Live chat services are becoming an increasingly popular way for consumers to reach out to brands with questions, comments, and concerns. There are benefits for customers and businesses alike, so if you haven’t yet dipped your toes in the chat waters, now might be the time. Let’s take a look at why chat is such an effective option for business communication.

Reach Consumers on Their Own Terms

People are busy. In fact, 51% of customers indicated they preferred live chat services to other means of communication because it allowed them to multitask, and more than 40% said they liked it because they could get answers to their shopping questions while at work.

Similarly, they don’t have the time to sit down, make a phone call, and wait on hold to speak with a customer representative. Forty-two percent of customers liked that live chat services eliminates the need to wait on hold.

This multitasking element is also beneficial for the companies that institute live chat functions. Working with a marketing partner for live chat services (like us, hint hint!) allows you to outsource the chat function but still receive a record of all communication, so you’re not having to hire a staff to answer questions (or do it yourself!) – saving you time and money.

Consumers Can Get Answers at Any Time

Very few businesses can staff a phone line 24/7. For small businesses, budget and headcount limits may keep you from offering that kind of access for your customers.

But just because someone isn’t manning your phones doesn’t mean there aren’t consumers out there that have questions. And regardless of the time of day, they want quick answers. In fact, Forrester Research found that 53% of consumers will abandon a purchase if they’re not able to get a fast answer to questions related to the purchase.

While FAQs can be of some help in this arena, they won’t cover specific, individual questions in the way that a one-on-one interaction can. Live chat services are a far superior option to a chatbot, which asks the consumer to go through a series of prompts leading to a pre-written answer that (hopefully) speaks to their question.

Better Understand Consumers’ Common Concerns

With live chat services, it’s very easy to keep track of the interactions consumers have with your business. You end each interaction with a transcript, and as time goes on, you’ll see patterns emerge.

Certain questions, comments, or concerns will come up again and again. This offers valuable insight, which you can then use to direct changes to your website and content strategy.

Let’s say you run a roofing company. If you get numerous questions asking for clarification about your process for quoting jobs, it might be time to revisit the wording on your website to make your quoting and pricing process more straightforward. If you have a lot of people chatting to ask how to know it’s time to redo their roof, that might be a sign that you should create a blog post or explainer video on that particular topic.

Capture Leads or Go for the Upsell

When consumers are left to their own devices on your website, it’s very easy for them to talk themselves out of a purchase. It’s comparable to an in-store experience where you’re not approached by any salespeople. We’ve all been there ““ it’s a lot easier to walk out of the store empty-handed if you haven’t established a connection with anyone who works there.

Think, on the other hand, about what it’s like when you get a warm greeting as you enter a store. The salesperson says, “Hi there! Let me know if you need help with anything,” and then when they notice you eyeing one particular product for a few minutes, they come over and volunteer some information about it and share why they think it’s so great. You’re much more likely to make a purchase when that’s your experience!

The same principle applies online. When someone has the opportunity to chat with a live person, they’re a lot more likely to at the very least come back to the website again and at the most make the purchase right then and there.

Live chat can make a positive difference for any business. But if your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to take on another channel of communication, never fear! We’ve got you covered with 24/7 live chat services.

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