Which chat service is right for your business?

Four young-looking people sit closely and casually on the floor, holding paper cutouts shaped like speech bubbles and thought bubbles in front of their faces.

Want to attract people to your business? How about fostering greater loyalty among your current customers or clients?  

Duh and double-duh. Why am I even asking? What are we doing here? 

We’re here because of live chat. Specifically, we’re here to explore the topic of chat services for business—why chat matters, how it works, and how to use it to connect with existing and potential customers. So, let’s chat about chat. 

What’s so special about chat?

These days, many people do business primarily or exclusively online. The pressure is on for organizations (like your business) and professionals (like yourself) to answer questions, offer information, and address customer concerns online in a quick, accurate, and personal manner. Chat fulfills these needs. 

Chat means convenience. A chat service can close the gap between customers reaching out for information and making a sale. When fast response times are vital, chat ensures people get nearly instant answers, rather than having to wait for an email or sit on hold on the phone. This not only builds customer trust, but also enables you to generate more leads for your business and convert those leads faster. 

(By the way, it’s convenient for those of us on the other end, too. You can multi-task, talk on the phone, take care of kid or pet needs—all while serving your customers.) 

Think of a chat service as the equivalent of a friendly secretary or welcome desk at a brick-and-mortar office. Visitors can have basic questions answered and be directed to the right area of the business for more detailed answers.  

With chat, you provide customers with service where they’re active in the moment—on your website. You can also set up the chat to ask visitors questions after they’ve been on the site for a certain length of time. This can prompt people to ask for the information they need rather than clicking away to conduct research on another site.  

Customers love chatand are more likely to buy from businesses that have it. 

You don’t have to take my word for it. According to multiple studies, people love chat: 

  • 42% of customers favor live chat above all communication channels. Compare that 29% who like email and 16% who want to communicate over social media. 
  • Customers are 46% more likely to make a purchase from a company with live chat support.  
  • Live chat results in larger orders. On average, customers who interact with live chat make orders that are 10% larger than those who do not.  

Plus, there are the effects of chat on customer sentiment. Customers feel heard when they have a positive chat interaction. When people experience not-so-great customer service, they remember the experience and warn others not to use the offending business. On the other hand, customers who can access information quickly, from a friendly person, are much more likely to do business with you—and to recommend you to their friends and family.  

Fullserviceself-serviceautomated lead capture: Which chat service is right for you?  

Generally speaking, there are different types of chat services available for your website:  

  1. Full-service chat 
  2. Self-service chat
  3. Automated lead capture

Each one has its strengths and use cases, and can fulfill various needs depending on your requirements and resources. 

An icon comprised of the numbers 24, 7, and 365, floating in concentric shapes, representing full-service chat.

Full-service chat 

When you use full-service chat, you have team of professionals ready to answer chats at any time of day or night. These professionals are equipped to give answers to the most common questions your business receive. They also know when to hand customers over to someone with more experience—you, or someone else on your team.  

Of course, that’s only if you want to communicate with those customers instantly. Full-service chat is available 24/7, so you don’t have to be. Live chat pros can take a message for you, complete with contact info, so you can get back to the customer during business hours. When customers feel their needs have been heard and taken seriously, they’re more willing to wait for your answer.  

Any business can benefit from full-service chat, but it’s especially useful for… 

  • Law firms 
  • Healthcare providers 
  • Educators 
  • Any organization that needs to build trust from the first impression and provide responsive, professional service 
  • Businesses that want to create human connections/conversations in every channel 
  • Businesses for which customer service is a key differentiator

See how live chat built real-world business for Prero Orthodontics. 

A speech bubble icon, representing self-service chat.

Self-service chat 

A small or highly specialized business might do better with self-service chat.  

Self-service chat works just like full-service chat, only you do it yourself. This can work well in the beginning stages of a business or for a business that doesn’t yet have a lot of traffic on its website. Examples include… 

  • Travel agents 
  • Event planners 
  • Photographers 
  • Salons 
  • Businesses that have the time and resources to answer chats in a timely, professional manner 
  • Businesses where direct, 1-to-1 interactions between owners/employees and customers/prospects are important 
  • Low-volume, high-margin businesses 

A icon displaying a line chart with the line rising, representing automated lead capture.

Automated lead capture

Finally, there’s automated lead capture, a configurable tool that handles basic interactions with visitors. Instead of having a human answer live, you set up automated lead capture to take visitors through a prebuilt conversation flow.  

In a nutshell: 

  1. Someone visits your website. 
  2. The lead capture tool initiates a conversation and gathers the visitor’s contact information. 
  3. You receive an email with details, so you can follow up. 

Automated lead capture is ideal for businesses whose customers do a lot of research before making a purchase or an appointment. It can also work well for businesses where customers have a fairly straightforward purchase journey. If your business has a very high volume of website traffic or lots of frequently asked questions, an automated lead capture tool can free up you and your staff to deal with the more complex issues or with customers who are ready to make a purchase or an appointment.  

Automated lead capture is perfect for… 

  • Automotive dealerships 
  • Specialized healthcare providers 
  • E-commerce/retail companies 
  • Businesses whose customers need to do a lot of initial research—automated chat can guide visitors to the right information 
  • Businesses that need to highly qualify their leads 
  • Businesses with a lot of frequently asked questions 

Grow your business with Ruby’s chat services. 

Whichever type of chat service is right for you, you can depend on Ruby.  

Our chat services are available 24/7/365, and are 100% secure. Each service will also come with information about the kind of information your customers are seeking, how long they spend on your website, and how live chat affects whether they make a purchase or appointment. This gives you valuable insights you can use to improve the information on your website and your customers’ experiences.