“You are 23rd in the queue. Your custom and patience are appreciated. Thank you for holding.”
Being kept waiting on the phone is the top frustration for customers when dealing with businesses and other organisations.
A recent survey carried out by the Association of British Insurers to discover people’s experiences with online retailers, banks, and more, found 61 per cent put long call waiting times in their top three gripes, followed by automated phone systems (46%) and unhelpful staff (34%).
Today, live chat, once considered an annoyance by customers who preferred speaking directly with someone – and a nice-to-have, rather than a must-have by businesses – has become a vital cog in a digital commerce strategy.
In 2020, the global live chat software market was valued at $755.23 million but with its popularity soaring, this is projected to reach $1.7 billion by 2030.
A customer service platform that retailers can integrate with their digital solution, live chat can help increase conversions, generate new leads, increase customer satisfaction and encourage them to return.
Here, SQLI takes a look at five reasons digital retailers should consider adding live chat software to their digital solutions.
Five ways live chat can help boost your online sales
Help customers find what they need quicker
“When is the sofa likely to be back in stock?” “Do you have a similar dress to the one that is now out of season?” Rather than have a customer hunt around for an answer, or wait for an email reply, live chat allows businesses to answer any query in seconds and help secure that all important sale.
Meanwhile, customers won’t have to be waiting in long queues on the phone, with businesses able to open several queries at once, helping it run more efficiently, too.
Reduce shopping cart abandonment
In 2021, almost 70 per cent of digital shopping baskets globally were abandoned without completing the purchase. While the main reasons cited include high shipping costs and delivery times, initiating a conversation with someone who has been on the checkout page for a few minutes can help keep them on the site longer. Maybe they can’t find something in the small print, or delivery queries are leaving them wavering?
Having someone on hand, fulfilling the same functions as a shop floor assistant in a bricks and mortar store - who can quickly answer questions and clear any doubts a customer has - can reduce bounce rates and help make those extra sales.
Integrate live chat with social media streams
As of July 2021, messaging app WhatsApp had around two billion monthly active users – with a mind-blowing 100 billion messages sent each day.
We are increasingly texting, or using messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to communicate quickly and efficiently with each other, so it makes perfect sense for digital retailers to reach out to its customers in the same way.
Many live chat solutions allow retailers to connect over different social apps without the need to switch between different feeds and applications, leading to a seamless omnichannel experience for consumers.
Talk to customers when they want, how they want and watch interactions and sales grow.
Work together collaboratively as a team
With service solution software that has live chat as part of the suite, businesses can ensure a seamless experience for customers and business alike. Smaller digital retailers might not even need big teams of customer service reps - with less people able to manage larger volumes of customer queries at the same time.
Platforms such as Zendesk, that offer many different tools and products in one solution, allow digital retailers to connect with customers over any channel – while connecting the team behind the scenes as well.
Businesses can allow bots to make the initial interactions or answer simple questions before sales agents take over. Customer conversations are found in a centralised hub ensuring information can be shared around teams quickly, while retailers can build prospect lists and create customised email sequences to then automatically follow up leads.
In effect, live chat can become more than an answering service – it can be the first step on a powerful and collaborative sales ecosystem.
Retain customers and upsell
Depending on which surveys you look at, increasing customer retention rates by just five per cent can increase profits by anywhere between 25 per cent and 95 per cent.
A happy customer who finds everything they need quickly and receives good customer service is more likely to return.
Not only can an employee on live chat help a customer with any queries, they are in the perfect position to suggest other products. “Did you know there is a buy one, get one free offer on?”
Customer satisfaction comes in many different shapes and sizes and it’s vital your business supports your customers as much as possible to make their shopping experience hassle free and memorable – for the right reasons.
Live chat: seamless customer service
If you are thinking of adding live chat to your digital solution, you can display it on certain pages to maximise conversions and hide it when you reach a number of requests. It can help you win new customers, make extra sales and help retain customers in the long run.
It can offer:
Speed and efficiency: help customers find what they need and answer queries, quickly.
Reduced shopping basket abandonment: discuss a customer’s needs before they leave.
Multiple ways to connect to customers: talk to customers on the channels they prefer.
Seamless communication for teams to work collaboratively: work together efficiently to make the sale.
Customer satisfaction: upsell and retain happy customers.