When you think of ways to improve your business, your mental checklist might include things like marketing and customer service. What is often overlooked is the role that lives chat can play in both tasks. Crafting the best live chat option for your business site can pay off as it helps with both customer retention and conversion.
Live chat offers a human touch. Can help customer retention and conversion
If you are new to this concept, it can be a bit overwhelming. That is why we have compiled a one-stop guide. It breaks down what live chat is, discusses its benefits, offers some stellar options, and provides an initial walkthrough. You’ll find practical tips to get the most out of your live chat experience.
What is live chat?
Live web chat is a term used to encompass any type of chatbox that you want to include on your website. They are used for many purposes but are often primarily focused on customer service. They can be automated, fully staffed, or use a combination of both. But the main advantage here is that live chat works by connecting you and your team with your customers in real-time.
Webchat boxes usually appear at the bottom right of the screen when visiting a site that has this feature. It will open automatically or ask you to click on it by blinking or notifying you in some way.
Advantages of using live web chat in your business
Before delving into some of the software options we suggest, let’s talk about a few reasons why web chat is such an important feature to prioritize on your business website:
- Immediacy: With live chat, current and potential customers will be able to get in touch with you as soon as they have a query or need. There are no contact forms or phone calls to deal with.
- Closing of agreements: In line with the above, live web chat makes it easier to close a sale since you are eliminating the delay between asking the prospect and receiving a response from them. Quick responses often result in more immediate sales.
- Troubleshooting: If someone has a question or difficulty on your website or if they have a problem with a product, your live chat can help them find the solution in real-time. This makes the customer service experience that much better.
- People now expect things immediately: There are so many SaaS sites and retailers that now offer live chat on their websites that customers already assume they will find it. They may feel uncomfortable if they are forced to contact you through more traditional channels.
- Provides comfort: You will connect with people where they feel most comfortable. There are no contact forms or phone calls involved. This means that they will not have to wait for a response for more than 24 hours. In addition, they will not have to wait for a response outside of their working hours. Podium, one of the existing live chat options, brings all webchat conversations directly to the text. This way, customers can keep talking to you even after they’ve left your website.
- Acceleration of conversion rates: Having a live chat module on your site helps eliminate obstacles or frictions in your sales funnel. The result is increased sales and more agile conversions.
- Get better leads: Since potential customers can ask questions and get immediate answers, you are much more likely to be dealing with more highly qualified leads than if you rely on traditional contact forms or other options.
- Cheaper than traditional support services: Perhaps one of the most compelling benefits of all, live chat platforms are a much cheaper solution than hiring a full customer support staff.
Best Live Chat Software
Choosing the best live chat software for your specific situation is imperative for success. These are some metrics to consider when making a decision:
- Functionalities: In short, does it offer the features you need to provide the best service to your business?
- Extensibility: Can the live chat service be expanded and/or are there premium packages available that will be useful in case your business needs increase exponentially?
- Price: You always have to consider the budget. Some live chat options are cheaper than others, so this is important to keep in mind as well.
With these metrics in mind, let’s explore three options for live chat software that quite possibly meet the needs of many types of businesses.
Podium is a live chat option that you can install on your website to better interact with your customers. It combines a variety of services in a smart hub or platform that facilitates the management of all customer communications. Some of its most notable features include the following:
- The webchat is automatically converted to SMS text so that customers can keep their conversations with you even after they have left your site.
- You’ll win leads more easily by collecting names and phone numbers as part of the webchat interface.
- Schedule appointments, demos, and consulting sessions with potential clients directly from the chat panel.
- Customizable chat widget.
- Comprehensive potential customer management tools.
- Automated answers to FAQs, analytics, leaderboard, and more.
Zendesk is another full-featured chat system that you could install on any website to quickly and easily answer your customers’ questions, close sales, and turn your visits into customers. Some of its outstanding features include:
- Pop-up chat box that is activated when a visitor lands on your website or moves to a certain point on it.
- Complete metrics.
- Integration with other customer service services, including telephone, text, and contact forms.
- Integration with social media messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger.
Another great live web chat option is Drift. Use “artificial intelligence – based conversational” methods to engage with potential customers while they are on your site. These methods will be able to offer contextual answers while your team can continue to interact with those clients who have more complex queries. Some other features they include are the following:
- Connect with customers in real time to answer their questions and encourage sales.
- Create personalized messages aimed at meeting the needs of a specific campaign and specific customers.
- Receive alerts when a customer is on your site.
Online Chat for Websites: Getting Started Guide
If adding a business web chat to your website sounds like a good idea, you’re in luck. We have put together a quick and easy getting started guide to guide you through the setup process. But first, a word of warning.
Problems you might run into
One of the biggest hurdles in getting started with live chat is making sure you have the resources to cover it. That is, you need staff to talk to people when they are interacting. Yes, you can make your business or “office” hours public, but you will need to make this time window wide enough to serve as many people as possible. You’ll also need to cover times when your staff is unavailable with a smart chatbot that can provide answers to frequently asked questions and other resources to guide customers.
Some people in live chat may also ask complex questions that require more elaborate answers. This could be a resource-heavy task. So it’s also important to figure out when is the best time to replace live chat interactions with more personal, one-on-one demonstrations or consultations.
You might find that once you have live chat on your site, current and potential customers are more likely to send inquiries through it than through other forms of customer support. On the one hand, this is positive because you will be able to provide immediate feedback. But on the other hand, customers who may have easily found an answer through your FAQ will now use live chat instead. It’s crucial to figure out ways to help customers quickly and optimize the experience (for both your team and your customers).