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7 Reasons Why Live Chat is a Must for Your Customer Support Strategy

Customer support is a vital factor in every successful business. Both existing and prospective buyers expect your company to provide quality service — and if it doesn’t, you may lose them altogether.

Sounds dramatic? Never underestimate the sheer competitiveness of the online marketplace; it’s estimated that American businesses lose $83 billion every year due to abandoned purchases and brand-switching.

Your support agents must be accessible to customers through various channels for maximum convenience, and live chat software is one of the most popular (with some of the highest satisfaction levels).

Why do you need to integrate live chat into your customer support strategy right now?

1. Be Available 24/7

Your customers can buy your products at any time, any place—which means they might have questions round the clock.

Live chat software makes it simpler for your business to accommodate buyers looking to purchase at all hours. Agents can handle multiple live chats at the same time, enabling them to resolve several issues within a brief time. You’ll cater to an international customer-base too, which is essential if you ship overseas.

You need only operate a reduced crew of agents during the night, and startups with a tiny audience could even get by with a single agent to begin with. There’s less risk of building an unmanageable backlog too.

2. Deliver a Fast Response

We’ve all had to wait on hold for longer than we’d like. Even some of the world’s biggest brands are guilty of keeping their valuable customers on hold, including Apple, Amazon and Bank of America.

Live chat software lets your customers bypass the frustration of hearing the same old “your call is important to us” message for minutes on end. They will be assigned to an agent and typically given details on their place in the queue and the amount of time they can expect to wait.

However, it’s much easier to multitask while waiting for an agent through live chat: you can open another tab to keep browsing or carry on with work, minimizing the disruption to your day. If they have a question about a particular product, they can do more research on it while waiting too.

3. Gather Valuable Insights

Live chat software allows you to accumulate useful data on your customer behavior and requirements. One way of doing this is reviewing chat transcriptions, paying attention to:

  • Common complaints / queries
  • Questions that could be put into an FAQ section for self-service
  • Missed opportunities to upsell
  • Common difficulties with products / services
  • Gaps in agents’ product knowledge

Studying these factors will help you refine and improve your customer experience overall, identifying flaws in agent training and opportunities to build your self-service resources.

Chat history features give you details on the visitor’s name, country etc. Storing information on visitors helps improve support in the future, preventing the need for them to repeat topics covered in previous interactions. This keeps the chat times shorter and makes customers feel more valued.

There are multiple other ways to gather customer feedback, too, including simply asking questions during live-chat sessions and conducting surveys.

4. Keep Support Costs Down

Live chat is free for customers—this is a major selling point. Calling helplines, on the other hand, usually isn’t free, especially when waiting on hold.

Offering live chat support means existing and potential buyers don’t have to spend money just to have a question answered or file a complaint. They will resent your company less and the interaction may get off to a healthier start.

As your agents can handle multiple interactions together too, you’ll be able to boost productivity and have less need to expand your service team.

5. Build Customer Loyalty

Research shows that 44 percent of people buying online find having a live agent answer their questions during the purchase process a crucial feature on any website.

Further studies show that 62 percent of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from a brand after a live-chat interaction. When your buyers receive quality service and leave with a positive view of your brand, there’s a better chance they will be loyal and may recommend you to others too.

6. Maintain Closer Relationships with Buyers

With live chat, you can cultivate a personal relationship with your customers: your agents will have their name and typically their reason for getting in touch as soon as the interaction starts. They can address the visitor in a direct, friendly way and dive straight into addressing the problem.

Gathering an email address at the start of the live chat generates leads. You will be able to send them personalized marketing emails and newsletters, informed by your interaction with them. What products / services were discussed? What purchases did they make? Use these details to tailor future communications with buyers and build a tighter bond.

7. Use Chat Transcripts for Transparent Service

Give customers the chance to receive transcriptions of live chats: they will have proof of the conversation for future reference and your service will be more transparent.

If the visitor wishes to look back over instructions or advice given to them, they can do so at their leisure. Agents will be able to explore previous chats to deliver a personalized experience in future interactions with returning visitors too.

Integrating live chat into your customer support strategy offers real, tangible benefits: your customers will enjoy a better, more personal experience overall, your agents’ productivity will increase and you can build trust in visitors .It’s easy to set-up and you’ll gain valuable insights into consumers’ needs, helping you understand your target audience better.

If you have incorporated live chat software into your business, what results have you seen?