Customer retention and customer service are two essential fields with which most small businesses struggle. In order to distinguish themselves, businesses need to deliver better customer experience. Live chat for small business (SMBs) can be an ideal fit to deliver a better experience to resolve queries of your customers in real time and to develop better customer relationships.
Customers are becoming increasingly reliant on live chat to communicate with businesses. Reports by small biz trends say that the demand for the live chat on the company websites has advanced by 8.3%.
So what are customer expectations that every small business should be concerned about?
- Delivering consistent customer experience – It is important to deliver a consistent experience across different channels and communicate in such a way to meet your customer’s needs on that platform. For make your business grow to make it customer centric by implementing the live chat strategy.
- Helping your website visitors to make a decision and convert them – Be available to connect with your website visitors in real time and provide instant solutions to their queries. Assist them with feature rich conversations so that you can nudge them towards conversion.
- Provide 24×7 customer support – Be available for your customers to resolve customer queries in real time is very important to build customer loyalty. With 24×7 support with live chat and chatbots would be a great combination without losing a human touch.
How online live chat improves the customer experience for small businesses?
Customers expect businesses to reach out on social media, with text messaging, and via your website. Live chat for small business helps you to understand your customers better helping to provide better support with different customer engagement tools. With welcome greetings, proactive chats guide the customer in the right direction.
The live chat on your website makes interacting with your brand easier by:
- Providing instant assistance on your website visitors for sales and support.
- Help you to collect real time customer feedback and resolve instantly.
- Identify the customers who may drop off and reach out to them in the future.
- With live tools such as co-browsing and video chat for complete customer engagement.
- Enhance customer satisfaction and focus on general conversion.
Live chat software for small business connects with the customer in real-time and provides quick solutions to their queries and guide them in their journey. The agents collect feedback about the products and services after the chat ends from the customers so as to improve their services and products.
Why live chat is the best channel to grow your small businesses?
ICMI reports found that website visitors that engage with your company via live chat are worth 4.5 times more than visitors that don’t.
For a small business that starts to gain traction, choosing a reliable live chat software is even more important. Adding live chat as a new channel to your small business definitely creates value.
Let’s consider a fundamental question why use live chat software for small businesses?
The key reasons to use live chat are:
- Deliver effective support by streamlining all conversations from various channels like the website, social media, apps under one platform.
- Interact with targeted customers in a meaningful way and improves sales conversions.
- Gain insights and performance metrics on customer journey to enhance customer conversation and reduce resolution time.
- Handle multiple customers simultaneously as compared to email or phone support.
- Get instant feedback from customers to improve customer service
What are the top features of small business live chat software?
Research by Forbes says, 92% of customers feel satisfied when using the live chat compared to other communication channels.
So if you are evaluating best live chat software, what are the factors you need to consider during decision making.
The top features that make live chat software work for your small business and your customers can be:
- Co-browsing – Co-browsing helps to collaborate with your customer’s browser in real time without extra downloads and deliver an in-person experience.
- Video chat – Connects with your customers by face to face video chat with a single click in real time for real time sales and support assistance.
- Omnichannel communication – If your business requires to engage with customers across multiple channels then having an omni channel live chat platform is the key to manage your conversation and team productivity.
- Mobile SDK & Developer API – Integrate live chat support inside your mobile apps API & SDKs for delivering in-app chat support and boost your user engagement.
There are some of the common features that are part of the live chat software and help in better customer engagement. They are widget customization, tags, visitor analytics, queuing, visitor notes, tags, and automated triggers.
The ultimate guide to select small business live chat software
Let us discuss one by one how you can grow your small business productively by implementing live chat software. How to provide better engagement to your customers and raise the chances of sale conversions.
1. Turn your website visitors into customers
Most of the small businesses generate leads online and the website becomes the main alley. With live chat software gain valuable insights and learn the visitor’s interests and behavior. Trigger a right, personalized message and guide effectively in their journey.
Assisting the visitors in their journey and resolving their queries instantly encourages them to decide then and there itself for your product. The right, timely, and personalized messages triggered to visitors to develop trust and enhance your live customer service.
2. Provide live assistance with one click
Small businesses and startups using live chat software can connect with customers with a single click. Using live engagement tools such as video chat, co-browsing, screen sharing and makes the conversation effective. With proactive messages, you can respond to your customer’s queries and doubts in real time.
Being available for chat assistance without delaying or queuing the incoming chat requests helps to resolve the customer queries instantly and take quick decisions for the products and services. Providing live assistance in real time provides maximum customer satisfaction.
