We are living in the times when whatever we need must be on our fingertips, just a tap or swipe away. Such has been our pampering due to technological innovation and disruption that today we just do not want something, we want it instantly. Who knows, in a world pervaded by Industry 4.0, the word “delayed” might soon become a synonym of “denied” and vice versa!
A website being the foremost medium for a business to showcase its products and services must not only enhance the users’ experience but also create more value for the visitors. In the sea of opportunities, there are endless strategies. To grab the opportunity of attracting leads and converting them into customers, one of the most significant marketing strategies being leveraged extensively for the past few years is live chat. And it promises to be of even higher value in the future.
According to American Marketing Association, Live chats enhance the conversion by about 20% and return on investment by a whopping margin of nearly 305%. Another report by Superoffice finds live chat as the leading method through which online customers communicate with the businesses.
Let us try to comprehend what makes Live Chats so much popular in the Digital Marketing landscape with the following nine reasons:
Live Chat Makes a Website Interactively Responsive
An immaculate website is the fountainhead of effective marketing. A buyer’s journey often begins online when she looks for a solution and is bombarded with options. In a competitive market, you have little time to have an impact on your audience. If you are unable to make a prospect’s journey hassle-free, she will abandon your website and go to your competitor’s even though you were capable of providing the solution she was seeking.
The graph below, as per a study conducted by Superoffice, suggests how less is the response time for live chats compared to other communication media like email and social media platforms.
In a study conducted by Forrester Research, it was found that 57% of customers abandon the cart if they do not get their questions answered despite willing to make the purchase. Further, 44% of respondents believe having their queries resolved by a live person while shopping is one of the most important features of online shopping.
Therefore, the live chat feature on a website is highly important. Moreover, live chat as a digital chat tool provides one of the most valuable things for a digital marketer—feedback. From the changes and updates required in the content to the explanation of issues faced by the customer, the mechanism of quick feedback can give you the insights to enrich your strategies. Besides, feedback allows you to determine the aspects of a product or a solution like price, product features, and customer support, etc. that motivate visitors to get converted. Laden with such insights, you can enhance your future product development endeavors.
Live Chat Builds Confidence Amongst Buyers
Whether your target audience comprises of seasoned decision-makers or newbies, the first thing they will do is go online to understand the problem, and then determine its solution. For prospects, no matter where in the sales funnel, live chat builds trust and credibility.
According to Telus International 77% of live chat users believe chat tools give a positive impression about a company.
Say, a potential customer is not clear about an offer you have launched on your website. Or she wants to know more about a service, apart from what you have mentioned in your marketing email. Or simply, she wants reassurance on whether what she is expecting aligns with what you have promised to offer. Providing an instant answer will position you as a trusted partner with an authoritative disposition.Technically speaking, live chat is an extension of your website. But on a broader level, including all aspects of your business, live chat is an extension of your brand. Click To Tweet
An unbranded live chat may make your prospects feel alienated by popping up like an unwanted feature shoved in deliberately. Visually branded live chat feature along with personalized sales approach will label you trustworthy.
Live Chat Personalizes the Buying Experience
A prospective customer would prefer to have all the information about products or services before she decides to procure. If you can educate her at the very initial stages of her buying journey with your personalized approach and an interactive live chat, it is highly probable that she will make a smooth transition down the sales funnel.
In a research conducted by Salesforce with over 6700 consumers and business buyers globally to better understand how the customer expectations are changing, one of the key findings is enumerated in the graph as follows:
In reviewing the sales from customers, Forrester noted that the average order value increased by 10% from the customers who used live chat before buying compared to the ones who did not use live chat.
Live chat enables you to leverage content by targeting specific landing pages, blogs, or articles for a particular lead. It not only clarifies their doubts but also accelerates their purchasing journey.
For B2B companies, the sales cycles are comparatively longer, as many stakeholders are involved in taking the final decision. Online chat is highly beneficial for the industries in the B2B landscape because not only are the stakeholders able to clarify their objections quickly, you, too, can put a positive brand impression through personalization.
Live Chat Eases Customer Engagement
Technological innovation has given us marvels like chatbots and scripting. With live chats, however, along with technology, it is the human touch that makes it a popular means to fill the gaps in your sales and marketing efforts. Once you have personalized the live chat, you have unlocked one of the elements considered vital for customer acquisition and retention: engagement.
When you communicate with prospects via a medium, you are interacting with them. But when your prospects are enjoying that communication and getting value out of it, you are engaging them. Click To Tweet Live chat is such a medium that can be leveraged easily to accommodate personalization and, consequently, customer engagement.
Live Chat Customer Engagement & Customer Service Statistics
Website visitors engaging with your company through live chat are worth 4.5X more than those visitors that do not. (Source: ICMI)
Every customer has a word about good or bad experiences. Businesses, therefore, must ensure best practices of live chat are followed since it has a significant impact on both your brand and business.
