Running a business can be wonderfully rewarding. At the same time, it takes a lot of effort. All the details matter. Attention to those details can make or break your business. If you own or manage a business, you are probably aware of the many ways you can reach out to clients. Live chat is one of those small details that can make a difference to your business, attracting customers and meeting their needs.
What is Live Chat?
Whether you run an online business or “in-person” store, you need to have a website. Websites enable your clients to find you. They also allow you to sell, potentially, directly to people all over the world. In recent years, a process known as live chat or web chat has become common on many websites. The chat feature lets your customers bring up a window that offers them a chance to have their questions answered in real time in a non-threatening way.
The chat button can be used to help existing customers answer their questions about a product or service they’ve already purchased. OR a web chat can also be used to help new clients understand the specifics of a product or service they are thinking about buying. Many large companies already use chat. Many smaller companies are adopting the technology as well. If you have a small or medium sized business, you might be wondering if live chat is right for you.
Adding live chat to your website is something to think about. There are a lot of very good things about it. A few good things include the opportunity to build rapport and help clients realize you are a real person. That makes it more likely they’ll want to interact with you and your business. Another pro is that live chat provides answers quickly and in a non threatening or “salesy” way.
Some disadvantages are that you have to staff the chat. The system we use goes directly to my phone like a text. I am able to turn it on and off so it is only on during business hours. It is difficult though if I happen to be in a meeting or on a phone call and I forget to set my chat status to away. It is important to respond to chat requests immediately, and in the case of a meeting, that may not be possible.
Your site visitors have questions. Especially if your brand message, website text and website design have captured their interest. They have questions about your products such as colour and sizes. They also have questions such as the kinds of payment you’ll accept as well as how to make any changes to an order. When you offer live support, you have someone available to answer their questions. They can respond immediately. That’s important to site visitors. They don’t have to wait for an answer before they make choices about your site.
Another advantage of live chat is that it has the possibility to make your business always available. That’s ideal with people shopping online or browsing at all times of the day (or night). Live chat can be helpful. You’ll always have a voice on your website to be there for your customers.
Building a Relationship
Pixels on a screen are not the same thing as being somewhere in person and interacting with a real person. Live chat provides customer support that, on a very low level, builds a relationship. Live chat acts as your voice with your customers. A well trained client service person can speak for you and help bridge that gap. That makes it easier for the client to like you and your site.
If a customer has a problem, it can be hard for them to figure out how to resolve it. Live chat allows the client to explain exactly what is going on on their end and get an answer. They can write up the problem. This text is always visible. It means the customer does not have repeat the issue to various people at your company in order to find the resolution. Live chat gives you or your customer service person the tools to resolve the issue to the client’s satisfaction.
Stats show that customers who use chat on a website are more likely to buy products and services from that business. The chat feature allows them to feel there’s someone at the other end ready and willing to address their concerns. That also means they feel the company is more responsive to their needs. Trust is a major part of the process of doing business. That is particularly true on the web. Customers who feel a sense of trust from your site are customers who are going to feel secure and happy buying from you.
A Few Drawbacks
While this has a great many benefits, there are a few possible issues. You will need to pay for this form of chat. That can be a small sum of money but it can also eat into your operating costs. If you have a lot of traffic on your site, you might need a lot more chat support. That can also increase your operating costs. A chat rep will also need to be trained to respond to your specific needs.
In the end, many companies find this is a great way to increase sales and help clients.
If you would like to add live chat to your site here is a link to set up an account and we can help you install it.
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash