What is “Live Chat” and why do I need it?

Forrester Research completed a study called “Making Proactive Chat Work” and they found the following:

“Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.”

An online chat system provides customers immediate access to help. Wait times are often much less than a call center, and customers can easily multi-task while waiting. Additionally, the pain of having to dial a 1-800 number and navigate through a maze of numeric options is non-existent, which is no longer a problem, but rather the standard situation.

What other benefits does Live Chat provide

There are many benefits including:

Live Chat Cuts Down on Expenses

Live chat software has consistently demonstrated that it can save on both employee task time and phone expenses. Some of the most notable cost savings include:

  • Live chat reduces overall contact center costs by lowering average interaction costs.
  • Increases efficiency by allowing live chat representatives to handle multiple chats simultaneously, thus reducing the need to hire more representatives.

Live Chat Increases Sales

The key to increasing sales is that customers have someone who can immediately walk them through a sale if they become confused or have a question that can make or break a sale. This helps eliminate bounces away from retail websites and ensure that full shopping carts make it through check out.

Live Chat Gives You An Edge of Your Competition

A recent study by TELUS International found that many top retail businesses are not offering chat. If you want to gain an edge on the competition, live chat is a key feature that websites must have in order to be competitive and to hopefully rise to the top. In fact, live chat provides a simple way to connect with customers who spend a good deal of their money online. The report by E-Marketer found:

Tips on Making Live Chat work for your business

The following tips should help you utilize Live Chat efficiently:

  • Train your team! Your live chat representatives have to be extremely knowledgeable about your inventory and website navigation.
  • Be aware of your shopping hours. If you own an online bakery in Massachusetts, there is a chance that most of your visitors are people ordering from home. Use analytics to determine when most of your visitors are using your site. Don’t assume 9 to 5 chat hours will work.
  • Don’t be too robotic. The whole point of having live chat available is to provide warm, human help to a customer’s shopping experience. Having robotic greetings or responses can kill the effectiveness of live chat.
  • Make sure people who enjoy their time chatting share that success on social media

Besides finding the right software, companies using live chat will need to provide specialized training for their employees. Live chat is different from a phone call, since all replies must be short sentences that get right to the point. Long paragraphs don’t work in live chat. There is an art to knowing when to ask a question and when to offer solutions or additional products.

How OptfinITy can help with Live Chat

OptfinITy is NOT a Live Chat Provider, but rather your trusted technology advisor and we have a network of over 20 Live Chat Software companies in which to match your needs with their capabilities. For more information, complete the form or contact us directly at 703-790-0400.