Shoppers now make more than 50% of all of their purchases online! In 2017, comScore reported that shoppers have become more comfortable using their mobile devices to research and buy online. This means they spend more time and money in the mobile commerce market. Delivering a stellar customer experience from point of sale to post-purchase is required to thrive in the competitive world of retail. But how do you do that?

The main trouble with online shopping is that customers often feel disconnected from the brand because they cannot easily reach a live sales or customer service representative to answer their questions quickly. This can lead to the customer to leave the web store on which they originally found the item and purchase it from a competitor that they can reach to answer their questions.

Rather than watch your customers click over to a competitor, your website(s) should have a Live Chat program installed. Live Chat can provide the convenient answers customers want while also adding significant benefits to your company’s staff and bottom line. Research shows that 77% of online consumers prefer to connect with a real person prior making a purchase. These contacts can happen through email, phone, live chat and/or social media channels. However, the majority of the customers (73%) say that live chat offers the highest level of satisfaction compared to email (61%), social media (48%) and phone (44%).

In this post, we will discuss 4 benefits of offering a Live Chat program on your website.

1. Live Chat is convenient for customers.

A study called “Making Proactive Chat Work” that was conducted by Forrester Research 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.”

Live Chat programs (especially those that offer a texting option to the customer) are much more convenient. They allow the customers to multi-task while waiting for the support agent to answer their questions. Offering live chat is definitely easier than picking up the phone, dialing an 800 number, and then navigating a long tree phone menu.

An ATG Global Consumer Trend study found that 90% of customers consider live chat helpful and an emarketer.com survey found that 63% were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. The report goes on to say:

“62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. All these attitudes were even more prevalent among respondents who bought online at least weekly.”

2. Live Chat lowers overhead costs for the marketing, sales, and customer service departments.

Live Chat software lowers overhead costs because it allows support agents to multi-task. By lowering the number of incoming calls to your support center, Live Chat allows support agents to communicate with multiple customers simultaneously through chat. This reduces your need to hire more support agents. Reducing the number of incoming calls also lowers your phone costs and lowers the average interaction cost for each contact with your support staff.

3. Live Chat programs increase sales.

Helping customers who are hesitant to make a purchase and want to speak to a real live support agent is just one way that Live Chat programs can increase your sales. Many live chat programs offer proactive chat campaign messages which allow your support or sales agents to begin a chat session with a customer on your website. Many of the leading Live Chat programs offer the ability to make proactive chat campaigns based on a length of time. At LiveSupport.com we also offer the ability for the customer support agents to see the current traffic on your website. The agent can see what page the customer is on, and send an individualized message to that customer.

4. Offering Live Chat gives you an edge over your competition

Surprisingly, many companies still do not believe in the benefits of offering a Live Chat program. There are many studies that validate using Live Chat programs to enhance customer satisfaction, increase conversions, and add sales. However, many large companies still believe that Live Chat is just another way for a customer to get in touch with the seller or brand. They think that since they have other options, there is no need for a Live Chat program. This cannot be further from the truth.

Customers today want to multi-task. Many consumers surveyed said they prefer live chat programs because it allows them to shop while they are working, and it lets them connect with a real live person. Step in front of your competition by offering a live chat program.

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