According to Forrester Predictions 2021, because Chief Marketing Officers need to drive customer obsession at their companies rather than just guiding advertisement buying and promotions, spend on loyalty and retention will increase by 30% in 2021. Along with that, the Live Chat Statistics 2020 Trends and Insights has revealed the power of live chat for earning customer loyalty and retaining customers.
- Econsultancy reported that live chat has raised customer satisfaction levels from 73% to 81%. Compared to 61% of email and 44% of phone calls, live chat brings the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel.
- Live chat increases the customer retention rate by 5% as it creates more satisfied customers.
- 79% of companies confirmed that live chat has created a positive impact in terms of customer loyalty, sales, and revenue.
- 34% improvement in customer satisfaction rate and 2.6% in customer care costs have been recorded thanks to live chat.
- 29% of customers would recommend a brand to their family and acquaintances if they had a good live chat experience on its website.
Why is live chat getting more popular?
Primarily, live chat is a functionality that usually appears on a website as a chat bubble or small window to help merchants communicate with their website visitors or app users in real-time. It started as an alternative to email and phone calls, but the continuous success of the live chat made a great number of businesses take advantage of it to meet the growing demands of their customers.
So how has the use of live chat become more prominent in various business industries all over the world?
Statistics reflect that:
- There is a continuously rising number of live chat users which is 24%
- 62% of customers expect live chat to be available on mobile devices.
- 82% of customers would use live chat if it is available on a website.
Reports also show a dramatic growth rate of live chat, when:
- Chat adoption rates have risen from 38% in 2009 to 58% in 2014.
- From 2009 to 2014, Chat adoption rates have recorded a compound annual growth rate of 8.8%.
- From 2014 to 2018, Chat volumes are projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 24%.
- With 42% of customers using live chat, compared to 23% of those using emails and 16% using other social media forums, chat has become the leading contact source within the online environment.
As a result, there is no doubt that more and more businesses are likely to use live chat as an essential functionality of their websites.
The noticeable growth of live chat is not only thanks to its ability in giving your customers a faster and more convenient way to get in touch with your customer service team, but its benefits have stretched far beyond just customer service.
Benefits of live chat
Quick response time
The digital age has conditioned us to expect results immediately, which means when a customer asks for support from a business, they want responses as quickly as possible. Live Chat enables you to give customers an instant response, even if your customer service team is not available. Live chat software can also provide self-service options for your customers to help them find what they need on their own.
Actually one of the advantages of chat versus phone is that it enables you to effectively serve multiple customers at the same time. Of those who prefer live chat, 79% said they did so because they could multitask, and 46% agreed it was the most efficient communication method.
Increase customer satisfaction
Live chat can give almost immediate answers to a customer’s questions and provide real-time help without requiring much effort from the customer. Thus, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, at 73% compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone. The fact that 72% of customers are satisfied or very satisfied with their customer support experience when shopping online, but the level of satisfaction increases to 92% when live chat is used on a mobile device.
Bring competitive advantages
Thanks to live chat, you can communicate with your buyers online. This allows you to build trust and give customers an experience as doing an offline purchase. Consequently, live chat helps your business to increase sales and conversions. Moreover, it also reduces the support costs and differentiates your brand from other competitors. In fact, a study of 1000 websites found that only 9% of them use live chat to provide real-time support to their customers.
In brief, live chat is a low-cost solution to help you improve sales, engagement, and retention. With the growth of using live chat services, it is a common trend for businesses to look for effective live chat software to grow their sales as well as inspire customer loyalty and retention. However, opting for a live chat software among hundreds of choices out there in the marketplace can be pretty hard to decide. If you haven’t experienced any live chat yet, you will have no idea of what features in the live chat software that you’re looking for.
For that reason, the list of 11 important features of a live chat software below must be useful to help you choose a live chat that best suits your business needs.
10 important features of a live chat software
Multilingual Chat Support
A live chat app should provide online businesses with seamless contact with their international clients, while managing the time difference efficiently, making sure the response time is minimized, and offering multilingual support for all major regions. If you want to go global, it a must for your business to be able to interact with international customers regardless of different time zones and cultures.
