Wouldn’t that be a dream come true for business owners! How much time do your staff spend on emails or on the phone communicating with customers? What if you could reduce the time spent on these tasks and make more sales!
Emails occupy 23% of the average employee’s workday (Forbes report) and the average employee checks their emails 36 times an hour. Email isn’t a great tool for staying productive with 59.56% of email traffic worldwide being reported as spam. The phone adds a personal touch, though you can only speak with one customer at a time and sometimes it’s hard to keep the phone call focused to achieve the desired outcome.
Think about how you talk to the people close to you. Rarely by email, sure sometimes by phone, but many of us are now resorting to using instant messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, Messages, What’s App, Instagram and Snapchat. It’s expected that there will be 2.48 billion users of mobile messaging apps by 2021 according to Statista. So it makes sense that businesses should also embrace this communication channel.
“How?” You may ask? “I don’t want my staff on Facebook all day – they’ll never get any work done!”
Your staff don’t need to be on Facebook to answer Facebook messenger chats! Let me show you how.
Firstly, businesses need to recognise that the majority of their customers are on these instant messaging channels and they need to be there too! And this is where chat software becomes invaluable to the business.
It’s so easy for a business to reach out online while the customer is there, with a quick,
“Hi – how is your day going?”
“Hi – can we help you with that product?”
“Would you like to know what colours are available?”
“Oh we have a promotion on that very item today.”
Chatting directly to your clients, engaging them, providing them with answers quickly and easily on their preferred communication channel, is the equivalent of a customer visiting a bricks and mortar store. It builds trust.
It’s the norm now to have a business website and a Facebook page, and sure, you can use Facebook Messenger directly. But it’s time-consuming, distracting, and has limited reporting or data analysis… Instead, businesses can install chat software on their website and link it directly to Facebook Messenger! So as they say, you can “have your cake and eat it too”.
Your staff can chat with many customers from Facebook and the website at the same time! What a great time saver and how productive your staff will be making multiple sales simultaneously! It’s like having multiple phone lines coming into your business, with one staff member answering all the calls at the same time! How effective is that?
What is Chat Software?
Chat software gives businesses the opportunity to chat directly with their customers from the website or Facebook page using an instant messaging platform. It’s a software application and easily installed on your website by pasting a few simple lines of code. The code creates a widget (pop up box) that allows your customers to chat with a real person in your business. Giving your customer an opportunity to ask questions about your products and services on the same communication channel they are using. They don’t have to pick up the phone, they can ask the question right there and then.
You may now be thinking:
“What if I don’t have the staff to answer chats?”
“What are the real benefits of installing chat software?”
Well, let’s explore those questions!
Why Every Business Needs Live Chat?
1. It’s Cheaper
Can you speak with more than one customer on the phone? No… but you can with chat! Experienced operators can speak with, potentially, up to 10 clients at one time! This is a huge saving in time and cost of phone calls. Providing your customers with access to instant messaging on your website, and giving them the option to chat with you directly, will reduce the number of phone calls and emails for your frequently asked questions! Giving your customers immediate answers moves them further along the sales funnel towards a sale… and with more queries being answered at once by a team member (impossible with a phone or email), it will require less time and resources.
Virgin Atlantic has stated that using live chat is cheaper than answering phone calls from consumers or responding to emails—Virgin states that the average chat agent can cover the work done by 15 agents focused on emails.
2. More Sales and Conversions with higher order value
Website browsers have questions about your product and service and many times they are not ready to hand over any identifying information until they have answers to a few basic questions.
Sunlover Reef Cruises enquiries often start with “What is included in the reef tour?” Website browsers are comparing what other tour operators are offering, but as Sunlover is online and ready to answer questions like this they more often than not make the sale. This initial conversation builds trust with the customer, so they feel more confident in buying. The monthly number of chats has tripled for Sunlover since they started with Chat2 software in 2016.
Chat software gives you the chance to answer any immediate objections from the buyer. We can all think of those main questions that any new prospect asks us and if we are there – online – at the time the buyer is ready to buy, to answer those simple objections, we are more likely to convert.
According to the American Marketing Association chat software can increase sales conversions by 20%. The Energy Hub Australia has experienced exactly this by being online and answering questions such as “How much is freight?” or “Will this hot water system be suited to 2 bathrooms?”. The Managing Director has reported that sales have increased by over 50% for the online retail store due to live chat.
