The key to the success of any business is excellent customer support. Even if your business makes a mistake that would typically drive customers away, you could easily rectify it with superior service. In fact, putting the effort towards resolving issues swiftly and efficiently could greatly benefit your business; around 74% of millennials would consider switching companies after a bad customer service experience. To stay on their radar, you need to make sure your customer support leaves them satisfied and willing to give you another chance. And that’s where the concept of live chat software comes in!
What makes quality customer support? In a nutshell, it’s understanding what your customers want and expects from you, having friendly, knowledgeable staff, and, most importantly, being available.
No one wants to spend hours trying to reach your call center on the phone or wait for days to have their urgent message addressed. Your customers want to receive support the moment they need it, and you can only offer it if you have a suitable live chat solution.
With real-time customer service, you can keep qualified leads on your site longer, address problems before they get out of hand, increase conversions, and, ultimately, improve your business growth.
So let’s learn how a live chat platform can help your business thrive.
What Is Live Chat Software?
Live chat software is a platform that enables you to engage with your buyers and website visitors in real time. While it’s most commonly used for exchanging messages, most live chat solutions also allow you to have video and audio calls with customers who need your support.
There are many powerful capabilities available with live chat, depending on the solution you choose. All your communication channels can be unified through the platform, including social media messages, calls, and emails. There are many features you can use, including predefined answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, conversation groups, and managing and distributing tickets.
However, the most critical capability of live chat solutions is that they enable you to seamlessly communicate with your customers in real-time and offer support precisely when it’s needed, without wait times and annoying music on hold. This simple feature enables you to qualify leads, engage website visitors, build relationships with your audiences, increase sales, and boost conversions.
What Are the Advantages of Using Live Chat Software?
Live chat software offers convenience above all else. However, that’s not the only benefit. Take a look at a few advantages you’ll enjoy by deploying a reliable chat platform.
1. Real-Time Support and Assistance Around the Clock
Most of your customers expect an instantaneous response from you. No matter what they need, whether it’s simply assistance with navigating your site or an urgent problem, they want you to respond quickly. Live chat software allows you to do just that.
With a chat solution, your live agents can be reached in as little as 10 seconds, offering real-time support and assistance around the clock.
2. Deeper Understanding of Your Customers
Live chat, especially when combined with a high-quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, can be indispensable for learning more about your customers. The CRM analytics with the complete live chat history can offer detailed insights into who the customer is, what they expect from you, what pain points they struggle with the most, and how you can best approach them.
You can use the data to improve your customer profiling and develop a more personalized approach to every buyer.
3. Increased Customer Loyalty and Trust
Staying at your customers’ beck and call, supporting them, and assisting them whenever they encounter issues can only result in one thing — loyalty. Seamless, instantaneous customer support instills your buyers with confidence and shows them that you actually put your customers first.
Prioritizing their satisfaction and delivering an outstanding customer experience keeps your shoppers always coming back for more.
4. Improved Website Performance and Experience
A rarely discussed, yet critical advantage of live chat software is that it helps improve website performance and overall browsing experience. Whether a visitor has encountered a 404 error, forgotten their password, or could not find the page they were looking for, you can immediately offer assistance and remedy any issues.
Moreover, you can easily log site errors, identify performance patterns, and solve performance issues before they get out of hand.
5. Boosted Sales and Conversion Rate of Your Bottom Line
Over 67% of customer churn can be prevented by quickly resolving issues during the first brand interaction.
Your qualified leads and prospective customers could come across countless minor issues that would drive them to abandon their carts. You can resolve all these issues instantly with timely support, whether it is confusion about your shipping policy, product confusion, or inability to locate your cart. Offering assistance, regardless of the scope of the problem your site visitor is dealing with, will help you improve conversions and boost sales.
6. Reduced Service Cost
Live chat doesn’t always have to be mediated by a live agent. Simple predefined answers or chatbots can usually answer the most common customer questions and provide support without human interference.
