Written By: Karen Lloyd-Collins CEO Chat2
One of the most typical questions we are asked at Chat2 is:
“Does Live Chat Really Work?”
We speak with many companies every day who are hesitant to try chat software and tell us:
“My customers are happy to contact me by phone, contact form or email”; or
“I am too busy at the moment to implement live chat”; or
“My website provides enough information to customers; or
“The questions people ask on live chat is on my website – so they just need to read!”; or
“Oh – my website needs to be updated so live chat wouldn’t work for us”.
Can you relate to any of these? If you do – you are certainly not alone, as it is what we hear everyday. So let’s look at why live chat is currently a channel that needs to be evaluated for any business.
Technology is giving the power of information to your customer, so if they are not getting what they want from your website they will just go elsewhere. Customer behaviour online is changing rapidly, so let me share with you what is happening.
What do Customers think of Chat?
Did you know that live chat is now becoming the preferred contact channel of choice by clients? I am not just saying that as an industry specialist, as according to Forbes, 92% of customers now prefer to use live chat to communicate with businesses (Forbes 2017), compared to other channels.
Since 2015, I have noticed a dramatic change in responses from prospects when asked:
“Would you be interested in trying Chat2 – its a live chat channel where you can connect with customers straight away at the same time they are on your website?”
I would commonly hear answers like:
“Oh, you mean – that annoying little pop up window – I close it straight away!”
Now 3 years later – I hear:
“I seek out websites now with a live chat option”; or
“I love live chat – I get all the answers I want straight away without having to search the website.”
This change in attitude is what is being reflected in industry research.
The main reason for the growing popularity of the chat channel is in regards to time. Customer behaviour online is evolving. Customers are now demanding faster, more instant responses from businesses (Check out our blog on How Fast is Fast Enough?). There is a huge chasm between the response times provided by businesses compared to customer expectations. Live chat software is providing the tool to businesses to meet this challenge. According to research by (Econsultancy.com) 79% said they got their questions answered quickly with live chat and 46% agreed live chat was the most efficient communication method (Econsultancy.com). Other reasons as to why chat is becoming a preferred communication channel with online visitors are listed below.
So if a customer is feeling more satisfied with the method they are using to communicate with a business, it makes sense that they are more likely to connect regularly, establishing a relationship, increasing engagement, building trust and eventually buying. Chat software, used well, converts browsers to buyers!
“Chat Converts Browsers to Buyers”
This has been our experience at Chat2.
Sunlover Reef Cruises, a client since 2016, use our Chat2 Concierge Service. The number of chats they now receive each month has more than doubled compared to the previous year. So we have seen first hand how successful the Chat2 channel is with this incredible growth.
Other clients like The Energy Hub Australia have commented:
“Our sales have increased by 50% since the implementation of Chat2”.
Salary Packaging Australia advised that:
“50% of the enquiries we receive from Chat2 are genuine sales and leads enquiries, this is much higher than we expected!”
If implemented well, the live chat channel has the capacity to create great results… though businesses are hesitant to implement. I believe there is this huge divide between how customers want to communicate with businesses and what businesses are actually providing for their customers to connect with them. How well do you really know your customers? Simply trying a live chat channel is only going to be of benefit…. and it can only produce results. You won’t lose customers trialing live chat as you are more likely to gain new ones.
Let’s have a look at who a chat visitor is and how they any different to the customer who comes into a business via the phone or email?
“I believe there is this huge divide between how customers want to communicate with businesses to what businesses provide for customers to connect with them.”
Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO – Chat2
Who is the Chat Customer?
There are two main types of chat clients – ones that are already customers or ones still in the research/investigative stage of the sales process. It is the latter type of chat customer that a business never may attract without offering the chat channel.
Those customers that come into chat, that are already customers, will just love you more as you are now offering a faster, easier way for them to ask questions and get immediate answers through chat. You have now automatically increased their loyalty to you. Past customers coming into the chat channel are normally looking for information for another purchase and/or support.
The other type of chat client is the “website bouncer”, they are in the early stage of the sales funnel, researching and investigating what companies are offering and are bouncing from website to website. The browsing investigative prowler! They are looking for the best offers, sales, what may meet their needs, has the best value and customer service. So as they bounce into your website – your chat invitation pops up offering them assistance.
They stop for a sec……. You have captured their attention for a few brief seconds……
Sure they may bounce on but many think..…..”oh I can ask my questions and save time from having to browse all these websites. I can get all my questions answered in one spot!”
Those that bounce on…. may still bounce back to your website and see the invitation again… this time they think about how much quicker it will be to just ask questions here without having to read about what all the other companies are offering. This is a very common scenario in our experience and we note that it is normally the second or third visit to the website before the visitor engages in a chat.
Chat increases the opportunity to attract more leads/enquiries into a business. The sales funnel is being widened with the offer of a chat channel. You are capturing potential leads/prospects that may never have engaged without the chat opportunity. See our blog on widening the sales funnel with chat.
With Chat you are now a STAND OUT online. You have captured the visitor’s attention and this is likely to reduce the bounce rate to your website. Once you have captured their attention, the next step is to engage them into chat. If your chat is set up effectively, then engaging into a chat is easy.
So back to the original question – Does Live Chat Really Work?
So far we have shown:
- Customers are preferring the chat channel as its fast, easy and convenient;
- Businesses are picking up more leads/enquiries by offering chat;
- Genuine lead enquiries are received through chat; and
- Customers are seeing a boost in sales with the increase in number of enquiries via chat.
So why all the hesitation and objection to trialing the live chat channel? We address each of the comments and objections mentioned earlier in part 2 of this blog to be published next week.
If you are an online website that sells your products and service online – then having chat on your website is a no brainer.
Did you know that 53% of online buyers are likely to abandon their online purchases.
According to Forrester research, “53 percent of US online adults are very likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their question.” This reason alone is why companies should have live chat offered as an option. The loss of 50% of your sales when a customer reaches checkout – is serious business!
According to Gartner – it is expected the chat channel will grow by 400% as a preferred customer digital engagement channel from 2015 – 2018. So in light of this research and the experience we are seeing at Chat2 – you need to answer those customers banging on your website door!
Click on a link below to start your trial of Chat2 software.
Chat2 Software – 30 day free trial with complimentary setup of the Chat2 Software.
If you would like to learn more about our Chat2 Concierge team and what we do – here is a short video on this service. Who is the Chat2 Concierge Team