19 March 2014
Seven Hard Reasons Your UK Business Must Have Live Chat Software
Live Chat Software has been around for a long time, but has only recently started gathering momentum thanks to the UK demographic becoming increasingly familiar with Instant-Messenger style software. The ability of Web chat operators to handle multiple operators while simultaneously researching answers to the harder questions is an undeniable cost-cutting benefit. Nevertheless, there are still hurdles, such as how many visitors an operator can handle without sacrificing the quality of their support.
If live chat software is optimised, it can maximise revenue, avoid unnecessary calls and provide a safety net if an online self-service attempt fails. Touting all these benefits is well and good, but without the numbers to back it up – these are all just soft assumptions. Don’t take our word for it. Here are 7 bulletpoints supported by hard facts why your business must have live chat software.
1.)The Digital Bandwagon
The UK Contact Centre Decision-Maker's Guide 2013 (11th edition) published by ContactBabel is a 300 page report that commits more than 85 pages to the examination of various customer communication channels. One chapter noted that web chat between customers and agents had risen from 0.7% to 1.7% within 2 years (from 2011-2013). The chart below, taken straight from the report, shows that 72% of businesses surveyed intend to enhance their web chat functionality in 2014. Do you want to risk getting left behind?
2. B2C e-Commerce Growth
Blue Chip digital marketing giant eMarketer examined historical UK B2C sales, tied the information up with the growth of mobile devices and produced a chart to project e-commerce sales into 2017. Since British B2C sales are set to rise from £55 billion to £89.73 billion over the course of 5 years, it’s never been more relevant to maximise – e-commerce revenue. See our whitepaper, UK B2C e-Commerce Revenue Lost to Preventable Shopping Cart Abandonments in 2012, for a full overview.
3. Cost Cutting
Most companies only see live chat software as a tool for supporting existing customers and converting leads, but it is also an effective method to increase ROI. Enabling operators to deal with multiple customers simultaneously and copy-paste scripted answers will optimise activity per hour. Depending on the complexity of the enquiries and nature of the product, operators can handle 2-4, or even more, chats at the same time. That’s a 100% or more improvement in productivity. Companies that rely heavily on phone operators could cut their team size in half without losing operational efficiency.
4. Leveraging Customer Research
Knowing what customers want is the key to survival. While phone operators can be asked to collect information, live chat software automates the process, keeps information consistent and immediately integrates it with your native CRM. The customer’s location, purchase history, on-site behaviour and even the keyword that brought them to your website is all obtained without lifting a finger. Research by The Annuitas Group shows that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
5. Customer Retention
According to data collected from our clients, only 57% of customers would try to e-mail or phone the company if live chat wasn't available – the other 43% would look elsewhere. The lesson? Ignoring customers demand will drive business to competitors
6. Loyalty & Trust
Live Chat is not a quick-fix tool, it also helps to develop customer loyalty. A report from the Loyalty Marketer’s Association, stresses building lasting business relationships is the key to sustainable growth. The report shows that click to chat is more than a communication channel as it provides companies with valuable marketing information; like website navigation patterns, post-chat survey and real time monitoring.
7. Answers On-Demand
According to a survey by Forrester Research, Making Proactive Chat Work, “44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer”.
Companies ignore this information from one of the largest independent marketing authorities in the world at their peril. A further“38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself”.
There's a lot of noise about how to measure the ROI of live chat software but these are generally split into two camps: The hard marketers, who insist on tying everything into sales (if it doesn’t produce revenue, it doesn’t count) and the soft marketers who value customer engagement and promote brand awareness for longer term but less tangible benefits.
Hard marketers should already be contacting providers for quotes and rubbing their hands in glee at the cost cutting and conversion boosting effects of chat software. But, to get the best of both worlds, it’s important that the chat software comes bundled with powerful SEO tools. This allows companies to see progressive metrics and decide for themselves whether soft initiative can drive hard results.