Making your website fast and easy to use is vital for attracting and converting shoppers. But if they can’t quickly find answers to questions or get instant support, they’ll soon go elsewhere. In fact, almost two-thirds of consumers won’t wait more than two minutes for assistance.1 And that makes instant ‘real-time’ live chat an essential part of any customer service toolkit.
In this article we’ll cover how it can benefit your business, whether it’s right for your customers, and specifically which kind of user interactions it can help you with.
Key benefits of chat support
After email, live chat is the second most preferred online support channel —and the method of choice for real-time resolution. Let’s see how it can potentially help your business, and keep customers on your side.
More sales: 53% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase from a business they can chat with. And 86% of consumers claim they would pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience.
Happier customers: Allowing people to connect and instantly find answers generates satisfaction levels of 73%, versus just 61% for email and 44% for phone.
Better retention: Two-thirds of consumers say they’re more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.
Improve loyalty: Chat support decreases the likelihood of shoppers leaving your site to find alternative options. Being on-hand to fix potential problems right away can even help you avoid negative reviews, product returns, or cancelled subscriptions.
Alleviate pressure points: With live chat or chat bots, you can use your existing data to support customers when and where they need it most. For example, if you’re losing lots of customers during checkout, you can be there ready to guide them through.
Provide global support: Serving diverse audiences across multiple time zones and online and offline channels can be challenging for any business. Chat can be a useful way to capture all these user enquiries and address them the moment they arise.
Live chat vs chat bot. Which is right for your business?
While live chat or chatbots can be a great way to increase sales and keep customers happy, it’s important to assess which is right for your business, and the type of customers you serve. Here are just some of the things you’ll need to consider:
International nuances: Do any notable cultural differences exist between your customer segments? For example, 77% of UK customers are willing to use chatbots, versus just 50% in Germany.
User demographics: Are your customers comfortable with new technology? For example, younger (high-tech) users like to solve issues themselves through a range of support channels, whereas more middle-aged shoppers may not spend as much time troubleshooting. Likewise, older and less tech-savvy users might be more inclined to ask a family member for support rather than find answers themselves.
Enquiry types: It’s also worth auditing the types of customer interactions you typically deal with, and deciding whether a chat bot is right, or a live agent might be a better option. For example, resolving complex account queries or rearranging a delivery will require the sensitivity and logic of a real person.
Scaling up live chat with smart automation and bots
1 in 3 repetitive questions (e.g. “Do you offer free returns?”) can be resolved instantly using a chat bot. It can also be a useful way to reduce your customer service costs or provide out-of-hours cover if you don’t have a 24/7 support staff.
You can also customise your chat bot to specific audience segments, languages, and time zones—and use them to route potential customers for faster conversions, and proactively engage website visitors (e.g. ‘Do you need help with anything today?’). Of course, if more complex queries arise, you could then switch to live agents who can steer users to a resolution. Ideally, you should look to balance your use of both technologies to deliver a great user experience—and aim to give your customers the best of both worlds.
For more resources and support on developing your international expansion, reaching more global customers, or planning your logistics, customer care, and wider operations, simply head over to the Market Finder website.