Everything you need to know: ‘Live Chat’ for your business website

Did you know 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support – Source
Years ago, implementing live chat was considered a website luxury. However in 2021, with e-commerce sales reaching an all time high due to the ongoing pandemic, 50% of customers now prefer to chat with a human online rather than emailing or calling a company directly.

Are you considering implementing live chat for your business website? Join our Knutsford web design agency as we explain everything you need to know about live chat, covering both advantages and disadvantages with an unbiased view. Let’s dive straight in…

Instant convenience for your customers

Today, most customers simply do not have the time to make personal calls or chase emails during business hours, so having a live chat presence on your website simplifies things and makes tasks much easier for customers to contact you when it’s convenient for them. If you have the resources, some businesses can provide you with 24/7 live chat support.

Great customer experience, great customer satisfaction

Live chat support has the highest customer satisfaction level at 73%. Digging a little deeper into these statistics, research also proves that live chat delivers a higher customer satisfaction than email (61%), and phone support (44%).

Why? Well the key reason is live chat will help resolve any queries or problems at a faster rate, and meets customers demands for immediacy. Did you know, on average the first response time on live chat is 2 minutes? With social media queries coming in at 10 hours and email support following behind with 12 hours response time.

Avoiding shopping cart abandonment

Improving the checkout experience goes a very long way in stopping customers from abandoning their shopping experience. With live chat, you can instantly support and simplify the sales process. If a customer has a question while they are entering payment details, or wants to know more about your products before completing their purchase, you can address this straight away without losing them as a potential customer.

Remember a good experience can only be a positive experience. 29% of consumers will tell friends or colleagues about a positive live chat experience when recommending a product.

63% of customers are more likely to return to your website

According to statistics, 63% of customers are more likely to return to a website after speaking with an advisor over live chat. Furthermore, 62% of customers are likely to make another online purchase with your business? – Source

Why? Well for a business, this translates into building a lasting customer relationship and greater customer retention. Live chat can also help you accurately measure customer satisfaction levels, collect customer feedback, and ensure personalization round-the-clock.

…And the disadvantages of Live Chat

Okay, while it may seem like a no-brainer to add live chat functionality to your website, as a Knutsford web design agency, we need to be honest with you by educating you about live chat disadvantages too.

It can affect overall website performance speed

Okay, so implementing live chat offers a quick, easy and convenient way to contact support. However, tests have also proven installing live chat will also impact your website performance. Why, well because the browser will need to download and run the additional widget code, which requires extra network bandwidth and increased CPU usage.

According to studies, depending on which live chat you implement, it can add anywhere between 1-10 seconds extra to your page performance. Ultimately, it comes down to deciding on which live chat you implement and if you are willing to compromise website speed, which is an important SEO factor, over good customer support.

Live Chat Speed Tests – All conduced by DebugBear

Additional costs and training

Yeah, it’s great to have a human on live chat to offer support around the clock but this comes at a price with training and paying to have staff around the clock.

Potential customers use live chat because they want to engage with a human, and want a faster response instead of engaging over the phone or via email. From experience, automated live chat can run into a few teething problems with statistics proving 29% of customers claiming they find scripted difficult to interact with, leading to cart abandonment.

Unless you are a large organization, during peak business hours I would advise having trained staff waiting on standby then turn the live chat to automated messages afterwards.

Increased spam messages

Unfortunately, whilst live chat is convenient for an instant response, it’s also vulnerable to spam. Although the amount of spam will vary based on your website traffic and industry, you will only really know by testing out the live chat.

If you are getting too much spam, you can filter this by asking the customer for further information such as asking for a name or contact number, although this could potentially put a customer off from interacting with you, if you’re asking for personal information.

What Next?

If you want to discuss live chat and if it is relevant for your business goals, please do not hesitate to contact your local Knutsford web design agency. We love nothing more than helping our clients grow, so let us know if you fancy a coffee or a virtual chat.