Do Consumers Really Appreciate live Chat?

By now, you’ve heard from live chat vendors telling you that live chat is the best way to create efficiency in your sales and customer service offerings. And without a doubt this is the case. Features like multitasking, auto assignment and canned responses are just a few of the ways live chat can benefit your bottom line.

By now, you’ve heard from live chat vendors telling you that live chat is the best way to create efficiency in your sales and customer service offerings. And without a doubt this is the case. Features like multitasking, auto assignment and canned responses are just a few of the ways live chat can benefit your bottom line.

However, one factor that isn’t normally addressed in these discussions is, do consumers actually use live chat? Or do they even like it? Let’s take a look at a few stats concerning both the usage and preference as they relate to live chat software.

Growth of Use

The first question you’ll need to ask yourself in regards to implementing live  chat is, do people actually use it.

Recent studies have shown t hat not only are consumers engaging in live chat, that number is actually growing as time goes on.

As early as 2009, over 50% of US based online consumers said they had engaged in live chat at least once, and by 2012, that number had risen to over 65%. With well over half of all website users accepting this technology as a legitimate form of communication, not having live chat is actually missing the boat.

Along with these usage statistics, over 30% of online shoppers surveyed said they would be more likely to purchase after engaging in a live chat, and that number increases to over 50% among those who prefer live chat over other forms of communication. That leads us into a discussion about preference.

Consumer Communication Preferences

During the same survey of US based online consumers, over 20% of those polled stated they prefer live chat to other forms of communication. As compared to alternatives such as telephone (23%) and social media (2%), the numbers behind chat are quite compelling.

Based on these statistics, a business could potentially be missing out on over 20% of it’s target consumers, based on not having implemented live chat alone.

Among those polled, nearly 80% stated the reason they preferred live chat was the ability to have their questions answered quickly, while 51% like the ability to multitask while chatting. From this we see that the benefits of efficiency not only relate to the business side of the equation, but also the consumer side.

 

Takeaways

So now we have both sides of the story, and both are equally as compelling. Live chat not only creates more effectiveness and efficiency in your sales and support system, but also creates a significant opportunity for business growth and consumer satisfaction.

It is estimated that these numbers are only going to continue growing. Can your business afford not to implement live chat?

5 Steps for Successfully Launching Live Chat On Your Website

We all know how great live chat is. But it’s not a special pill that magically improves your online sales conversions and customer support productivity. You have to know what you’re doing and you have to use it strategically.

live chat on your website

We all know how great live chat is.  But it’s not a special pill that magically improves your online sales conversions and customer support productivity.  You have to know what you’re doing and you have to use it strategically.

If you want to successfully implement live chat on your website to improve your business then consider the following:

  1. Define Success – Are you interested in improving online sales conversions or customer service productivity or both?  This is an important question to answer because it impacts who should own live chat for your business and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you should be tracking to ensure you are getting a return on your investment in live chat.
  2. Plan & Prepare – You need to think about the type of product or service that you provide and then determine whether or not proactive chat and the use of progression analytics would be valuable for you.  You must also assess your current website traffic to get a sense for the number of potential chats you can expect.  This way you can properly staff your chat service and avoid disappointing your website visitors if you fail to have enough live chat representatives to meet your chat volume.  If you have seasonal spikes in traffic please take note and prepare to ramp staffing during peak traffic.  You will also want to prepare canned answers to common questions to improve chat agent productivity and communication consistency.
  3. Security – Will confidential information be exchanged during a chat?  If so, you may want to configure your live chat solution in such a way that it is impossible for a chat agent to email a chat transcript.  You should also consider requiring your website visitors to acknowledge a privacy statement in your pre-chat survey.
  4.  Staffing – Make sure that you have an appropriate number of chat agents to work the live chats you believe you will receive.  Also make sure that they are properly trained on the functionality of your live chat solution and that they are also trained on appropriate live chat etiquette.
  5. Chat Button Design Will you be leveraging both proactive and reactive chat?  Will you want your chat button to disappear when a chat agent is unavailable?  Where should you place your chat button for maximum exposure?  These are all questions you should consider in order to design a chat button that will best meet your needs.

 

Now, here comes the pitch for Velaro.  You know I have to do it.  Most chat vendors leave the decisions above to you.  They just sell software and then its up to you to implement it effectively.  Velaro is different.  Velaro wants you to get the most out of your live chat investment and we are experts at understanding the best way for an organization to implement, use, and manage live chat.  So if you need help – you know who to call.

What Not Having Live Chat Is Costing Your Business

By now I’m sure you know all the great things live chat can do for your website. From increased sales, to effective reporting and more, the advantages are limitless.

By now I’m sure you know all the great things live chat can do for your website. From increased sales, to effective reporting and more, the advantages are limitless.

However, if you are still undecided whether live chat software is right for your business, take a look at these four areas that not having live chat is actually costing your business.

  • Customer Service Efficiency:Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of live chat is the efficient nature of it. Where one salesperson or customer service representative can only handle one phone call at a time, the same person can handle a multitude of live chat interactions at one time.
  • By using the resources currently available to maximize the amount of engagements that can take place at one time, customers are happier and your staff is more effective.
  • Control Over Your Conversion FunnelEvery site has a conversion funnel, no matter if the end goal is transaction, interaction or submission. No matter the funnel, one of the biggest challenges is trying to prevent abandonment.
  • Live chat just might be your answer. With live chat, you can proactively engage with users at any point within your conversion funnel, helping meet their needs and guide them down the right path.
  • Online Customer DelightUser experience is directly linked with satisfaction level. A poor user experience can leave visitors feeling dissatisfied and looking elsewhere to have their needs met.
  • With live chat software, instead of customers becoming confused, distraught and dissatisfied, live chat agents are present to answer questions and meet the needs of users, leading to an increase in customer delight.
  • Competitive DifferentiationHow many of your competitors are using live chat? Businesses can use live chat software to their advantage, providing a different experience than that of their competitors.
  • By creating competitive differentiation in the market place, you effectively set yourself apart from other providers and position yourself as a leader in your space.