Live chat has become increasingly popular as more people take their queries and purchases online, without desiring to speak in-person with a company representative.
We’re going to look at why live chat is a tool that your business can use to improve customer service, automate business functions, handle more leads and, ultimately, excel.
If, after reading this, you feel your business could benefit from a live chat service, you can contact a member of the team at Cymphony who will discuss with you a plan tailored to your business, that maintains your valuable brand image.
What is Live Chat?
Live chat is an online communication tool where people can send private messages to each other, and groups, which include links, images, documents, text, and more.
Messenger services you might be familiar with include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, and Skype which can be used in real-time by speaking to someone at the other end or by using bots to automate responses.
Businesses are increasingly using more communication channels to interact with customers, which, in turn, gives them a better reach and provides a better customer experience.
Managed live chat services are used by businesses on their home screens to interact with a customer within seconds of that visitor landing on their page, with Cymphony’s home page being an example.
Managed live chat, according to G2, is a way of using communication software to increase the channels of communication with people on your site. It also improve customers service by making you available 24/7.
The way managed live chat works on your website varies depending on your business, who your customers are, and how detailed your managed live chat responses need to be.
By having the autoresponder technology in place, you’re automating part of your business while not missing a lead.
You can check out the article ‘can automation improve customer service‘ to see how having a managed live chat system or a telephone answering service can help your business catch leads while improving a customer’s experience.
To give you an idea of how this software works and how it can help improve your business customer service, we’ve compiled five different benefits for you to consider before making the decision on whether live chat is a good fit for your business.
Managed Live Chat Improves Customer Engagement and Encourages Leads
Live chat is one of the quickest mediums of customer service, but this wasn’t always the case. Its design was flawed in multiple ways.
You would wait on a website that had a ‘live chat’ function for ten minutes, only to get an automated, standard message like:
‘Thanks for reaching out to us. Please call this number or visit our FAQ page – thanks!’
It makes you wonder why live chat even existed.
Well, thankfully, the technology has leapfrogged and this is no longer the case, at least with managed live chat providers such as Cymphony.
By having live chat in your armoury, you can improve the engagement a customer has with your brand, create a potential lead, or create a new website visitor.
Still wondering why businesses are increasingly using live chat?
Because it converts interest into leads. It helps real people with real problems and questions about the service they’ve purchased from you, and gives them answers to questions about services they’re looking to buy from you.
It also increases the trust and credibility your brand has. Hubspot reported that nearly one in three c-commerce (conversational commerce) buyers say they chat with businesses in order to determine if they’re trustworthy and credible.
From my personal experience, if I trust a brand and see them as more credible than the competition, it’s likely I’m going to use them and possibly become a repeat and long-standing customer, depending on what I’m buying.
Your Business can Offer Immediate Responses
Has it ever happened to you where you’ve just moved away from your desk for a minute and in that short space of time someone has gone to call you to discuss a potential opportunity of working with you?
My guess is yes, as it’s definitely happened to me before.
With a system in place such as live chat, it lowers the chances of you missing out on responding to potential clients or depending on your business, missing out on potential information.
Live chat is becoming one of the best tools that B2B companies are using on their websites to get more leads, as it allows them to respond faster, and there’s research to show how this helps.
The data below shows that speed is everything in order to get people to buy from you and get that new lead through the door.
Let’s use an imaginary situation, that’s probably close to one you’ve experienced before.
Imagine you want an answer to the same questions from two different companies. With one, you would get a response forty eight hours later, with the other, you’d have your question answered within thirty seconds (depending on how quickly you can type).
Which one are you likely going to be doing business with?
My guess is the one that answered you first through the live chat system because it’s answering what marketing folk call the ‘customer need’.
If you’re following up with a person forty eight hours later they might have forgotten about it and it’s no longer of interest to them, or worse, they might have gone with a competitor with a faster response time.
Improve Your Website and Your Customer Experience
The average user stays on a website for less than fifteen seconds according to The Daily Egg. This is dubbed the fifteen-second rule.
Why do they stay on the website for less than fifteen seconds?
Usually, it’s because there’s nothing on your website to engage with or there’s no one on your website they can engage with to have their questions answered.
By having a managed live chat system in place, your chances of giving that web browser a positive experience and of them staying around for more than fifteen seconds jumps dramatically.
You’ve now hooked them in and got them in conversation with someone.
