Are you wondering whether adding live chat to your website is worth it? Want to know what are the benefits of signing up for live chat software?
In this article, you will discover 10 benefits of live chat software. What’s more, you’ll find out what to look for in a live chat tool. And at the end, I’ll share some live chat best practices with you that’ll help you avoid typical beginners’ mistakes.
But let’s begin at the beginning.
What is Live Chat Software and What Does It Do?
Live chat software is an application that enables you to chat with your website visitors in real-time.
With a live chat app, the visitor asks queries using a chat widget (usually located on the bottom-right of a website), and an agent replies from the live chat software dashboard.
But why would you invest in such an application in the first place?
10 Live Chat Software Benefits For Your Brand
1. It’s a convenient channel
Have you ever imagined what happens when visitors find themselves confused about something on your site?
Some will look for the Contact page. On finding it, the visitor either sends an email or calls your customer support or sales team…and waits for the response.
But that’s the case with just some of them. In most cases, however:
- A confused visitor leaves the site.
- Or they do visit your contact page but decide that it’s too time-consuming to write an email, or they know it can take up to 24 hours to get a response, or they have phone call anxiety and abandon reaching out anyway.
- And rven if they send an email, they could purchase from your competitor by the time you respond.
That’s where live chat comes in. Live chat is right there on the screen assuring visitors that they can send a simple ‘hi’ and get assistance (in under a minute) if they have any queries.
This simple convenience is why 75% of people prefer live chat over any other communication channel.
2. Live chat is conversational
79% of customers prefer live chat because of its fast response time.
Both initial and during-chat response times are typically under a minute, making a live chat session conversational, just like a phone call.
In fact, live chat is even better than a phone call.
For example, if it’s a customer service chat:
- The customer can share screenshots, links, etc., to add context to their doubts.
- Similarly, you can send articles from the knowledge base or videos from your YouTube channel to solve their problems.
- Moreover, the customer can make your agent’s suggested changes then and there to see if it works. It saves both parties time in case it doesn’t — the visitor doesn’t have to start the same conversation again, and the (new) agent doesn’t have to read the previous conversation.
If it’s a sales chat, your agents can build brand awareness, rapport, and trust with visitors to get them into the sales funnel.
3. Live chat improves website experience
Just having an option to chat with a professional in one click adds so much to a visitor’s website experience. The data proves it, too: 44% of online buyers say that having questions answered by a live person during a purchase is an essential feature any website can offer.
If looked at from a different perspective, live chat eliminates the bad experience causing factors from a website. For example, the customer won’t have to send an email, wait for 6 hours to get a reply, respond to the reply, and wait another four hours.
4. Live chat can help you understand customers better
As I already mentioned, you can ask more questions, or customers can give more context about their problem during a customer service live chat.
- You can collect frequently asked questions and add them to your FAQs/help center.
- You can understand customers’ and visitors’ language to make your marketing and branding messages more effective.
- Customers directly or indirectly tell you their needs, which you can use as a base for new features, fixes, products, etc.
5. Live chat helps you collect leads.
You can increase your marketing dollar mileage by using live chat to increase sales leads volume. Here are few tips:
- Ask anonymous visitors to fill a form through live chat. How effective is it? Well, 42% of people prefer giving contact information through live chat.
- Visitors will leave their name and email alongside their message in the live chat widget if none of your agents can respond (perhaps because it’s outside business hours).
- Engage repeat visitors, cart abandoners, etc., with special offers to get them to sign up.
6. Live chat improves conversion rate
Because live chat is accessible and fast, more people start conversing — this visitor to chat conversion rate alone is better than any other channel. From there, your chat agents have the room to increase awareness, build trust, solve issues, and help visitors make a buying decision (likely in your favor).
Here are a few statistics that show live chat increases conversions:
- 38% of people who filled the survey made their purchase because of a chat session.
- The same survey noted, “Respondents who hadn’t used live chat were likely to be infrequent online buyers, with 36% making a purchase less than once per month compared with 18% of chatters.”
- CampaignMonitor found visitors who engage with a live chat agent are 2.8 times more likely to buy from you.
- According to V-count, just adding a live chat to the website increases conversions by 20%.
7. Live chat keeps visitors from abandoning
Forrester data shows 45% of US adults will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question. And guess what can keep such visitors — who abandon a purchase because they don’t get quick answers — from abandoning? Hint: Live chat is the quickest and the most convenient way for visitors to solve queries.
One more thing: Live chat helps lower visitor abandonment too. With live chat, you can keep visitors for more time on site by conversing or promoting other pages. As a result, it increases average session duration and decreases bounce rate, leading to higher search engine rankings.
