There’s an easy way to tell whether a business is likely outperforming its competitors. Visit the company’s website and look for a chat window. If there’s a box in the corner offering live customer support, you can be confident the business is experiencing better than average customer service, conversion, retention, and satisfaction.
Live chat offers numerous benefits for businesses, particularly small and growing businesses, because it benefits the people they serve. Rather than calling, emailing, or visiting a company in person, an interested customer or prospect can type in a question or request and instantly connect to a business representative.
In the most effective systems, that representative is a live chat specialist—a human agent (not a bot) ready to engage in conversations and handle issues 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Live chat specialists are part customer service agents, part salespeople. Their job is to…
- create personal connections with customers
- incent potential buyers to provide contact information
- engage in friendly, non-scripted conversations
- understand context and proactively solve problems
- facilitate live call transfers to the sales team represent the business and brand professionally, and more!
42% of all customers prefer chat over other communication channels.
How Can Live Chat Benefit Your Business?
While the advantages of all of the above are obvious—who wouldn’t want capable sales and service agents meeting customers’ needs on-demand, around the clock?—many business owners opt not to use live chat. They assume chat services are prohibitively expensive, overly complex, or simply irrelevant to their customers.
But you know what happens when you assume. These ideas about live chat almost never hold true in reality. Adding a chat function to a website is simpler than ever. And for virtually any company, it tends to pay for itself before long.
As for that last point—the belief that customers don’t care about live chat—did you know that 42% of all customers prefer chat over other communication channels?
Or that 73% of consumers are satisfied with their experiences on live chat? That’s the highest level of all customer service channels.
How about the fact that compared to other kinds of prospects, chat prospects are 4.6 times more likely to convert into customers?
Yes, the number one reason to use live chat is that customers want you to. A good number—30% and counting—expect you to.
Beyond staying up to date with customer preferences, however, live chat can also help you differentiate your business, increase conversion rates, boost customer loyalty, better identify and address customer pain points, and improve your margins.
Live Chat Helps You Stand Out from Your Competitors
Given the demand for live chat, as well as its capacity for delivering exceptional experiences where and when customers are active, you’d think service-oriented businesses would be zeroed in on live chat. Yet only between 9% and 14% of all company websites have chat functionality in place.
In other words, the vast majority of all businesses—likely including your competitors—either undervalue chat or don’t know about it at all. In today’s aggressive markets, where customer attention comes at a premium, live chat presents a significant and highly advantageous opportunity for you to differentiate.
Live Chat Increases Conversion Rates
One of the key benefits of live chat is lead generation—attracting interested parties to your business and turning them into buyers. Conversion improves because chat specialists work proactively to gather site visitors’ contact information. Some chat solutions (including ours) can even connect chat customers live to the business’s sales team within seconds using connect-to-call features, or via real-time email, text, or phone call notification.
A chat window can make a major difference in terms of new business. We can speak for our customers: businesses that use Ruby’s live chat turn their websites into lead generation machines, experiencing an average 40% increase in leads directly from website visitors.
Live Chat Boosts Customer Loyalty
Between its speed, convenience, accessibility, and 24/7 availability, live chat is built with customers in mind. Chat eliminates many barriers associated with conventional sales and service channels. It should come as no surprise, then, that people who use chat report high levels of satisfaction. This, in turn, increases brand affinity and customer loyalty.
Keep in mind that high customer expectations go both ways. While meeting those expectations is harder than ever, customers are also more likely to stick with companies who have earned their trust. Whether it’s used for sales, support, or both, live chat offers an uncommonly fast and flexible experience, ultimately motivating people to make return visits and become repeat customers.
Live Chat Illuminates Customer Pain Points
Information gathering is yet another crucial benefit of live chat. Chat log data can help pinpoint repeated issues with customer service, allowing for fixes that would be more difficult—if not impossible—to discover with other communication channels.
At Ruby, our chat technology captures every conversation transcript in its entirety, along with the IP address and visitor referral source (Google, social media, etc.), providing you with vital context on your customers’ needs, as well as the performance of your marketing dollars, which brings us to…
Live Chat Improves your Margins with Customers
Tired of wasting money on business marketing, sales, and support efforts with no identifiable impact on your bottom line? There’s no better time to consider the benefits of live chat. Because everything related to chat is documented, transcribed, and timestamped, you can track exactly how long conversations take and tie those exchanges directly to sales numbers and other performance indicators.
Live Chat Specialists at Ruby
Ruby’s live, US-based chat specialists are highly-trained to provide a stellar customer experience personalized for your unique business. Within 30 seconds of someone visiting your site or your Facebook page, they’re engaged, ready to make a positive first impression.
Think of Ruby as an extension of your sales and support teams, ensuring your prospects’ and customers’ needs are met, delighting them with spectacular service, and ensuring they remain with you rather than leaving for a competitor’s site. Our specialists are available 24 hours a day, year-round, to help you build your brand and grow your business.