At the end of the 20th century, email was still primarily used. First live chat software was launched on the beginning of the 21st century, more precisely 2002. After that, it was constantly working on live chat development and in 2010. there is a massive growth in live chat usefulness and application in businesses. Since then, live chat slowly takes over the leading position in online customer support and in 2018. live chat becomes the king of the web. In the US, 7% of businesses have implemented live chat plugin on their websites.
The theory behind Live Chat
Live Chat is an online application for customer service. It is integrated on websites in purpose to provide support to the customers. They can have real-time communication with their provider in order to get the answers on their requests. Traditionally, for that purpose was used mobile phone or e-mail, but this is also some part of digitalization. Chats, for any purpose, are gaining importance more and more every day. It is often presented as widgets on websites, where customers insert in labels their credentials so that the support could recognize who they talk to. The interface of the widget usually looks like a classic messaging window. After identification goes the conversation between customer and support.
The main advantage of live chats compared to e-mails and phones is that you can see who is on your web site. Using phones and e-mails in customer support, they get only their credentials. While with live chat, support can see what customers do on the site, where they come from, how much time they spend on site, etc. Therefore, it can be said that using live chat gives you a lot more information about your customer than phones and e-mails give.
Live chat in support
Sales are not the only part of the business where is live chat used. It is also used for help desk and support efforts. Most businesses use this type of live chat because it is focused on two fronts instead of only sales or support.
In support, live chat compared to e-mail has few advantages like much faster communication and information exchange. As it is told in Essential Customer Experience Metrics article, a customer expects a response within one day via email. With live chat, responses come pretty fast, within one or two hours. That is the main difference between live chat and email customer support.
When its compered live chat to phone call, we can all agree that phones as quick as phones or maybe even faster, but when it comes to multitasking it is impossible to talk with several customers simultaneously.
An agent who is trying to solve customers’ problem should be able to handle 5 - 6 customers simultaneously without any difficulties.
Live Chat in sales
Support is not the only part of the business where is live chat used. It is also used for sales. Most popular is a combination of sales and support. Most businesses use this type of live chat because it is focused on two fronts instead of only sales or support.
According to Emarketer, customers prefer live chat on the site and 62% of them would buy again if there was a live chat on the site. Therefore, live chat greatly influences sales.
Live chat can offer help to customers who are in dilemma or don’t know much about products. It can be automatized, so live chat will appear to the customers how are for a certain time on site and didn’t make any purchase. For example, if the visitor is online for 15 minutes and didn’t buy anything, then appears live chat with the agent who offers help to the visitor in terms of giving information and personal opinion. It provokes customer satisfaction and automatically increasing the chances of buying.
Secondly, if the agent doesn’t convince a visitor for a purchase, he can use his kindness and leave him his name and contact so if he makes a change and decides to buy something he can always contact the agent.
Also, when the customer comes to live chat, the agent must help him as much as he can and recommend some other product for increasing sales numbers.
Live Chat features
In live chat can be integrated with many features like tags, database, surveys, etc. Features like this are used for better organization in “tons” of queries and requests. For example, tags are defined as a word which, used in conversations to make it easier to search for a conversation. The database contains every single request from a customer which can help if it comes to some similar request.
Surveys are usually used to let customers give a review after the purchase has been made, how happy they are with the quality of the product/service and customer support.
Live Chat requirements
One of the better sides of live chat is its simplicity. Live chat doesn’t require much from a customer. Only thing customer needs is a web browser. When customers need for help via live chat arise, customers only job is to visit providers web site and there he will find an answer on every kind of his request.
Before, when phone calls were the primary way of communication with customer service, it was hard to talk if the customer wasn’t in a quiet place. With live chat software, the customer can chat with support wherever he wants and everything he needs is his time. While emails take too much to respond from support because the way of communication via mail is not expected to be as fast as via live chat.
Live Chat as a business term
To sum up, live chat is a piece of software on the web site which is made for better, upgraded and faster communication with customers. It has big advantages in front of previous communication channels in customer support like phones and emails. The conversations are happening a lot quicker, quality of the response for customers is much richer and more relevant and the most important, it is really easy to use.
They are not used just to provide support, but to help customers in buying products and increasing the success in sales. In a conversation on live chat, it is always possible to suggest customers for more other product and services.
Live chats contain a lot of features, but to be extracted, perhaps the most important could be tagged. Some words are defined as tags, so researching by conversation is much simpler because tags represent a specific unit of certain conversation.