If you’re unsure about the benefits of online live chat support for customer service, here’s an interesting fact. Among the various types of customer engagement channels, online live chat scores the highest in terms of customer satisfaction.
According to Comm100’s research, as noted by customer-relationship management (CRM) software company SuperOffice, 82% of users who engage with a company’s live chat function tend to have a more positive impression of (and experience with) the company. After live chat support is email support, which has a satisfaction rate of 61%.
In another statistic, helpdesk platform Kayako says 52% of customers out of the 400 in their report tend to be loyal to a brand offering live chat support. Additionally, a 2009 study by eMarketer found 63% of its participants were likely to return to a website with live chat, and 62% said they were likely to make a purchase.
Why is that? Why does the trend always tend toward the majority every time questions about live chat preferences are called into question?
An Alarming Statistic: The Impact of Poor Online Live Chat Services on Sales
Here’s another interesting fact. Your customers hate waiting. And you as a customer yourself probably dislike the idea of having to wait, too. In a 2022 survey by the customer service platform Tidio, the company found nearly “79% of shoppers would not complete their order if the customer service was unresponsive.”
Companies need to respond to their prospective and existing customers quickly. With so many CRM software and communication channels available to you and your audience today, timeliness has become a core expectation for brands across the board. And one of the best ways to show your brand is committed to speedily engaging with its customers is by making use of the invaluable resource that is online live chat.
What Is Online Live Chat?
Online live chat is essentially chat support with a special emphasis on timeliness. In our blog post on the best practices of chat and email support, we said chat is a customer engagement tool where customers can immediately be assisted by an agent, especially when the former has concerns relating to the brand the agent represents.
In 24/7 online live chat, the conversation between a customer and the brand agent is happening in real time. And the expectations are oftentimes much greater. Once a customer inquires, an agent is expected to be present and answer immediately. This makes online live chat so appealing to customers. And while it’s primarily meant to benefit buyers, online live chat serves your business in many ways as well.
The Benefits of 24/7 Online Live Chat for Your Business
1. Increases customer satisfaction
One of the benefits prospective buyers seek in online live chat is the immediacy their questions are answered. If they get this from your brand, what you receive in return is a happy prospective buyer who is now more likely to make a purchase — and even become a brand advocate down the line.
Live chat support significantly improves your relationship with your target audience. With online live chat, real-time communication is established between you and the most important person in your business — your customer.
However, this is true only when customers have a positive experience with the agent. The same Tidio survey shows that while 77% of consumers claimed they would give a brand a few chances, only 27% were genuinely willing to do so. In the same survey, it showed that 46% of online shoppers value friendly customer support.
These figures highlight the impact of having highly experienced chat support agents who know how to treat inquiries with care. A business can have this invaluable asset either through hiring in-house or outsourcing chat support services.
2. Increases the likelihood of conversion
If someone expresses interest in your brand by asking questions about your product or service, you’re very close to convincing this person to buy. And what you must do is cater to this person’s needs the moment they send an inquiry.
The findings of Tidio’s survey is a testament to this. In 2022, 79% of US shoppers won’t fully commit to their orders if a chat support agent is unresponsive. But what is considered unresponsive? Tidio reports the average wait time for online live chat is one minute and 35 seconds. This means if a brand fails to respond within that window, such an oversight could result in a huge blow to its sales.
Fortunately, with qualified live chat agents, your business can prevent this issue. Your brand will be able to engage with prospective buyers instantly, showing them how you can swoop in and save their day.
3. Lets you gather feedback and pain points
If your company invests in live chat, you also gain an additional tool to collect insights into your target audience’s needs. This is very important because you can make more informed business decisions based on your prospective buyers’ and existing users’ feedback.
You can see the parts of your product or service that need improving and the parts with which your customers are most satisfied. Ultimately, your business aims to serve your target audience, so let them engage with you in real time and listen to what they have to say through live chat.
4. Allows for flexible communication
With the implementation of live chat comes a much wider reach. If you install live chat on, say, your website, you can reach your target audience on multiple devices, giving them access to your brand 24/7. Whether they’re on their phones, laptops, or tablets, your live chat widget will be visible and accessible to them. And with a team of live chat specialists, you won’t miss an opportunity to communicate with the people that matter most to your business.
Some of the Best Practices to Get All the Benefits of Online Live Chat for Your Business
Always spot opportunities
Spotting opportunities simply means having the foresight to go beyond the inquirer’s questions when the occasion arises. It could be suggesting further steps to take to fix the customer’s problem. Or it could be recommending another solution your company offers — as long as it genuinely helps them. For the second one, the key is to suggest and not to impose.
Consistently use your company’s brand voice
Your company’s brand voice shows your company’s personality. If your company represents the value you offer your target customers, your brand — alongside its voice — represents its human aspect with whom your customers are conducting business. There are several opportunities you can use your brand voice in live chat, and the benefits of doing so are astounding! According to customer-service writer Leslie O’Flahavan, the best times to maximize your brand voice are in the following scenarios.
- Greeting and closing your customer
- Apologizing to them
- Offering help to them
- Receiving and accepting thanks
- Showing you understand them
- Using emojis when necessary
Why Outsourcing Online Live Chat Gives You the Most Benefits
Having a live chat support team will do your business wonders, especially now that a pandemic has disabled face-to-face activities. Now more than ever, your customers must be able to access and speak with your brand in the digital space. It’s vital to your company’s survival. And you will need a solid live chat support team to fully reap the benefits of this customer engagement tool. Also, you will need to build this team fast.
But building your live chat team from scratch will clearly take some time if you don’t already have one. You need to recruit people and screen them to make sure they’re the right candidates for the job. You will also need to set up live chat tools, such as a CRM system. While some companies are okay with the idea of doing this, other companies want to focus on productivity and nurturing their core business. And so they choose to outsource.
By outsourcing professional and dedicated live chat support specialists, you get to have a readily available team. The top benefits you gain from outsourcing live chat support include:
- Live chat support specialists vetted by your outsourcing partner and who can adapt to your brand voice
- Live chat support software, tools, and CRM system
- Managers to oversee live chat support specialists
- Lower rates and a high ROI
- Growth for your company because you can focus on your core functions
Live chat is essential to a company’s survival. This customer engagement tool directly communicates with your prospective buyers. Studies show that:
- 82% of users who engage with a company’s live chat function tend to have a more positive impression of the company.
- 52% of customers tend to be loyal to a brand offering live chat support.
- 63% of customers are likely to return to a website with live chat.
- 62% of returning customers from a website with live chat are likely to make a purchase.
- 79% of US shoppers will abandon online purchases with unresponsive customer service
Given these numbers, you can see how live chat reaps more benefits than disadvantages, if any. The top 4 benefits of having a 24/7 online live chat for your customers are:
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Increased likelihood of conversion
- Invaluable feedback
- Flexible communication
Are you looking for expert chat and email support professionals who know how to communicate with your customers with care? Then you’ve landed on the right page.
Contact us today at email@example.com. Or message us on our chat box or contact form for a free consultation or for any inquiries. We look forward to chatting with you!
Note: This article, originally published in June 2021, has been updated in August 2022.