Let’s be clear: live chat isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around since the 70s. Five years ago, companies that used live chat were technological trailblazers. The service itself was glitchy and lackluster.
Today, however, the live chat landscape is an intelligent, adaptable, and effective way to reach your audiences. And it’s a great time to get started.
In this blog, we’ll talk through four of our top reasons we recommend implementing live chat into your business model. Let’s get started.
Reason #1: Live Chat Connects You to Your Customers Quickly
Netflix. Amazon Prime. Postmates. These services exist to satisfy our needs as immediately as possible. And they’re making us impatient. It’s no wonder live chat has become the most preferred method of digital contact. The average response time for email is 12 hours. For social media? Hardly any better—10 hours. But for live chat? Within minutes.If that surprises you, consider the last time you were on a website and needed to reach someone.
You probably looked for a chat bubble in the lower right-hand corner of the site first. No dice? Better check the contact page. If you’re lucky, there’s a phone number. But you might only see a contact form instead. So you decide to send a message with little faith you’ll get a speedy reply (or any reply at all).
What else can you do after you press ‘submit’ on the form button? If you’re like most people, you’ll go somewhere else. One study found that up to 77 percent of people won’t make a purchase on a website if there’s no live chat button. You could be missing out on three-quarters of your sales and not even know it.
Reason #2: Live Chat is Convenient for Your Customers (and You)
Sales and marketing teams want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to reach out. Live chat is one of the best ways to do this. In addition to reason #1, live chat also does something you can’t (and really shouldn’t) do: stay awake 24/7.
Live chat technology has advanced over the last few years. Many companies now have the ability to create chatbots. These are extremely helpful when you’re unavailable, not at work, or, you know, sleeping. With chatbots, you can program a series of questions and prompts to understand what your customers are looking for. From there, you can even give them an opportunity to book time on your calendar. The user leaves your site having made a connection, scheduling a meeting, or establishing a follow up—all without you lifting a finger.
Reason #3: Live Chat Increases Leads and Sales
This could be reason #1. It’s one of the biggest benefits of live chat. And no matter your business model, increasing sales is something all companies want to do.
The American Marketing Association found that on average, B2B companies that use live chat with their business see a 20 percent increase in conversions! And it’s no wonder. Consumers want the ability to reach out to a company if they need help online, have questions, or just want to say hi.
In a study by Oracle, a whopping 90 percent of people said that seeing a chat button—just seeing, not necessarily clicking—gives them confidence that help is around the corner if they need it. Isn’t that incredible? Having a live chat button on your site will benefit your business.
Reason #4: Live Chat Gives You a Competitive Edge
If you’re a business owner, you understand the importance of customer retention. Losing potential sales is a big problem and can sometimes seem like an unsolved mystery. But here’s one stat that might help: Kissmetrics found that 63 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.
Despite the popularity of live chat, its market share is surprisingly low. A recent 2018 study found that as little as 9 percent of businesses were using live chat. Not even one in ten! In other words, now is the perfect time to add this valuable tool to your website and sales funnel. When was the last time you found something most businesses weren’t doing already?
But don’t wait too long. Traction for live chat among B2C and B2B businesses is picking up. Predictions say that in 2019, as many as 28 percent of businesses will be using live chat on their websites.
We know adding live chat might be a bit intimidating. It’s important to properly vet any major business decision internally, weigh the pros and cons, and figure out how you will implement. But one thing is for certain: live chat is here for good. The question you might be asking is, “Can we afford to do live chat?” But consider a different question: Can you afford not to?
Whether you’re a business that’s never considered live chat before, on the fence, or even completely opposed to the idea, we’d like to hear from you!
Meld Marketing provides consultations on a variety of business strategies, including live chat. Shoot us a note to learn more or ask us other ways we can help advance your business.