8 Benefits Of Live Chat For Startups Founders Should Know
As a start-up, there are many things you can do to get your business off the ground. One particular strategy, implementing live chat on your website, is especially effective for improving your sales, lead generation, and conversion efforts. In addition to that, live chat is the perfect tool for improving your customer’s satisfaction and shopping experience.
In this article, we’ll outline the biggest live chat benefits for startups and provide you with additional live chat tips and best practices that’ll help you boost conversion, retention, and sales. Let’s dive in!
It’s what customers want (and expect)
Both existing and potential customers expect to see a live chat widget on your site. Why? Customers want to use live chat and expect businesses to provide it because it’s a low effort communication channel. Instead of searching for the best way to contact your business, customers can utilize live chat directly on your website with a single click.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a whopping 92% of customers are more satisfied with live chat support and live answering service than with support provided on other traditional channels such as email or the phone. Apart from live chat’s immediacy and ease of use, many customers prefer to use live chat because it provides them with a chat history/transcript.
Users no longer have to remember what was agreed on the phone, and what answers they received from support agents. After each live chat conversation, a chat transcript can be easily exported and sent to the customer in question.
Live chat provides legitimacy
Have you ever wondered if a certain seller is legitimate simply because you couldn’t find a lot of information about them online? As a startup, this is a challenge that you’ll face from day one, simply because you need to accumulate online reviews and testimonials which takes time.
However, don’t worry, testimonials aren’t the only way to show your customers that you’re a legitimate business. Your best bet is to place a live chat widget on your website and show your customers that you’re readily available to answer their questions. By doing this, you can improve your trustworthiness in the eyes of the consumer.
Live chat helps generate leads
What’s one of the best live chat practices? Collecting leads through live chat forms. The best way to do this is to set up pre-chat and offline forms.
Pre-chat forms are forms that customers need to fill in before they can start chatting with you on live chat. Once the customer enters their contact information into the form, they’ll be allowed to submit their initial live chat message. Why is this important? By collecting your customer’s contact information up front, you’ll have a way to follow up with them later through other channels.
Alternatively, an offline form/offline chat button allows you to collect customer information as well but notifies the customer that their query will be answered via email during business hours instead.
Improves conversion rates
One of our biggest live chat tips is to set up pro-active chat invitations on strategic URLs of your website. This could be your pricing page, your FAQ page, or your product tour page.
By inviting your potential customers to chat with you, you’re showing them that you’re online and available to answer any questions that they may have. Oftentimes, customers do in fact have questions, but instead of reaching out to you on live chat, they tend to Google the answers themselves. Once they exit your site, it’s very unlikely that they’ll return, especially if they can’t find an answer to their question.
So why give your potential customers the chance to exit your site without purchasing anything? By offering your help and assisting them in a knowledgeable and speedy manner, your customers are more likely to make up their mind about the purchase on the spot.
Not convinced? According to numerous reports, such as this one from eMarketer, more than 35% of people made an online purchase after using live chat. In addition to that, customers that use live chat are more valuable. Their orders have higher monetary values and, they tend to purchase more frequently.
Why? Perhaps because they feel like their questions were answered and the customer support they’ve received was exceptional and proactive. As such, they feel like they’re in good hands, and feel like they can place their trust and money into your business.
Faster service (improves customer satisfaction)
Another one of our live chat tips is to embrace multi-tasking. Live chat is a real-time customer support service that can provide even faster problem resolution if you multitask and assist multiple customers at once.
Because there’s always a downtime in chats, such as when the customer is typing or looking for their order number, etc, you can utilize this time to assist other shoppers. This practice reduces chat queues and resolves more customer queries in the long run.
Another tip from us is to embrace live chat best practices when it comes to speed and initial response times. Live chat is a real-time support service, and thus should be treated as such. Customers should receive answers to their questions within a maximum of 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
Think answering chats in less than 3 minutes is impossible? Think again! Leaders in customer service have proved time and time again that the faster your service is, the more satisfied your customers are. That’s why businesses that continuously focus on improving their customer service strive to answer initial live chat questions in less than 30 seconds!
