Taking a proactive approach to reach out to your customers is the name of the game in the current competitive market space, and live chat software can help you do just that. When used correctly, it’s a tool that can work wonders in increasing conversion rates dramatically. ‘Used correctly’ being the operative word here.
The rendition of the software you use is a decisive factor in determining whether your customer outreach efforts will yield positive results or not. In principle, an effective live chat tool is one that’s intuitive, easy for operators to use, and responsive.
Together, all these elements ensure that customers and new visitors on a website get the information they seek swiftly. On the flip side, an awkward, poorly designed, and clunky chat platform can prove more detrimental to a business than having no live chat support at all.
The impact of a robust live chat feature on the website is supported by statistical data. Did you know,
› 29% of customers claimed they had mentioned a positive live chat experience to friends and colleagues
› 38% of customers said they were more likely to buy from companies with live chat support
› 51% of consumers maintained they were more likely to revisit a business with a live chat feature on the website
These statistics are a clear indicator that leveraging live chat can have a significant impact on the user experience. If you’ve ever considered adopting this feature for your business website, you’d be aware that there are scores of different live chat products out there. Given this broad spectrum of choices, picking out a product that’s just right for your business needs to be a deliberative effort.
To help you do just that, we bring you everything there is to know about live chat software, how does live chat work, and how some of the topmost global companies are using this tool to generate innovative online support tools:
» What is Live Chat Software?
The live chat is an online customer service software, powered by web analytics capabilities and helpdesk software, designed to offer live chat support software. It was launched in 2002 and currently being offered as a SaaS product.
The most common use of this software is to offer instant support and information to customers visiting a website, allowing them to interact with a business in real time. Over the years, Live Chat has established itself as a medium to facilitate better engagement with web visitors. It can be used effectively to initiate conversations with returning customers, first-time visitors, and extend support to buyers in real time.
All in all, live chat is an impressive rendition of what customer outreach and support should look like in today’s competitive milieu. Its use helps to:
› Close deals,
› Drive sales
› Earn customer loyalty
» How does Live Chat Work?
The answer to ‘how does live chat work’ lies in the steadfast understanding of how this tool adds value to your business operations. All you have to do for availing the benefits of a live chat is to sign up for a product that’s best-suited to your business needs.
Next, add the code to your business website, identify the perfect placement for the chat widget, and watch it work its magic.
Once online chat for business is live, it gives visitors access to messaging channels that functions much like an IVR for a chat. This allows them to reach out to the right set of executives in a company to have their queries or issues addressed.
» Why Live Chat is Crucial to Business Growth?
Now, many businesses question the very need to invest in a live chat feature when they already have support channels like phone, emails and contact forms working for them. Well, all of these are great mediums to offer customer support, in their own right. However, they all lack the one feature that live chat tool can bring to the table – a proactive approach.
Be it email, phone calls, or contact forms, each of these customer support tools involve a waiting period, which is something that does not sit well with the customers today. Every second you make your customers wait to have their questions addressed, they are woefully aware of different competing platforms who do offer instant support.
If you don’t want to risk losing out on customers or your lead conversion, live chat is the most bankable option for adopting a proactive stance. This customer support tool gives your user base and potential buyers what they seek even before they ask for it.
Live chat software gets integrated with multiple other tools that help in improving the overall customer experience and making a journey fluid and seamless. Not only does this allow customers to reach a business whenever and wherever they desire, but also helps in increasing lead generation.
Features like pre-chat form can be customized to collect information on leads. Plus, the tool itself helps to keep any lead successfully engaged with the brand.
One of the primary reasons why businesses deploy the live chat feature on their website is to offer instant support to customers and not leave them hanging. However, the possibilities of what you can do with online chat for business are endless.
» How Top Global Companies are Using Live Chat Software Innovatively
Prompt conversation support with minimal response time is one of the obvious value additions that live chat software brings to your business. But it can do a lot more.
The tool is great for collecting instant feedback and increasing the overall efficiency of your customer support operators. This is a surefire tool to load up on customer love, which, in turn, translates to good business.
Here’s how some of the top global companies today are using live chat to drive business growth:
Of course, customer support is one of the primary applications of live chat. There is no denying that emails and phone calls remain a crucial part of the customer support setup, however, over the past five years or so, business leaders across industry verticals have taken the support process to a whole different level with the live chat feature on website.
