Every customer is different. But their expectations around customer service remain remarkably similar. No matter where they are in their sales journey, they want an exceptional experience…
…and after they make a purchase.
Adding live chat to your small business website is one way to ensure your online visitors receive the same level of service, no matter where they are in their customer journey. Whether they’re evaluating your business, making a purchase, or reaching out with post-sale questions, live chat provides real-time support at the tips of their fingers.
And while 24/7 chat may sound expensive—the truth is that it’s more affordable than ever. In fact, it even has the potential to pay for itself in the long run. Here’s how:
1. Live chat is more affordable than other customer support tools.
In 2020, Americans spent more than 900 billion dollars online. That online spending boom was largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but financial experts believe your web visitors and customers could be here to stay if you fine-tune your online presence to meet their needs.
Live chat is one of the quickest ways to make your business more responsive to today’s digital customer demands. And that responsiveness is the key to capturing leads and converting them into paying customers. Let’s say a live chat service costs you $129 a month; and one lead brings in $500 in new business. That one customer generated from a live chat session has your service covered for almost four months.
2. Live chat accelerates your sales cycle.
Many small businesses employ a sales staff to follow up on prospects. But when your salespeople are spending time generating their own leads, your sales cycle loses efficiency.
With live chat, a team of flexible and responsive virtual receptionists can evaluate leads and connect them directly with your sales team, creating a more seamless and efficient sales process. Your team is then able to make the most of their time by engaging directly with these pre-qualified leads. The sales generated from your web chat leads can potentially help cover their base salary, saving you money and helping your business grow.
3. Live chat creates opportunities to improve your customer journey.
I recently took a deep dive into some of our older blog posts and found an article that had some errors. I reached out to our content strategist, and he immediately went to work fixing that page on the site.
Removing even one small error helps improve things for the next person who lands on the page. Your web visitors are an invaluable source of information for the functioning and look of your website. That’s why it’s essential to have a channel your customers can use to reach out when they find an error or something that isn’t working.
Live chat makes this process simple and painless—while also helping you gather important data and insights into your users’ experience, allowing you to remove any friction that might exist within your customer’s journey. Together, these allow your business to use your online customers as a primary source for improving your user experience.
4. Live chat improves your website's visibility on search engines.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an umbrella term for optimizations you can use to help improve your website’s online visibility. SEO tasks range from simple to complex—but one thing that search engines always look for is websites that are easier to use.
Simply having a live chat on your website tells the search engines that your website is functionally better than websites that don’t have chat.
Improving your SEO helps move your website up the ranks and into the first page of search engine results. Depending on who you ask, some SEO experts believe that between 70 and 90% of clicks land on the first page of the search engine results. Having live chat is an easy way to boost your SEO—driving more traffic toward your website.
5. Live chat creates exceptional customer experiences.
If you’ve noticed a theme here, that’s with good reason. An astonishing 95% of customers will leave a company for one with better customer service—even after years of service. User experience, customer service, and customer journey are all synonymous with ensuring your customers have their needs met during every interaction with your business.
When your customers want to interact with your business online, you need to make sure they have pathways to ask questions and learn more about your products or services. Live chat serves as a powerful customer support tool that creates deeper connections between you and your customers.
Discover how live chat fits into your plans to build your online presence with our guide: The new front door to your business.