Live Chat And Its Importance For Online Retailers


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For Nina, going online to do her shopping is the best thing that has ever happened to her. At 26, she has been very busy trying to juggle her roles as a career woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. She lives quite a demanding life that oftentimes, she has no time for herself – and that includes having the time to go shopping. Thanks to the internet and online shopping, she now can do that without having to go through the hassle of thinking what time the stores will close and having to worry about the commute (or the drive) downtown.

Online shopping is quite beneficial. In fact, the call center industry has quite a huge number of clients whose business is online shopping or e-commerce. This is a very important thing to look into if you already have a shop and you would like to expand your business. Bringing your business online is going to do you a lot of good because you do not have to pay for rent for your store and your business runs 24/7.

However, there are things that people in the online shopping business should understand, such as thinking about all the channels to engage and reach more customers. See, a customer like Nina may have questions or inquiries regarding the products that she is interested in. However, to get up from her computer and go to her phone to make a call can be too much of a hassle. That is why it is important that online shopping companies should make sure that they offer live chat online – right in their website. There are customer service call centers that are integrating online web chat applications.

Giving customers the convenience they need

Customers find using live chat to be quite convenient. You can ask internet retailers and they will tell you it is quite true. Sales can go up when you choose to go with this feature in your online store. Stats from eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark show that live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone. What makes it so attractive, you ask? For one, customers do not have the luxury to stand up and find a phone when she is already sitting comfortably and browsing the internet. If you have chat all the customer needs to do is to click on the button that allows connecting to the company’s live chat support and “talk” to a representative right there.

Customers now recommend that companies selling stuff online should have this feature because it is convenient to customers. Customers who do not have to deal with all the stress and hassle of contacting a company and talking to a representative for any questions or queries they may have would most likely stick with that company.

Live chat is cost-effective

Yes, you read that right. When you look at web sites offering this type of service, you may think that they can be very expensive for the business. Probably yes, if you choose to purchase one with all the bells and whistles. However, you can find a variety of services, and choose which one works best with your online store. That means you do not have to spend money just so you would have this feature available on your site.

Another thing you should know is that since live chat allows customers to interact with your company, it can supplement the tasks that your live call team is doing. Instead of having the live call team work 24/7, you can opt to have these individuals work for only a certain number of hours and then offer live chat instead. You can also have a help desk system which can be also inexpensive for you. One can say that a live chat is a customer service application that is very useful and quite easy on the pocket. That means you would have the money to spare which you can use for other important expenses like equipment upgrades. Or you can use that extra money as savings for emergency use in the future.

Bring in more sales

Did you know that by using live chat software you can bring in more sales to your online store? You read that right. It is because a lot of online shops attest that live chat has indeed been very beneficial to bringing in more revenues. In fact, they believe this feature on their website has been the key to unlocking in more sales.

See, customers do not have to wait for certain hours to be able to speak with a representative of the company. They can ask questions as they browse away. Which means that any possible sale can be done right then and there.

Another important thing to understand here is that because the customer has decided to contact the company, it should be a good thing for the one selling the items. See, it is a channel for them to be able to convince the customer to purchase from them and it should be a way for them to try and sell their items. They do not have to resort to doing outbound calls. All they have to do is wait for the customers to chat and it would be their chance to sell something because a customer chatting and contacting them means that this individual is interested in what they have to offer. It is up to the company’s customer service skills to make the customer push on with the purchase.

Be better than your competition

If you would take a look at all the online shops out there, you would notice that only a few of them offer live chat. This should make you realize that it is time that you took the leap. Having this feature will make you a lot better than your competition because of the benefits it brings like allowing your customers to contact you easily. This should mean that you are providing customer service a lot better than other online shops in your niche.

Of course, it is very essential that you know how to use live chat properly. If you do not, it would not bring in more customers as you may expect it could. Know your strategy when it comes to using live chat and it would be worth the investment. You already have a point of contact with your customers who are coming to you – that means that you use that to your advantage so that you can bring in more sales to your company.

Give answers directly

Because live chat is easy to use, the chances of customers using it are a lot higher. That means that they would be able to contact you quickly. They are quite interested in what you have to offer and that is why they decided to connect with you. However, it is also important to keep in mind that there are cases when these customers are contacting you because they have questions about your product or the features that come with the product. Make sure that you are able to address these points properly so that they would know that what you are offering is a good product and that it would be a good thing to purchase.

Know the common problems and issues that customers have

Being able to chat with your customers online is a very good thing to have. See, it allows you to have a record of the conversation through transcription. Everything is in black and white, and so it is easy to see all the problems and issues that customers are bringing in. This should help your company with its statistics and see what need to be issued and how you would be able to properly handle such concerns when they are brought to you.

As compared to phone calls, live chat allows you to have everything ready. Phone calls are a lot harder to use when it comes to knowing the statistics because they are not in black and white. You would have to listen through the whole conversations to get what you need to get. On the other hand, live chat is easier because all the information that you need is right there in the transcription and it would be easy to search through all the text.

Answer customer enquiries and resolve issues in real time

Did it ever occur to you that chatting is a lot better as compared to offering email support or ticket support? With chatting, you can easily address all the issues thrown at you by customers and you would be able to do that in real time. As compared to responding to emails, it usually takes a company two days at the very least to send in a reply. There are occasions when customers feel unimportant because there is no reply whatsoever from the company. Live chat allows you to talk to your customers easily, and give them the right answers.

There are some customers out there who are too shy or are afraid to speak directly with customer service representatives. That is why live chat is a great alternative for them. It allows them to ask questions and give suggestions if they feel like they need to. There is a sense of confidentiality and anonymity that only live chat can give.

Establish better relationships

There are companies that do not think there should be a good relationship with customers. What these businesses do not understand is that customers will come back and will keep on coming back. That is why customer service agents are being told that when they are engaged in a call with a customer, it is essential that they know how to build rapport with their customers. The better the relationship is, the easier it would be for you to assist the customer.

Live chat allows you to do that. You can build rapport through live chat and that should be a good stepping stone towards building a relationship that would last you through the ages. If you do that, these customers will stick with you no matter what and they will be your loyal customers. A good business needs loyal customers. You should not be afraid to advertise that you offer live chat in your website. Invite them to join you in chats and you would be able to learn more about them and let them learn more about you.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that customers feel like you are accessible. It breaks down barriers that seemingly keep customers away from businesses. Use chat to break down that wall and invite them in. It makes them feel very important and once a customer feels such, you can be assured that they will come back to you and tell everybody. That is word of mouth advertising for you, and free advertising is extremely helpful now that a very simple ad could mean raking out hundreds of dollars to get the word out about you.

John Borillo
John Borillo runs the digital marketing team of Magellan Solutions, a call center and BPO company in the Philippines. He is charged with creating and implementing best practices in digital, social media content, and marketing strategy to build stronger online brand awareness.


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