Using Live Chat as a Sales Channel

If you manage an online business especially an eCommerce business and do not have live chat on your website then you are missing out on a lot of sales opportunities through your website. There are many live chat apps both paid and free to help you convert casual website visitors into sales & leads. That’s not all, Live Chat also helps you connect with your customers and increase customer satisfaction.

As per a recent survey, more than half of online customers prefer to use Live Chat over a phone call to get their questions answered (Source: ICMI). Live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, at 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone. (Source: E-consultancy)


Using Live Chat as a Sales Channel:

Business owners spend thousands of dollars building a beautiful website and spend more on marketing your website on Google & Facebook. But they often overlook a simple took like Live Chat that can help them improve their conversion rates. For customers who chat prior to making a purchase, there is a 10% increase in average order value, a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour, and a 40% conversion rate. (Source: Forrester)

Live Chat presents an opportunity for you to engage with your website visitors in real-time and assist them with their questions. This helps speed up buying decisions or answer any support queries they may have. It is a common misconception that Live Chat can only be used as a tool to provide support requests. More and more online retailers are using Live Chat to improve sales by strategically placing the chat button in places that customers may need help, like the check-out page or the product page. 

 Improve response time:

Not all customer queries can be handled by phone operators which are probably best used to answer sales related queries. Live Chat can serve both purposes, you can answer simple support queries like where is my order? to complex product related queries like, will this travel bag qualify as an airline cabin bag? It all depends on how you wish to use the service. Traditional queries that come in the form of an email have an average response time of 12 hours, but with Live Chat, you can instantly respond to customers by having agents manage the service round the clock.

After Hours & Weekend support:

Another often overlooked aspect of online businesses is after hours support and weekend support, both these require someone to manage your chat service. The benefit of Live Chat is that you can outsource these activities to an offshore vendor and have them answer your customer’s query while you are away. A few simple lines of code is all that is required to install the chat app on your website. Unlike phone support, you do not have to invest in expensive infrastructure to manage your customer queries.

Secure & user-friendly:

Most live chat services now provide you the option of encryption which means your customers can exchange personal information securely without having to worry about the security of their data. Live Chat agents also have the option to co-browse which means that they can actually assist you as they browse through your website.

Automated rules & triggers:

Some live chat apps will also give you the option to automatically trigger a live chat window based on customer behavior on your website. For instance, if a visitor has exceeded a certain amount of time on your website can trigger a live chat request or if a user is in a certain section of your website like check-out it can trigger a live chat request. These automated prompts can help make the difference between a user abandoning the cart and completing a sale.

Collect feedback:

Live Chat is also a great way to collect feedback and improve your service offering. By chatting with your customer directly you can capture real-time feedback on their experience be it price, navigation or product quality. This can go a long way in helping you improve your service.

In conclusion, Live Chat is becoming a must-have for most online businesses be it eCommerce or lead generation. It requires very little in the form of investment but can help increase your average order values and customer satisfaction levels. There are companies that offer managed Live Chat services as an outsourced service. With a little training, they can act as an extended sales & support team for your business.

Corelead provides managed Live Chat services for many top online retailers. We have helped our customers improve customer retention rates, conversion rates & customer satisfaction levels. Ask us about our Risk-Free 1 Month Pilot to help you try our Live Chat services. 

Author: Akbar Lalani
Akbar Lalani is an entrepreneur and currently the CEO of Corelead Interactive. He has over 2 decades of experience in building strategic marketing plans and managed several online brands for small, medium and large companies including Fortune 500 companies.