Live Chat For Your Business: What you Need to Consider
Addressing customers directly, not wasting any time and answering all their questions as quickly as possible – that’s what good customer service is all about. It should be as easy as possible for customers to reach someone in the company and ask questions. Picking up the phone and calling or writing an email is too time-consuming for many people. A live chat feature is a solution that is becoming increasingly popular. But who should use it, what are the benefits, and how can companies get their own chat feature? We clarify the most important questions.
Live Chat Feature: Why?
According to a study by Software Advice, 46 percent of those surveyed said they had used a company’s live chat function at least once. And a breakdown by customer service site BargainFox shows that 63 percent of customers would rather return to a site that has live chat than one that doesn’t. One thing is also particularly important for customers: Response time – 42 percent expect a response within an hour. Added to this is customer satisfaction: 82 percent were satisfied with the live chat support. For comparison: Only 61 percent found the email customer service good, and only 44 percent found the phone service good.
This also leads us to the benefits of a live chat feature: You can communicate with prospects or your customers in real time. They can ask their question immediately and ideally receive an answer straight away.
A live chat feature can boost the conversion rate significantly because a customer who has a question about a product or service will usually be seriously interested in it and may be about to buy it. If they get an immediate answer, it’s much more likely that they will also buy immediately or at least stay on the site longer and not look elsewhere.
For whom Is a Live Chat Feature Recommendable?
In general, a chat function can be worthwhile for any company as well as for self-employed people. Because customers everywhere appreciate it when you take care of them personally and get an immediate response to their inquiries. Smaller companies in particular can also stand out from the competition with a live chat feature. But before you jump into action and integrate live chat, these preliminary considerations are important:
- Do I have the personnel for live chat and am I willing to invest in training? The first thing someone might notice is the software costs associated with setting up a live chat feature. But the people sitting on the other end of the chat are also an important consideration. There need to be enough people so customers don’t have to wait, and the employees also need to be trained to use live chat. These are also investments that need to be considered.
- Do I have complex products or services that customers don’t understand immediately and that require a lot of explanation? Because in such cases, live chat is particularly worthwhile and the function has a greater impact on sales. But when self-explanatory products or services are offered, the benefits are lower.
- How much traffic does my website get? Again, be honest with yourself before considering a live chat feature. There is no use installing a chat function right away if your website is in the process of being built or you don’t have a set product/service. You should first invest in “standards” such as social media marketing or SEO in this case.
Live Chat Tools: How Can I Get a Live Chat Feature?
For integrating live chat into your website, there are countless tools and plugins that vary greatly in price depending on the features (e.g. analysis options). Most tools can be tested for free for a few weeks or months. Some even offer a completely free basic version.
Optimising your Live Chat
Of course, when you integrate live chat in your company, you need to make optimal use of it. Because no matter how good a live chat tool is, it doesn’t do much good if the employees sitting in front of it aren’t properly trained. In addition to friendliness and quick response times, these points are important:
- Use employee profile pictures: They establish trust and show customers that they are chatting with a real person.
- Avoid automatically generated greetings and replies: No one enjoys it when they feel like they are just one among many.
- Keep an eye on activity and traffic: Good live chat tools have an analysis function that can be used to find out when requests are coming in particularly often. Your live chat should also be manned during peak times so that customers don’t have to wait long for an answer.
- Set up FAQs and rules of conduct: The live chat staff should be given a rough flowchart of what a chat should look like. FAQ sheets can also be created for frequently asked questions. But be careful: Don’t just spit out pre-formulated answers!
- Find the right moment: The question of whether the chat should only be initiated by the customer or whether the chat function should be pointed out (proactively) is also something you need to clarify. Data can also help here. If you want a chat window to pop up for a prospect, you need to find the right moment. For example, if the customer makes several search queries during their session or at points where the website visit is frequently abandoned.
Once the chat has started successfully, it can be expanded with a chatbot. The chatbot can then, for example, answer customer inquiries outside of opening hours or initially address a customer until a real employee is available.
Don’t Forget the Right Insurance
If you are trying out trends and relying on new marketing tools, you should also think about getting insurance that keeps up with the times. Because something could quickly go wrong, for example in terms of data protection or competition law.
Professional Indemnity Insurance through exali offers the best possible protection, individually tailored to your business. The insurer helps to clarify liability and pays justified claims for damages. You can take out our insurance online in just a few minutes. If you have any questions, our customer service will be happy to help you personally on +49 (0) 821 80 99 46-0 (Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CET).
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Who am I?
After a traineeship and a few years in corporate communications, I now work at exali as editor-in-chief of the online editorial department and am responsible for all content.
What do I enjoy?
Summer, travel, good food and football.
What do I dislike?
Travel by train, Brussels sprouts and slime.