How Live Web Chat Can Increase Sales and Engagement
Engagement in the digital age happens in a blink. No longer are customers willing to wait on an email response in 24 hours or to place a call and wait in a queue to speak with a live sales or service agent. This wasn’t the case before the advent of the digital age when customers relied almost exclusively on voice as their engagement channel with vendors. However, with the advent of the digital age, expectations changed quickly. Customers expect their vendors to offer them the same digital engagement channels that they use in their personal lives.
At the same time, digital first impressions for customers are pivotal. A decade ago, first impressions were associated with initial human-to-human interactions—either voice or face to face. But the digital age completely transformed this paradigm. Often, the first interaction is now via a digital channel; everything from email campaigns to online banner ads, to a company’s website. And it takes a matter of five seconds or less for that first impression to form.
Customers Want Digital Engagement Options
Having a great website in terms of aesthetic appeal and navigational design is a must and a critical starting point. Three-quarters of users admit making judgments about a company’s brand credibility based on web design.
But it is more than just website design that you should be worried about. Customers want engagement options—whether buying, seeking answers to a question, or looking for help to resolve a problem. There are various factors that small businesses and solopreneurs need to consider. In an earlier blog post, I delineated nine different digital considerations, with website design as one of them.
A big mistake that too many small businesses and solopreneurs make is to think they simply need to offer visitors customized web content, along with voice and email contact options. Rather, customers want the ability to reach out in real-time, using the device and engagement channel of their liking, for help questioning and solving issues. And even though self-service continues to score high with online visitors (increasing from 67% to 81% in recent years), live web chat—and even chatbots—is frequently the preferred primary channel after self-service options fail. Anytime, anywhere, and any channel on any device is quite apropos.
The above doesn’t mean that voice doesn’t still garner sway with online visitors. Rather than being viewed as an entry-point or primary engagement channel, customers see it as an escalation mechanism. They want to solve simple, straightforward issues with self-service knowledge bases and leverage live web chat as the initial engagement channel. Digitally savvy customers turn to voice as a last resort when none of the above answer their questions or solve their problems.
Live Web Chat Is a Must
Live web chat, however, isn’t feasible for every small business, let alone solopreneurs, to take on themselves. It requires that you are always on and available to chat with customers. It also assumes that you have the expertise and bandwidth to configure and manage the live web chat solution. Furthermore, with live web chat only resolving a portion of inquiries, customers expect to have a seamless experience as they move between digital engagement channels. This means that you must have back-end integration between your voice, email, live web chat, and other digital engagement channels. Time and cost quickly become prohibitive, and you remain at a competitive disadvantage to larger businesses that have the resources to build and manage omnichannel engagement models.
The good news is that you can outsource live web chat to web chat providers such as Davinci Virtual. In the case of Davinci Virtual, its service and sales agents are configured in teams that serve multiple customers, enabling Davinci Virtual to offer cost-effective options that accommodate small business and solopreneur budgets. Additionally, its various engagement channels are integrated, thereby ensuring our clients’ customers have a seamless experience regardless of engagement channel—email, text, voice, and live web chat. We also ensure all our chat agents are thoroughly trained on the ins and outs of your business, so they can answer any question that comes their way.
Benefits of Live Chat for Business
The business benefits of live web chat are well documented. Following are some of the benefits of live chat software that demonstrate how live web chat generates value for your business:
• Reduced Bounce Rates
One of the benefits of live chat for e-commerce companies is reduced bounce rates. Fifty-three percent of U.S. customers say they will abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to a question. Live web chat allows you to quickly answer customer questions so they will be more likely to stay on your website.
• Understand Your Customers Better
Another one of the benefits of live chat for ecommerce companies in particular, is understanding your customers better, whether it’s understanding their needs and wants, their problems with the product or the website, or just understanding them better because you’re typing and not on the phone. The more you know about your customer, the more you can help them in the future in ways like recommending products to go with their purchase and applying their feedback to products to make them better for everyone.
• Advocacy and Customer Loyalty
Valuing and respecting customers’ time cannot be underemphasized. Seventy-three percent of customers indicate valuing their time is the most important thing that a business can do when providing them with a good digital experience. Offering live web chat as a virtual real-time human-to-human engagement mode goes a long way in assuring customers that you value their time. If they feel their time is valued, they will feel valued and will be more likely to do business with you and keep doing business with you in the future.
• Competitive Advantage
Studies have shown that many businesses are not taking advantage of live web chat. This particular study showed that only 9% of websites use live chat. If you are part of that 9%, your business has a competitive edge and can bring something to your customers that your competition can’t.
• Cost Savings
Research shows that live web chat is cheaper than voice by at least 33 percent—both for organizations managing live web chat in-house and for those that outsource it. Using live web chat instead of voice can save you money that can be used for other business needs.
• Less Cart Abandonment
Sixty-nine percent of online carts are abandoned. Over half are more likely to make a purchase if they have assistance via live web chat. Live chat for sales allows you to quickly answer sales questions a customer has that would likely result in an abandonded cart if the questions aren’t addressed.
• Increased Sales and Revenue
The amount of additional revenue that live chat for sales can generate for an online retailer varies, depending on the study in question. For those using live web chat, upwards of 20 percent of revenue often occurs after live web chat. Without live web chat, this revenue would not have been realized.
There are many reasons to try live web chat for your business and many more benefits that could be applied if you do. Live web chat can be quickly and easily added to your website. Get started today by determining which Live Web Chat Plan from Davinci Virtual is right for your business. Feel free to contact us and get a live quote today.