Benefits of live chat for Ecommerce

5
Min Read
By  
Team Richpanel
Published on 
June 8, 2022
Ecommerce Live Chat
Contents

It’s not hard to imagine an alternate world. A world without the benefits of live chat support. We’ve all been there at some point or the other. 

Maybe you were trying to reach your healthcare provider or a government agency. Perhaps you wanted to get more clarity on your suspiciously high phone bill or even return a recent online purchase you made. 

So you scroll through their site, confused and frustrated, to find a helpline number or email id inconveniently placed in some little corner on their web page. 

And then?

An automated message greets you and takes you through a long menu, or you are put on hold. 

This only adds to your frustrations, doesn’t it?

And that's if you’re lucky. Imagine having to write a mail and wait for a response for days, if not weeks. 

And for what? One simple query or request!

There’s no denying that email and phone support are outdated as they should be.

 In a world where customer support plays a crucial role in differentiating you from your competitor- your customer support team can’t rely on these age-old methods. 

If online shoppers can’t get help with a simple click or typing out a few words, you’re in big trouble. 

The solution to this problem? Live chat support. 

What is Live Chat?

Live chat allows customers to interact with support agents in real-time. It’s a form of communication that takes place through messaging and provides a hassle-free, personalized user experience. 

When integrated with your website, live chat software often loads an icon or link that launches a chat browser when clicked. 

The example we started with is just the tip of the iceberg. There are far too many benefits of live chat for eCommerce businesses to ignore. It’s quick, cost-effective, and above everything else- it’s what customers want. Apart from the fact that it helps improve sales and increase the average order value. 

You don’t have to believe us; hear it straight from the horse’s mouth- 

  • Harvard Business School Report suggests that Live chat increases customer retention rates by 5% and increases profits by 25%-95%.
  • A Kissmetrics survey concluded that 38% of consumers made their purchase due to the chat session itself.
  • A study by ICMI concluded that visitors that engage with your company via live chat are worth 4.5 times more than visitors that don’t.
Read More: How To Win With Ecommerce Live Chat Support

Still second-guessing the decision to invest in a live chat tool?

Let's dig a little deeper then- 

9 Benefits of Live Chat for Your Ecommerce Store

Every eCommerce business wants to ensure quick and effective customer service in an era where attention spans are getting shorter, and competition is getting higher. Providing a good customer experience is the only way to stand out and beat the competition, and live chat is undeniably an integral part of this process. 

Here are some ways in which live chat support benefits you to provide excellent customer service

1. Self-Service Feature

Customers are happiest when they feel in control. Self-service is emerging as an essential part of customer experience because it helps customers help themselves. They don't need to contact an agent for simple things like changing the delivery address or replacing an item.

The primary task of live chat tools is to connect customers and agents in real-time. But the most lucrative benefit of using a live chat tool for your ecommerce business is the ability to provide self-support options. 

Self Service Support

Most businesses believe live chat solves most of their problems. And while this is an essential element in creating a good customer experience, it isn't as impactful without a self-service feature. This brings you closer to the goal of reducing ticket volume by a significant margin.

You can use the live chat support to implement a self-service portal. Customers can use this feature to change their delivery address, cancel an order or return their product—no points for guessing that this isn’t possible through other customer support channels.

Self-service options significantly impact the overall customer experience as it reduces response time and gives the customer the power to manage their queries. 

On the other hand, this saves your support agents a lot of time and solves simple and repetitive queries without their involvement. 

Take for example our customer- Pawz. In 2020, Pawz saw a sudden increase in customer queries, which went from 100 a day to over 1500 queries a day. They integrated their eCommerce store with Richpanel, which provided them with a self-service portal. This reduced their incoming queries by 70%, helping them scale without expanding their team size. 

Pawz: Customer Case Study

A live chat tool with a customer self-service portal is undoubtedly a win-win situation for both your customers and your agents. 

Related Read: Customer Self-Service Benefits, Best Practices & Examples

2. Faster Responses

More often than not, a delayed decision is a lost sale. Purchase decisions happen in a matter of seconds. 

If a customer appeared confused or seemed hesitant to make a purchase, you’d want a sales representative to help them out. And why wouldn’t you, when about 57% of customers abandon their investment when they cannot find answers to their questions?

Live chat makes it more convenient to reach out, and get quick answers to simple and complex questions. 

Thinx swears by the live chat feature for the same reason. They struggled to provide quality customer experience with increasing demand and the number of tickets. With the help of Richpanel, they were able to provide instant communication and exceptional support via live chat. This reduced their median response time to a mere 5 seconds!

Read More: How Thinx Delivered Consistent CX despite massive Scale

3. Documentation

You can quickly get a printout or screenshot of your chat with a support agent. Can you say the same about a phone call? It’s much easier to document your customer support through live chat. 

You can easily monitor sessions and transcripts and conduct quality control audits using live chat, as opposed to other communication channels. 

