You may have noticed that it has become more and more common when visiting a website to be offered a live chat feature to communicate with a representative.
Sometimes a live chat box will pop up with a friendly picture and peppy message inquiring if you have any questions or would like assistance; or it may just be an option on a customer service, support, or FAQ page.
However it’s done, live chat is rapidly growing as a standard function for offering customer support, communicating pertinent information, and connecting with site visitors.
Live chat is not just a popular tool that is fun to add to your site, it offers some real advantages for your business and to your customers.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Happy customers are the future of your business. With the availability and popularity of online reviews and the ability to share comments, both good and bad, on social media outlets, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that customer satisfaction should be the number one priority of any business.
The latest research tells us that 53% of customers prefer using online chat over calling a business and it has already outpaced email and social media forums as a way to communicate.
Customers, especially those who predominantly use mobile devices to access your site, not only prefer to communicate via live chat, they have also come to simply expect it.
By providing the expected and preferred method of communicating with your business, you increase your chances of great customer satisfaction. This is a huge factor in retaining the business of your current clients and generating positive word-of-mouth that could attract new ones.
Implementing live chat on your website can also increase the efficiency of your staff, saving time and resources!
By using a live chat function, simple questions and inquiries can be answered in real time avoiding a backlog of emails or voicemails. There is also a quicker transition between cases, as there is no need to dial a number, make introductions, or ask the customer to repeat the problem or question.
For inquiries that may take a longer time to solve, the customer can continue on with his or her work and leave the chat window open while the representative is working out the problem, and not have to waste valuable time being placed on hold.
Each one of these advantages may seem small but added up over time they can make a big difference in the time it takes to resolve customer support issues, without sacrificing the quality of service.
Implementing Live Chat
Maybe you’re a believer in the live chat function but haven’t figured out how it could work for your business? People may want to contact you 24/7, but implementing a bank of customer service reps at the ready to answer questions may not be in your near future.
You can still implement a chat function on your website even if you have a small staff or limited business hours.
Most live chat tools allow you to set your availability. This means you can have it turned on only during business hours so that it only appears to your website visitors when you are able to monitor and respond to their questions.
Some live chat tools, like the one offered from Hubspot, allow for different configurations of availability settings that allow you to tailor your program to meet your needs and capabilities.
If you’ve been reading up on live chat, you have also been learning about bots. Put simply, bots are a software that can run automated tasks. Bots can accomplish some live chat tasks for you without your need to increase staff size or the hours that you are available to answer questions.
Bots can be very helpful as an automated messaging tool in that you can use bots to answer certain frequently asked questions either before involving a real person or as a way to connect with customers outside of your available hours.
For example, if most of the questions people have when they visit your home page are simple then you can use a bot to answer them.
Examples of this may include, “What are your business hours?” “Do you give free estimates?” “Do you work in the greater NYC area?” etc.
Using bots to answer simple and straightforward questions can cut down on the time that you need to spend on customer service while still giving your site visitors a great experience and making it easy for them to find the information they are seeking.
Getting Started with Live Chat
So, how do you make this happen for your own website? There are software applications available to implement live chat for your business.
If you’re considering a real investment in marketing and want to implement a CRM, we recommend using HubSpot. As a HubSpot partner, we appreciate the seamless way in which they incorporate applications, such as live chat, into their CRM so that you can get new technology up and running quickly.
If you’re considering implementing a CRM, take a look at our recent blog post that outlines the benefits of such a system.
If you would like to get a live chat function up and running outside of a CRM system, there are several stand-alone live chat options as well that we can recommend:
If you’re looking for new ways to improve your website and your customer service, including live chat as part of your marketing strategy could be the next step!
Thanks for reading,