How to Use Live Chat for Business Success (Hint: Your Intern Shouldn’t Be in Charge)

Is your real estate, insurance, or finance business utilizing a live chat feature on your website? If not, there’s a good chance you’re leaving leads behind. More importantly, you’re missing out on the chance to understand and connect with your customers.

But even if you are using live chat for business, you could be missing out on some associated benefits. Let us show you what live chat can do and how to make sure you avoid common industry mistakes.

Live Chat Feature On Website

What Can Live Chat for Business Accomplish?

Just in case you’re not sure what live chat is, here’s a simple definition. If you have live chat support, visitors to your website can directly communicate with you through a chat box, similar to instant messaging. Visitors don’t need any special software, and companies of all sizes, even solo entrepreneurs, can use this service to grow their business and provide superior customer service.

Utilizing live chat can provide your business with several benefits, including:

Improved customer service.
Being able to answer questions and address concerns in real time can provide your company with a stellar customer service reputation.

Higher sales.
Nearly 40% of consumers are more likely to work with a company who offers live chat support.

Surpass competition.
If your competition currently doesn’t offer live chat, offering it to customers before they do is a great opportunity to break ground and get ahead.

Saved resources.
Is your email box constantly receiving new messages? Being able to answer questions in real time can save resources and allow you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Customer insights.
Live chat allows you to learn more about who’s visiting your site and what they’re looking for. In return, you can use this data to improve your marketing efforts.

Does Your Business Need Live Chat?

A SuperOffice survey found that surprisingly, despite its benefits, less than 10% of companies today are using live chat. If you fall into the majority, you may be wondering if your business really needs live chat to grow. But if any of the following scenarios sound familiar, the time to start utilizing live chat for business is now. 

Photo of an unorganized desk

You’re working alone.
When you don’t have a support team, it’s nearly impossible to answer emails and voicemails quickly enough in a fast-paced digital world. Live chat allows you to simultaneously answer multiple questions for multiple customers while keeping up with other tasks.

You can’t find a way to connect with visitors.
With live chat for business, you can track and collect data and insights about your online visitors. This could include their page visits, session durations, and their location. You can then use this data to improve your marketing efforts, connect with visitors on a deeper level, and increase the chances of conversion.

Your customers want it.
Consumers expect more from the brands they work with in today’s market, like instant gratification. In fact, 51% of consumers expect businesses to be available 24/7 to answer their questions and help them throughout the buying process. If a consumer feels your company isn’t transparent or available, they’ll quickly move on.

Pitfalls and Mistakes to Avoid When Using Live Chat for Business

Whether you’ve been using live chat for ages or just thinking about offering the service, there’s always more to learn about what works best for your company and customers. But for now, take our advice and do your best to avoid the following live chat mistakes.

Scripted responses
Website visitors who use live chat to communicate with you want to know there’s a real human being on the other side. We’re not saying scripted responses should be avoided entirely but sending back a cold and mechanic response to a user can give them the wrong impression. When coming up with canned responses to common questions, make sure they still have personality and represent your brand.

Robot Saying Hi

Long wait times
Have you ever walked up to a service desk at a store with an urgent matter, only to find no one is working behind the counter? Leaving website visitors waiting for a response in your chat window is the online equivalent. It’s frustrating and can cancel out the customer service benefits live chat for business offers.

If you work alone or have a small team, advertise live chat hours on your website to avoid disappointment. You should also monitor average response times and do your best to improve those on a routine basis.

Not going mobile
Live chat works great on a laptop or desktop. But there are still improvements that can be made on the mobile experience side. Spend some time making sure your live chat window and its functions are well received on mobile devices. Run tests from both sides to look for any errors customers or your team could come across.

Inexperienced chatter
Who have you chosen to represent your company and brand during live chat sessions? Choosing someone in an entry level position or an intern may seem like a great way for them to get some hands-on experience but there are several concerns with taking this route.

Limited experience on the job means they’ll have little data and knowledge to pull from on the fly. Their answers will more likely be slow, difficult to understand, or incorrect.

Live chat can have a huge effect on your bottom line. Positive chat sessions can lead to a 48% growth in revenue per chat hour. How big of a difference would this make in your business?

The person in charge of your company’s live chat sessions needs to be nothing short of trust-worthy and experienced. They need to be able to think quickly and possess superior customer service skills. Don’t take this decision lightly and be sure to monitor sessions to make sure standards are being upheld.

Live Chat Manager

Live chat can absolutely be a great training tool for interns or new employees. But training should take place with an expert, whether it’s with you or a team member in a leadership role with plenty of experience in the industry and with the company.

Using automation without caution
Can you fully automate your live chat feature? Absolutely. But should you? Not necessarily. A PwC study found that 64% of U.S. consumers believe brands have lost touch by focusing on the trend of customer service instead of the human element it requires.

It’s all about finding the right balance of bots and brains for the best customer experience. Only have chat boxes pop up with a question when it makes most sense. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to automate follow up emails to ensure satisfaction and nurturing.

Ready to Start Chatting?

Ready to get started with live chat? For real estate, insurance, and finance businesses, the process is simple. All you need to do is find a live chat service that meets your needs and jump in. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved but soon enough, your company will be enjoying the benefits of live chat (your customers, too!)

Remember to remain authentic, be active and available, and have an industry professional on your side of the chat box. Website visitors will respond positively, and revenue will grow.

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