Benefits of Live Chat You Should Know in 2021

 

The year 2020 has led to a whirlwind of digital transformation. What seemed like an overnight transition has led to redefining customer experience and support forever. Now, people expect immediate responses and want to get connected with businesses instantly. 

Live chat has time and again proven to be a powerful tool for businesses to interact with customers. In fact, live chat has also evolved from a  support channel to a dynamic platform for sales, marketing, and customer service efforts. Businesses have jumped on the live chat bandwagon because it solves the need for immediate interaction. 

What are the benefits of live chat?

Businesses across the globe are focusing on creating a better customer experience than just being response-driven. Live chat has evolved and is allowing businesses to focus on the bigger picture. If you are still contemplating live chat as a solution for your team, truth be told you are already late to the game. But better late than never, here are the live chat benefits for your business to help you quickly hop on to live chat. 

1. Engage with customers and prospects in real-time

Chat is rapidly evolving to be one of the quintessential support options for businesses. This is primarily because live chat offers real-time assistance to its customers. Customers hate it when their calls are put on hold or receive delayed email responses. Live chat support has overthrown these issues for the customers. With a chat widget embedded in your webpage, your customers can reach out to you instantaneously and get their queries resolved. 

live chat benefitsAccording to recent Freshworks research, 44% of customer service leaders claim that chat and messaging were critical in maintaining the service levels during the crisis. The ease of use and convenience of the tool has made live chat the most preferred support channel. With instant responses, every visitor is tended to. You can use live chat to meaningfully engage with all visitors rather than just offering support. 

2. Offer personalized, contextual support with instant feedback

Personalized support is important for customers. When your support is contextual and offers the right solution based on the existing context of a customer’s previous interactions, it offers a personal touch, minimizes customer effort and enhances satisfaction levels. A report by McKinsey showed that lack of personalization is one of the major roadblocks observed when it comes to companies offering the best support possible. 

With live chat for business, customer service agents can see purchase history, product details, customer profiles on the single chat interface. Using this information, agents can tailor the customer’s experience. Unlike with email support, personalization happens in real-time, creating an empathetic bond with the customer. Live chat’s ability to be asynchronous gives the customer complete ownership of the conversation by enabling them to choose their time to request support. 

3.  Turn customer service into customer delight with proactive support

Most customer support is reactive and it is always the customers who reach out to the support team to get their issues solved. Proactive support is about reaching out to your customers to offer solutions or solve their issues even before the customer raises a ticket. 

In this digitally driven world, customers expect a better support experience than just answers to their problems. If your business goal is to create happy and loyal customers, then you should swear by proactive support as your business strategy. 

You can send out proactive messages to your website visitors by setting up triggered messages. It is also important to note that you should send the right trigger messages to your audience. With Freshchat triggered messages, you can set triggers based on the type of audience, their location and activity on your website. When used right, proactive messaging is a powerful marketing tool and promotes customer satisfaction and creates brand advocates for life. 

 4.  Boost sales and increase conversions

Did you know that more than 50% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with a company that offers live chat support? Live chat support on a website is equivalent to the assistant in a store. Customers often require assistance while making online transactions and chat offers them an immediate way to reach out to a brand, ask questions that help them make a purchase decision, and with the right integrations, live chat widgets can also offer access to payment portals, ticket booking apps, and much more. Perhaps that’s why 38% of customers said they had made their purchase after a single chat session

But live chat also enables proactive reach out by brands to nudge website visitors to purchase. How many times have you added items to your online shopping cart and then abandoned it, or for whatever reason, simply closed the tab? Well, unfortunately for businesses – you’re not alone. 

cart abandonment

Source

Cart abandonment is a major issue with e-commerce and millions of dollars are lost to it. Having a chat widget on the website shows that you are there to solve any hindrances that occur while making a purchase. While some customers claim they are just browsing, you can proactively engage in a conversation with the ones who are interested in your products or services. Reach out to them with the right message to assist them to make that purchase. This will help you bring down your cart abandonment rates and increase conversion rates. 

5. Manage more conversations 

For a customer service agent, talking on the phone with a customer is ‘unitasking’ at its finest. Other than pulling up a customer on file, there’s not much else a support agent can do while on a call unless they put a customer on hold.

But with live chat for business, the same agent can handle more than one customer query at a time. They can easily ask a question in one live chat window, and shoot over a response to another in the time it takes the first to respond. For instance, say it takes your reps an average of six minutes to answer support calls. If it took six minutes per live chat, but each agent could handle two at once, that looks pretty good:

agent handling

SuprDaily, a subscription-based delivery service, handled 4000 chat messages per day with just 50 agents. With Freshchat, their agents were able to concurrently handle multiple chat conversations at the same time. Chat helped scale their support and also reduced their operational costs. 

Live chat for business helps you optimize the number of customers that your agents can support while still giving customers instant responses. With an increase in the agency concurrency, support teams will have lower backlogs and won’t have to grow their support teams massively. 

