Hey y’all! Welcome back to Conversations with a Digital Strategist. On this week’s episode, I’m going to talk about why your website should have a live chat feature. A couple months ago I was approached by Josh over at WebsiteBuilder.org. He wanted me to take a look at a new infographic they’d just produced. After reviewing the infographic, I said to myself, “self, you MUST share this information with your audience”. And, there you have it, this episode topic was born. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Cool Tool of the Week
This week’s cool tool is called Storeo. Storeo is a game changing mobile app. If you’ve decided to use Instagram stories, you are aware of that annoying little issue of having only 15 seconds to record each snippet of your story. Don’t you hate that. Just when you’re in the middle of your thought, the recording shuts off and you have to start again. All the while, trying to remember what you were saying. It’s just plain frustrating. Well, Storeo has come to your rescue. This mobile app allows you to record your entire video inside the app. After you are finished recording your uninterrupted video, the app will splice it into 15 second chunks and make it available to you to upload to Instagram, or Facebook, or wherever else you want to upload it. Nice tool, huh? Storeo is available in the Apple app store for free. It does, however come with a watermark, but you can remove that watermark for $9.99. This is a must have app for anyone using Instagram stories. Go check it out and if you didn’t know, now you know.
Live Chat 101
A couple weeks ago we discussed online customer service. On that episode, I went into detail on some ways you can improve your online customer service. One of those ways was to use a live chat platform. In this week’s episode, I’m going to delve a little deeper into the subject of live chat, with the help of a very good infographic.
As I mentioned in the intro, I was approached a couple months ago by Josh Wardini from WebsiteBuilder.org about a new infographic they’d published called, “101 Reasons Why You Need to Embrace Live Chat“. You can find a link to the infographic in the show notes or on my website at Level360.co/podcast/episode-20. Live chat is a quick and easy way for customers to get their questions answered, without having to pick up the phone and speak with anyone directly. It’s a great multitasking option. How many times have you been on live chat with customer service or technical support, and been doing something else? I’ll raise my hand, because that’s me all the time.
In fact, I prefer live chat assistance over phone conversations. Mainly because I can multitask while getting my questions answered. But there are so many other reasons why you need to embrace live chat. While I won’t go through all the 101 stats in this infographic; I mean, I don’t want to spoil it for you; I will look at some of the main points.
Live Chat Stats
Let’s start by looking at some of the generic statistics around adding a live chat feature to your website. According to the infographic published by WebsiteBuilder.org, companies that have integrated live chat into their websites saw:
- An increase in sales, where 51% of customers were more likely to make a purchase from websites with live chat, than from websites without
- An increase in visitor retention rates, where 48% of website visitors are more like to return to a website that offers live chat
- An improvement in brand reputation, where 41% of online shoppers had a higher level of trust in companies that offered live chat
Now, those are some great stats. So, what is it that makes live chat so attractive?
According to the infographic, the average amount of time a live chat operator spends on a chat with a customer is 6 – 12 minutes. In addition, 79% of customers prefer live chat because of it’s immediacy. Often, you can reach a live chat agent quicker than you can get through the customer service option tree on a toll-free number. It’s nice to know I can just click a button and get directly to a person who can answer my questions, without having to listen to a bunch of prompts and trying to figure out whether I should press number 3 or number 4.
It’s Cost Effective
Let’s be honest, toll free numbers are not free for the company. And while it may not be a huge investment, its an investment nonetheless. However, there are plenty of free and inexpensive live chat solutions available on the market today. You’ve heard me talk about Tawk.to. I love that platform, hashtag not sponsored. It’s so robust to be a free tool. But the paid add-on’s won’t break the bank. Even paid tools such as Pure Chat and Intercom, aren’t terribly expensive, especially for smaller installations.
The WebsiteBuilder.org’s infographic goes on to say, “The American Marketing Association claims live chat for B2B businesses increases conversions by at least 20%”. So why do websites with live chat convert more? It boils down to trust. You show yourself as available at the click of a button. This means, that any time I need you, I can just click that live chat button on your website and get help. It gives customers a sense of availability. You are available to them, even if your chat is offline at night and on weekends. It’s the perception of availability.
Customers Love It
And this perception of availability is absolutely loved by customers. In fact, 69% of U.S. shoppers demand a live chat feature from the websites on which they shop. Again, it’s the ease of use, the quickness in response, the fact that I don’t need to grab my phone. I can just click, type, done.
Customers Expect It
Because so many consumers prefer live chat, and so many companies are starting to offer live chat, you can believe more and more customers will expect live chat. Don’t disappoint, by assuming your customers won’t want or need this type of feature.
But Do You Need Live Chat?
Not necessarily! Yea, I said that! It’s true. Just because a tool is a great idea for many companies, doesn’t mean it’s perfect for all. I’ll never be the type to say, everyone must do one thing or another. I’ve even been known to say, not all companies need a website. Now, all companies do need a web presence, if you want customers, that is. But, that’s as far as my idea of absolutes goes.
So, how do you know if you need live chat? Simple, do customers call you with questions? Do you receive many of the same questions? Do customers ask each other questions about your company, products or services? You may need live chat. But, if you don’t get a lot of questions and customers mainly can make their buying decision without a lot of injection from you, you may not need live chat.
My suggestion is to test it out. Test one of the free tools or a tool that offers a free trial. See how much usage the chat receives. If you don’t get a lot of questions, but you do have a fair amount of traffic, you may not need a live chat feature. Quick note, traffic does matter. If you’re not getting a whole lot of traffic to your website, you may not get a good sample size during your test implementation. In this case, work on increasing traffic to your website and revisit the need for live chat, later.
Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of Conversations with a Digital Strategist. If you have questions about anything I covered, feel free to email me at email@example.com. If you’d like more information about me, visit my website at Level360.co. I’m also social, you know. Follow me on Twitter at Level_360. Or on Facebook at Facebook.com/Level360LLC. Until next time, live true, work smart, and in the words of one of the greatest strategists to ever live, think different! Bye!
Intro and outro music by: DJ Quads
DJ Quads Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quads
DJ Quads YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusFqutyfTWRqGhC8kHA5uw