Customer service is more than a compliant department – it’s the act of providing assistance to the customer before, during and after a purchase. Its widely accepted that customer retention is cheaper to customer acquisition. A mere increase of 5% in customer retention equates to 25% in profits, because of customers who had a good experience are likely to spend more on your brand and you to spend less on operating costs.
According to research by Gartner, 89% of companies expect themselves to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.
Customer service is not just about solving problems, equally important is to know one’s customer expectations.
A multi-billion-dollar industry, ecommerce took baby steps in the ’90s and has become a significant threat to brick-and-mortar retail. The transformation of ecommerce to identify modern consumer needs in quick succession is pivotal to its rise, coupled with engaging web development solutions. It continues to integrate rich features to provide an immersive user experience.
Live chat is one of those features that has successfully integrated itself in many ecommerce sites. Adding value to the browsing experience with personalized assistance to the end users.
Why live chat has become important to scale businesses?
Real-time conversations like live chat simply mean instant customer service. There are customers who purchase products in seconds and there are customers who like to consult before any purchasing decision is made. Live chat offers a unique way for brands to address queries based on:
- Product specifications
- Product comparisons
- Status of the order
- Return policies
Navigating users to make the right buying decisions can be rewarding because it helps in building long-term relationships with the customers.
It is slowly becoming a feature of many brands, and businesses are crafting inventive ways to engage with customers in real-time. Offline live chat services are also gaining traction. Companies that are offering 24×7 live support are reaping its benefits.
Live chat agents can simultaneously handle multiple chats, as services are available 24 hours a day, handling more than 1000 chats at once. While chatbots are programmed to deal with the most common problems, nothing beats a real human interaction. Chatbots are cost-effective solutions for start-ups and small enterprises, but it’s advisable to have at least one chat agent who is well equipped to tackle complicated chats.
Live agents are offering more personalized service tailored to user needs. For e.g. Nordstorm known as a worldwide retailer of clothing and accessories has a robust ecommerce site. Famous for its range of women’s clothing, it houses many brands and uses 24X7 live chat to help with every aspect of the customer needs. When customers want to seek advice or are not sure about the purchase, Nordstrom allows one to connect with an online designer, a beauty stylist or a personal stylist through live chat. The likelihood of a customer making a purchase increases with the help of expert insights and this feature has been instrumental in their online success.
Features of Live Chat:
Live chat serves as a single point of contact to manage online activities and customer service. Its integration with help desk software, live support and web analytics makes it a better alternative to other communication tools, such as emails and social media strategies which could be costly and time-consuming. Chat reports render important service metrics and help identify which parts of the services need to be improved by giving access to a wide range of data.
Basic statistics include data on:
- Total chats & duration
- Chat satisfaction
- Response time
- Sales tracker
- Queued visitors
- Chat surveys
Chat reports have become a standard to track and analyze problems faced by customers. Its faster response time makes it a highly competitive tool that could be tweaked to one’s business model.
It also tracks the performance of chat agents (customer service representative) by giving valuable information on:
- Number of chats
- Duration of chats (work/postwork)
- Purchase made after the chats
- Purchase while chatting
Chat agents with considerable experience and knowledge drive sales and boost conversion rates. It’s crucial to have a team that is trained and well equipped with relevant skills.
Type of Chats
Chat options should not hinder with a customer’s buying time, but rather it should elevate the user experience. Having significant control over chat software is important. It’s advisable to show the chat option at important moments so it does not disrupt the purchase flow of the customer.
There are two ways of having an online interaction with the customer:
- Active Communication: Active interaction is initiated automatically by the system or manually by the chat agent once a criterion is met. It usually depends on the time a customer spends on the website or is triggered through a keyword or query.
- Passive Communication: Many websites run through passive channels. A chat button or widget is found to be displayed on the bottom right of the page and comes alive when a customer wants to interact with the website.
Addressing customer queries in real-time not only gives instant feedback, but also builds a strong connection with one’s audience who are highly likely to share a positive experience. In this information-driven century, the customer seeks knowledge on every aspect of the product and its crucial for chat agents to convey queries in simpler language.
Feedback through analytics is an ecommerce game changer in live chat support systems. It generates reports instantaneously and provides relevant information on how customers feel about your brand. New strategies can be implemented in real-time to improve storefront and products. Whether it’s making a sale or returning an item, product services like live chat are the future of ecommerce.
Thinking of adding a chatbot to your ecommerce site? We’ve reviewed 14 options from chatbot builders to developer frameworks.