communication saves time, which is important to you, but also for your customers, who are busy enough as it is.
Finally, there’s the fact that the average chat operator can talk to two or three customers at the same time. Especially in combination with the previously-mentioned time saving, this ensures a considerable drop in personnel costs; an extra advantage for you.
Due to the fact that, with live chat, a lot of information can be gathered and stored, chats can be analysed retrospectively. This allows you to see at which times of the day most chats are being conducted and sometimes even the location from where people are chatting. It also allows you to see exactly what was said (useful concerning problems that have arisen), but also allows you to see where on your website customers are browsing. Sometimes you can even see which pages your customers have already visited. This provides you with insight into customers’ interests, allowing you to provide the right kind of advice.
Another useful thing is the fact that most software can be used to directly view your customers’ account details if they have an account on your website. Due to the fact that you can directly view their ordering history, you are able to provide a faster service in the event that products are returned and you are required to find a more suitable product. Satisfied customers are returning customers.
By analysing the data that is generated by live chat, you can learn a lot about your customers. This information can then be used to improve your service and products. Sometimes, you can even have a short questionnaire open after a chat, asking the customer for extra information, such as what (type of) products they are missing. In this way, you can make customers feel involved with your company, letting them know you appreciate them.
Are you feeling motivated to get to work with live chat? That’s a good decision. We strongly advise getting started with live chat through a specialised provider, because they know everything there is to know about it, which will save you considerable time, effort and money. Therefore, read our tips on how to find the right live-chat provider.