Everything seems to be on-demand these days: you can binge-watch six seasons of your favorite television show in one sitting, have adorable puppies delivered to your house by a car service, and even outsource your to-do list from your mobile phone. In an age of instant access, many consumers are no longer willing to wait or go out of their way to obtain information, products, or services. As a small business owner, the thought of trying to keep up with this kind of constant demand can be incredibly daunting. But thanks to live chat software, you’ve got the tools you need to give customers what they want right at your fingertips (literally).
What is live chat?
This might appear to be an unnecessary question—after all, you’re reading this guide so you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the idea of live chat—but let’s just make sure we’re all on the same (web)page. Live chat software is a real-time communication tool for websites that’s convenient for all parties, familiar to your customers, and, perhaps most importantly, human. No one wants to wait three days to receive a canned, impersonal email or struggle for 30 minutes to navigate an automated phone system. Live chat helps customers connect with your brand in a new—and better—way.
How can live chat software help my business?
What do your customers want? Assistance! When do they want it? Now! Ok, so maybe no one’s going to picket your business with handwritten signs and annoyingly catchy chants. But, as social media and marketing consultant Brian Honigman explains in this The Next Web (TNW) article, “If your business doesn’t put the customer in charge, then you’re not likely to succeed in the future.” It’s important to remember that when your customers are ready to buy, they are ready to buy now—not when it’s most convenient for you—and if you miss the chance to lock in their business at the right time, it may be gone forever. But offering instantaneous support to your customers is just one benefit of using live chat. Let’s take a look at several more advantages:
Improve Page Rank
Leads drive your business, but to increase your number of leads you need to drive more traffic your website traffic—and live chat can help you do that. Dwell time—the time it takes the user to return back to search results—plays a role in how search engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo) determine page rank. Engaging your customers via live chat can keep them on your website longer, increasing dwell time—and over time, your page rank.
Turn Leads into Customers
What do you do once you’ve got all those leads? You capture them by engaging with those visitors by using live chat software. According to a 2014 Website Magazine study, consumers who use live chat software “are more likely to buy and less likely to abandon their sessions.” Plus, live chat gives you a great opportunity to upsell customers by offering a current discount code or plugging complementary products and services. Cha-ching.
Improve Conversion Rates
Say you’re at a restaurant and have a tough time picking an entree. What do you do? If you’re like us, you ask the waiter for a recommendation. But what if you can’t physically be there for your customers? That’s where live chat comes into play. Using live chat on product or check-out pages (or any page with a high exit rate) to engage these indecisive customers works so well that, according to a survey referenced in this Conversion Scientist article, “‘Around 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.’’ When your customers can’t decide between a few different products or services, live chat can help.