Importance of Incorporating Live Chat

A live chat program, provided by companies like Olark, offers a myriad of benefits to businesses – from real-time interaction to improved customer relations and better overall customer service. Adding live chat to your website shows prospects or clients you are available for a real two-way conversation, which increases their confidence in your offering. Here are the numbers to back it up: a study by TELUS International showed that, among many other things, 77 percent of users agree live chat positively influenced their attitude about the retailer they were considering buying from, and 63 percent of respondents reported they were more likely to return to a website after experiencing live chat.

For marketing agencies and their clients, live chat offers other benefits:

1. Proactive Chat

When paired with a strong personalization platform, live chat empowers agencies to engage with prospects and trigger targeted conversations based on what page or pages a user is currently viewing. Proactive customer service has become one of the top trends in marketing in recent years, and the live chat industry is no exception. A research study conducted by Forrester found investment in reactive chat yields a 15-percent Return on Investment (ROI) while an additional investment in proactive chat capabilities will yield an incremental ROI of 105-percent.

Proactive chat is where operators initiate action and invite website visitors into a one-on-one conversation.

Chat invitations can be triggered based on visitor data and behavior metrics such as current page, geographic location, time on website, referral page, visit times, chat times and more. The more visitor information that can be collected from your live chat, the more personalized your proactive chat invitations can be.

2. Real-Time Answers

No matter how detailed your brand offering, prospects will always have “What about…”, “Does that mean…” and “If I want to…” questions. Answer those questions quickly with live chat and remove those conversation barriers. Live chat is a great tool allowing customers to make contact in real-time. When browsing a site, they may have questions about products, pricing options, delivery, etc., and with chat they can contact a point person without leaving the site to get quick answers.

3. Personalized/Contextual

Live chat is also a virtual gold mine of prospect interests. Have you been experiencing an influx of queries about a specific feature, integration or agency offering? An integrated marketing platform like ActiveDEMAND can automatically mine chat history and trigger dynamic web pages content accordingly.

In previous blogs, we discussed the benefits of integrated web-based communications for e-commerce embedded in a website or mobile app. Why not treat live customer communications as an additional opportunity for personalization? To make this process seamless for customers and fully contextual for marketers, the use of live web-based communications – including voice, video, chat, screen sharing and phone call-backs – are fully utilized.

4. Lead Generation

To improve lead generation for clients – agencies can add live chat to landing pages and increase the conversion optimization rate for PPC, SEO or even email campaigns. Live chat offers robust reporting capabilities for businesses to track visitors’ activity on the site and feed data to the sales team (and to internally audit the effectiveness of the program and make ongoing improvements). In short: Using live chat is a great tool for lead generation.

Need some compelling stats? Kissmetrics, a company that specializes in helping marketers improve their performance, touts the benefits of live chat lead generation in a report titled “Five Reasons Why Live Chat is the Untapped Potential for Your Business,” and there have been some eye-opening statistics attached to that report:

  • Forty-four (44)-percent of online consumers say having questions answered by a live person while in the midst of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer
  • Sixty-three (63)-percent said they are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat
  • Thirty-eight (38)-percent said they had made their purchase based on the chat session itself

5. Client On-boarding/Support

During trial periods or in the initial stages of a project, clients will have questions. Live chat facilitates answers quickly and efficiently without multiple email chains. What’s more, most live chat software will save a transcript. Or the chat history can be saved to the client’s or prospect’s timeline automatically with an integrated software platform like ActiveDEMAND.

In addition to email, phone, video customer support channels and self-service, live chat is a powerful tool for online customer support that executes increased conversions, happier customers, and a reduction in service costs. Three things to remember:

  • Customers love live chat
  • Businesses will see increased sales with live chat
  • Reduced service costs will be achieved with live chat

Businesses are engaging with more and more customers via online channels, and now, more than ever, marketers need to fully support the online customer experience and provide them with quality online support.