Live Chats: Useful Tips and Providers Overview

As a very convenient and popular marketing tool, live chat has been a notable trend in recent years providing multiple opportunities for business. It enables direct communication between website visitors and service operators through a special chat window. Let’s take a close look at the most popular live chats, discuss their main advantages and some core technical peculiarities.

Live chats benefit your business

Much cheaper than your phone. Reduce your customer support service costs. Traditional phone communication is much more expensive than live website chats. This approach doesn’t cost more than an e-mail provider and is much cheaper than phone support. According to Forrester research, live chat customer service is 17-30% cheaper than a phone call. The main reason is your agents capable of serving several customers simultaneously, which is impossible to do on the phone. With online chats, you will need fewer employees to ensure proficient support service.

Boost your sales. Life is on the Internet, and nowadays people prefer solving their problems online rather than on the phone. American Marketing Association study shows that live chat can increase conversions by at least 20 percent, and results in 305% overall return on investment. The researchers also noted that clients using live chats are three times more likely to buy something as compared to those who do not. Live chats turn website visitors into clients. This happens due to the facilitated communication with support staff and sales managers.

Quick and high-quality customer Service. Does a live chat truly improve customer experience? If you still doubt that, check out the eDigital Customer Service Benchmark survey. Based on the results of this research, 73% of respondent customers were satisfied with live chat support, as compared to 61% for email support and only 44% for phone support. These figures prove that customers are more loyal to companies that provide live chats. They find this kind of support easy, convenient and safe. What is more, Oracle made a research and found out that 90% of customers feel more confident when they see that a website has a live chat. For them, it means that assistance will surely come if needed, and there is always somebody ready to help and give advice almost immediately. Live chat also enables faster sharing of information about your products and quicker problem-solving. You will also be able to measure the level of your customers’ engagement to send them targeted offers. Your company’s staff will have access to all previous messages. A search option allows filtering conversations and finding out what your customer is interested in.

Technical peculiarities

A website template is normally static and contains an HTML code and page layout. A chat, by definition, requires a dynamic code. JavaScript added to a template makes chats available from everywhere. There is a sufficient number of different modules for popular CMS and independent services that enable a JS integration with any websites. So, if you are to choose an onsite chat, pay attention to the following perks:

  1. Design customization options should be available so that you could adjust a chat to your website.
  2. Server latency should be pretty high to save your website from hanging and lowering the loading speed.
  3. Onsite chats have various embedded features. Before choosing a provider, decide what functionalities you really need and eliminate the expenses on unnecessary features.

Crucially, there is a large number of other solutions, such as modules built into powerful CMS like Sitecore, specialized Magento-based applications, etc. You may need to consult custom web application development experts to find out what solution would be better for your website in particular.

Let’s focus on the most popular platform-independent services. For your convenience, here are the comparison tables to match features and costs of different solutions.

  1. Live guide chat
  2. LiveAgent
  3. LiveChat
  4. FocalScope
  5. Tawk

Surely, online chat is an excellent marketing tool, but it’s better to avoid overusing it. These days, many companies try not to lag behind and integrate chats into their websites. Unfortunately, this measure leads to some issues.

Overloaded operators. Yes, you can set up an auto-reply in case your operators are too busy to answer. But will it “save the day”? No, unfortunately, it won’t. A great number of orders or server overload may still result in a situation when a random order fails to reach the sales department.

Pushy and poorly targeted dialogues. Using onsite chats is worthwhile for commercial organizations, mainly because it improves lead conversion rate. You can often come across a chat window on informational platforms, news portals, blogs, etc. Do such web resources really need this tool? To be honest, popup windows are likely to disturb visitors and even make them leave a webpage in search for a less annoying one.

Too much spam. Spam is the most frequently encountered problem. Spammers don’t have to fill in their contact data or enter captchas in order to message a targeted user. Everything they need is just pasting information right into the chat window.

Chats misuse. Customers frequently misuse chats. Website visitors often confuse onsite chats with messengers. They do not realize that a new operator on the other end may not be aware of any previous conversations, especially when a user accesses a website via different devices and browsers.

Despite the above-mentioned issues, online chat is still a powerful marketing tool. It should simply be handled correctly.

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