› Higher Efficiency: Unlike emails and phone calls, live chat can provide instant real-time support. A shining example of this would be HP’s live chat tool, Virtual Agent that only addresses but also resolves issues in real time.
With a live chat feature, the efficiency of customer support does not get hampered by a sudden rise in volume. Handling multiple chat windows at the same time is a lot easier than replying to ten different emails or answering ten different calls at the same time.
› Visitor Information: Smart businesses go a step further and use this tool to collect visitor information while providing customer support at the same time.
› Canned Responses: The canned response feature in live chat software is a great way to save on time by sending out pre-drafted responses to frequently asked questions. This saves time, makes the process more streamlined and also helps avoid typos and errors, thus, maintaining the quality of customer support services.
› Swift Support: Online chat for business can also be used to direct customer queries and complaints to the concerned department or executives better equipped at handling them more seamlessly. No waiting period requires your customers to hold the line and listen to music and pre-recorded messages on a loop until the right person for the job is available to talk to them.
In case of live chat, admins or team leaders can take over an ongoing interaction, if they feel that it requires specialized inputs.
› Pre-Chat Forms: A lot of businesses are further streamlining the process by adding pre-chat forms to the chat window, where users can choose the department they’d like to connect with. Skoda has gone a step further an incorporated video live chat tool on its website that offers visitors a virtual tour before directing their queries to specific departments or product hosts.
Sales is another key area where Live Chat software is being used extensively to drive business growth. Here’s how:
› Tracking Visitors Behaviour: Live Chat is a valuable tool for tracking the number of visitors on your website in real time and the pages they land on. Also, businesses use a chat tool to track the time visitors spend on their website and the pages that record the highest engagement.
This makes online chat a great tool to understand which aspects of their site are working well and which ones need improvement. It also allows businesses to understand consumer behavior and expectations and leverage these insights to offer better user experience.
› Increasing Lead Conversions: Each visitor who initiates a chat is a potential lead. The same holds true for chats initiated by customer support executives. Businesses are making the most of this opportunity by saving the information assimilated during these chats and using this information as a future reference for lead conversion.
Having a clear understanding of what customers are looking to buy, and their purchasing pattern is a great asset that drives lead conversions. Tapping into the full potential of live chat for lead conversions, gift experience company Truly Concierge has turned its live chat feature into a search tool. Doing so helps their visitors to find what they are looking for straight away, thus, minimizing the risk of abandonment.
› Multi-Pronged Approach: Smart businesses understand that acing just one aspect of customer outreach isn’t enough to thrive in today’s cut-throat competitive environment. That’s why some of the most prominent global players use the insights gathered through live chats as a base to build up a multi-pronged approach for lead conversion.
For instance, they send out targeted emails or text messages highlighting special offers, discounts, and new arrival to convert visitors who did not materialize into customers on their first few visits to their website.
› Upselling: Live chat is also effective for upselling your products. For instance, a customer has already purchased on a website, and businesses can now drive targeted sales by using online chat to recommend more relevant products to them before they exit the website. Initiating a chat at the right time is the key to capitalize on the sales funnel process.
Luxury beauty brand Estee Lauder has done this upselling one good by using its online chat to dispense beauty and skincare advice, and of course, topping it up with recommendations of products.
Some of the textbook examples of live chat being used to its maximum potential reveal that this tool works best when used in two ways – for initiating chats and by setting chat triggers. Initiating a chat helps your customers know that your care for them.
Whereas, chat triggers are crucial for certain parts of the website like the landing pages. Triggers also help to build a sense of accessibility. Both these factors encourage visitors to interact with a business, and which point, live chat can be used for business intelligence.
Businesses today are continually using this feature to collect customer feedback and improve their user experience accordingly. With live chat support at their disposal, businesses no longer need to run elaborate surveys to understand customer expectations.
This information gets extracted during a chat interaction by slipping relevant question intermittently. A perfect way to learn about customer loyalties, expectations, and the perception of your products among your target audience is to add a live chat to your website.
» Why Innovation in Live Chat Software Matters?
In the times of AI, machine learning and data science, newer tools and solutions aimed at improving user experience across industry verticals are being rolled out at a lightning fast pace. This, in turn, has left the consumer accustomed to nothing but the best in terms of quality of service.
Leveraging the potential of live chat software with the latest innovative twists – be it automation, use of AI or a complete communication suite – can give you a certain edge over your competitors and earn you the reputation of a business that cares.
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