25 Reasons to Integrate Live Chat into Your Business
Picture this: you’re shopping online and you found just what you need, except you want to make sure the product description is accurate before you go to the checkout page. How would you go about doing this?
You can dig around the website until you find some additional information, or you can dial the customer service number, take a deep breath and be prepared to spend the rest of your day trying to navigate the frustrating phone tree menu.
What most customers in these types of situations – myself included – want is to have somebody from customer service reassure them quickly yet kindly. The last thing they want to do is forage through the website for hours until they lose sight of why they even came there in the first place! And I’m sure most customers are also not too keen on being put on hold and having to deal with customer service representatives who couldn’t sound more disinterested if they tried.
Solution? Live Chat!
This is why live chat is heaven-sent, if you ask me! Websites that have an integrated live chat service regularly get a high customer satisfaction rate. It has been shown time and again that most online shoppers prefer chatting with customer service in real time rather than talking on the phone or having an endless back-and-forth email conversation.
An average live chat customer service takes 42 seconds to solve any issue or question on the website, so it’s no wonder the usage of live chat has been rising over the years. Live chat service is used nowadays by e-commerce businesses from many industries.
Both small business owners and global industry leaders rely on live chat to interact with their customers, knowing that building a long-term relationship with clients starts with good customer service.
If you are a business owner looking to improve your website’s performance and overall success rate, live chat is the way to go. There are many advantages to using live chat: it’s fast, convenient, and cost-effective. With an integrated live chat service, you can cut down on your phone bills and save both your customers and employees’ time.
With live chat service, everybody wins. Online business owners will notice their conversion rates climbing once they introduce live chat while their customers will reward them with loyalty and good ratings.
Keep reading to learn more about the ways live chat can help you sell more, spend less, and earn customers’ trust.
Does Live Chat Really Work?
In short: yes! Not only can using live chat help increase your sales rate, it can also dramatically improve the relationship with your customers. Live chat is a customer-oriented service, and as such, the customers’ testimonies are the ideal yardstick to measure the effectiveness of live chat.
Here’s what the customers say: 63% of online shoppers who used live chat later reported they were more likely to return to the site. Since turning one-time buyers into regular customers is every online business owner’s dream, there’s no doubt live chat is the way to go for everyone looking to give their website a boost.
What about customer loyalty? It turns out live chat works wonders here too. It’s a well known fact that businesses who put the effort in maintaining an honest relationship with their clients based on mutual trust are the ones whose success can stand the test of time.
Customer service can make or break the first impression of your business, which is why it’s crucial to win over the customers the right way. According to the customers themselves, live chat is a particular favorite of theirs for good customer service. Consider this: 40% of online buyers who had used live chat were more likely to make purchases from the same site at least once a week, compared to only 22% of those who never chatted.
The verdict is in: Live chat really does work! And if you’re still on the fence about whether integrating live chat into your business is the right move, just take a look at this example from Mexico, the country where live chat has proved to be a huge success.
Live Chat: Best Channel for Customer Service
Online shoppers have spoken, and they have said live chat is their favorite channel to use or customer service. An overwhelming majority of 92% customers pick live chat over other channels, including phone, web form, email, Facebook, and Twitter.
The one thing that sets apart live chat from other channels is that its customer satisfaction is based on “good” and “bad” rating provided by the customers at the end of the chat. While all other channels depend on “good” and “bad” ratings provided through a follow-up e-mail survey submitted to the customer after their problem is solved.
This allows live chat agents to see how the customer is rating the conversation in real time and adjust their response accordingly. In the long run, live chat ratings also help companies gain a better understand of their customers’ preferences for customer service.
Mexico: The Land of Live Chat
For increasing conversion rates and encouraging customer loyalty, live chat knows no borders: businesses all around the world have improved their success rate with the help of this effective service. There’s one country, however, where live chat is popular: Mexico.
Agents working in Mexico handle a high volume of chats every single day. In fact, Mexican chat operators handle the most chat conversations out of any other place in the world. The results? I’m glad you asked. Mexico is the country with the highest customer satisfaction rate of 94.11%, according to their live chat leader. With so many happy customers, it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of live chat in Mexico, but what about other countries?
For customer satisfaction rate in countries where live chat is widely used, Australia comes second after Mexico with a rate of 93.59%. Canada ranks third with customer satisfaction rate of 88.36%
We all have to suffer through difficult conversations in real life, so why not follow the Scandinavian example and keep live chat fast, simple, and as straightforward as can be. In terms of response time, live chat agents in Denmark are the fastest., Denmark is also where customers can expect to receive the most concise answers.
