Improve the customer experience with a conversation. Using live chat.

Thanks to the boom in technology, life is getting easier.

Someday soon, we’ll make The Jetsons proud with our house-cleaning robots. Proper robots. Not just doombas.

But technology is also having an impact on business. And customers are spoilt for choice. You’re competing now with companies the world over, so how do you go about building a loyal base of fans?

Well, it’s simple really.

Convenience makes customers happy.

And happiness keeps customers coming back.

 

One of the easiest things you can do to improve the customer experience is to offer live chat on your website. Live chat gives the opportunity to immediately connect.

In an era where picking up the telephone is akin to sending a letter via pigeon, live chat is almost a necessity.

People want answers fast. Without a whole heap of effort.

After all, most of us have attention spans that rival that of a goldfish.

Fail to keep up here and you’re ripe for failure. Poor customer service leads to disappointed customers. Disappointed customers aren’t going to come back. Instead, running straight into the arms of your biggest competitor. “There, there,” the competition says. “We’ll gladly take your money.”

While convenience might be the biggest selling point, it’s certainly not the only one.

Live chat offers a whole range of benefits. Like:

A reduction in expenses. Live chat saves you time and, you guessed it, money! It lowers the amount of interaction your employees spend with any one customer. Speaking on the phone requires a one-on-one conversation, but online chat allows employees to juggle multiple conversations at once. And solve problems faster. So you can provide better service, and get on with your day.

An increase in sales. Live chat increases sales. So why aren’t you doing it? It works so well because of immediacy. If a customer has a question, they get it answered. This prevents customers abandoning their cart or going to another site for help. Live chat keeps people in the purchasing moment, rather than allowing it to pass your business by.

Encourages customer interaction. The convenience of live chat is what makes it a winner. But it also encourages interaction in another way. Some people just don’t like talking on the phone. We live in era where we have some of our most meaningful conversations via things like text or social media. We’re programmed to communicate like this because it’s easier in some ways and makes us more comfortable in others. Live chat encourages those who might not reach out if that requires dialing and speaking.

A leg up on the competition. If your competition has live chat, they’re already ahead of you. You need to be providing an awesome customer experience, and live chat is part of it. According to Business Insider, sixty percent of Americans have decided not to make a purchase based on poor customer service. No live chat is akin to no customer service and no customer service is poor customer service.

Helps drive improvements. Another way live chat helps your company is by revealing your customers’ frustrations. If customers all complain about the same things, learn from it. Discover what your company needs to work on and improve it for the future.

But, the above aside, adding live chat isn’t always enough. You’ve got to make it good. Stuffing your nephew in your basement with a couple of Mac’s and a company handbook won’t get the job done.

Here’s how to do it right:

Training. Just as you train your team in phone etiquette, train them in chat etiquette as well. Every member of your team needs to know your products, inside and out. If they don’t know the answers, they can’t help the customers.

Be human. Yes, it’d be wonderful for a robot to clean our homes. But robots can’t solve problems the way those of us with opposable thumbs can. Yet. When a customer engages in live chat, they want to talk to a person, not a machine. Make sure your team’s aware of this, and have conversations with your customers. You want to avoid using too much jargon, or canned responses.

Set good hours: Some businesses work with nine to five hours, some don’t. It depends on your product, sure, but it really depends on your customers. If all of your customers are German, manning your chat from nine to five in New York City isn’t going to do you any favors.

Be prepared. Live chat can be feast or famine. It seems like no one’s online for hours then suddenly everyone and their mom is on. That’s kind of how it goes: when it rains, it pours. Be prepared, and make sure your customers know their place in the queue. If you keep them waiting for too long, they’ll go somewhere else.

So, how do you get started with live chat? Luckily, it’s easy and affordable: many programs even offer thirty-day free trials. A few of the live chat plugins that work with WordPress include: Tidio Live Chat; Zopim Live Chat; Formilla Live Chat; Pure Chat; and LiveChat.

Our team here uses Zopim. It’s been great so far.

But no matter what provider you use, your business needs live chat. It’s an efficient and affordable way to enhance your sales and decrease your overhead. It’s also one of the best tricks to keep your customers happy and coming back for more.

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