Live chat software like Richpanel often provides reports and analytics to track your team’s performance. Through this feature, you can easily follow- 

  • First response times
  • Resolution rates
  • Average handling times 
  • Performance of individual agents
  • Customer satisfaction scores

So not only do these live chat tools have the highest ROI, you can analyze their impact  on your business through dashboards and reports.

4. Personalize the Experience through Data

One of the most overlooked benefits of live chat for eCommerce is the ability to integrate with your CRM. You could rely on your support agents to switch between multiple windows to understand the customer and get information about their purchase history. Still, it surely will increase the average handling time and add to their burden. 

You can provide your live chat agents with customer purchase and support history. 

It saves agents time. And your customers will also be thankful they don’t have to keep repeating the information they’ve just dialed into your menu or told another representative.

Recommended Read: Guide on Creating Shopify Customer Accounts

5. Cost-Efficient- Reduces Support Cost

Time is Money, and live chat support helps you save a lot. As you’ve seen, with a self-service portal and CRM integration, live chat offers many benefits for eCommerce stores and helps provide instant support. It frees up your agent’s time and makes them more productive. 

It also allows your agents to handle multiple queries simultaneously since they can easily chat to numerous customers simultaneously. This increase in productivity directly translates to an increase in ROI. 

Another advantage of live chat support is that the cost per contact is only $5, while the price for phone support contact ts is $12 each.

The cost of maintaining and scaling live chat support is 17-33% lower than any other form of communication. 

Virgin Atlantic used live chat to reduce costs as well. Virgin observed that the average chat agent can cover the work done by 15 customer service agents on e-mails and phone calls. This helped them reduce costs by a whopping 1500%. 

And we all know the money saved is earned, isn’t it?

6. Helps Increase Customer Engagement

Live chat is a medium of communication with the least friction. It’s easily accessible and encourages customers to reach out to support agents when they are going through your products and deliberating a purchase. This makes their experience interactive, and they can quickly get answers to questions while they are shopping.

Your live chat agents can also make suggestions and recommendations during the consideration phase, making the purchase decision easier for the customer. 

Say a customer has added an item to their cart but is taking time to check out, you can shoot them an automated message that reads- “What can I help you with today?” or “Do you have any questions about the product?”

The increased accessibility also increases customer engagement and significantly improves their overall experience.

Related Read: Ways to Improve Ecommerce Customer Service Experience

7. Customer Insights

Another underrated benefit of live chat for eCommerce platforms is the invaluable insights into your customers’ behavior. You can easily track when the customer initiated the conversation, which will help you understand where most customers seem to face issues or what common problems they seem to have. 

This will help you improve your eCommerce experience and help you improve your online storefront and products or help you build a solid knowledge base with relevant information.  

This is an indirect form of feedback that you should not overlook.

Live chat software will also allow you to develop a set of tags for your agents to use. You can ask the agents to tag all their chats. It will easily highlight frequent question types or topics. 

You can quickly pinpoint frequent issues with this system or the areas needing updating, including your support documentation.

8. Increase Conversion and Sales

As mentioned before, customers are less likely to abandon their cart when they get timely responses to their queries. It even helps your agents reach out to customers who seem hesitant or confused. This alone improves the conversion significantly.

In a survey, Invesp found that customers spend 60% on their purchases using the live chat feature. 

In another study, Kayako found that 79% of businesses said that implementing live chat resulted in increased customer loyalty, sales, and revenue.

The impact of live chat on your revenue is undeniable. A good live chat experience can not only increase the average order value or improve conversion rates, but it is pivotal in increasing customer loyalty, which is invaluable and essential to the growth of an eCommerce business. 

Lush, a UK-based cosmetic company benefits from eCommerce live chat significantly. They started off with stores across the country but found it difficult to provide the same model of customer service through their website. They implemented their live chat in 2016 to tackle this issue, and within the span of one year, they reported a 174% increase in conversions for customers who used this feature. 

9. Helps Collect Feedback

Live chat agents can ask for feedback when closing a conversation or answering customer queries. You can measure customer satisfaction with greater ease as compared to other channels. 

Most live chat software will also create CSAT reports with this data and help you understand how well your support agents and customer support team is performing. 

The best thing about this is you do not need to invest any time or make extra efforts in order to collect feedback. You can turn a happy customer into a brand advocate organically in a matter of minutes. Live chat is the most cost-effective way to collect feedback and improve customer experience. 

To Conclude:

eCommerce Live chat definitely has benefits over email and voice. It is much faster, convenient, allows tracking, provides analytics, and above all increases conversions 

Despite these obvious benefits, only 9% of independent eCommerce stores currently offer live chat support. This is great news for any business owner who wants to take the leap and try implementing a live chat tool on their website. It will give them an edge over their competitors who have failed to adapt to this new-age technology. 

Live chat is an untapped avenue with great potential. It is a one-time investment that helps you scale your business without having to invest in increasing your team size or giving extensive training to your current customer support team. In the long run, Live chat pays for itself many times over by increasing conversions and sales on your website. 

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