Customers expect to see live chat options on websites.
Live chat options are quick, personalized and simple ways to connect with customers. — wutwhanfoto/Getty Images

In a growing digital world, live chat solutions have made it easier for businesses to talk directly with their customers and offer immediate support. A live chat solution is a chat box on a company’s website that allows customers to talk directly with a representative through instant messaging. This quick and convenient way to problem solve has become so popular that, according to SuperOffice, 41% of customers expect live chat on a business’s website.

Why do customers prefer live chat?

There are three key reasons why customers prefer live chat solutions to any other:

  • Live chat is fast. When a person logs on to talk to a customer service representative, they’re looking for a quick solution. By offering them immediate support, like providing answers to their questions and issues, you’re relieving them of any anticipation and working toward solving their problem.
  • Live chat is personalized. People love using live chat because the exchange makes them feel special and important. There’s no call-waiting music or typing information through a phone keypad. Once a consumer states their information and issue, a representative can get right to work helping them. This makes your customers feel like the highest priority. Because you know them and their history, you can better care for their specific needs.
  • Live chat is easy to use. Live chat solutions get rid of the frustration that used to come from calling customer service. Consumers would have to find the number, speak or type account information through a phone and then wait for a representative so they could explain their issue. With a live chat solution, once they get onto the site, the box typically finds them. From there, they have individual service that moves at their own pace.

[Read: 6 Customer Service Strategies That Will Boost Sales]

In a growing digital world, live chat solutions have made it easier for businesses to talk directly with their customers.

How does live chat improve e-commerce conversion?

According to Big Commerce, the average conversion rate for e-commerce is 1–2%. Using live chat makes for an overall better customer experience that can help convert more customers and make your business more efficient.

From the customer’s perspective, they feel like they’re the only person being helped. In reality, a single agent assists multiple customers at once. While not possible in person or on the phone, live chat agents can multitask. This allows them to help more customers at one time without anyone waiting in a queue and gives the customer as much time as they need.

Live chat allows you to offer more personalized service, as you have access to sales information. You can see the pages the given customer was viewing, how long they were browsing, and their purchase history, giving you an advantage to help make more sales.

Any time a customer reaches your site when your agents are offline, you can use chat bots to handle the workload. They can be programmed to walk through simple problems and are able to handle 1,000 chats at once. While not a solution for more complex issues, they make customers feel taken care of at any hour.

[Read: Welcome Back! How to Boost Customer Retention and Drive Repeat Business]

How to implement live chat in e-commerce

If your site does decide to use a live chat box, there are a couple of ways to stand out and be as accessible as possible:

  • Easy-to-spot window. If someone needs assistance shopping or has a problem, the last thing they want to do is struggle to find help. Ensuring your chat box is easy to spot and eye-catching takes any extra work off the customer and wastes no time.
  • Automated greetings. Much like when someone in a brick-and-mortar store greets customers, having your chat box pop up with an automatic greeting offers customers help from the start and lets them know where to go if they need assistance.
  • Pre-chat survey. Having a pre-chat survey gives your agent more information about the customer that can also be used at a later time.

Using live chat is a great way to help improve your e-commerce sales and customer satisfaction while also converting more customers. By implementing these chat box tips, you’ll be a customer service pro in no time.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published January 16, 2020