Experts from the service industry believe that live chat is expected to grow by as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months. The reason for this increased adoption is that live chat, which ticks important boxes like quick response times and satisfactory solutions to queries, is now the preferred communication channel for many customers.
According to a survey, 42% of customers prefer live chat, compared to 23% preferring email and 16% social media. Furthermore, live chat benchmarks for customer satisfaction are consistently higher compared to other channels, like email (61%), apps (53%), social media (48%), and phone (44%).
Below we uncover the key benefits of live chat, who the industry frontrunners are and what to consider when choosing the right live chat software to support your business.
Top 5 benefits of live chat
1. Better customer experience
Live chat gives you an opportunity to have real-time conversations with your customers, with the fastest response time being 7 seconds! It also has the highest customer satisfaction rate of 83.1%, beating other traditional channels such as phone and email.
2. Increases leads and conversions
38% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that offers live chat support. As many as 77% of customers won’t make a purchase on a website that doesn’t offer a live chat option and more than half of your customers are also more likely to come back to you over competitors because they know that their queries will be sorted without delay.
3. Easier and cheaper to scale
According to different sources, live chat support can be between 17% and 33% cheaper than phone calls. It enables more efficient use of employee time as staff can engage in as many as 3 simultaneous chat conversations at once, rather than being committed to a single phone call for an indefinite amount of time.
4. Help to understand consumer behaviour
Insights provided by a Live Chat service can help you to understand your customers’ thoughts, opinions and behaviours, which can then be used to shape product development, marketing and the way you grow your business.
5. Improves the website experience
53% of customers abandon their purchase if they can’t get their question answered quickly. In addition, 44% of online consumers rate having their questions answered by a live person while in the middle of a purchase as one of the most important features a website can offer.
How to choose the best live chat software for your business
Below are some of the key features to look for when choosing the best live chat software for your business:
1. Do they manage your chats efficiently with tags?
To help reduce the time between the customer opening live chat and having their query answered, tags will ensure the enquiry is routed to the correct department and agent who possesses the knowledge to get the question answered. E.g. billing, sales, etc.
2. Do they combine live chat integration with chatbot technology?
A hybrid model that combines the initial speed of chatbot technology supported by human interaction can provide the perfect balance between a quick initial response time and more personalised customer support.
3. Do they use auto triggers to engage visitors at the right time?
Rather than waiting for customers to reach out for help, you can set auto-triggers that will engage with website visitors at certain points throughout their online journey. E.g. when they reach the checkout page, or have been idle on the same page for a certain amount of time.
4. Can they supply advanced visitor analytics?
Live chat software can provide valuable insights into how long chat conversations lasted, which ones converted into sales, which ones didn’t, and which pages of your website are triggering the most inbound live chat conversations.
5. Can they report on your agent’s performance of handling website visitors?
Just as you would in a performance review, live chat software can provide feedback on agents’ performance, highlighting their strengths and earmarking any areas that may need improvement.
6. Do they integrate with third-party software?
People run their websites on different platforms like Magento, Joomla, WordPress etc. Make sure that your chosen live chat system integrates seamlessly and hassle-free with other applications that your business is already using.
7. What are their customer satisfaction ratings?
Just as your own business will thrive off positive recommendations, look for a software provider with a proven track record in delivering results in the areas most important to your business.
8. Do they offer a Free Trial?
While services may look good on paper, there is nothing like trying something out for yourself. See if you can run their software for a trial period to check it fits with your business needs before committing to a long-term contract.
9. How strong is their online security?
Cyber security is a big threat and customers need to feel reassured that the data they are sharing over live chat is safe. Find out what safeguards the providers have in place to ensure all information is handled safely and securely.
10. Is there an option to customise your Live chat widget?
Customers resonate with brands they can trust. Whether your live chat solution is available on social media, via an app or on your website, you need to ensure that the branding and eye catchers match the look and feel of your brand so that customers know they are talking to you, and not a third-party provider.
The Top 10 Live Chat Software Providers
The global live chat software market is expected to grow to $987M by 2023 from $590M in 2016. But who are the leaders making up the majority of market share in this burgeoning industry?
For 2020, here are ten of the top live chat software providers:
With 38% of consumers being more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support and 63% of consumers being more likely to stay with or buy again from a company if they offer live chat support, it is clear to see why businesses are choosing to implement live chat as a customer support channel.
However, with a plethora of live chat software options available, it is important to find one that fits your business. It is also worth noting that with 95% of customers preferring high-quality support over speed, retaining the human touch is still a key consideration for generating leads and boosting consumer loyalty. For the ultimate live chat solution, statistics have shown that live chat software which combines human agents with chatbot technology is providing the perfect balance.
At CommVersion, our managed Live Chat solution offers the following:
1. 24/7 Live chat support
Anytime, anywhere, your customers will get their queries answered.
2. Quick response time
In 2018, the industry average response time was 48 seconds. At CommVersion our average wait time is just 18 seconds.
3. Chat transcripts
All our conversations are recorded and emailed to the customer once the live chat session has ended. Clients can also download them for analysis.
4. Live chat integration with bot technology
Intuitive chatbot technology quickly assesses inbound enquires, fielding them to the most appropriate human agent to take over the conversation.
5. Manage chats quickly with tags
Whatever your industry be, we can tag inbound chats to help filter by department.
6. In-depth analytics
Statistical reports covering all aspects of our live chat service are available on-demand for you to review.
7. Customer satisfaction
According to LiveChat’s 2019 Customer Service Report, the percentage of satisfied live chat users is currently 82.26%. CommVersion’s satisfaction score is 93%.
8. Lead generation
Compared to other live chat software providers, CommVersion has been proven to generate 40% more leads.
9. Free software
No hidden costs. No contracts. CommVersion’s Live chat software is completely free.
10. Free widget and eye-catcher
Integrate our live chat solution with all your social media channels and mobile apps, free of charge.
Talk to one of our live chat experts today to discover how CommVersion can help you choose the best live chat solution based on your business requirements.