This article was originally published on the Spectrum blog.
Live chat is a software application that many B2C business owners choose to implement on their website. It's not exactly the newest technology; it's actually a relatively old form of communication by now. However, in the context of today's text-heavy society, live chat is more impactful and more useful than ever.
While the novelty of chatting has worn off since it first revolutionized communication in the 1990s, the comfort, ease and practicality associated with jumping on a chat for a quick information fix has never disappeared. If you don't already have this functionality on your website, it's certainly something to consider, as it will personalize your business and provide outstanding value and convenience for your online customers. All in all, the advantages are plentiful:
1. Quick response time.
Chat is like email on steroids. It's just faster and more satisfying to instantly receive the information you need about a product or a service in friendly, plain English.
2. Awesome user engagement.
When you have a competent, diligent and knowledgeable individual handling your company's live chat, you're adding a very powerful dimension to your business. By giving your customers a real person to connect with, you're creating new opportunities for conversions and up-sells.
3. Build your credibility.
Business owners and marketers understand the fundamental importance of professional credibility. It's often a key component to landing a lead or actually closing on a sale. It's why referral programs are so impactful. It's also what makes chat so powerful: the ability to answer you customers' questions at any given moment gives you an opportunity to display authority and industry expertise that can be extremely influential (especially to someone on the verge of making a buying decision).
It's essential to the evolution and growth of every business. The information your website users relay can be used to streamline processes and improve customer service as people's needs and expectations change over time. Live chat, when it's not being used to help your prospective customers, can be a simple and direct way to provide completely honest feedback that will help your sales over time.
5. Keep visitors on your website for longer.
Engaging prospective customers via chat can help keep those people on your site for longer periods of time -- holding their interest and allowing them more time to convert.
6. Offer support.
By proactively chatting with your visitors, or initiating the conversation, you're streamlining the buying process (just as sales people would in a retail store). Not only is it an effective way to increase your conversion rates, but customers who do in fact need help certainly appreciate it.
7. Tracking capabilities.
Understanding where your Internet traffic is coming from helps businesses capitalize on specific forms of advertising -- specifically those that work. Live chat makes it easier to see which ads, which pages and which searches converted the most users. Over time, this information can be utilized to create a targeted ad campaign that really works.