Last updated on February 21, 2020
Online businesses have sparked quite a trend over the past decade, primarily because people have become greatly dependent on the internet. The increased dependence on the internet helped open countless opportunities for businesses to thrive. While there are several advantages to putting up a business online, it also has its disadvantages.
One of these disadvantages is the virtual setup of the business itself. Since people cannot actually see the company, online businesses need to step up their game and make extra efforts to reach their target market. In addition, virtual businesses must find a way to initiate and seamless and convenient method of communication for their customers. Without a clear and accessible way for customers to reach an online business, it decreases the chances of converting leads into actual customers.
A great way to address both problems is the incorporation of live chat service into the business’ virtual presence.
Live chat has likewise helped propel customers to return to the business’ website or online shop and make repeated purchases. According to American Express, about two-thirds of American customers prefer to support and purchase from companies offering excellent helpdesk service. Approximately 63% of consumers have cited that they are most likely to revisit a website or online shop that has live chat customer service.
Whether live chat is being used to initiate conversations with customers and entice them to send their feedback and concerns, it remains a crucial factor in maintaining the reliability and efficiency of a business. Businesses can also use live chat to monitor the activities of customers and site visitors.
Below are four additional benefits that live chat can bring to online businesses and businesses looking to put up an online shop or website:
Live chat drives faster response rates because it supports real-time communication. Unlike phone calls that enable limited assistance or email support that takes longer responses, live chat can cater to a higher volume of customer queries simultaneously. With inquiries being entertained and answered immediately, customer satisfaction gradually increases. In addition, quick responses help lessen the queue of customer feedback, thereby providing support agents to sift through each message and determine urgent concerns from those that are not.
The main reason for the continuous development of customer service is to be able to provide better support to a wider range of customer concerns. Live chat enables online businesses and business websites to deliver just that. As a result, customers feel more convenient and satisfied with the assistance they receive. For instance, if a customer is curious or interested in a particular product, they simply have to reach out to the shop or business’ support agents through their live chat portal and there is a high possibility that they can receive a quick and concise answer to their query.
Some consumers prefer talking to an agent while purchasing an item online, especially if they have specific questions about a product. Given that live chat does not require face-to-face interaction, it is easier for most customers to voice out their concerns and reach out to brands that they support or those that pique their interest. Even better, live chat allows businesses to provide 24/7 support.
Today’s live chat is undeniably less costly compared to the use of phone support. It is also easier to set up that it is suitable even for startups or small businesses. It maximizes their limited manpower and resources, thereby enabling them to be on par with bigger competitors while cutting down on operational costs.
With live chat, there are more chances of finished transactions. People are already able to ask about the product they are interested in which ensures them the quality of the item they are about to purchase. Since customers are able to learn more about the product even while shopping online, the instance of returned products and demand for refunds is diminished. This eventually leads to higher customer satisfaction and a dramatic increase in the company’s sales.
Live chat agents can also be a key factor in customer retention. Business owners should ensure that they maintain a set of well-trained agents to be able to communicate well with customers. Good communication with customers, even when done through live chat, has been proven to make customers feel more confident about their purchase especially if they are attended to and guided by a professional and accommodating support agent.
As for the qualities that a good support agent must possess, the company must make sure that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the identity of the company and its products. Personal communication skills, such as being empathetic, polite, and being able to personalize messages according to the customer’s needs and concerns are also ideal. It will also reassure customers that they are not talking to a chatbot. Most importantly, good grammar and familiarity with terms commonly used in online purchasing, online payments and refunds allow agents to gain a better understanding of what the customer’s query or feedback is all about. If a business aims to cater to an international audience, then hiring multilingual agents is a must. Otherwise, they can also train their agents to learn the language of countries where the company intends to extend its services. Being able to communicate with a customer in the language they are comfortable with is a big advantage to the company.
Real-time live chat software on websites and online shops can ensure successful transactions and convert potential leads into actual customers. It pushes businesses a step ahead of competitors because of the positive and reinforced relationships built with leads and customers. Satisfied customers tend to stay loyal to a company. Establishing trust with customers through user-friendly communication channels is very important especially with the growing competition in the world of digital marketing.