Customer service for your brand is critical for your reputation. According to HubSpot, 60% of customers will stop doing business with a brand due to bad customer service. Companies with higher engagement levels also achieve higher levels of sales and revenue.
Satisfied customers stay with you longer and will also refer friends. Automating your customer support via live chat is an easy win for most companies. Once you learn how effective live chat can be, you’ll wish you had installed it sooner.
What is live chat?
Live chat is a tool that allows businesses to have website conversations with their customers in real-time. If someone is browsing your website and needs help, they can easily reach out and engage a chat agent to help them. Live chat represents a breakthrough over emails and phone calls thanks to the immediacy and privacy it provides. Customers often want to get their questions answered on their own schedule. Live chat gives them an immediate response that isn’t available with email. It’s tough to get customers on the phone as they don’t usually want that level of engagement, especially with a company they don’t know.
More customers these days want a less invasive form of communication compared to phone calls or email. Intrusive communication, such as phone calls and emails, takes up too much time and demands too much attention. Customers like to use live chat as it allows them to multitask and do other things simultaneously. Live chat support doesn’t interrupt a person’s workflow, and many customers prefer live chat to email these days.
The benefits of live chat.
Customers are sensitive to companies giving them prompt customer support. According to Gartner, companies continue to heavily invest in live chat as a digital strategy to improve customer satisfaction. Most customers expect companies to respond to email inquiries within 4 hours. If a company waits a couple of days before responding to questions, the customer is likely to lose patience and leave for a competitor. Based on customers’ increasingly stringent demands, your SLA should aim for a 12-hour max customer response time.
Beyond just the benefits, adding live chat to a website is a straightforward process. Businesses will need to select a few criteria in their chat settings according to their customers.
- When will the chat run? Some only want it to run during business hours, while other companies might opt for a 24/7 automated chatbot that seamlessly escalates to a human if a question cannot be answered through the knowledge base.
- The level of automation the live chat gives before a live person is brought in to help.
- How much information is required from customers when sending their chat request. Businesses most often need a name and email address to be filled in before chatting.
The benefits of automated live chat.
Having automated live chat installed on your site gives you an instant communication channel with your customers. When prospective customers get quicker responses, they’re instantly more satisfied with their user experience.
Automated live chat can serve as your first line automated helpdesk. A large percentage of customer queries can be solved with automated lookups within the knowledgebase. Your live chatbot can provide direct links to articles in your knowledge base or FAQ. If the live chat automation isn’t able to directly help the customer, these chats can be escalated to a support ticket or a live chat with an agent.
Once a customer support team member solves the support ticket, this correct response can be added to the knowledge base. The next time someone has a similar question, your automated chatbot can pull this information from the updated knowledge base.
A live chatbot is one type of automation tool that can significantly improve efficiency. Your live chat can give scripted responses to the most common customer queries. This prevents your team from having to type out the same responses. Your customer support automation system can automatically turn chats into tickets and route them to the right person in the right department. Whether they come from live chat messages or from emails, your helpdesk software can automatically collate them into one location. Collecting your customers’ conversations allows you to guide the customers’ conversations and provide the best possible support. You will be able to see the problems they’re having and communicate with them using the channel they most prefer.
Automated chat for sales.
Outbound sales rely upon criteria such as keyword cost per click and demographic data to target potential customers. The problem is that these criteria are available for your competitors as well. The beauty of automated live chat is that it allows your company to discover multiple new scenarios where your potential customers are most likely to become paying customers. These various scenarios can be reviewed through your analytics and are private to your own company.
Automated live chat can act as a sales leads system for your prospective customers. Sales leads often have questions (such as questions about pricing and features) that can be automatically answered by a chatbot. Various criteria can be used to escalate these automatic chats into direct sales communication or calls. For example, live chats lasting longer than a certain duration or originating from a particular area might be worth escalating to a live salesperson. Companies can adjust their escalation criteria according to their ROI analytics.
Customized scripts can be developed for the chatbot on high-value pages as part of your sales funnel. This could be your pricing plan page or your shopping cart checkout page. Triggers can be programmed to nudge customers to help engage them in the chat by predicting what additional questions or hesitations they might have. An automated dialogue can help guide them through to a successful sale.
Chatbots are an integral part of a company’s automation strategy. A customer support desk that relies heavily on automation eliminates human error and reduces the time lag when responding to customers. And an automated bot is always available and doesn’t take a vacation, something your customers will appreciate.