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How Live Chat can transform your online store

Last updated July 13, 2022 4 min to read
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Should your customer service team be using a chat feature? Yes, absolutely! As eDesk unveils a new, improved version of our  Live Chat tool, we’re exploring how this powerful feature can improve your customer service interactions and increase your sales.

Do customers want live chat?

Incorporating a chat feature into your customer service mix sounds great, but will shoppers actually use it? Yes, according to research carried out by ICMI into what methods customers prefer to use to contact businesses. The preference for live chat is very clear, compared to other methods.

53% of people would prefer to chat with a business rather than have to call them to answer customer service queries. 46% named chat as their preferred means of communication overall, versus 29% for email and 16% for social media.

It’s also interesting to note the difference in what customers want on different platforms. If you mainly sell via mobile, take note: 62% of customers expect live chat on mobile, and a huge 82% would use it if it was an option.

Given that chat involves so little effort on the customer’s part, there’s little surprise that it’s so popular. Providing convenience, a good SLA, and a personalised service is a winning combination.

How fast is live chat in customer service?

A major benefit of including chat in your customer service is the speed with which customers can get answers to questions. According to research from Econsultancy, 79% of customers say that a fast response time is key in deciding how they contact businesses.

But now, with chat being so commonplace, it’s about more than going above and beyond. According to research from Forrester, one in five customers are prepared to ditch a business altogether if the response time they get isn’t up to their expectations. A fast live chat feature is an essential customer service element.

How fast? Well, alongside traditional methods there’s no comparison. The typical customer service email is answered in 12 hours, with social media they tend to get an answer in about 10 hours. Live chat can give them the info they need in as little as two minutes.

But there’s a catch. Live chat needs to integrate with your existing customer service channels, and the way in which your team work. As many as 21% of live chat requests go unanswered, so you need to be sure your team are equipped and trained to take advantage of this powerful means of communication.

Can a live chat feature increase customer satisfaction?

Yes, massively. When done right, the data shows that live chat gives your customers the answers they need to make a purchasing decision and sends them on their merry way with as little friction as possible. What better formula for a happy audience?

According to Comm100, 82% of customers come out of a live chat experience feeling satisfied with the service they’ve received. That beats email with only 61%, and a measly 44% satisfaction rate for traditional phone-based customer service.

We’ve already covered the reasoning behind this: speed and convenience. When integrating live chat into your existing workflow, you need to focus on providing a fast, low-friction service to really leverage the feature’s power.

eDesk’s new chat feature works with the existing customer support mailbox. You can integrate chat seamlessly with your workflows, and your agents can use eDesk‘s time-saving features to reply fast.

By following up with customers after their interaction with you and asking for feedback, you can stay on top of your team’s performance. The more data you have, the better you can optimise your processes and drive down that all-important response time.

Can live chat increase your revenue?

So, live chat is in demand, but is it any good for your eCommerce business’ bottom line? Again, the answer is a loud and clear, ‘yes!’ Given the competitiveness of the eCommerce landscape, customers who don’t get the answers they need will simply shop elsewhere. Providing that information is essential to closing a sale.

Econsultancy report that for every $92 spent bringing prospects into your sales funnel, as little as $1 is spent converting them. Live chat can make sure that lonely little dollar is working as hard as possible for you once potential customers are on the hook. Here’s how.

Live chat converts customers better

Research shows that once a customer has had a live interaction with you, they’re 82% more likely to convert, and they can buy up to 13% more than customers who buy from you with no chat. Those are average figures across the whole study, they become extra interesting when we look at how many messages are exchanged:

  • One reply from a business boosts the chance of conversion by 50%
  • Two replies boost that chance by 100%
  • A conversation of six messages makes a lead 250% more likely to convert

So as long as chat is properly integrated into your workflow and your team know what they’re doing, you can turbocharge those conversion rates with relatively little effort.

Live chat can convert anywhere on your site

We think of a customer service chat feature as that helpful little box which pops up in the corner of the homepage offering advice. But when was the last time a customer converted solely on the strength of your homepage?

In fact, a customer’s chances of converting are 45% higher on any other page. Live chat is with them through the entire buying journey to provide tailored advice for any obstacles they might encounter. You’re giving them the support they need at the precise place where it’s needed most to get them over the line.

Automated features let your human team shine

Finally, live chat unlocks the potential hidden in your customer service teams. Time spent going through customers’ details on the phone or drafting long emails is time they could be spending on tricky, context-laden questions.

A good live chat feature will put the answers to simple but time-consuming questions at their fingertips. Their workload can be optimised around helping customers who are most in need, flexing their product muscles and converting the most frustrated shoppers into vocal advocates.

Final thoughts

Live chat is undoubtedly a powerful customer service tool. People demand it, and businesses that meet customers on their terms are going to do very well in a growing eCommerce marketplace. But remember, these tools are only as good as the teams using them.

By making sure your chat feature integrates with your existing customer service toolkit, you give your teams an easier life and let them do what they do best: make customers happy and drive more sales.

eDesk adds live chat to your customer service dashboard

Now you can reap the rewards of live chat without hunting for new software to power it. eDesk has launched a new version of Live Chat to create the ultimate customer service tool for growing eCommerce businesses.

Build better relationships with customers, empower your teams to deliver a great experience, and sell more – best of all, you can personalise your chat with your own branding to solidify consumers’ trust. Try it today: 

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