The How and Why of Live Chat
Live chat used to be “a nice option to have.” Its job was to look flashy and make customers feel confident that if all else failed, they could get their questions answered. But live chat is increasingly becoming an essential part of the online customer experience. The modern-day customer expects an unparalleled level of customer service and they want it now. Just like the salespeople at a high-end department store, live chat waits patiently until a customer asks for help and then answers the customer’s questions quickly and cheerfully. At least, that’s the ideal. The presence of live chat can only get you so far. How effective it is ultimately depends on you and your team. Read on to learn more about why live chat is here to stay and how to step up your live chat game.
Why Your Customers Love Live Chat
63% of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat (Source: eMarketer). Why? Because customers want answers NOW and live chat is fast! That means the stakes are high, but so are the rewards.
- 57% of customers report abandoning their purchase if they can’t get their questions answered quickly enough (Source: Forrester).
- Conversely, at 73% live chat has the highest satisfaction levels of any other customer service channel, like email or phone (Source: Econsultancy).
Live chat can give customers what they want when they want it, but that’s not where the magic stops.
Why You Should Love Live Chat
That customer satisfaction translates into dollar signs for your company. B2B companies who have used live chat have seen a 20% increase in conversions on average (Source: American Marketing Association). eMarketer reports that 35% more people made a purchase online after using live chat, and just having live chat available leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour (Source: Forrester).
How to Do It Well
Customers love live chat because it’s fast. Average response times for email and social media are 12 and 10 hours respectively. Meanwhile, live chat response times sit around 2 minutes on average (Source: SuperOffice). But that doesn’t just happen on its own. It’s up to the sales teams to keep those response times low. Reps are 85% more likely to have productive conversations if they respond in less than 1 minute (Source: ChatFunnels). Here are a few suggestions to get those response times down and keep them there:
- Track the performance of the reps and update results to encourage competition and improvement
- Dedicate reps to certain chats or times so everyone knows who is responsible for which chat
- Personalize the conversations to optimize the customer experience
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