Three goals for which you can employ live chat: service, conversion and leads
Many people purely consider live chat a customer-service tool. This is unsurprising, because it is certainly highly suitable for this (if not more so than other channels). But, live chat can also be used to assist companies in other ways, such as increasing conversion rates or generating leads. Regardless of how they use live chat, it can be used to generate tremendous results, if used in the right way.
Live chat for customer service
Let’s take a look at live chat for customer service. Why does it work so well in this regard? Live chat is fast and people lead busy lives. As a result, it’s understandable that an increasing number of people are opting for this mode of communication over using the telephone, which is more time-consuming, or sending an email, which involves waiting for several days for a reply. This is precisely what customers want to avoid. Live chat is usually responded to within minutes; sometimes even within seconds.
Chatting is free and incredibly fast, even compared to using the telephone. This is because the messages are much shorter and more to the point. Because situations don’t require expansive explanations and problems are tackled directly, chats are usually dealt with within a couple of minutes, and, if you consider that an average chat operator is able to process two or three chats simultaneously, it is no surprise that the number of satisfied customers is given a tremendous boost through live chat. Additionally, live chat is also often available outside of standard office hours; sometimes even at night. This allows customers to talk to companies at times that are convenient for them.
Furthermore, live chat is very anonymous, which is a reason many young people in particular opt for this channel. Many customers, particularly amongst the growing younger generation, prefer not to speak to people in person. Going to the shop is not something they want to do, and they often prefer to not leave personal details such as their email addresses. However, they do expect personal service and want to have the feeling that their specific needs are being met. Live chat is the perfect medium for this, because it lets customers talk to a real person who will help them with their personal situation, but in an entirely anonymous way.
Live chat to increase conversion rates
There are various reasons why people might decide to leave your webshop. In some instances, customers simply might not be able to find the information they need to make a decision. In such situations, most customers break off the purchasing process to continue looking later – possibly somewhere else. It is important to prevent this, and that can be achieved with the right team of chat operators or sales representatives, who know everything there is to know about your company and products, since they can use their knowledge to assist customers in the purchasing process.
According to Forrester, 44 percent of online customers consider being assisted by a real person one of the most important aspects when purchasing something online. Because the chat operators have all the necessary knowledge to adequately inform your customers regarding your products, you can ensure customers do not go home empty-handed. Additionally, you can make sure that customers purchase the correct products, thereby reducing the number of products that are returned and ensuring your customers’ satisfaction and their future return to your company.
Another aspect of contact via live chat is the fact that you can make doubting customers tempting offers that will lead them to return in the future. Consider a one-time discount code that is valid for one or two weeks, or offer customers free delivery if the total sum is above a certain sum. These methods can be used to transform customers who were considering aborting their purchasing process without actually buying anything into paying customers. You might even be able to realise an upsell, increasing your revenue even further.
Live chat for lead generation
There are also companies that do not specifically employ live chat as a customer-service tool or to increase their conversion rates. These are predominantly companies with a (very) high price per product or purchase, but with lower sales numbers; car dealers and business-to-business organisations, such as IT companies and industrial companies, for example. They can spend more time on their individual customers and, for them, each potential customer is a highly important prospect.
For this group, it is more important to maintain contact with every customer and convert them into paying customers. Here, live chat can be used to talk to customers personally and develop a trusting relationship with them. A lot of people consider it important to know that they’re talking to a real person and not to a robot. They also want to avoid being spammed. By directly and properly talking to prospects and advising them properly, you can develop a relationship and establish your reliability amongst (potential) customers.
Live chat is also an incredibly effective tool to “filter” customers – even in the first conversation. This is because, with live chat, customers are first spoken to by a “regular” chat operator. This chat operator is able to answer potential questions customers might have. These chat operators can often easily determine or sense whether someone is truly interested in purchasing a product or service or not. If that is the case, they can forward these leads to the company’s sales representatives, after which the sales team can speak to these customers and provide them with a customised service. This saves your company money and allows you to focus your energy on truly interested parties.
Have you ever considered employing live chat for another purpose? You might be able to use hybrid outsourcing, wherein the team of the managed live chat provider is used to provide customer service, and you can focus on increasing conversion rates or converting prospects into leads. Aren’t you sure whether your team is capable of also selling via live chat?