Wait Time vs. Customer Satisfaction
The faster you answer your customers, the happier they’ll be, right? Well, not quite. For optimal wait time and its relationship with customer satisfaction rate, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Live chats where wait time is between 200 and 250 seconds received the lowest customer satisfaction rate (68%). Surprisingly enough, chats where customers wait longer than 250 seconds receive a marked increase in satisfaction rate (83%). Keeping customers waiting between 0 and 50 seconds equals a satisfaction rate of 86%. Confused yet?
Let’s get to the point then: the highest customer satisfaction rate (90%) is measured with live chat whose wait time is between 150 and 200 seconds. It turns out keeping wait time below 200 seconds, but longer than 150, is the recipe for a high customer satisfaction rate.
Chat Duration vs. Customer Satisfaction
Keeping chats concise and to the point is important if you want your customers to give you good ratings. Still, this doesn’t mean you should write in code and race against time to finish a chat as quickly as you can. Customers use live chat to ask about all kinds of things, and it’s not always possible to give one-sentence answers.
While the duration of a chat will depend on the question customer asks, chat operators should make sure they keep the conversation going for at least 10 minutes. Chats that last only 5 minutes get a customer satisfaction rate of 78%, while those that last 5 minutes more receive an 84% satisfaction rate.
As a general rule, agents should aim to chat with customers for 15 minutes. This is when the customer satisfaction rate rises to 88%. For comparison sake, 20-minute chats get a rate of 85%, chats that last 25 minutes have a slightly higher rate of 86%, half hour chats have an 80% satisfaction rate, while the lowest rate is the results of chats that last longer than 30 minutes.
Once again, more doesn’t always mean better. If a company is swamped with chat requests and tries to answer as many as possible without paying sufficient attention to the quality of conversation, the customer satisfaction rate will drop.
For instance, companies that handle 7,000 chats per month have a customer satisfaction rate of 81%, while companies that handle about 1,000 chats less every month have a rate of 83%. How much is too much? Companies that try to juggle 8,000 and more live chats every month have the lowest satisfaction rate
So, what’s the magical number then? It turns out that companies with the highest customer satisfaction rates are those that handle around 1,000 chats per month.
Are You an e-commerce Business Owner? Here’s What You Need To Know:
- E-commerce industry has the longest live chat wait time at 1 minute 13 seconds.
- The customer satisfaction rate of the e-commerce industry reached 50% in 2015.
- Global customer satisfaction rate in the first quarter of 2015 increased to 95%.
- The best news is that global live chat usage has been rising since 2009 when 385 of companies used chat for their customers. In 2012, 43% of companies were using live chat, and two years later, the percentage of companies that realized live chat can work wonders for online businesses grew to 58%.
If you own an e-commerce website and are still wondering whether integrating live chat into your business can make a noticeable difference, just take a look at these real-life examples from some of the biggest companies in the world who swear by live chat to keep their sales rats high and their customers satisfied:
From 2013 to 2014, Orbitz reported a 40% increase in US consumer traffic (7% of which originated from mobile device) thanks to live chat. All the while, Orbitz maintained their high customer satisfaction rate.
Dell is another company that knows all about the benefits of live chat. The technology giant reports that 30% of its website visitors engage through live chat, which generates 40% of the company’s revenue. Dell has also reported a 30% increase in chat usage over the years, and a third of their sales in the US are made through chat.
American department store chain Sears has increased its revenue by 20% by using predictive chat. The company enjoys an enviable customer satisfaction rate of 90%.
Another impressive example comes from fitness equipment store TotalGym. During the fourth quarter of 2014, almost 40% of online orders on TotalGym’s website came from buyers who had used live chat.
Before you check out the interesting infographic below, here are a few more surprising facts about Live Chat:
- Over one third of Older Baby Boomers (ages 57 to 67) and the Golden Generation (68 and over) are already using live chat for customer interaction
- The most popular time to use live chat is between 10am and 3pm local time since this is when over 50% of all chats
- The average number of chats a company deals with in a month is 1,143 while 274 is the average number of chats an operator handles in a month.
- Did you know it takes an average company 48 seconds to answer a chat?
Now you have read about some of the benefits of live chat, I’ll let you enjoy this cool infographic from skilled.co with 25 visualized reasons why using live chat is the best decision you can make for your business.
About the Author: Colin Cieloha is an American author and content marketer at Skilled. He writes about everything that will draw his attention with a focus on the mobile and e-commerce space. When he is not writing he is spending his time traveling the globe and snowboarding. You can follow him on his Twitter at @ColinCieloha or on Linkedin.