What is Live Chat?

Mislav author

Mislav Raguž

Content Writer

⏱ Reading Time: 7 minutes

At the end of the 20th century, email was still primarily used as a communication channel. First live chat software was launched at the beginning of the 21st century, more precisely in 2002. After that, it started to develop and in 2010 there was a massive growth in live chat usage.

 🚀 Read: Omnichannel Guide for Digitally Advanced Brands 🚀

Nowadays, live chat is considered to be a valuable asset to a company’s customer service (and not just that). It eases the communication and enables the customers to gain a prompt answer to their issues. In this way, it is one of the crucial factors determining customer satisfaction.

But live chat is not only about customer service. In this article we’ll explore its features and different ways it can be used in business.

What is Live Chat?

Live Chat is an online application for customer service. It’s integrated into websites in purpose to provide support to the customers. They can have real-time communication with their provider to get the answers to their requests. Traditionally, we used mobile phones or emails for that purpose, but new technologies opened up better and more convenient communicaiton options.

What Does It Look Like?

Chats are becoming more popular every day. They are often presented as widgets on websites, where customers insert their credentials so that the support could recognize who they talk to. The interface of the widget usually looks like a classic messaging window. However, some live chats allow widget customization.

After identification, the conversation between customer and support starts. 

Why Live Chat?

The main advantage of live chat compared to phones and e-mails is that you can see who is on your web site. While using phones and e-mails in customer support, allows you to get only their credentials. With live chat, you can see what customers’ action on your site, how much time they spend on it, where they come from, etc.

So, we can say that using live chat gives you a lot more information about your customer compared to phones and e-mails.

Popular Live Chat Features

Live chat can be integrated with many features like tags, database, surveys, etc. These features are used for better organization of tons of queries and requests. If you’re a business looking for a suitable platform to converse with your clients in real-time, check out the list of critical features you’re going to need below.

Most live chats have many features, but first, you need to define what kind of live chat you need, and what is his purpose in your online communication. Is it not convert the leads, lead generation, provide excellent customer service or marketing activities.

live chat features

Picture 1. Live chat software features

Live Chat in Customer Service

One of the most popular uses of live chat is customer service. It’s used by many companies both as help desk and support. Most companies use this type of communication because it is focused on two fronts instead of only sales or only support.

Considering support, live chat has a few advantages over e-mail. The communication is much faster as well as the information exchange.

According to Essential Customer Experience Metrics, the customer expects a response within one day via email.

With live chat, response time gets faster, within one or two hours. That is the main difference between live chat and email customer support.

Comparing live chat and phone call, we can all agree that phones are a fast way to respond to queries, but when it comes to multitasking, it is impossible to talk with several customers simultaneously.

Hence an agent who is trying to solve customers’ problem should be able to handle 5 to 6 customers at once without any difficulties.

Related: How to Improve Customer Service and Ensure Customer Satisfaction

live chat

Picture 2. Live chat for customer support

Convert Your Visitors Into Leads

Live chat communication can also be used to drive sales.

According to 99Firms live chat has the highest consumer satisfaction rate at 92%.

Therefore, it dramatically influences sales.

Firstly, live chat can offer help to customers who are in a dilemma or don’t know much about products. It can be automatized, so will appear to the customers how are for a specific time-on-site and didn’t make any purchase.

For example, if the visitor is online for 15 minutes and didn’t buy anything, then the live chat agent will appear offering help to the visitor in terms of giving information and personal opinion. It provokes the customer’s satisfaction and automatically increases the chances of buying.

Secondly, if the agent doesn’t convince a visitor to do a purchase, they can use their kindness and persuade them to take their contact details.  So if they change their mind and decide to buy something, they can always contact the agent.  

Also, when the customer conntacts support through live chat, the agent can recommend some other product and in this way increase sales numbers.

Live Chat For Marketing

Research says that customers who chat are 82% more likely to convert than non-chatters. If you ask yourself why – the reason is quite simple. Live chat provides a perfect context. 

Marketing messages usually interrupt the consumers’ habits or errands they’re running. And when a person is not thinking about buying something, it’s more difficult to provoke curiosity and sell your product. On the other hand, if a potential customer is already talking to you via chat on your website, they are already somehow interested in your brand. This provides a great context and they are more likely to take action.

4 Ways to Incorporate Live Chat into Your Marketing Strategy

Upsell

Live chat can be used effectively when you want to alert your customers about new products or price reductions. Thanks to the numerous analytics insights it provides, it can be personalized additionally and improve the overall experience and sales results. 

Sharing Resources

Depending on the type of the interaction, you can always add additional links to relevant resources on your website to your customers. This will generate more leads and increase your website statistics. 

Proactiveness

Live chat is a great extra “nudge” on your high-intent pages, like for example pricing pages. When a visitor lands on such a page, sometimes they just need a small push to make their order and pay. This is where you have 2 options – you can use a chatbot, which could provide extra information about the pricing and various options or a real customer service agent who will contact customers landing on these pages and offer them their help.

Monitor/Test/Improve

Like with anything else you do on your website – if you are not sure what hits your consumers’ sweet spot, stat by testing various options. After that monitor and then change or improve if necessary. Live chat can provide a set of valuable information about your users, so make sure you keep these in mind.

Read 6 Ways to Sneak in Sales Promotion Messages into Live Chat CS in Ecommerce

Live Chat As a Business Term

There is one thing all customers want when they are strolling through your website and a question pops into their head. They want someone to answer the question, and to do it fast. Live chat is here the perfect solution – it’s fast and reliable.

Live chat is a piece of software on the web site, which is made for better, upgraded, and faster communication with customers. It has significant advantages in front of previous communication channels in customer support, like phones and emails. The conversation is quicker, quality of the response for customers is more productive and more relevant and, most importantly, it’s straightforward to use.

Though its advantages are numerous, there aren’t that many businesses that use a live chat. So including live chat on your website can differentiate your business and make you stand out from the competition. Apart from that, it improves customer experience, conversion rates and can turn leads into customers.

Live chat chatbot

Picture 3. Live chat Chatbot Assistant

Conclusion

While live chat should not be used as the sole means of communication with your customer, it has become a vital side channel to support your customers, offer product advice, research customer opinions, and generate revenue for the company. With a good number of years of use now under the live chat belt, the benefits far outweigh any kinks that may have arisen in the past. It’s time to dive in!

Check out Paldesk to get live chat for your business, and start providing a better customer service.

Increase sales using live chat!

Improve Sales using Live Chat

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What is Live Chat? was last modified: October 28th, 2020 by student@paldesk.com
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