3. Provide a better customer experience
Live chat for small business helps to communicate immediately without letting the customer wait. The real time assistance provided to your customers helps to get a quick response to the queries or problems. Personalizing the chat through video chat develops trusts in customers and improves customer experience.
Providing better assistance and support by using customer engagement tools to make your conversations effective. Co-browsing solution helps the customer service agents to interact and guide the customers in order to deliver better customer experience. Co-browsing combines the power of WebRTC technology that requires no extra downloads.
4. Improve conversion rates
Reaching out to your customers at the right time and assisting them throughout helps them in quick decision-making. Sending right messages based on the visitor’s journey resolves the queries instantly and reduces handling time. Implementing the right live chat for small business helps to guide and engage the customer better and improve conversion.
How live chat strategy can improve conversion?
Talking about live chat support there are some of basic do’s and don’ts that need to consider in order to keep your customers happy. Follow some of the live chat best practices to give your customers a memorable experience.
- Deliver better engagement to website visitors – Based on the visitor’s analytics gain insights about the interests and behavior of the visitors. Start the conversation with the right personalized message in right time. With the live engagement tools provide complete engagement your website visitors. Best practices for better engagement are:
- Use automated triggers and welcome greetings to start a conversation with visitors
- Make use of live chat, video chat, and co-browsing to deliver a virtual in-person experience.
- Use canned responses for answering customer queries faster
- Nudging visitors towards sales conversion – Provide complete engagement to visitors in real time to resolve their queries and make a quick decision. Guiding the visitor effectively throughout the journey improves sales conversion. Best practices for improving conversion are:
- Integrate with various sales and marketing tool to transfer leads
- Lure customers with a promo or offer after a fixed time with proactive triggers
- Engage customers effectively restrain customers from cart abandonment
- Turning visitors to loyal customers – Delivering better engagement to customers throughout their journey with personalized communication turns the visitors to be your loyal customers. Best practices to be followed are:
- Save answers for frequent queries asked by customers and use it for better customer engagement
- Routing the chat requests to the right agents helps in quick resolution of customer queries
- Distribute the chat to the departments and deliver effective customer service.
5. Live chat is cost efficient
Live chat is an excellent way to minimize the operating costs related to sales and support. Specifically, for any startups or small businesses where hiring resources is a big constraint.
Comparatively, it is expensive to handle a customer query than to resolve it on the first point of contact. Routing the queries to the most qualified agent saves customers from needing to repeatedly explain their query to different agents – and improves your First Call Resolution (FCR) rate.
Live chat for small business and startups helps to save money. The reasons that make it cost effective are:
- Live chat agents can handle multiple chats simultaneously. This increases efficiency and no need for hiring more agents.
- As the customers are delivered real time assistance average order value increases. The agent satisfies the customer by delivering the exact product or service he was looking for.
- Minimizes the help desk costs by lowering the waiting queue time with faster resolution.
6. Develop lasting relationships with customers
Generally, satisfied customers are less likely to switch. They tend to remain less price- sensitive and value the way they are taken care of. The customers who you live chat tend to come back and buy more often. They have familiarity with your business and the processes.
Effective communication is the key to build customer relationships. Listen to your customers experience about the products and services. Learn what your customers need and explain the solution that you have for their requirement.
Foster communication skills with customers while onboarding new employees. Follow an employee policy, requiring timely follow-up, to ensure that the customer’s needs are met.
7. Builds trust and customer loyalty
Customer trust and loyalty take your business a long way. By personalizing the live chat sessions with your visitors you build a personal connection in between that helps in more conversions and business growth.
Apart from enhancing the customer experience, it helps your small business to acquire more customers. By adding visual live engagement tools such as co-browsing, video chat the conversations can be made more engaging and effective.
These tools help to collaborate with your customers in real time and offer an instant solution. Customers value businesses and are loyal to those who treat them as an individual person through personal conversations.
8. Connect with your business tools
Most of the startups and small businesses are resource constraint. Every business uses different tools to automate and streamline things in a better way.
As a small business (SMB), resources are your main constraint. Hence automating tasks by connecting live chat with your other business tools can be a big time saver and productivity booster.
Having such integrations can really help you to spend your time more on customers and less on administrative tasks.
So what are the tools you can integrate live chat with? Some of the key tools that you may be using quite frequently are:
- CRM tools – Hubspot, Salesforce, Infusionsoft
- ECommerce platforms – Shopify, Magento, Opencart
- CMS platforms – WordPress, Joomla, Drupal
Undoubtedly, live chat is an effective way to communicate with your customers. Not only it benefits the small business sector but also to the big enterprise as well. Implementing live chat for small business is an integral part of customer centric strategy. Following the above guide, the startups and small businesses can reap the benefits of live chat software.