You can leave more complicated queries to your experienced support agents and let your chatbots handle the rest. Not only will that improve your response rates (since chatbots can handle multiple queries simultaneously), but it will also reduce your overall service costs. After all, you won’t have to hire additional agents to handle larger volumes of customers.
7. Improved SEO and Web Traffic
Live chat solutions make your website more user-friendly and enhance the visitor experience, automatically improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They help you attract users, driving your web traffic and keeping visitors on your pages longer. However, what’s more, live chat solutions help collect valuable site performance data and user satisfaction levels, allowing you to catch potential SEO problems that could be driving your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking down.
8. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Live Chat Tool
As evidenced so far, real-time customer service through a chat platform offers many benefits. However, you’ll only enjoy them if you use a platform that’s suitable to your needs.
To ensure your business growth, you’ll need to consider a few key factors before you commit to a live chat solution.
9. Intuitive and Easy Setup
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to avoid going for solutions with extensive onboarding time. Though it might offer appealing features, it will only mean you will waste too much time trying to overcome the learning curve. Additionally, new hires in your customer support department will have to spend their first few weeks with your team just trying to figure out your live chat solution.
Therefore, it’s always in your best interest to go for simple, intuitive solutions with an easy setup.
10. Compatibility With Your Current Website
It goes without saying that one of the first things you should consider is site compatibility. There’s never a good enough reason to completely reconstruct your entire website just to add a functional live chat widget to it. It’s inconvenient, wastes time and money, and forces you to go offline and lose potential customers.
If you have a website you’re satisfied with, look for live chat platforms that are fully compatible and can easily be customized to match your brand image and persona. Moreover, always test the platform before making it available to your customers. Explore all the features and ensure there are no bugs or glitches that could harm the customer experience.
11. Budget-Friendly Value
Of course, you should prioritize finding chat platforms that meet your budget requirements. As a general rule of thumb, cheaper platforms will have poorer features and more glitches. However, that doesn’t mean that you should go for the most expensive option either.
Weigh your options and find solutions with a good price/quality balance. Avoid excessively cheap and excessively expensive solutions, and always steer clear of platforms with purposefully vague pricing. You’ll want to know exactly what you’re getting and how much you’re paying for it.
12. A Free Trial Period Is a Good Sign
Reliable chat solutions with nothing to hide will almost always offer a comprehensive free trial. You’ll get anywhere between 7 and thirty days to get familiarized with the solution with no strings attached. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn more about the platform, identify potential issues, and determine whether it’s the right solution for you.
13. Cloud-Based or Self-Hosted
The hosting option could make or break the chat platform. Most commonly, you’ll have two options — cloud-based solutions or self-hosted solutions. Either could be a great choice; it all depends on your preferences.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to go for the cloud-based option if you don’t have an extensive IT infrastructure (or want greater convenience). Cloud-based platforms are maintained by the company providing the solution, and you’ll receive frequent updates, security patches, and premium support.
Self-hosted option offers you more flexibility and eliminates any data protection concerns you might have. However, you will be responsible for maintaining the systems and keeping the platform up and running.
14. Integration Capabilities With Other Software
Finally, you’ll want to look into the software’s integration capabilities. In all likelihood, you’re already using CRM software, email marketing tools, and similar solutions. For a seamless experience, you’ll want a chat platform that easily integrates with the main software you already have. It will help you consolidate data and enjoy easier analytics.
9 Ways to Improve Your Business Growth With Live Chat Software
Once you’ve examined all the key factors and found the chatbot software that best suits your needs, it’s time to put it to good use. Learn how you can improve your business growth with a live chat platform.
1. Integrate a Live Chat Button on Your Site
You can use live chat software on virtually any available communication channel — your Facebook and Instagram accounts, LinkedIn, email, and even your phone. However, you’ll reap the most benefits when you add chat to a website.
After all, most of your leads and customers will go directly to your site to learn more about your products and services. If they want to place an order, they will visit your website. If they want to track their shipment, they’ll first try to find the information on your site. Therefore, it’s critical to have a live chat capability in a place where your customers will spend most of their time.
