Two things concern every person involved with sales: generating more leads and boosting your conversion rate. A quick search on the Internet will reveal hundreds of strategies aimed at doing both of these. Even if you narrow it down to strategies you can use to sell online, you’re still left with a ton of options - from improving your SEO, to an increased focus on video marketing, to better use of social media.
One of the best options to consider though is adding a live chat feature to your website. You could spend your time trying out several different strategies for boosting conversions and generating more leads through your website, but many of them will not be as effective as adding a live chat feature.
What is Live Chat
By now you’ve probably experienced live chat yourself. You’re browsing the web, when you come across a website you want to check out. You open the website, and on the bottom corner of the page, a little window pops up. It looks like you just got a text message, or like someone sent you a message with Facebook Messenger. In this box someone is asking if there is any way that they can help you today.
At the moment there isn’t, so you minimize the box and go back to browsing the website. A few minutes later you come across a product you’re interested in, but you’re unsure. It’s a lot of money, and you want to make sure it’s protected under warranty before you make your purchase. Unfortunately, the wording on the website isn’t clear about this - but that’s when you remember the chat box.
You open it back up and ask about the warranty for that product. Within a few moments an answer comes back. They continue to talk to you, answering any other questions you may have about the product. After talking for a few minutes, you’re sold, and you add the product to your cart, then complete your checkout.
This type of experience is available across a large portion of the Internet now. With live chat apps, website visitors can quickly get answers to their questions, in a setting that provides a personal connection. It resembles the experience of walking into a small local business and having one-on-one attention.
Live chat has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for good reason. Not only do consumers love it, but it’s easy for website owners to add. Even better, it can even boost conversions and draw in more leads. But why exactly is live chat so useful? There are a few distinct benefits that it provides - benefits that are hard to replicate elsewhere.
Before we take the time to describe the benefits that come from adding a live chat app to your website, you probably want to know if they’ll work. We could tell you that adding polka music to your website would improve conversions, but unless we actually had good numbers to back up that claim, you probably wouldn’t do it. Luckily, there are a lot of studies that show the benefits of adding live chat.
For starters, according to this study from eDigital Research (PDF), live chat had the highest satisfaction levels compared with other forms of customer service. People had a better experience using live chat (73%) compared to other methods like texting (41%), emailing(61%), or talking on the phone(44%). In addition, the study also said “almost half (43%) will pick up a phone to make a general enquiry, suggesting that they are looking for an answer to their question there and then.” This is great news for people who use live chat, as this is where it excels.
But that’s not all - another study by J.D. Power backed up these findings. According to them, “More than 42% preferred live chat option to solve the issues and queries during online shopping” and “When the chat function was used by the customer, the overall satisfaction was higher.”
So, consumers like having the live chat option, but does it really help your business? The answer is yes. This study found that adding live chat can increase conversions by 40 percent on average.
Of course, some of these studies are from a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean the numbers have changed for the worse. In fact, one study found that “demand for live chat features on company websites grew by 8.3 percent in 2017.”
The numbers don’t lie. Live chat is a useful tool that consumers love, can help your conversion rates, and it’s also on the rise. This isn’t some quick fad that will fade out right around the time you finish installing it. As more people get used to having the live chat option available to them on other websites, and the technology behind the apps improves, live chat will only become more popular with consumers and more beneficial to your website.
Now that we’ve seen that live chat works, it’s time to dig into why it works. There are 5 main reasons:
#1 - Human Touch
The first reason you’ll want to add live chat to your website is because it adds a human touch. Before live chat, websites were essentially static. There was information on the page, and it was up to the viewer to digest it. Sure, this information might be in the form of a video, image, or something else interactive, but it was still very one-dimensional. Live chat helps to change that a bit.
With live chat, visitors to your site can now feel like they are talking to someone. Imagine walking into a large store, only it’s completely empty. You have some questions about the product you want to buy, but there is no one there to help you out. Websites before live chat were a lot like this. You could reach out via email, or make a phone call, but the response wasn’t always immediate.
People want the convenience that comes with shopping online, but that doesn’t mean they want to abandon the personal touch that comes with shopping in person. Live chat helps to add this human touch to your website, so your visitors can get the best of both worlds.
#2 - Constant Availability
The other thing live chat does is provide your visitors with constant availability. People are visiting your site at all hours of the day, whether it’s because they’re in a different timezone, or they just like to browse at odd hours. If your online help was only available during business hours, it wouldn’t be of much use to those people who want to visit your site after dinner. Live chat fixes this.