You’ve reassured them they are speaking with someone who is going to help answer their question, or like the example further down, take your details for a more bespoke response.
Even if the customer doesn’t buy the first time around, the chances of you getting that customer as a lead and capturing their information are much higher, compared to not having any information capture methods such as live chat.
Live chat is becoming so useful to customers and website visitors. Forrester found in their insights that 30% of customers expect live chat on a website. That statistic was taken back in 2013 so is likely to be much higher today.
If I asked you to guess what the number one preferred channel of communication for customer service is, what would you say?
If you said live chat, you would be correct for the majority of regions.
If you’re still thinking: “Yes, but that article you’ve referenced is four years old”, here’s a more recent statistic for you from a 2020 report by Hubspot – 64% of people across generations said they prefer messaging to a call or email.
If your business isn’t willing to take the time to install a live chat system, you’re sacrificing the potential of more customers, going off the study pictured above.
This brings us nicely into our next point because not only does live chat reduce response times, it collects leads when you’re not there or in out of office hours.
Live Chat Helps People When You’re Not There – Welcome Automation
So we’ve looked at how faster response times can improve not only the number of leads but also give your customer a better experience. Now you might be thinking “That makes sense, but what if we’re a small business and don’t have time? Or “What if I’m out of the office and I can’t respond to the messages I’m getting within five minutes?”
Our answer: chatbots.
They’re a great invention and these days you’re able to customise your responses based on the most common questions.
And before you start thinking of all the horrible stories of chatbots, we know, they used to be horrible.
The great thing about chatbots is that they can be used to gather customer feedback so you can improve the service next time.
So, after you’ve answered 150, 500, 5,000, or 50,000 people’s queries, you’ll have a better system to see what they thought of the experience, then be able to improve it for them or the next customer.
By automating one of the business‘ processes you’ve, in some respect, bought yourself time to handle other operations, such as business development or time in R&D enhancing your product or service.
Automation also has the power to significantly reduce your costs over a longer time period, which frees up other business resources and capital to be spent elsewhere, to further improve your business.
By bringing in a managed live chat system, whether you use it as a chatbot or you have a live person answering, you’ve essentially added another member to the team for a fraction of the onboarding cost, who will make sure they don’t miss interacting with a potential web browser.
Have you ever found yourself browsing through products or looking at a service to see how you could use it, you felt happy with it, were ready to purchase, but then didn’t?
It’s definitely happened to me and it’s normally because something came up that took me elsewhere and drove me to another site.
You just had one final question about the product or service being sold that you couldn’t find on the product or service page, the FAQ’s, or any supporting documents so you hit the back button and searched Google to find your solution.
It happens more than you would like to think.
So guess what? It’s probably happening to your business as well.
As you can see in this example with Tutor Doctor, I asked a question that’s specific to what I needed and would not be able to be answered in the FAQs.
The representative couldn’t answer the question and promptly asked for my details to put me through to a person who could go through a tailor-made plan with me and offer additional support.
Thanks to the messenger representative and the quick ninety-second reply, the business now has a new lead with all the relative contact information.
As great as FAQ’s are and don’t get me wrong, in my opinion, it should be a standard feature of business websites, especially for a sector such as retail, what do you write in them for a question such as:
“We run a local independent business and I was looking at the possibility of using your software to integrate with X and X specifically, but I need X amount of licenses. What’s the difference in pricing and how complicated is the management of these licenses?”
Good luck answering that in detail on your FAQ page, and if you’re not answering that question quickly it might be a deal-breaker to that lead; they’re likely going elsewhere.
Personal Assistant vs Personal Chatbot – Which is Right for You?
With an increasing amount of businesses now moving to a digital structure due to COVID-19, now could be the best time for you to invest in a managed live chat service or a virtual personal assistant.
The question is, which one is best for your business?
You can get a better look at how a virtual assistant could help your business by giving the article ‘Five ways a telephone answering service can increase your leads‘ a read.
Which will be more effective for your business relies on what your business does or sells, how you communicate with leads, and what information you need to be informing your leads about.
Do You Need Managed Live Chat in Your Business?
Cymphony is always happy to help when it comes to discussing how one of their solutions could help your business grow, while ensuring you keep your trusted brand image.
You can contact a member of the Cymphony team to discuss a tailored solution for your business needs and how live chat could help your business excel.
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