#4 ways of using live chat for small business

Customers hate waiting. They have far too many things to do and far too little time, so they are expecting a fast and helpful response. Without being stuck on a phone line listening to background music or waiting for a reply to their email.

On average, it takes businesses 12 hours to respond to a customers email and a day to respond to social media comment. That’s much longer than customers expect (6 hours for mail and one hour for social media).

Technically everyone heard of the benefits coming from a fast response but improving response rate is harder than it sounds.

Fortunately, there is a system that can help companies with cutting down their response time and keeping customers happier – live chat.

Does live chat even work?

A live chat is a website widget that gives your customers chance to talk directly to your customer support whenever they have an issue or a question. No wonder customers like them so much – 30% of customers expect live chat on your website, and for mobile users, it’s even 62%.

A business chat is also an incredibly useful tool for your company! It can give a ton of valuable information, it’s easy to monitor and is also cheaper and faster than phone support.

On the phone, your customer support or sale rep can only take care of one customer at once while with live chat they can take care of 2-3 customers at the same time, which increases their productivity and decreases response time.

A few years ago live chat was seen as a “nice thing to have” but nothing really necessary. That’s no longer the case:  

  • Service leaders anticipate customer chat to grow 87% in the next 12-18 months.
  • A study found that as many as 77% of customers won’t purchase on a website if there’s no live chat option available.
  • A staggering 42% of customers prefer live chat compared to just 23% for email, and 16% for social media or forums.

Chats online aren’t only useful for cutting down response time though. There are many more things they can aid you in! Have a look at those four business cases of using live chats to great effect.

#1 Prevent shopping cart abandonment

Companies lose 18$ billion annually because of customers abandoning their carts.

The reasons vary – from high shipping costs to customer doubts about the product to distraction. If a high cart abandonment rate is also your problem, it’s necessary to find out why customers are leaving and what can you do to stop it.

How can live chat assist you with this?

For example, you can use chat messages to reach out to your customers proactively and start the conversation with them when they are doing a specific action (like visiting your pricing page). If you call your customers at the right time and use the right message, convincing your customers to convert rather than abandon their cart is much easier.

Be careful not to overuse this tactic though: popping with a chat message immediately after someone starts browsing products (mobile operators do this far too often) or not being subtle at all about wanting the customer to purchase the product will give you the opposite effect to expect.

#2 Help with fixing page errors

Page errors are unavoidable – it’s impossible to keep a close eye on every single page and every feature on your website.

But you can’t afford to just “let them be” – a 404-page error on your new sales page, a discount code not working in checkout or problems with making an account can make customers leave your website as fast as they came.

Live chat widget can be very helpful here too! Instead of exiting the page immediately when they have an issue, the website visitor can contact the customer support using the live chat widget and get help in fixing the problem. Giving the visitors a quick solution to their issue also helps in building trust in your company.

Another good idea is to use a proactive chat message on a 404 page. Not only can website visitors use the chat window to alert you about a broken page link (so you can quickly fix it), it’s also a great way to help customers find the content they came for and keep them on the website.

#3 Offer support in a variety of languages

If you are an international company, customer questions can come from any part of the world. The problem is, despite English being a global language, not everyone feels comfortable using it.

Wouldn’t it be far more convenient for them if you could offer them support in their chosen language? It definitely would be but what if you don’t have a person in your staff that can communicate in the given language?

Live chat can lend a hand here too – the system checks the language used in the customer’s browser and translates the sent messages to the same language as used in the browser.

Customers also can type messages in the language they are most comfortable using, and the live chat will automatically translate them into the language set as primary on your chat account.

Setting this feature won’t give you much trouble either – it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. Here you can find an example of how to download more languages and use them in your live chat, using our live chat tool.

Multi-language live chat widget at User.com
Contact your customers easily with a live chat widget on your website.

#4 Help with getting customer’s feedback

Customer feedback is a goldmine of information. They give invaluable insight into the customer’s expectations, suggestions and issues and can immensely help with improving your product or service. With a live chat service, you can get the feedback quickly and easily.

For example, you can proactively contact your website visitors after they complete specific actions, such as talking with your support reps but also completing a translation or making an account. All you need to do is to schedule a popup window with a short survey or 1-5 rating (leaving a space for a customer comment is also a good idea). Live chat surveys are a great way to get customers feedback but keep a few things in mind:

  • Don’t send a survey question to every single visitor on your website – you’ll be either flooded with data you won’t know what to do with, or you’ll cause the customer to leave the site. Always have a goal in mind when preparing a survey.
  • Keep the surveys short: the more questions, the less likely the customer is to answer them. Don’t ask for too many personal details either.
  • Informing the customers why you need their feedback will significantly raise the chances of a customer filling the survey (for example, you can say you want to improve the product or improve customer service).

Summary

As you see, live chats are not only useful for answering your customers’ questions and issues, but they can do much more – proactive messages are especially helpful.

It doesn’t mean you should forget about traditional support channels like phone support or emails (they are still popular especially with less computer savvy people) but the more options a customer has to contact you, the better.

Nowadays the systems are also affordable enough that even small companies can get a live chat system without straining their budgets. Want to try a live chat system for your company too? How about you sign up for our free 14 days trial and see the benefits of live chat for yourself?

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