Are You Chatting With Your Customers?

Live Chat.

Another online tool with interesting opportunities.

In simple terms, live chat allows businesses to assist consumers during their online buying process while recording consumer intelligence not otherwise available.

But there’s no talking. Instead agents and consumers type notes through a small message box located on the website.

Live chat is useful on e-commerce sites, where a quick answer could potentially avert shopping cart abandonment. On sites providing technical support, live chat agents used in a support capacity can immediately share content (files, links or training documents) rather than walk users through problems.

Customers Love Chat.

Benefits of Online Chat - Heather Robertson | Digital MarketerIt’s faster than email, more efficient than navigating a complicated phone system and there is no waiting time – or very little at least.

According to the 2013 US Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study of a 1,000 regular online shoppers, “those that prefer live chat are more likely to buy frequently, live in households with higher annual incomes and be aged 31 to 50.”

The study compares live chat with other website response tools stating that it “has become the leading contact source, as 42% of full-service customers indicate using a live online chat feature vs email 23% or social media forum 16%.

ATG Global Consumer Trend considers a live chat button on a website, a huge loyalty booster as consumers know they have access to immediate help.

Businesses Love Live Chat Too.

Particularly the e-commerce and support sectors. Live chat is cheaper than the phone with fewer agents handling more calls plus the savings on toll charges.

Live chat makes immediately identifying and resolving a customer’s pain point much easier. And sometimes, an agent is there to provide advice or suggestions. To delight of many businesses, all the archived data from live chat line can be easily mined for future intelligence gathering.

Beyond that, The American Marketing Association confirmed that live chat helped increase conversions by at least 20%.

It’s not an expensive investment from a third-party supplier of both software and Chatting With Customers - Heather Robertson | Digital Marketersometimes staff. When considering a chat line remember: answering promptly means within 10 seconds and that staff are more efficient if provided with scripts and automated messages.

Is live chat for your business? Certainly if you have an e-commerce or support component there would be a strong business case.

But if live chat, isn’t for your business, consider this option.

I recently visited a website that had a live-chat icon right on the home page that said: Would you like to contact us? A click on the icon opened a pop-up window asking for my contact information and query details. I completed it.

With only 15 seconds to grab and pull a customer down a sales funnel, using technology that lures customers into the funnel produces more conversions than hoping consumers will figure it out on their own.

~Heather

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