6. Set up canned responses and automation to boost agent productivity 

Canned responses: You can set your chat team up for increased success in a few, simple yet highly impactful ways.  For example, canned responses are pre-written templates of answers to common customer questions. These could be as simple as “What time does your store open”, and even address more procedural, multi-step, yet repetitive questions such as “How can I return my purchase?”

Instead of having to pen these answers down from scratch each time, agents should be able to effortlessly find the relevant answer and simply hit send. With a little personalization, these canned responses can still seem natural and unscripted, while still drastically increasing your agent’s response and resolution time. 

Canned response

Freshchat canned responses

Auto-assign tickets: Support teams can also spend precious time assigning tickets to the right agents. In order to run an efficient team, agents are usually divided into product or function-based teams, channel-based teams, or region-based teams. For instance, based on your product or service, you can choose to create a team of agents that focus only on technical difficulties, only on live chat, or to focus only on US-based customers.  With the right assignment rules, tickets raised on these parameters will be auto-assigned to the team best suited to handle it. If we were to take it one step further, auto-assign can also review the workload of that team, and either round-robin assignment to the right agent or assign it based on the agent’s current workload. 

Aside from optimizing the response time, this also saves the agents from having to re-route the customers if they are connected to a different live chat agent. This level of self-service is a win-win for both users and agents.

Klarna, a Swedish fintech company, brought down their first response time to 60 seconds after deploying Freshchat. With IntelliAssign, they were able to auto-route the tickets to the right agent without making their customers wait a long time to get connected to the right agent. 

7. Give your brand a competitive advantage

Though live chat seems very popular right now, there are still lots of businesses which are yet to provide live chat support to the customers. Only a little more than 60% of businesses offer live chat support to their customers. Having excellent live chat support offers you an edge over your competitors. When a customer stumbles across an issue, they are likely to opt for the support channel that is readily available to them. Moreover, in the pandemic-era, businesses had to go digital and make customer support completely virtual. Businesses that did not meet the requirements of the customer to deliver a better digital customer experience failed to sustain.  

Make the most out of live chat with integrations and AI

Live chat can reap more benefits with integrations. Here’s how. 

  • Messaging channels: Your customers are probably “chatting” right now – on messaging apps. Chat gives your business access to billions who use Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat and other apps. Live chat integrations with messenger apps will allow you to start a conversation with your customers without requiring them to visit your website. But, you don’t have to use them just for support, these messenger apps can also be used to proactively engage leads and visitors. You can nurture different groups of visitors over a course of time through low-touch and streamlined messaging – making it a great channel for lean or budget-strapped teams.
  • Chatbots: Chatbots and live chat are the best combo ever. They work hand-in-hand and elevate the support experience for your customers. Chatbots can be deployed on your chat software and it can perform marvels for your support team and business overall. 

→ 24×7 support: Chatbots help you offer support round the clock. If it is a complex issue demanding human intervention, it can pass on the information to the agent during business hours to take it forward saving you from losing out on leads and customers. This also saves you the cost of hiring extra agents to offer 24/7 support. 

chatbot support

Chatbot support

→ Automate common queries: AI-enabled chatbots are extremely well-equipped to handle all common queries. For instance, Freshworks’ Freddy bot uses AI and machine learning to resolve common queries with the most suitable answers in a jiffy. It continuously learns from customer interactions to deliver a better customer experience every time and to improve satisfaction rates.

→ Intent-driven messages: Customers aren’t fond of chatbots that sound completely robotic. Bots are capable of identifying intent and driving meaningful conversations with the customers that result in conversion or simply boost engagement. It can segment customers based on their behavior and send targeted messages proactively. Learn more about chatbots.

  • Forms and scheduling: Most sales teams will tell you that the bottleneck in converting leads into customers is getting them to take a demo of the product. While websites are filled with lead forms and demo request buttons, it’s difficult to convince the customer to take that step. Integrating your live chat software with calendar apps like Google Calendar or Calendly will let you easily book meetings and schedule demos with your prospects. This lets your sales team spend more time giving demos rather than making appointments. 

live chat-calendar integration

Schedule meetings in a click

  • Co-browsing: Co-browsing is one of the most effective techniques to solve complex technical issues for customers. Co-browsing offered on live chat makes it even easier for both customers and agents to jump right into the issue without having to switch devices or screens, unlike phone support. Integrating your live chat tool with a co-browsing app like Team Viewer helps solve customer issues quickly and effectively. 

Freshchat-Team Viewer integration

Future-proof with live chat

Since its inception, live chat has been the fastest way for customers to reach teams. Live chat benefits businesses by giving customers faster answers, helping support teams serve more customers, and optimizing the entire support process, even for small businesses. Customers want fast, personalized support, and live chat is uniquely positioned to give them that. 

With automation, your teams will be able to solve problems on a higher level rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of every query.  Whether you are a small business or are managing enterprise-scale operations, is a natural fit that optimizes the time that agents spend on a customer without compromising the quality of service a customer receives. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to wow your customers, try Freshchat now!