Chat software not only increases the number of sales – it also increases the average order value. Just by chatting with your prospective customers online you get to understand their needs, and are able to recommend other products by up-selling or cross-selling to increase the order value. Virgin Airlines found that the average order values for consumers who use live chat are 15% higher than consumers who do not use the software.
3. Grow your Lead and Client database
When website browsers engage in chat it provides the opportunity for businesses to obtain contact details through the chat software from which a contact list can be generated for future promotions. If the chatter comes via Facebook Messenger into chat, there is the added bonus where the business will obtain the person’s Facebook profile and allows the business to re-contact the prospect within 24 hours under the Facebook rules with further promotions and information. Chat software provides businesses with a new online lead generation tool at a minimal cost.
The Nutritional supplement company “Happy Healthy You” is finding great success in this method of marketing utilising the integration of Chat2 software and Facebook Messenger and sending promotions and advice to their 120K strong Facebook following.
4. Get to Know your Customers
When a prospect chats with a business, it’s an opportunity to learn from the experience and get to know their browsers a little better. They can find out what information is being researched about their business; what product or services buyers are currently looking for; and in the process, build trust with their customers through consistent and meaningful engagement.
The business can then ensure their website is providing the information that is being sought by potential prospects. It also gives businesses an insight into new products or services they could be offering, particularly if they have prospects seeking out these products.
5. Improve Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
According to eDigital customer service benchmark, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73% compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.
The reason for this is due to the “efficiency and immediacy of the experience”, says Kirk Parson, a Senior Director at Market Research company, J.D. Power
Communicating with your customers through the channel they prefer will certainly keep your business “top of mind” when it comes time to purchase. You will also retain more customers if you are easy to access with quick answers and levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty will significantly improve.
6. Consumers are demanding immediate information.
We are living in a fast-paced community and consumers are demanding more immediate answers to their questions. The amount of time consumers are prepared to wait for an answer is shrinking, particularly those consumers connected online.
Eptica Research found that 44% of people said they wanted an answer on Facebook within 30 minutes and 62% on email within 2 hours. Consumers are wanting a fast, accurate, helpful response no matter what the time or the communication channel.
Shane Gooding (Manager) from Cartridge Mate supports this and states, “If we don’t respond to a chat quickly, we lose the opportunity to chat, they don’t wait around for very long on chat.”
Research shows that the average response time for customer service requests on social media is 10 hours, and emails 12 hours. This certainly doesn’t meet consumer expectations. Consumers don’t want to wait any longer for an email response or on hold in a phone queue.
Consumers want information on demand, not when businesses decide to schedule an email. People no longer want to wait for information or search for an answer, they want the answer to come to them. If you can’t respond with some immediacy to their questions, they will be gone in a click to the business where they can get answers quickly.
What if I can’t respond quickly to a chat?
As we now know it is the immediacy of the answer that is important to the online consumer and a key factor in making or breaking the sale. The implementation of a chat software can certainly give the business the opportunity to answer quickly, though response times need to be measured.
Our experience at Chat2 has been that if a chat is answered within 60 seconds, it is likely the customer will engage with the business. Yes. It‘s not much time, though auto responders are set up to acknowledge the chatter immediately and they also provide some breathing time before answering a chat. With the Chat2 software you can also see what your customer is typing before they send their question. This gives the operator more time to prepare a fast, accurate response.
Many businesses are not yet set up to take on live chats – so Chat2 offers a transitioning service with Chat2 Concierge. The Chat2 team set up all the FAQ’s for the business within the software and answer chats on behalf of the business. Chat2 concierge clients have chats answered within 30 seconds on average. The team is very fast and is achieving high conversions rates within chats, ranging from 70 – 90%.
Chat2 offers Concierge as an ongoing service in the hours selected by the business, or the business can choose to answer the chats in-house once they have observed how chats are answered by a professional team of Chat Operators.
Implementing chat software for your business will certainly boost sales if implemented correctly. Chat does relieve the pressure of phone calls and emails on frontline staff and hence reduce costs. Though chats need to be answered with a sense of immediacy as there’s not much patience in the online world. The next company offering your product or service is only a click away.