The power of live chat
Live chat is still relatively new in the digital communication mix, and not all companies are using it yet. However, the number of companies using it is growing, and various large companies have successfully shown that it works. Thus, it is becoming increasingly clear that live chat works, but where exactly lies the power of live chat? Live chat has many advantages and very few disadvantages. We have listed the benefits for both the customer and your company below.
We can summarise the power of live chat briefly: it is fast, direct, personal and non-binding. And the group of people that prefers using online media to contact companies is continuing to grow as more young people enter the customer pool. All this will ensure that live chat will become an unmissable part of the communication mix companies employ within a relatively short space of time. But, let’s slow it down a little. Below, we will go through the advantages point by point.
Advantages for customers
Firstly, live chat is fast, which is important for the customer, because nobody has time to waste. There are no waiting times and customers can talk to someone immediately. This is precisely the reason people choose to chat with a company rather than use the telephone or email. Live chat is also non-binding. Customers are not required to leave their information to gather information and can cancel the conversation at any point. The non-binding nature of live chat is what attracts many people to it.
Despite the fact that live chat takes place via the internet, you still have direct contact with the customer as a company. As a result, you can easily generate trust, create a positive image and build a relationship. Live chat, therefore, is very personal and allows you to cater to your customer’s specific needs.
There is a large group of people today who’d rather not use the telephone or email, but instead prefers to search for everything online; young people. This group is continuing to grow, while the group of people who’d prefer to grab the phone to ask a question is shrinking. Slowly, the standard mode of communicating will shift to more digital. Live chat plays into this digitisation very well. For some mobile-optimised website, live chat is also available on mobile devices, making it possible for customers to chat with you on the bus or train, thus bringing your company even closer to and simplifying things for your customers.
Advantages for companies
Live chat has even more advantages for companies. You can, for example, structurally improve your service and products by asking your customers for information. This can take place during the chat, but can also happen via a short questionnaire after closing the chat. Customers often unconsciously provide a lot of information in chat conversations. Perhaps there are problems that visitors to your website consistently encounter, because a digital form doesn’t work, or perhaps they are unsatisfied concerning certain aspects of a specific product. This information can be used to continue to improve your website, service and products.
You can proactively approach customers by starting a conversation with a grabbing sentence if customers have been browsing your website for some time. Research has shown that many customers appreciate being proactively spoken to, so make use of this. These opening messages can be automated, so that you only have to spring into action if someone responds. This means you only ever need to talk to people who want to chat to you. Automating this will save you considerable time.
By asking the right questions and sensing where in the purchasing process the customer finds him or herself, you can filter customers and only pass customers to the sales department who are interested at that point in time. Your sales representatives are often expensive. This method saves them time and, with that, a lot of money.
Live chat is also a way to distinguish yourself from competing companies that do not yet chat with customers. Customers who feel your company provides a better, faster and more personal service will prefer to buy your products than those of competitors that offer worse service and/or take longer to respond to questions.
By adapting your live-chat frame to your website’s style, you can complete the chat experience for your customers. The chat frame will look more trustworthy and you will create the feeling amongst your customers of being in your shop.
We should mention that live chat is not the ideal channel to delve deeply into problems or questions, but it is straightforward to switch to the phone, if something needs to be explained, or email, if photographs or documents need to be sent. The visitor has already spoken to your company and, as long as the transition is smooth, the customer will not have problems with it. Live chat is a great filter for this, because it will only be necessary to actually switch to another channel in a small number of cases. This saves your customer-service team a lot of work.
A final significant advantage that few companies consider when they think of live chat is the fact that live chat allows you to collect a lot of data about your customers. Think of their location, but also how often they have already chatted to your employees. In our article about live-chat data collection, you can read more about collecting data during live-chat sessions with customers.
We hope that this article has made the power of live chat clear to you. Would you like to read more about live chat? View all articles about live chat in our blog.