Customer service is the backbone of any business, playing a crucial role in building a sustainable customer base and allowing companies to flourish. Implementing live chat customer support comes with a variety of benefits to both your business and customers.
In this digital age, live chat is an integral part of business because providing a platform to communicate with customers in real-time is an excellent way to connect with and support them.
In fact, live chat generates satisfaction levels of 73 percent, compared to just 61 percent for email and 44 percent for phone.
But it’s not only your customer satisfaction levels that stand to benefit – customer retention improves as well. In fact, over 63 percent of consumers reported that they are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.
So why exactly do customers love live chat?
Here are six reasons live chat is winning in the battle for the hearts and minds of your customers, and why you need to add it to your customer service channel now:
1. Live chat is convenient for customers
Live chat is convenient for many reasons:
- Live chat connects customers instantly with an agent. No need to dial a number and press button after button before you even get to talk to an agent.
- Live chat allows customers to multi-task. This is perhaps the greatest benefit. Over 51 percent of customers like live chat precisely for this reason. So even if customers have a short wait, they can get on with doing something else.
- The wait time is negligible. No more getting stuck on hold for hours on end – customer queries are promptly addressed.
- The conversation can be kept for the future. It’s easier to guide users through issues when their previous interactions can be referred back to for context.
- Customer queries are resolved quickly. Emails often require a lengthy back and forth, live chat can resolve issues in one session.
- Customers can have their purchase-related queries answered on the spot. This is a massive advantage considering 44 percent of consumers think the ability to talk to an agent while purchasing online is one of the best features a website can offer. Customers really do appreciate your help when it comes to buying decisions.
2. Live chat has higher ROI
Businesses are always striving to find cost-effective customer service solutions. Live chat is certainly one of them.
Phone and email are mainstays of customer support and have been for many years. However, it takes time and resources to keep up with these setups and they come with several frustrations, like wait times and back-and-forths.
Live chat tools, on the other hand, are comparatively cheap to implement, and what’s more, live chat provides a host of extra benefits making it a superior communication channel.
Offering real-time customer service and the chance to address multiple queries at once saves time, labor, and ultimately money for your company.
3. Live chat provides a competitive advantage
How often do you see a live chat option available on a website?
It's true that there are many companies that have implemented live chat in recent years, but not so many (or with success) that it has become commonplace. Live chat is still new enough.
Herein lies a great opportunity.
Why not step into the breach and gain an edge over your competition by offering live chat on your website?
The many benefits live chat brings means that, eventually, businesses won’t be able to afford to miss out. Brands without live chat will become a thing of the past. Until then, you can get ahead of the pack. Put your offering in place before your competitors. Make live chat and quality customer service the core to your brand’s identity. Once you’ve mastered your live chat and customer support offering, then you have the tools to create leads and convert them into loyal customers.
Use live chat, train your agents, and take your business to another level.
Related: 15 Live Chat Best Practices to Deliver Superior Customer Service
4. Live chat saves time
“When it comes to people, customers expect the same quick response they are used to getting from electronic equipment and technology.” –Shep Hyken
One of the best ways to grow a successful business is by maximizing productivity in the same amount of time. Live chat can help.
The first thing to do is to analyze response times and time spent to resolve issues. Then, you'll see that live chat can help you cut back on these times significantly. To put into perspective just how rapid live chat can be, Zopim analyzed more than 85K chats and found that, on average, an agent replies to a customer query in less than 23 seconds. Average resolution time is no more than 42 seconds.
And it’s not just about the time you save yourself, but the time you save for your customers too.
Compare the resolution times of live chat with the average email reply time of top 100 US retailers below.
And with the first call response times of US companies.
What about social media response times?
On Facebook and Twitter...
There is just so much time to be saved.
Crunch the numbers and you quickly realize that live chat has faster response times than pretty much every other customer support channel, and by big margins too. This means you can close more than 60 customer tickets an hour with just one live chat agent. Conversely, not a single customer query has been answered in an hour on Twitter, Facebook, email, or phone.
Convert the time you save into money and you can see why live chat is the best approach to customer services.
5. Live chat increases sales
Speaking from my personal experience, live chat boosts online sales.
As high as 83 percent of consumers need some type of support when they are making an online transaction. That is why people prefer buying from websites with live chat. They can get queries answered quickly. Live chat support during checkout increases conversion rates.
As an example, Post Affiliate Pro reported a 23 percent increase in conversion rate when they implemented live chat on their website.
It’s best practice to have at least one agent available at any time because, as Forrester reported, 45 percent of US consumers would leave a website in the middle of an online transaction if there is no one to answer their questions and concerns.
Another report says that 77 percent of consumers said they need to talk to a real person before making a purchase online.
Without live chat, you’re losing out on sales. And can you really afford to do that?
Looking at the statistics, it’s clear how important live chat is for delivering the best possible customer experience and increasing sales for your business.
6. Live chat builds long-term relationships
For the sustainability of your business, building long-term relationships with customers is an absolute necessity, because it increases satisfaction and improves customer experience.
Satisfied customers are less likely to switch to the competition. Stats show that 89 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand after a poor customer support experience. Not only that, but 86 percent of customers will pay 25 percent more for a better customer experience.
Live chat is a fantastic way to build long-term relationships with your customers. When customers feel you are there to listen, bonds are easier to form, and loyalty comes from that.
In fact, 73 percent of consumers think that friendly customer support makes them fall in love with a company, whereas 52 percent have made multiple purchases from a company after a positive initial customer service experience.
It all comes down to creating a great experience up front. Provide superior customer support with live chat on their first visit, and you are much more likely to get a customer for life. These loyal customers are worth up to 10x the value of the first purchase.
Live chat is definitely winning the customer support race
If you want to be great every time and keep your customers coming back, then there is no better way to do it than with live chat. Get a head start on your competition, set up your live chat offering, and watch your sales and revenue grow.
Start providing your customers the instant communication they need and watch customer satisfaction scores skyrocket.
With that in mind, does your business or website use live chat?
How's it been working?
Let us know in the comments below.