The live chat on your website will run at all times, so it’s available no matter when someone comes to your site. Your website is up and running 24/7, so help you provide should be as well. You don’t want to miss out on a sale because someone wasn’t able to get the help they need in the middle of the night. At the very least, your live chat app can collect contact information from customers in the off-hours, and you can reach out to them during your regular business hours.
By being able to help your customers at all times, and collect their contact information even when you’re not around, you can significantly boost your conversion rate and gather more leads.
#3 - Improves Customers’ Opinion
Ideally, your live chat app would be so good that it would convert every site visitor into a customer. However, this isn’t going to happen. But what does happen is that you leave a good impression on more of your visitors, and this itself can lead to more sales down the road.
When someone visits your site, they may not be in the right frame of mind to make a purchase yet. Maybe they are still researching their options or figuring out what they need. But while they may not buy something now, that doesn’t mean they won’t down the road. Your goal is to leave a strong impression on them, so that when they are thinking over their options, they come back to you.
Customer service plays a big role in where people spend their money. Even if a company has a superior product, if a customer has a bad experience with them, they are likely to look elsewhere next time. By providing that on-demand human touch to every person who visits your website, you improve your customer satisfaction metrics and establish a good reputation. This in turn will lead to more leads and more sales in the future.
#4 - Connect with Your Sales Team
We briefly mentioned it earlier, but it deserves digging into further. One of the biggest advantages of a live chat app is that it helps to connect potential customers with your sales team. If someone visits your website, and takes the time to interact with your live chat app, this is the type of lead that you want to hold onto.
If the live chat app is unable to answer the customer’s question, they can ask for their email address. With this email address, a member of your sales team can reach our and provide more information. It’s a great way to not only set up a one-on-one connection with a prospective customer, but also gather email addresses for future emails.
According to HostGator, “When it comes to doing business online your email list can be your biggest ally. A lot of business owners focus on page views, or building a social media following, instead of building their lists and talking to their email subscribers.”
Sometimes your website isn’t enough to make a sale. You need to follow up with people via email, or set up a meeting with one of your sales staff. However, getting their contact information to begin with is often the hardest part. Using a chat app makes this much easier, and can help to rapidly grow your list of leads.
#5 - Learn From Your Customers
Finally, a live chat app will help you to gain valuable information from your customers. Let’s take the following example: imagine 100 people visit your website and use your live chat. Within the live chat app, 90 of them ask a question regarding Product A, while the other 10 ask a question about Product B. You can learn to major things from just this alone.
First, you can see that Product A is more popular than Product B. You could use this information in your marketing strategy in an attempt to get more sales. Beyond that, you can also tell that your website currently isn’t providing enough information on Product A. By changing some of the copy on your website, you could potentially draw in some more sales.
Another great thing that live chat apps can do is direct customers to a survey. Asking customers who successfully use your live chat app to complete a quick survey is a great way to receive valuable feedback. You can ask them questions such as how did they like the live chat app, what would the like to see on the website, or how you can improve your customer service. There are many ways to go about earning customer loyalty and making improvements, but to make the best decisions you need to know more about your customers.
When it comes to information about your customer base, you can never have enough. You can learn plenty from your website stats or from market research, but a live chat directly on your website can provide a lot more.
How to Add Live Chat
After reading all of the benefits that come from adding live chat, you’re probably eager to do it on your own website. Luckily, this is a pretty simply process. The first thing you need to do is choose a live chat provider. You want to find one that is:
- Easy to set up
- Helpful to your customers
There are a lot of options out there, but one you may want to consider is LiveAgent. Our live chat software provides on average a 26 percent increase in conversions, improves customer satisfaction, and provides real-time information on your customers. Not only that, but our product is easy to set up, and we provide plenty of helpful resources on our website to help you get the most out of our service.
Get Started with Live Chat Today
Doing business online provides a lot of convenience, but for a long time it lacked the personal touch you got with going to a store. Live chat is a large step towards fixing that problem, by giving site visitors someone to talk to at all times. Doing so improves their experience, increases the number of leads you get, and boosts your conversions at the same time.
There’s no better time to add a live chat feature to your website. Contact us today, and we’ll help you get started with LiveAgent. Once you do, you’ll quickly start to see all of the benefits that come with it, and wonder why you hadn’t used this feature sooner.
Marcus Svensson is responsible for the Growth of Albacross, a B2B lead generation platform, with previous experience as a founder and background in Mathematics from Stanford. Albacross is one of the top lead generation tools in Europe today and growing with hundreds of new companies every day. For best lead generation visit albacross.com