Live Chat: Just Another Customer Service Tool Or Shortcut To More Sales?
Live chat is no longer an eCommerce solution to offer customer service and support to online shoppers. It is an opportunity to have a conversation with a buyer and turn it into a sale.
Live Chat: Just Another Customer Service Tool Or Shortcut To More Sales?
June 15, 2021
What comes to your mind when we say - Live Chat? If you answered with - “just another customer service tool”, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Customers today have come to demand a much more holistic and elevated online shopping experience that doesn’t just involve offering decent customer service.
While it was built to solve the purpose of a real time customer service tool, live chat has slowly evolved to become a far more comprehensive solution in delivering delightful user experiences, especially for eCommerce businesses.
In this blog post, we shall discuss the various roles live chat plays in revolutionizing online customer service in today’s day and age.
How Live Chat Is Transforming Customer Service
As live chat is gaining ground as a one-stop solution to any and all issues shoppers might face while browsing through your store or after having made a purchase, here’s how it is slowly changing the inherent meaning of customer service.
Offering 24*7 real time online customer support
Live chat allows you to offer 24*7 support to your customers, thus providing resolutions in real time. Whether a shopper is confused about the product they have shortlisted, has queries regarding the shipping or return policy, or is unable to find what they came looking for, live chat enables your teams to handhold them through the journey immediately. It is way faster than writing emails and awaiting responses or calling customer care numbers and being on hold for hours.
Live chat connects your support agent to your customer as and when required so that they receive the assistance they need way before they change their minds about shopping from your store. Moreover, 46% customers admittedly prefer live chat over any other channel to avail support.
Improving customer satisfaction and happiness
Needless to say, when your customers will receive real time resolutions, their satisfaction, happiness, and overall sentiment towards your brand will improve drastically. This is because customers look for much more than just low prices and irresistible deals when deciding where to purchase from. They want to be assured of a seamless shopping experience and need to know that they will have access to any kind of support required while shopping. In fact, did you know that live chat has the highest customer satisfaction rate of 92%?
If you want to notice the difference, you should run a small survey once you adopt live chat to invite customers to tell you how their experience has been. The responses you receive will tell you how much shoppers appreciate you respecting their time and offering timely answers.
Resolving customer queries and concerns proactively
Most other forms of customer service tools are reactive, meaning your teams answer the queries sent across by the customer once they receive them, correct? However, live chat allows you to be proactive with your strategy. This means that you can add live chat on various pages of your online store and even trigger it based on a customer’s activity on that page. For example, if a shopper has been on the same page for more than a certain amount of time and isn’t even taking any action, your live chat window can pop up, and ask “Hi there, we thought you might need help with shopping today. Let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you”.
Such a proactive live chat experience wherein you predict shoppers’ hesitations and reach out to them before they do, sets you above all competition and makes your customers want to return to your store.
Automating the experience with the help of bots
Chatbots are an extension of live chat, wherein you enable bots to handle and resolve basic queries, share personalized self help resources, FAQ answers, further contact details, and much more in just about a few seconds. Integrating a chatbot is essential as it is the first level of interaction a customer has with your chat window and it needs to be lightning fast.
The chatbot first tries to resolve queries based on the menu fed into the system, and then connects the shopper with one of the support agents if it is unable to provide a satisfactory resolution. Chatbots are usually given human names to deliver a chat experience similar to that of talking to a human agent.
Take a look at a simple, yet effective chatbot that pops up on the Zara website:
Delivering improved shopping experiences
Imagine this - you spend lakhs on a campaign that successfully drives visitors to your sale landing pages. That’s great! However, once shoppers start exploring your product page, they are unable to find the warranty details for the item. To get clarity on the same, they go to the contact us page and end up filling a form to request a callback or email response. And by the time your team ultimately responds to their query, the sale period has already ended. The potential buyer ends up frustrated with the quality of the experience they received.
Now, compare this to a situation where instead of navigating to the contact us page, the shopper was able to reach out to your support agent while they were on the product page itself. Their query was answered in real time and they were provided with the support links on warranty details, and they had enough time to make their decision while the sale was still on. Now here’s a shopping experience they wouldn’t mind returning to.
The bottom line is that live chat can make up for small glitches your customers might have to go through while shopping on your online store, thus greatly elevating their overall experience.
Helping gather actionable customer insights
The sole purpose of live chat isn’t just to resolve customer queries, but also to help you gain valuable customer insights you wouldn’t normally be able to fetch. By reaching out to shoppers in real time, you can get a sense of the experience they have had so far, what they liked and what they didn’t. In most cases, the customer would proactively tell you the problems they have faced and what they are looking for. However, in some cases, your support agents can ask follow up questions to gain an understanding of what their customer journey looked like and what went wrong.
