The past few years have seen live chat completely change the way online businesses carry out marketing and sales. Gone are the days prospects would email and wait several hours to receive a response to a sales-related query, or call an 800 number and be stuck in a cyclical loop of annoying prompts and call trees. With live chat customers can now get in touch and receive a response almost instantaneously.
In this piece we will talk about five ways live chat can be instrumental in improving your marketing and sales efforts.
1. Live Chat Helps Generate New Leads
Website live chat gives an experience very similar to what a brick and mortar store would and that’s one of the reasons why people like it so much. It provides consumers with access to a sales rep who’s available to provide answers to questions about products and services.
52% of consumers are more likely to repurchase from a company who offer live chat support – Kayako
In addition, live chat also provides your team with the data you need in order to proactively market and sell. You no longer need to wait for a customer to contact you in order to engage them. Live chat solutions come with engagement features that allow you to proactively reach out to website visitors based on where they’re coming from, what they’re viewing, their purchase and browsing history, the time of day and many other factors that you may want to consider. This opens up a world of possibilities to target, engage, and convert visitors into customers.
Moreover, customers and prospects want to be engaged proactively. They want to learn of the best deals, products and service updates. This not only gives them the information they need to make informed decisions but also keeps them loyal.
By proactively engaging site visitors based on their navigation and onsite behavior you are making suggestions based on their previous purchases and browsing history, providing customers with a personalized experience. Based on these interactions you’re able to then shortlist and qualify a number of chats as leads that can then be passed on to sales for further follow up.
Live chat is one of the lowest-cost customer acquisition tools on the market. You don’t need any expensive integrations to get it to work with your CRM. The software and infrastructure is part of your live chat widget and all you need is your CRM to easily push leads to your sales team.
2. Improved Customer Experiences
Consumers speak of memorable experiences, and delivering one at the very start of the customer journey helps lay the grounds for a solid first impression.
29% of consumers have told friends or colleagues about a positive live chat experience – Kayako
Consumers tell their friends and colleagues about positive live chat experiences more often than they do for negative ones. But still, a fifth of consumers have talked about negative experiences.
It is critical for businesses to ensure live chat best practices are followed each time a user is engaged. It is these exchanges with prospects and customers that positively market your business and help define your brand.
Econsultancy discovered that 73% of customers were satisfied with their live chat experience, compared to just 61% of email users and a trailing 44% of phone users.
Live chat – when done right – contributes to positive word of mouth, helps to win new customers, and helps businesses grow.
3. Helps Technical Queries (Pre-Sales)
For instant support, customers opt for live chat. But they’re not always satisfied as most customer experiences with live chat end with frustration. Depending on the nature of your business, many times consumers will want to ask technical questions about your product or service. To answer these questions properly, support teams may need to be involved … and other times support may even need to escalate the issue to your engineering team.
95% of customers value thorough, high-quality support more than speed – Kayako
How well you do this will set the tone for what support will be like post sales. The impression you leave is going to have a direct impact on whether or not a prospect will move forward and make a purchase. Because of this it’s absolutely critical that your teams work together to address the questions prospects have, since unanswered questions can cause shoppers to abandon carts, and to leave brands.
Businesses prefer speed and quicker responses, however, unlike businesses consumers are more interested in getting their issues resolved.
4. Optimized Sales Funnel
With live chat you can go beyond marketing a product, and start converting leads in real-time.
You should focus on providing answers to all sales queries and aim to seize every opportunity to fill the shopping carts of website visitors or convert them to a sales opportunity.
Live chat increases website conversions by 20% or more on average, and customers who use live chat are 3x more likely to make purchases than those who don’t. Your focus should be to add live chat to your website and define a strategy by which you’ll engage and sell to website visitors. Your live chat strategy should take into consideration how you’ll be engaging these prospects, what products you’ll be promoting and how your teams will be responding to technical queries that come in. Every team involved in the customer journey should work together to support sales, and their customer communication tool of choice should be live chat. A report by ICMI found that website visitors that engage with your company via live chat are worth 4.5 times more than visitors that don’t.
Furthermore, Forrester noted that there was a 10% increase in the average order value when reviewing the sales from customers who engaged in a chat before making a purchase, than those that did not use chat.
Forrester Research also revealed that 57% of consumers will abandon their cart if they can’t get a question answered, even when they’re ready to complete their purchase.
In the same study, 44% of respondents also stated that the ability to have questions answered by a live person while shopping is one of the most important features of an online retail store.
5. Provide Instant Support
In addition to customers being able to get answers to pre-sales queries, live chat plays a big role in customer retention by allowing your team to provide instant support to customers who need it most.
Research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) shows that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
Acquiring a new customer can cost 5x as much as retaining an existing one – Invesp
Make sure your customer success and support teams are always available to help customers gain value from your solution and find answers to any problems and issues they may be facing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re unable to resolve an issue in record time. Do not compromise the quality of support you provide as consumers are more interested in getting their issues resolved, even if it takes a bit longer.
Wrapping it all up
Study after study has ranked live chat as the channel most preferred by customers because of its immediacy, the enhanced experience it offers and the resulting customer satisfaction.
Prospects and customers now expect businesses to have live chat and for them to be able to get a response from a business within a few minutes.
44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person during an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. In addition, according to Forrester, live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate. Most companies get an ROI within weeks of adding live chat to their websites
Live chat has been proven to increase leads and new customer acquisition and is a must-have communication channel for any business wanting to remain competitive.
Look to implement a live chat solution that will help empower your marketing, sales and support teams. Give your resources the tools they need to remain competitive by being able to engage, market, sell and support your products and services.