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The widespread presence of the internet has lent itself to companies attempting to establish new avenues of communication with their customers. The goal is to further the relationship and aid the customer. However, it does not seem to matter what the newest technological innovation involving communication is; the simple, text-based live chat seems to be eternal. Think about it, over the last twenty-odd years, society has seen internet calling, live video, and even remote access come into play in large ways. But live chat is still utilized by companies of every kind. Why have these companies continued to invest and involve themselves in a technology that, in a vacuum, may seem antiquated? Author and speaker Bob Hooey put it simply, “If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will.”
While this quote points those curious about live chat in the right direction, there is not much to be learned from it. To solve this, we gathered a few business experts for their opinions on the ways eCommerce live chat is just plain good for business.
Reduced wait times
Karim Hachem is the VP of eCommerce of La Blanca, a brand offering stylish women’s swimwear. He believes a live chat experience will allow companies to help more customers than they were previously.
“A distinct advantage of using live chat with your business is that the people who are seeking solutions to their problems won’t spend nearly as much time waiting around for a response. For example, email contact or a hotline may be more traditional approaches to customer service but both require some patience on the customer’s part. Sometimes, this patience just isn’t there and that can result in a lost customer. Live chat is not a complete solution but it’s a wonderful first point of contact because it is actual contact instead of an automated response.”
Readers.com specializes in affordable reading glasses for men and women. Their Chief Experience Officer, Fred Gerantabee, suggests implementing live chat because it can operate at all hours of the day.
“I’ve been extremely frustrated by a handful of customer service departments who keep very tight hours. The reality for most is that they must be at work throughout the week and often during daylight hours. For whatever reason, some companies have decided this is the best time to keep their customer service open. But what happens when all those working people finish their shifts and need customer service of their own? A closed customer service department is as good as a non-existent one. Thanks to live chat, your company can increase how available it is to your customers and be there regardless of the time of day.”
It is user-friendly
At the end of the day, there should be a priority placed on meeting customers where they are at so to speak. Pet Insurance Review is a business providing help for pet owners to compare pet insurance policies from a range of providers. Their CEO, Ray Leon, considers live chat to be a method of accomplishing this.
“You can put a human being in any setting imaginable and they’re likely going to be at least somewhat uncomfortable talking to a stranger. This is especially true when the person initiating the conversation is presenting an issue to the other party. Live chat removes more of this feeling than I can put into words. With live chat being far less personal than a phone call or face-to-face conversation, customers can feel at ease and type their mind freely.”
Higher conversion rates
Gigi Ji is the Head of Brand and Business Development of Kokolu, a brand offering sustainable sneakers, tote bags, and more. She advises others to view live chat as more than just a customer solution portal.
“Due to the popularity and insight of analytical software, companies have realized that live chat can factor into elevating their sales game. This might not appear to be a logical conclusion but consider one simple statistic before you dismiss this idea – close to one-third of web page guests completed a transaction once a live agent had a text conversation with them. As these conversations are between two people, they are genuine in nature which leads to positive association from the prospective customer. This really is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the higher conversion rates live chat allows if you use it right.”
Greater Than specializes in natural electrolyte drinks for nursing moms. Their CEO and Co-Founder, Mark Sider, believes live chat offers companies the ability to reduce the amount of time dedicated to each customer.
“When was the last time you made a customer service call in the shoes of the person in need? I’d venture to guess that your initial response from the line you called was a recorded system that you navigated with your personal information until you were met with elevator music. After some period, you were finally able to speak with a representative only to review all your information again. On both sides, this is a lot of wasted time and effort which can be minimized by a solid live chat system because of the way it operates.”
It may not seem like it on the surface, but live chat has been shown to help build long-term relationships. Andar is a business providing full-grain leather wallets and leather goods. Their Co-Founder, Eric Elggren, proposes the technology for this reason.
“It might sound a tad crude but in business, a single sale is an emotionally empty transaction but a long-term business relationship mutually beneficial. Obviously, it’s going to take a concerted effort across every single one of your departments to secure this. But should you do so, you’re going to witness a noticeable shift in both the operational capacity and profit margins of your company. In my opinion, live chat is one of the things you can do to demonstrate real care for your clients. Acts like this build towards those long-term relationships.”
Hopefully, the ample evidence above is enough to convince you and your company to give serious consideration to making live chat your next venture. After all, customer service is what keeps the lights on. Author and analytical supervisor Kevin Stirtz said as much, “Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.”
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