When designing a website for your business there are certain key features that you need to include. Alongside valuable content, contact and social media details, and privacy policies, business websites, no matter how small or new the company is, need to integrate customer service functionality. The rapid development of virtual software and artificial intelligence has pretty much-rendered email enquiry forms obsolete; instead, today’s savvy customers expect real-time, human communication via live chat.
Live Chat functions can be found on the websites of some of the world’s largest consumer and entertainment brands, such as Nordstrom, Nikon, PokerStars, and Netflix, but they have a whole host of benefits for small businesses and startups too. A total of 33% of consumers now expect to see live chat offered on every website they visit, a statistic that no business can afford to ignore.
Here are 4 key reasons why you should be integrating live chat into your business website.
Live chat is a powerful tool for increasing conversions and sales. According to industry specialists Kissmetrics, 38% of consumers have made purchases online as a result of taking part in a live chat session. And it’s not just B2C companies that are reaping the rewards either, according to research from the American Marketing Associations, B2B companies that utilize live chat have seen an average increase of 20% in conversions.
Prospective customers will typically have questions about the products or services you sell, and live chat ensures that you will be able to answer them immediately and at a crucial stage in the purchasing process.
Despite being well and truly in the digital age, many customers still have concerns about purchasing goods and services online, especially when it comes to big-ticket items. Offering a live chat feature means that buyers and customers can have direct conversations with you; it’s the virtual equivalent of answering their questions and demonstrating products in a physical store.
Live chat helps you establish trust and build rapport with your customers. According to research into global consumers trends from ATG/Oracle, 90% of customers stated that a live chat feature gives them confidence that they will be able to get the help they need when making purchasing decisions.
Meanwhile, the same consumer research from Kissmetrics revealed that 44% of online shoppers believe that answering questions through a live chat is one of the most important features a website could have.
Alongside helping your brand establish trust with your customers, a live chat feature greatly improves the overall experience of visiting and using your website. Consumers are fickle, and if they can’t get the information that they need quickly enough they’ll abandon their purchase and look elsewhere – Forrester Research discovered that a total of 57% of online shoppers do just that.
The user experience can become even smoother with a chatbot feature that can instantly answer data-specific questions, such as enquiries about shipping costs, order tracking, password resets etc – 65% of consumers would be happy to “talk” with a chatbot if it gave them a speedy answer.
There’s a saying in business that it costs ten times as much to replace a customer than it does to retain one. Just as live chat is a powerful tool for increasing sales and improving conversions, it’s equally as powerful when it comes to customer retention – 63% of consumers would return to a site with a live chat feature and make future purchases.
Live chat software enables you to connect with your customers before they make their purchases, and it gives you the opportunity to collect information on their needs that you can use to develop your relationship. Additionally, answering a customer’s questions and helping them with their purchasing decisions in real-time positions you as a knowledgeable expert in your field. The exceptional customer service you deliver with this feature singles your business out as one that values its customers, further increasing the likelihood of repeat business.
Whilst, not every customer who visits your site will need an in-depth live chat session, it nevertheless plays an important role in generating customer satisfaction. People, quite frankly, love how convenient live chat functionality is: 79% of consumers, according to Econsultancy, choose live chat as their preferred contact channel since it gives them instant answers. It’s also free for your customers to use, and unlike emails or customer service numbers will be accessible to every person who visits your site.