8. Live chat helps increase average order value (AOV)
Not only can you convert cart abandoners into customers, but you can also convince them to buy more through live chat.
Here’s an example of combining both: Say a customer abandons the cart because of shipping charges (which is pretty common: 49% abandon a cart because of extra costs like shipping). Then, you can proactively reach out with a message like, “Hey [FirstName], add $20 worth of items and get free shipping! Also, let me know if you want my help picking something – most customers buy [Cross Sell Product 1] & [Product 2] with [Item in the cart].”
Side Note: Because live chat leads to better customer experience and customer loyalty, it also increases customer’s lifetime value (LTV).
9. Live chat can give you a competitive advantage
By now, you must be pretty clear of what live chat brings to the table. Here’s a recap: Customers love live chat, and it can be a big decision-maker for customers if your product or service is pretty similar to that of competitors.
Many of your competitors are already likely using it, but many still aren’t. So, just adding a live chat widget to your site will give you a competitive advantage over those that don’t have live chat support.
10. Live chat cuts support costs
All the above-mentioned benefits of live chat software were about increasing something (experience, leads, sales, revenue). The last benefit on the list is about decreasing — decreasing support costs.
Here’s the thing: If you don’t have a live chat option, people will go with phone support for instant answers. That means you’ll have to dedicate one support agent per support-seeking customer.
On the other hand, if you have live chat support, live chat agents can handle multiple customer queries simultaneously. Plus, they can use canned responses, look at previous chats, send documents & links, etc., to solve problems faster.
Pro Tip: Implement a chatbot to answer FAQs and decrease customer service costs further.
Things To Look For In a Live Chat Software
So what do you think? Decided to implement live chat on your website? Great! Just one more step left before your visitors can chat with you through that little window on your site: Picking a live chat software.
Live chat is an increasingly popular functionality, so naturally, many live chat software providers are out there. Some are good, some not so much. So how can you decide which one’s the best? Look for these elements/features:
(Before starting, let me mention that Social Intents has considered all of the following to build the ideal live chat software for businesses of all sizes. And we have a 14-day free trial for you to try.)
- Cloud-based: You can either self-host the live chat tool or use a cloud-based solution. Choosing cloud-based live chat software means the company will handle everything from storage and performance to security and integrations.
- Mobile-friendly: The chat window should look good and perform well on a mobile device. After all, over 50% of online visitors come from mobile.
- Visitor interface: The chatbox visitors see must be attractive. Plus, the software must let you change colors and design according to your needs.
- Agent interface: How the agent-side of the software looks also matters. Plus, its functionalities — like the ability to store canned responses — do too. Social Intents integrates with Slack and MS Teams, so your agents will be using either of the two most popular business communication platforms to chat.
- Asynchronous loading: If the live chat widget loads along with the website, it will slow it down, leading to a bad customer experience and negative SEO.
- Real real-time chatting: The live chat software must allow you to chat with visitors in real-time. If the tool has bugs, it can lead to delayed responses and missed opportunities.
- Integrations: Your live chat software must be able to integrate with essential business tools. For example, Integration with a helpdesk ticketing system for support or a CRM to store leads is a must.
- Chatbot: Chatbots are a must for qualifying leads, answering FAQs without wasting anyone’s time, and connecting visitors with the right agent.
- Support: If a live chat software provider (that’s supposed to enable you to support your customers better) doesn’t have a dedicated support channel, stay very far away from it.
3 Live Chat Best Practices
Before I end this article, I’ll leave you with three live chat best practices for maximum returns from day-1:
- Be proactive: Proactive chatting means starting a conversation with the visitor before they do. Statistically, 33 percent of proactive chats receive a response. And more messages = more chances of building awareness, trust, lead list, and sales.
You don’t have to manually send a ‘Hi :)’ to every visitor (of course); you just have to set proper live chat triggers for maximum response.
- Be human: Don’t be robotic while chatting. Make it look like the visitor is chatting with a friend – use emojis, jokes, GIFs, etc. Of course, if yours is a B2B business or you work for the FBI, a more authoritative and professional tone will get you the desired results.
- Follow live chat etiquette: I have created a list of live chat etiquettes you/your agents must follow when chatting with customers. It includes tips ranging from “start with a friendly greeting” to asking for customer satisfaction ratings.
A live chat software benefits your brand in way more than one way.
It helps you get new customers, keeps current customers happy, and saves you customer service costs.
Besides, it reduces cart abandonment and increases average order value (AOV) and customer lifetime value (LTV).
And in case your competitors don’t use it, live chat also gives you a competitive advantage. There’s no reason not to use live chat software. So get one.