Live Chat Enhances the Key Moments in a Customer’s Journey
In the entire customer’s journey, there are certain key moments that, based on the consumer’s set of requirements and intent, shape their preferences, and ultimately allow them to decide on purchasing. In these key moments, consumer expectations are high, and if you can come up with quick, on-demand digital answers to their queries in a live chat, you will have a competitive advantage.
Another significant aspect of live chat is that, it results in a higher mode of communication, if you have managed to impress your audience. Once you have won the trust of your prospects and displayed that you can meet their demands, the live chat may lead to a sales call, or a video chat, or a product demo. Therefore, with live chats, you will get access to several touchpoints to take advantage of, and if you succeed, there lies an opportunity for micro-conversion. The prospect will move from the awareness phase to the consideration phase, and finally to the decision phase.
Live Chat Identifies the Pain Points of the Customers
A customer leaves your site after a live chat. Technically, the chat is over. Your association, however, with that chat should not be over yet. If you want to increase your online sales using live chat, take a look backwards. You can learn a lot of things from live chat quality assurance. One of them is the set of pain points experienced by the customer that you had failed to address or simply overlooked.
At this instant, you can realize the importance of personalization because it helps you to quickly determine what went right and what went wrong, and identify the pain points. Achieving 100% conversion is a possibility far from reality. You can, however, find trends that can help you in addressing dicey situations.
Certain companies have made their live chat agents submit feedback mandatorily on time. Posted on the front lines, live chat agents are the best people who can give the raw information on the causes of success and failure. Evaluate both, especially the failures to weed out the unwanted from a conversation.
To know what works for your business is essential, but equally important, is to understand what is not working. When it comes to increasing online sales, live chat can determine both the aspects well, allowing your sales and marketing teams to adjust their campaigning accordingly.
Live Chat Resolves Technical Queries in an Easier Way
Fast and quick responses are a good thing. But many times, what customers want is the resolution of their issues. So, speed becomes secondary, which many customer experience personnel, including live chat agents, fail to understand. In pursuit of giving an instant reply, many customers are left unsatisfied and frustrated.
The power of live chat lies in the ease with which it can resolve the most complex query a prospect or a customer might have. What you only have to do is collaborate with the expert without taking much time, and then answer. Whether the technical expertise comes from the support team or the engineering team, always remember that the pre-sales support sets the tone for what the customer might expect during the post-sale support. A little delay or negligence on your part will quickly and easily be identified by the customer who will bid you adieu and shake hands with one of your competitors.
Provides Prompt Support
Up until now, our focus was mainly on pre-sales live chat—visitors of our websites and leads whom every business strives hard to convert into customers. The real character of a business, however, is identified by how well it communicates with its existing customers.
A 5% increase in customer retention rate results in the increase in profits by 25% to 95%. (Source: Bain & Company)
Customer retention is as necessary as customer acquisition, and sometimes, even better. Experts believe that the cost of acquiring a new customer can go up to five times than that of keeping hold of an existing one. Therefore, apart from answering pre-sales queries with diligence, businesses must ensure their live chat agents are providing instant support to their patrons.
Boosts the Return on Investment
Any tool that is highly probable to show a positive impact on the ROI is implemented without a second thought. Live chats, apart from enhancing the buyer’s journey, can also boost the ROI in several ways. Queries resolved in the live chats save the expenses that you might have put in phone calls. Thus, both staffing and infrastructure costs are minimized by implementing an effective live chat strategy.
Live chats also enhance the website experience that, in turn, increases brand loyalty. Moreover, compared to managing support escalations over the phone, live chat reduces the support agent burnout as it can handle several conversations at the same time. The rapid resolution of issues through live chat results in the overall reduction of the customer service cost.
The preceding diagram summarizes the importance of live chat in numbers. Making your website dynamic and interactive to grab not only the customers’ attention but also their trust is what makes live chat prevalent. It also empowers you with the ease of personalization and the ease of engagement, thus allowing you to leverage the key moments in a customer’s journey.
With live chat, you can categorize the pain points of your customers who have abandoned the live chat window, and identify what went wrong. Click To Tweet You can then ameliorate your sales and marketing campaigns along with resolving complex queries and providing instant support to leads, prospects, and existing customers.
The immediacy of live chat aligns with the temperament of today’s consumers. Professionals, irrespective of which generation they belong to, are making decisions via the digital platform. According to the Telus International report, 20% of Gen X and Gen Y customers (between age group 18 & 40) use the online chat on the website they visit. In contrast, baby boomers and seniors use online chat almost half as frequently as their counterparts are doing. The change in trends with demographics, thus, is quite evident. In such a scenario, a quick solution providing live chat will become an indispensable tool for businesses to remain competitive in the digital landscape of the future.
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