Imagine going online shopping after a tough work week. Indulging yourself with clothes and gadgets and booking a reservation in a posh restaurant seems like the best idea. Until the shopping store won’t accept your card and the restaurant website crashes.
When things like these happen, customers just move on to the next website that will take care of their business. After all, there are millions of online retailers and one can always phone in to book a restaurant reservation.
From a business owner’s perspective though, this kind of scenario is the fastest way to lose a customer. Even more unfortunate is that it could have been easily prevented had there been someone to help the customers real-time.
It comes as little surprise that many customers prefer the option to chat with a live person while they are doing business online. A study revealed that 44% of online shoppers agree that a Live Chat option is one of the most significant features in a website.
Ironically, it is also an untapped resource that not many business owners have discovered. If you haven’t considered this option for your website yet, check out these 5 reasons why Live Chat is important for your business:
- It eliminates back-and-forth emails.
Although email is a powerful platform for advancing your brand, you need a faster medium when closing a sale. Live chat eliminates the need for back-and-forth emails that only delay a sales transaction.
When you hire a virtual assistant (VA) to help with a customer’s concerns while shopping, response time is drastically shortened and sales are highly likely to increase.
- Live Chat is more cost-effective.
Some business owners are reluctant to add this feature thinking that it is an additional expense. If you have the same notion, know that you can, in fact, save more with a Live Chat feature on your website.
With a Live Chat feature, you get lower contact center costs and only have to hire a few online assistants because one VA can simultaneously chat with 2-3 customers.
- It regulates and improves your brand’s online reputation.
People who have an unpleasant shopping experience online often take out their frustrations on social media. Whether these are valid rants or not, they can easily go viral and damage your brand reputation.
A Live Chat option can prevent this from happening. When there’s a virtual employee ready to smooth out the glitches in your website and appease your customer, you nip the issue in the bud before it has a chance of blowing up in public.
- You get a competitive advantage.
Because Live Chat is a feature that not many business websites have, you are in the lead if you have it. 63% of online shoppers are more likely to become repeat customers on websites with Live Chat support.
Being available to customers also builds their trust in your brand’s credibility. People would prefer doing business with a company that can readily answer their questions through chat than wait for an email response.
- Customers want it.
Your marketing efforts and overall sales process should be geared towards the convenience of the customers.
90% of online shoppers find Live Chat helpful. The same study found that 38% of shoppers made a purchase decision because of the Live Chat feature itself.
If you want to give your customers the best experience when they’re on your online turf, providing them chat assistance should be on top of your list.
Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.