The Benefits of Having Live Chat On Your E-Commerce Site

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May 27, 2024

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The Benefits of Having Live Chat On Your E-Commerce Site

The Future is Now: Transforming Customer Expectations

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is well underway, and let me tell you – it’s a wild ride! Technological innovation is constantly redefining customer expectations, and businesses are scrambling to keep up. In fact, a recent Salesforce report found that 82% of customer service decision-makers think their customer service must transform to stay competitive. But what does that transformation look like, you ask? Well, my friend, one key trend is that customers now expect immediate access to support across all channels.

According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Consumer report, 69% of UK consumers want to talk with a company in real-time, and 60% expect a connected experience. That means if a client messages your support team on Facebook Messenger, your Customer Service agents should already have that information when the client calls over the phone. Yep, it’s all about that omnichannel approach to customer service – and live chat software is a crucial component.

Why Live Chat is a Game-Changer

Online chat software enables support agents to talk to clients in real-time, solving any problem that may arise either in using the product or while making a purchase. And get this – it also allows agents to handle multiple queries at once. Talk about multitasking! But the benefits don’t stop there, my friends. Let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Customer Preference

A recent Salesforce study found that in the UK, 41% of consumers state that live chat is their preferred channel of support. Whether it’s used as a customer service tool or as part of the sales journey, live chat can give customers that real-time interaction they crave.

2. Customized Support

Innovative companies are understanding the paradigm shift from a segmented to a connected customer experience. Customizing the customer service experience is an integral part of adapting to users’ specific requirements. Take Cochlear, the global leader in implantable hearing aid solutions, for example. They faced a major challenge: providing seamless customer support to a community with a range of hearing impairments. As a tech innovator, they understood how crucial user preferences are, and live chat has become a key part of their overall customer experience. According to Kate Obermeyer, a Cochlear recipient and employee, “voice calls are not necessarily your first choice” when you’re still learning to differentiate sounds.

3. Efficient Support

There’ll always be some interactions that are best handled on the phone. But many simple queries can be resolved by a combination of live chat and an online knowledge base, leaving your expert call centre agents free to deal with large, complex support tickets. For instance, leading UK cleaning brand Vax increased first contact resolution from 78% to 87%, while at the same time reducing phone contact from 81% to 76.5% after introducing live chat and a Service Cloud solution. Impressive, right? And get this – 91% of their customers who engaged via live chat said they found it useful and would do it again.

Turning Customers into Raving Fans

Live chat doesn’t just benefit your customers – it can also work wonders for your business. By having live chat tools on your website and making it available as a support option, you’re helping to build trust. Different people prefer different contact channels, and by presenting a wider range of options, customers will feel that you’re more responsive, more available, and generally more interested in what they want.

Live chat also gives you the option of longer service hours, covering evenings and weekends when call centres may be closed. Again, fitting your customer service offering around your customers’ lives can only be a good thing. And let’s not forget about the importance of choosing your agents carefully. Use experienced customer service people, but remember that live chat requires a slightly different mix of skills – accurate keyboard skills and a clear, concise writing style are the on-screen equivalents of clear diction and a friendly voice.

A Powerful Sales Tool, Too

Although traditionally considered a piece of help desk software, there’s no reason to limit live chat to customer support. The positive response that customers have to live chat means it can be an effective sales tool too, especially when it comes to reducing dropouts during the purchase process. This was an unexpected benefit with Vax – as we saw earlier, this UK cleaning brand was able to increase first contact resolution, freeing up more time for upselling. The result? A 26% increase in year-on-year e-commerce sales. Impressive, right?

The great advantage of live chat is that you can target it very precisely: proactively engage with customers who are browsing specific product pages, offer discounts or upsells to those who seem hesitant, or simply be there to answer any questions that arise during the purchasing journey. It’s a powerful way to boost conversions and keep those customers coming back for more.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

In short – if your business would benefit from a more efficient, more intelligent, and more responsive customer service channel, you should be considering live chat for your website. A study which surveyed UK SME business leaders found that 33% considered keeping up with customer expectations as a major problem. One cost-effective way of staying ahead of the curve is AI chatbots. But how do they differ from live chat software?

An AI chatbot is an automated chat agent that can harness machine learning and natural language processing to automate certain responses, like checking an order or providing a customer with a sales receipt. Chatbots are transforming customer service in many industries, and another study found that 53% of service organisations expect to use chatbots within 18 months – a 136% growth rate that foreshadows a big role for the technology in the near future.

So what are you waiting for, my friends? Start harnessing the powerful benefits of live chat software today to help meet and exceed customer expectations in both service and sales. And don’t forget to check out the third edition of the State of Service Report for key industry insights on all the latest trends in customer service. Oh, and did I mention you can find us at mcrseo.org? Just sayin’!

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