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Submission + - The Benefits of Live Chat For Small Businesses

kevin0isaac writes: Live chat software has made customer support incredibly easy for businesses and it has become a very popular method of interacting with businesses amongst customers as well, studies show that around 41% customers nowadays prefer to contact companies through live chat. This is due to the fact that live chat does not require any waiting time; customers can instantly get in touch with company personnel and discuss their problems with them in real time.

One might think that live chat software is not necessary for smaller businesses since they either do not get enough queries to justify investing in a live chat solution or their support teams are simply too small to be able to handle the additional queries that shall be generated from live chat. However, this is far from true; live chat software can work great for small businesses as it not only lessens the number of support queries being generated, it also streamlines functions of customer support as it becomes the primary channel through which customers send their queries to you.

In fact, live chat software can streamline the support process so much that it often reduces the number of employees needed to deal with customer queries, making customer support less costly. Nowadays any business with a website of its own should consider inventing in live chat software for a number of reasons; live chat can significantly reduce the time it takes to address a customer query as the customer’s problem is being solved in real time. Support staff can ask customers for relevant information as they work on a solution, reducing the amount of back and forth during the entire interaction.

Another huge plus of using live chat software is that it makes interacting with your customer feel more natural, this allows support teams to operate with fewer restrictions and rigid procedures. A lesser amount of formal procedures means that support agents can provide quicker responses, reducing the amount of time it takes to deal with a customer and also minimizing the chances of a customer being irritated by time-consuming procedures.

By making support more natural and instantaneous, live chat not only makes the process efficient, it also impresses the customer; customers have a pleasant support experience that is not time-consuming and feels more personalized as well, this provides your business’ reputation with a major boost and increases the chances of your customer returning. Studies show that more than 50% customers tend to return to businesses that offer live chat support.

Live chat customer service can be especially beneficial for a small business that has just started since it gives the business an opportunity to stand out and to provide all of their customers with a highly personalized support experience. It is a very useful tool that can give your customer support functions a major boost, but just like with any other tool, in order to make the most out of it, you need to know how to use it. Live chat software can be equally damaging if you fail to use it properly, one of the most common (and most aggravating) mistakes businesses make with live chat is when a customer’s query does not get an instant response.

When a customer tries to contact a company through live chat, they expect a response time of a few minutes, failing to answer within a few minutes can cause a lot of frustration from the customer’s side. If your support team is unable to be online all the time then you can make use of automated responses as well, some live chat software has this option available.

When going for live chat software like Kayako, you should keep in mind that you are going to have to deal with all kinds of questions, some of which might not need live support at all. In order to make sure that your live chat does not get clogged by unnecessary questions, you can design an FAQ section on your website and provide customers with directions on your live chat welcome screen that advise them to go through the FAQs for certain types of questions.

There are a plethora of things that one must consider when investing in a live chat solution, each of which will have a significant effect on the overall quality and effectiveness of your live chat solution.
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The Benefits of Live Chat For Small Businesses

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