Cost-effective service solution
Live chat has proven to be less expensive than traditional support channels such as the phone or email. Why? Live chat eliminates telephone bills and the need for hardware such as telephones, headphones, or microphones. In addition to that, agents that provide live chat support are able to multitask and solve multiple queries at once.
As such, companies don’t need to hire more staff to answer customer queries, resulting in lower operating costs.
When compared to email, live chat provides a much faster problem resolution. As an example, live chat queries can be resolved in a matter of minutes or even seconds. If something is misinterpreted or needed (such as an order number), either party can provide the necessary information in real-time. However, when it comes to email, both customers and agents have to wait for the other party’s response, which can take hours and even days.
And when query resolution takes mere seconds, agents have to spend less time on it, which results in lower operational costs.
This may come as a surprise. Did you know that many businesses (even corporations like PayPal) still don’t provide live chat support? Our tip is to start providing live chat support today to gain a competitive advantage over your direct competitors.
If you can provide knowledgeable, real-time, hasslefree, personalized support directly on your site, while your competitors make it difficult to be contacted, your customers will be more inclined to do business with you.
Think about it from the consumer’s point of view. Why choose an uphill battle to do business with a company that doesn’t appreciate its customers enough to provide a convenient support channel? Or a business that takes days to reply to a simple question that could be answered in a matter of seconds?
Customers take these types of things into account, especially when their time and money are concerned. As such, your best bet is to implement a live chat solution today.
Provides valuable insights
Offering live chat support can provide your customer service teams with invaluable information. The more queries your agents answer through live chat, the more insights you gain about your customer’s satisfaction with your products and services. These insights can also shed light on the most frequently asked questions, emerging bugs, or faulty products.
By being able to monitor these insights, you can proactively improve your products, services, and self-service guides. For example, if you released a new version of your software, but receive many live chat queries in regards to activating a certain feature, it might be an indicator that you didn’t create a thorough enough guide in your customer portal/knowledgebase.
As such, your actionable plan would be to create a how-to-guide and post it on your customer portal/knowledge base or inside your FAQ section.
Improves agent efficiency
One of the last live chat best practices that are worth mentioning is maximum live chat utilization. Maximum chat utilization refers to a chat distribution method that ensures maximum agent efficiency.
When maximum efficiency is enabled, all new chats will be assigned to the agent that is currently assigned to the most active live chat conversations. Once the agent that is responding to the most chats has no more free chat slots, new incoming chats will be routed to the next available agent. This strategy helps you to maximize the chat loads for chatting agents while allowing other agents to work on offline tickets from email, social media, or the phone.
Utilizing a chat distribution setting ensures that agent efficiency is high, regardless of the service channel used. Each agent can focus on their work without the distraction of a newly assigned chat.
Now that we’ve explained live chat best practices and provided you with valuable live chat tips, it’s time to put them into practice. Why not start by implementing a free live chat solution, or by trying out a free trial of a paid live chat software?
There are many vendors offering different kinds of live chat solutions, however, some are more robust than others. Ensure that the live chat software you acquire has pre-chat forms and offline forms so your lead capturing is effective. Proactive chat invitations are another essential feature that will help you convert prospects into paying customers in a matter of minutes.
Before implementing a live chat software on your website, make sure that your customer support agents are well versed in your products and services, and that they understand the importance of answering live chat questions in a timely manner. In addition to that, ask your agents to take notes of what’s being asked most in their live chat conversations, and create actionable plans from their insights.
Taking advantage of the above listed live chat features and actionable insights will help you gain a better understanding of your customers and give you a competitive edge. Start bridging the gap between the service you provide and the service your customers expect today. Simply place a live chat button on your site and you’ll be rewarded with loyal customers, more sales, and new leads. What are you waiting for? It’s what every start-up dreams of!