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Live Chat: What it is and Why You Need it

Category: Digital Marketing / 10 minutes to read
Author: Amanda Asad
Published: May 29th

Live Chat: What it is and Why You Need it

Category: Digital Marketing / 10 minutes to read
Author: Amanda Asad
Published: May 29th

Today’s consumers expect instant answers from businesses. Giants like Amazon have set the standard, with seamless customer service at the push of a button. Unfortunately, your business likely doesn’t have the budget or resources of an Amazon, but your customers still expect that level of service. 

That’s where live chat can help. Let’s take a closer look at the technology and what it can do for your business. 

 
What Is Live Chat? 

Live chat is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a chat option that allows customers to speak with a real customer service representative when they have a question or issue. Live chat is sometimes confused with chatbots or AI chat, but they’re different. 

Chatbots and AI chat are not manned by real people. Instead, they’re programmed to offer help menus or recognize certain words and phrases, responding with boilerplate answers to common questions. Live chat offers human-powered customer service in real time. 

 

I Have an Email Address and Phone Number. Do I Need Live Chat? 

Chat is an increasingly popular channel of communication with consumers. And it makes sense: If a customer is busy at work or shuttling kids around throughout the day, they don’t necessarily have time to sit on the phone with your customer service team. And yet, they sometimes need immediate help, which they can’t get through email. 

Live chat offers the best of both worlds. It provides the immediacy of a phone call and the unobtrusiveness of a written interaction. You can live chat with a customer service representative while you’re at your desk or as you drop your little ones off at soccer practice. 

 

How Live Chat Helps With Complex Issues 

Some business owners see chatbots as the way to go. They don’t have to worry about staffing a customer service representative around the clock, and chatbots are usually pretty effective at answering standard questions. 

The key words in that last sentence, though, are “usually pretty effective” and “standard questions.” A recent study from Acquire found that chatbots answered 80% of customers’ questions successfully. But what about the other one in five people? 

If you have a customer who’s asking about a complex problem with a purchase, they need that extra human attention. If they’re greeted with an ineffective, pat response from a bot, that’s only going to magnify the frustration they’re already feeling. And once a customer gets to a place of extreme frustration, it’s all the more difficult to win them back. 

 

How Live Chat Drives Conversions and Sales 

Beyond helping to de-escalate complaints, a real person can drive conversions and sales in a way that a robot never could. It starts with the fact that people can tell when they’re talking to a bot. 

In today’s consumer experience landscape, human touch and personalization are key components of winning over new business. When you take that extra time to have a real person answer questions via chat, consumers will notice that attention to detail and respond positively. That personal touch alone will go a long way towards moving prospects towards a conversion. 

Not only that, but chatbots are programmed to give the same responses to certain trigger words or phrases. They’ll never be able to finesse their response to move a prospect closer to the sale or a customer towards a cross-sell or upsell. Reading the behavior and mindset of the individual consumer on the other end of the chat and responding in kind to their style, tone, and energy is something only a real person can do.  

Of course, setting up live chat might seem challenging at first glance. If you’re going to keep your chat line up and running regularly, you’re going to need people on-call to respond to questions and comments as they come in. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to expand your own team to get the job done. LOCALiQ offers comprehensive live chat support. Reach out to see how we can help you manage this important aspect of your business. 

 

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