2. Optimize Your Live Chat to Mobile Devices
When setting up your chat platform, don’t forget to optimize it for mobile devices. At the moment, 58.99% of all internet traffic comes from mobile, so the chances are high that most of your customers will try to access your platform from their smartphones or tablets.
Ensure that they have a seamless experience communicating with your support agent, regardless of the type of device they’re using.
3. Engage Visitors Before They Leave Your Site
Occasionally, your website visitors leave your site simply because they see that you don’t have what they’re looking for. However, more commonly, they leave because they can’t find what they’re looking for.
Maybe they’re searching for a specific product in your offer but can’t navigate your pages. Perhaps they don’t understand your payment policy and don’t want to bother digging through your website. Whatever the case, you can reduce your bounce rates and entice your website visitors to stay by engaging them at the right time before they leave.
A simple pop-up message saying that a live support agent is available for chat if needed can help you attract attention and improve conversions.
4. Encourage Agents to Use Their Real Names
Although many live chat solutions allow you to set up agent aliases, it’s usually best for everyone in your support team to use their real names when communicating with customers. It will eliminate any confusion (on your agent’s and your customer’s part) and help you track conversations more easily.
More importantly, however, it will help you build better relationships with your customers. Your site visitors will always know who they’re talking to, allowing them to build a more personal connection with the agents and keeping them more engaged.
5. Track Visitor Behavior to Understand Your Customers Better
Live chat software doesn’t solely enable you to communicate with your site visitors. It also allows you to track their behaviors and identify issues and opportunities. You can learn which of your pages a specific user spends most of their time on, see which products they show the most interest in, and more. Then you can use this information to pick up a conversation and build a relationship with them faster, driving your conversions.
Over 80% of all customers would do business with a company that offers a personalized experience, and you can use your live chat solution to do just that.
6. Upsell Through Live Chat
If you use your live chat solution to track user behavior, interests, and preferences, you’ll have all the information you need to improve your upselling efforts. After all, you’ll know exactly what they’re interested in, and you can offer solutions that were “made just for them.”
7. Engage in Video Chat
Video chat can be a powerful tool for building relationships. Though a regular chat may look more convenient, it’s much more difficult to build a relationship over text. If you want to truly engage your site visitors and provide them with premium support, you might want to start offering video chat assistance.
Through video chat, your agents can get a better understanding of your customer’s wants and pain points and might be able to find solutions faster. Ultimately, this will lead to better customer satisfaction and improved sales.
8. Encourage Visitors to Rate Live Chat Conversations
Whether you’re just deploying a live chat solution or have been relying on it for years, it’s always in your best interest to encourage customers to leave reviews and ratings.
Rating live chat conversations allow you to see what your agents are doing right, what can be improved, and how you can provide better support. Of course, just learning this information isn’t enough to grow your business. You’ll also need to act on the feedback you receive to truly improve the customer experience and reap the rewards.
9. Ensure Your Live Chat Is Secure
Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to ensure the utmost security of your live chat to improve business growth. There is no shortage of cybersecurity risks in this day and age, so taking precautions is strongly recommended. Even more so when working remotely.
Third parties could intercept your conversation and collect sensitive information (such as credit card details) from it if you’re not careful. Malicious links sent in chat can cause severe problems for you and your customers.
To improve customer satisfaction and inspire trust, you’ll need to ensure the utmost live chat security. A single misstep can ruin your reputation and make you liable for lawsuits.
Therefore, chat security should be your number one concern! Protect your IT infrastructure, educate your agents on significant security risks and ways to avoid them, and only use reliable live chat solutions.
Offering real-time customer service isn’t an option. It’s a necessity. Staying available to your customers 24/7, being responsive, and offering support every step of the way help you build relationships, boost engagement, improve customer satisfaction, and increase conversions. It enables you to inspire trust and loyalty and provides you with the tools you need to grow your business.