Multiple Chat Modes
A good live chat software should provide different chat modes (or messaging modes) such as asynchronous and synchronous chat. Asynchronous messaging involves chat, but not in real-time, while synchronous messaging allows both parties to chat simultaneously. For example, Facebook Messenger and iMessage are asynchronous modes, and the traditional chat experience where an agent needs to be available is the synchronous mode.
Different chat modes have their own pros and cons, so your live chat option should provide several modes to support each other and bring your customer the best chat experience. The synchronous chat mode enables accessibility and it is efficient for conversations centered around problem-solving and answering questions. Most customers prefer having real-time chatting when using customer service. However, availability and premature chat closure issues are the frequent problems of synchronous chat, and asynchronous chat mode will help you avoid those issues.
In case you need to explain complex topics to customers, a long chat session is less convenient than having a voice interaction. You would like to go through a more detailed conversation with your customer through a call. Besides, many people tend to prefer talking with a real person to chatbots. The Audio Calls feature allows customers to initiate a call from the chat window. In case the call goes missed, web visitors can get an option in calling again or leaving a voice message to the operator.
Chat takeover feature (Multi-Agent Chat)
Sometimes an agent can’t quickly resolve a customer issue during a live chat but others might be able to. With a live chat application, the initial agent can team up with available colleagues to deliver the best support possible to customers. Most of the chat solutions allow you to receive chats from multiple sources such as your website, Facebook Messenger, SMS text, and emails, etc. Thus, chat transfers among agents are needed.
Mobile dashboard or app
Though it is convenient for your customers to require the support service, it is not so convenient for you if you always have to log into a computer to respond. A mobile dashboard or application is a must to make it easier for you to monitor chats while on-the-go and reply straight from the channels from which the messages are received.
Monitor Website Traffic
An efficient live chat software should give you real-time analytics of everything happening on your website by providing a quick track of unique visitors, returning visitors, total visitors, as well as getting instant, accurate information of your customers (business address, phone number, industry, revenue, etc). It will be a bonus if the live chat can offer firmographic reporting. This data can be stored and updated each time your customers come back to your website.
Chat tags and keywords
Because live chat stores your customers and conversations data, you can organize and tag chats to filter them for review later. Developing a set of tags and keywords all agents will use, and have them tag their chats; putting tags and keywords for things like features requests and bugs by question type or topic; so you can pinpoint any frequent issues. By tagging and using keywords, you will be able to spot common issues and places in your products that need updating or resolving to help your customers.
Chat rating and feedback
Live chat is much more helpful in improving the quality and productivity of your customer service agents if the chat has a rating and feedback feature. It is effortless for the customer to give instant ratings and feedback to the operator through the chat, so you can make sure if your customers are satisfied with the support they received or not.
Integrating live chat with your CRM system allows you to have everything from your leads to the customer database and the communication records all in one place. Thanks to it, you can follow up on valuable leads encountered in the chat by forwarding the chat transcript to your CRM. There are several CRM software such as Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, Pipedrive, Insightly, etc. No matter which CRM is your tool of choice, if you need to integrate it with your live chat, we can provide you with an integration solution that can help you leverage both your CRM and live chat system for a greater customer experience.
A chatbot enables you to automate conversations and interact with people through messaging platforms. These highly intelligent bots can be set up within minutes and serve your customers as efficiently as a human agent would. The AI algorithms facilitate chatbots with a unique ability to learn, comprehend, act, and continuously improve their quality of service to instantly engage your customer without limits.
Which live chat will be best for you?
To be able to choose the most suitable live chat software for your website, besides those important features mentioned above, you still need to understand what is your business goal list, your budget, and careful research on the live chat available on the market. However, instead of wasting too much time looking for software that meets your needs, you can take a look at this list of the best 5 live chat software with a detailed review, pricing, and features listed. Make a comparison with the list of important features here and your business needs, it is definitely helpful to you a lot!
Customers are now getting more and more comfortable with live chat technology. They experience live chat, then prefer it, and later expect it too on every single website they encounter. Live chat has gone beyond the ability to improve customer experience. The ability to increase agent productivity combined with the data you collect, live chat – as a part of your customer support plan – can contribute to leading your business to greater success.
If you need any further information about live chat or related issues, feel free to contact us!