Brittany Ebaugh Jul 1, 2020 3:15:06 PM 13 min read

9 Ways Online Chat Services Can Enhance Your Business

How fast are your responses when a customer has a question?

Customer service has been a foundational element of successful marketing strategies since the beginning, and it’s here to stay for the long haul. So it’s essential to make it a top priority in your business strategy. 

One of the most important aspects of customer service is wait time. In today’s world, consumers can quickly look to competing brands when they don’t get the answers they need at (seemingly) the speed of light from your business. This is where an online chat on your website can be an incredible asset.

It’s been calculated that the average response time for emails is longer than 12 hours, and social media responses take 10 hours.

So when an online chat software can get responses to your customers in 2 minutes or less, it’s no question why most people prefer this method of communication and expect it to be available on your website. Here are more ways implementing an online chat service on your website can help your business grow and some helpful tips to get the full advantage.

9 Benefits of Online Chat Services

1. Multitask like a pro 

This applies to both your team and your prospective customer. While chatting with you, users can still actively explore your website and find more information they might be interested in or have questions about. 

For your side of the experience, you can hold more than one chat conversation at a time with customers–instead of just one phone call at a time. This allows you to be flexible and attentive with multiple prospective customers when they are in need of answers.

2. Increase your sales and conversions

Online chat services have proven to increase sales and conversion rates by up to 45% by catching customers at the perfect time and interacting with them in real time. In addition, 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support. The convenience and ease of this service helps build a lasting relationship with your customers.

3. Save money

Saving money is a win! With online chat services utilized, you won’t need as many call center reps to be answering phone calls and only dealing with one customer at a time. Online chat representatives can be helping multiple customers at one time, which in turn will save you money. You can serve more customers at once, solve customers’ problems easier and more efficiently, and save money on phone services. 

4. Build stronger relationships with your customers

Engaging with your customers and building a relationship with them is extremely important for customer retention. This relationship and comfortable environment will keep your customers coming back time and time again. 

Online chats are less formal, easily accessible, and allow customers to feel emotionally engaged with a company. The nerves of picking up the phone to call and potentially face a long wait time are over. Online chats also allow you to message your customers first and create more engagement that wasn’t there before. 

5. Utilize more touchpoint opportunities

Many customers feel reluctant to reach out because of the time involved and only find it necessary if they have a specific question. Online chats allow you to reach out to customers and suggest or advertise new products. Utilizing the online chat as an advertisement is a great way to engage customers and recommend products that they might like. 

6. Guide prospects through the buying process

The buying process can be tricky and many people have questions about a product before they buy it. Having the option for online chat support can make the buying process easier and it can help convince the customer to make the purchase. You can also watch where the customer is in the buying process and send them a message to help sell the product or answer any questions they might have. Having online chat support placed strategically on your website is crucial for securing and making the buying process easier. 

7. Generate more leads

Live chat can increase leads generated online by an average of 40%. Online chat support can help in this process with a less sales-y approach by asking the customer to enter their email address to start a chat. Through the live chat, you can gather valuable information from them and use this information to reach out at a later time. This information is also valuable for nurturing your leads and giving them incentives to return to your website. 

8. Improve customer experience

One of the top reasons most companies have an online chat support platform on their website is to improve their customer experience. You’re able to answer your prospects’ questions nearly immediately, in a way that is most convenient to them.

Great customer experience helps to build brand awareness and stay forefront in your customer’s mind. Two things that customers value the most are great customer service and fast and efficient service, which a live chat is able to deliver better than any other customer service channel.

9. Stand out from the competition

Despite the overwhelming number of people who prefer to use online chat as their method of customer service communication, roughly only 9% of companies offer the service on their website. Your brand’s great customer service, tone, and experience offered through a chatting service on your website is one of the best and cheapest ways to stand out from your competitors.

Best Practices for Online Chat Services

  • Be human. Use a tone and voice that demonstrates your authenticity and eagerness to help.
  • Be strategic. Put the live chat services on pages of your site that make the most sense and are likely to generate the most questions from site visitors.
  • Be detailed. Dedicate the same amount of attention to detail for your customer’s problems and inquiries as you would if they had reached out via phone or email.
  • Be adaptive. Look at the results of your chats over time to see which pages perform best, what the most common questions are, and how they are generating sales to see how you can improve or change your website. 

Ready to implement live chat into your website? Message us today for a free 30-minute strategy call, and we can develop a plan specific to your goals.

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