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How Important is Live Chat for Your Ecommerce Business?

LIVE CHAT - ECOMMERCE - BUSINESS

73%  of customers find live chat to be the most satisfying way of communicating with a business.

Customer satisfaction is the key factor for every business’ success, whether the business is serving its customers online or offline. It is essential that customers are always at the heart of a business’ objectives and strategies because it leads customers to recognize that they are of great value to the company they are supporting.

Physical retail stores employ sales personnel who is responsible for answering customer queries in real-time. Most of the time, sales personnel assists a customer in the decision making process for their purchase. On the other hand, the lack of available personnel in online retail stores may leave customers challenged and dissatisfied during their purchase.

Online communication for online retail stores may lead to customer dissatisfaction when customers’ questions are not answered promptly due to long queues and other external factors. This is where Live Chat becomes an important factor. 

Live Chat is a helpful option that enables online shops and eCommerce websites to initiate conversations with customers visiting the website or purchasing via the online shop. It sets up a chat widget at the bottom right side of the website. It can be minimized and pop up only when the customer clicks the icon. 

Incorporating Live Chat into an eCommerce website has many advantages, including the following:

1. Responding to different queries simultaneously

Receiving a myriad of questions and complaints can be overwhelming but not with live chat. There are occasions wherein multiple customers unexpectedly decide to visit one store to purchase their needs. When this happens, some customers may need additional information prior to making a purchase. There may also be customers who have encountered issues regarding a certain item. Both scenarios will likely entail the prompt assistance of a customer support representative. 

A live chat agent has the capability to respond to concerns of several customers at once due to the special features most live chat apps bring. When using a live chat app, a support agent is able to preview what messages customers send; hence, they have the opportunity to prepare their answers. For instance, live chat agents can simply send canned messages to frequently asked questions to save time for more specific questions. Thus, there is no need for customers to wait for a long time before they get the response they need. In the long run, the positive experience and satisfying support that customers experience with live chat support agents will likely encourage brand loyalty.

2. Online viewing of reports and analytics

Tracking the performance of every live chat agent is important as this will inform business owners whether their team is carrying out their duty effectively or not. Online viewing of reports allows business owners to check specific information such as:

  • Answered chats – This indicates the total number of chats that live chat agents can handle in one day. Having knowledge of the total number of answered chats indicates whether there is a need to hire additional customer support representatives or not. 
  • Unanswered chats – This shows the number of missed chats. Missed chats usually require live chat agents to send a follow-up message through their email. The follow-up message should prompt the customer to re-send their inquiries or converse with the available live chat agent to resolve their issues.
  • Greetings efficiency – A timely greeting can increase conversions. Tracking which ones lead to chat engagement and conversion and determining messages that need to be enhanced is necessary. 
  • Chat rating – After a conversation with a live chat agent, a customer can either leave a thumbs up or thumbs down reaction depending on how satisfied they are with how their queries or issues were handled.
  • Chat engagement – Generally, website visitors chat with customer support agents when they are in need of assistance. For instance, when a visitor is stuck on the same page, it may imply that he needs more information about a product. As such, sending a timely message can keep them engaged. If customers asking for additional information on products are frequently encountered via live chat, then customer service supervisors should discuss with their team ways on how they can engage site visitors more effectively and encourage them to make a purchase.
  • Pre-chat survey – Collecting a visitor’s information such as his name and email address prior to having a conversation with him leads to more personalized service. 

Reports and analytics of chats exchanged between support agents and customers provide in-depth references for business owners that help them to check which areas of the service or products need improvement.

3. Cost-efficiency

Phone support comes with costly expenses, especially when there is a high volume of customer inquiries that the customer support team receives on a daily basis. The operating cost can accelerate by hundreds of thousands of dollars as customer service through telephone conversation usually ranges from $6 – $12 per call. Live chat support is the exact opposite.

Live chat is cost-effective because of the following reasons:

  • It can cater to several customers even with minimal manpower available, which means that it is unnecessary to employ more agents.
  • It reduces product return as live chat support can help a customer purchase a suitable product. The business will have an increase in the number of product orders it receives.
  • It lowers waiting queue time.

4. Increases conversions and sales

More often than not, the live chat applications available to be used for customer support include features that enable customer service representatives to gather additional information regarding website visitors. Site visitor information that can be collected via live chat may include their name, address, product preferences, and their activities on the site. This information enables an agent to decide which products and discounts to offer and which upselling or cross-selling methods would be most appropriate for each customer.

Increasing conversion rates via live chat require the following simple steps:

  • Educate the team about the appropriate manner of conversing with customers
  • Understand the common activities of website visitors
  • Give support agents the necessary information about the company’s products in order for them to provide viable solutions or answers to their queries and determine what to offer to customers

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