Experts project that the global live chat software market will reach $997 million by 2023. Last year, as many as 71% of consumers said they expect eCommerce brands to offer customer support via a messaging platform, such as live chat.
Traditionally, live chat is software implemented on a website to connect online visitors with support agents. However, several live chat software programs now integrate with social media platforms, enabling messaging and customer support outside of company websites.
Implementing live chat can solve several common eCommerce issues, which we’ll explore in this article. So, let’s find out exactly what problems you can solve with live chat!
Creating an omnichannel experience
To deliver an authentic omnichannel experience, an eCommerce business must provide consistent encounters for its customers, no matter how they choose to communicate. Regardless of how a consumer reaches out to a company (e.g., via social media, email, phone, or live chat), agents on all channels should have access to the same customer history so every conversation doesn’t have to start from scratch.
Live chat is an integral part of this omnichannel experience since it occurs on the brand’s website. Chatting with an agent will be user-friendly since the customer’s information—such as previous orders and communication history—are at the support agent’s fingertips. Additionally, agents can access chat transcripts to provide context for future interactions with a customer.
It’s very common for a live chat agent to help transition a customer from the consideration phase of their buyer journey to conversion. In 2020, 38% of consumers said they’d be more likely to purchase from an eCommerce site with live chat.
Say a customer is interested in your product but is concerned about price. Shipping costs or the availability of a coupon code can make or break a purchasing decision for a customer, and if you have live chat available on your website, a potential customer can ask a question and get a response within moments. This immediate engagement can often lead to a purchase.
Improving customer service
Earlier this year, 26% of U.S. consumers said poor customer service was their top reason for losing trust with a brand. As many as 24% of customers said a long wait time was their biggest frustration. One way to minimize long wait times is by using live chat, which boasts a response time of two minutes on average, compared to social media (10 hours) and email (17 hours).
Offering live chat on your website or social media profile is a way to deliver real-time, personalized customer service. You can assist customers looking for a particular product, provide specific information, or help resolve customer service issues.
Providing personalized service
Live chat software collects customer data such as browsing history, time spent on a specific webpage, and contact information. As a result, companies that use live chat are able to offer a level of personalized service that would be impossible with a brick-and-mortar location.
Live chat can provide a personal experience in other, more subtle ways, such as through a custom greeting. Aside from using a customer’s name, starting a conversation with “Welcome back!” to a returning customer makes them feel recognized.
Gaining valuable customer insights
You now know that live chat software provides you with valuable user data you can use to improve the customer experience. However, you can also use live chat insights and technology in other ways:
- Pre-chat surveys collect contact information so you can stay in touch
- Post-chat surveys help you measure your customer service efforts and overall chat satisfaction
- The total number of chats tells you how many live chat agents you need
- Average response time shows you how quickly you’re reaching customers
This data can show you where your customer support team is on track and areas for improvement so you can continue to improve the customer experience.
Eliciting customer engagement
Having real-time conversations with your customers is a great way to make them feel connected and engaged with your brand, which can promote loyalty and greater customer lifetime value. Live chat helps to build genuine relationships with your customers while obtaining information about their needs and wants.
One way to engage customers right away is by utilizing conversation starters. Create a welcoming environment by asking them how you can help them today. You can also use live chat to announce upcoming sales or promotions, especially if the deal begins in just a few hours or minutes. Customize your conversation to fit with your brand voice, and people will feel more at ease chatting with a bot.
Earning customer loyalty
In 2020, 60% of U.S. customers conducted more business with a brand as a result of excellent customer service. Earlier this year, 79% of companies said live chat has positively impacted their sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.
The data speaks for itself: offering live chat is what eCommerce customers want. They’re able to talk with someone faster through live chat than via other digital channels, and they might even make a purchasing decision on the spot. When used correctly, live chat can help consumers build trust in your brand, creating loyal customers for life.