Such information and feedback can be passed on to relevant product and marketing teams and can come in handy in all future UX decisions. The idea is not just to provide temporary fixes and resolutions, but also consistently make a note of the overall shopping experience on your store and how it can be improved based on customer complaints, queries, feedback, and suggestions.
Increasing the productivity of your teams
Your support teams are usually bombarded with support tickets collected from various sources filled with angry messages and complaints, asking for quick resolutions and callbacks. Integrating live chat on your store is a sure shot way to reduce the pressure on your teams and increase their productivity. By diverting a significant number of queries to live chat, you can not just save customer’s time, but also improve your team’s productivity as they can close those conversations right then and there. And the load of open tickets to be resolved and responded to would decrease drastically.
Live chat is a far more effective use of your team’s time as it enables quick resolutions and instant gratification, something that today's generation of online shoppers have come to expect.
Take a look at an example from H&M:
PS. Did you know that productivity and being able to get back time in our own hands was the reason we built TextChat? Read our story here.
Providing personalized and tailored solutions
Self help resources and FAQs are surely valuable, but what if there was a way to utilize them better and make them far more useful to the customer? Yes, live chat can do that too. If a customer reaches out to your team via the chat window and is looking for an answer that you know is already provided in the self help section of your store, you can simply share the link with them on chat.
This makes the process of finding long form answers on your online store far more feasible as shoppers seldom have the time to go through the entire FAQs page. They would much rather prefer a support agent linking them to the relevant link they are looking for, thus making for a much more personalized experience.
Keeping a track of all customer interactions
A live chat tool allows you to keep track of each and every interaction a particular customer has had with your brand. Such a repository that features all past conversations for each customer makes it far easier for your agents to offer solutions as they would be well aware of the history of the shopper displayed in front of them while chatting with them. Not only does it make for excellent fodder to drive the conversation ahead, but also serve as insights to be analyzed to judge the quality of experiences being delivered on your store.
You get to track the degree of engagement and interactions a customer has with your brand based on their previous conversations and concerns. If a shopper, for example, has been highlighting similar complaints multiple times, your agent can proactively ensure that it is resolved and no such issues arise in the future. The quality of support you provide will drastically improve if the history of interactions is available for agents to refer to before they take the conversation ahead.
Reducing churn and improving retention
If you continually upgrade the shopping experience on your store with the help of live chat, customers will find it hard to switch to your competitors. This is because once a buyer encounters a premier online shopping experience, it would be nearly impossible for them to ignore that level of convenience and go to another store just for the sake of a reduced price tag or enticing deal.
Also, research shows that 63% of customers who have experienced live chat on a website are likely to return to it. Therefore, you can significantly improve your retention numbers just by adding a live chat window to the key pages of your shopping site.
Boosting conversions in real time
Very often, you will find customers reaching out to you simply because they cannot find the product they came looking for. In such cases, proactive support is critical as it helps link them to the desired product and nudge them to click “buy now”. If shoppers are offered such help in real time, think about the impact it can have on your conversion rate. Your agents can have detailed conversations about a certain product with your customers and persuade them to go ahead and make the purchase, by addressing all their apprehensions. While not directly, usage of live chat can certainly amplify your store conversions.
Increasing customer engagement on your digital properties
Live chat also has a major role to play in boosting engagement on your site and app. Think about it this way - the more shoppers use the live chat window, ask queries, and raise concerns, the more they will be guided to explore your online store, check out important landing pages and links, and navigate to relevant sections of your store. Without live chat, your customers might end up being lost on the site or app if the navigation is confusing or complex and might not even get to some critical sections of the store you want them to see.
Therefore, live chat has the power to greatly improve engagement on your online store by directing shoppers to different sections, guiding them to explore various sales or special pages, or simply reach the desired location.
To Sum Up - No, a live chat is not just customer service tool
We discussed some unparalleled benefits that live chat offers and how it can be the one true competitive advantage you need in this era of online shopping. However, these can only be achieved if you partner with a robust live chat tool that offers the flexibility, features, and functionalities to execute each use case with ease.
TextChat, for example, is an eCommerce live chat tool that uses smart automation that enables your support team to initiate conversations as well as respond to them in real time. If a customer pops open the live chat window on your site and sends a message, a text is immediately sent to your designated team members on their phones.
One of the available agents can instantly hop on and join the conversation from the link present in the text and take it ahead in less than 30 seconds. This way, your agents can connect with a customer even when they are on the go and respond and close sales faster. Too good to be true? How about you watch a personalized demo to experience the magic yourself!
Turn conversations into sales with live chat.
Shorten your sales cycle with real-time conversations by bringing live chat to your SMS inbox with Text Chat.