Breaking the Ice: Why It’s High Time You Set Up That Chat Support on Your Website
We’ve come a long way from inventing the telephone to freaking out over having to use it. Do you also write yourself a script before calling customer support? Or maybe, you just rehearse the conversation in your mind before dialing?
We’ve all been there. Fortunately, thanks to the miracle of the internet (and a bunch of smart people), we now have live chat. It’s a great option when you don’t want to talk on the phone but still need a quick answer to your question — like WhatsApp in a browser, but for customer support.
It’s no wonder that live chat has become wildly popular. So much so that if an online store or website doesn’t have a chat option, it looks odd now. The question, then, is not whether you need live chat for your site but which solution is best for you and what you can expect to get from it.
Don’t worry. That’s what we’re here to help you with. Let’s take it from the top.
What is a live chat?
No surprises here: a live chat is a chat on a website page that lets you communicate with a human support agent in real-time. The aim is to make the online shopping experience similar to a real-life one. Think of shop assistants — you can always ask them if a laptop comes in a larger screen size or if they can deliver to your address.
Ecommerce businesses use live chat to add a human touch to computer screens and make sure they don’t lose customers who wander off looking for an answer elsewhere. As it happens, when you add live chat to your site, you also get a bunch of other benefits.
What are the benefits of using a live chat?
Setting up a chat support app can make a bigger difference to your business than you might guess. Let’s look at what you get when you put a live chat button on your home page.
Higher conversion rates
People are more likely to buy your product if they feel like the company — and the real humans behind it — care about them. Customers who ask questions in a live chat are more likely to convert, even though they don’t buy things through the chat itself. Personalized customer service gets you new buyers, simple as that.
Increased customer satisfaction
Phone calls can be confusing (and even terrifying), while email responses take too long. So it’s natural that customers are more satisfied with live chat support: they can get your answer in an instant without having to talk to anyone. Now that’s a pleasant customer experience — something they’ll remember. And it’s no secret that satisfied customers are more likely to return.
Better relationships with customers
Customers want live chat, fact.
Research shows that 81% of consumers use chat to communicate with companies, while just 52% of customer service teams provide live chat support. Basically, this means that if clients can’t reach you through live chat, they’ll get frustrated. You’re also missing a good opportunity to get ahead of your competitors. Our advice? Just give people what they want.
Live chat support cuts costs compared to phone support. How so? A single support agent can handle only one call at a time, but they can manage multiple open live chat conversations. Live chat is, therefore, a great opportunity to downsize bloated support teams and save money.
Now, these are all benefits for you as a business. But what about your customers? Let’s look at the other side of the conversation.
How does live chat help optimize user experiences?
Imagine a customer wants to clarify some information about your product. They don’t see a live chat option, so they leave the checkout page to find what they’re looking for on the website. It’s not there. Maybe on social media? “Hang on, who posted that? She’s engaged?! Oh, what a cute puppy! I wonder what’s on TikTok…” And the shopping cart is abandoned.
Alternatively, if the customer really, really needs an answer before they can make their purchase, they can write you an email and wait a day or more for the response. Or they can call and stay on hold and hope they catch your support agent on a good day.
All of this is the opposite of a good impression.
A live chat is a clear winner for your customers: they can ask a question without looking through FAQs, waiting for email responses, and stressing over phone calls. And what if they’ve got an issue with your product and need help? It’s simple to add photos or screenshots for an agent to literally see the problem. Even if the issue is complex, they can explain it just once and get the issue forwarded to an expert. And if their laptop battery dies, they can switch to Instagram or Facebook and continue chatting on the go.
With live chat, it’s all just easier.
Still, with so many companies offering live chat applications, it can be challenging to wade through the marketing and find the one that will work for your business. Let’s give you some guidelines to help.
How to choose the best live chat app?
How do you find the best live chat apps on the market? Start with a checklist of what you need and get ticking those boxes. Here are our suggestions for what to look for.
With that out of the way, what are the best live chat apps that are leading the market in 2023? We’ve compared the three apps most businesses use today.
What are the best live chats for customer support in 2023?
Research shows that the leading live chat applications in 2022 were tawk.to, Zendesk Chat, and Tidio. All of these are high-quality products, but each has slightly different features. Here’s what that means.
Tawk.to is the most popular live chat app today. The reason is simple – you get (almost) everything for free. Installing the tawk.to plugin takes about a minute, and you don’t need much time to adapt to the interface. Tawk.to offers a built-in knowledge base, canned and localized messages, real-time visitor monitoring, and performance analytics. It’s certainly the best free customer support chat app out there.
Tawk.to reviews are generally very good, with just some users mentioning a delay in receiving email notifications and a somewhat confusing dashboard.
Zendesk offers a feature-packed live chat app that is suitable for both small and large businesses. Advanced features include AI-powered customer support chatbots, outbound notifications, group messaging, and an omnichannel agent workspace that allows agents to quickly switch between channels. Customers, on the other hand, can pause a conversation in one channel and resume it in a different one.
Negative reviews of Zendesk mostly refer to the high price and difficulty retrieving reporting.
Tidio is a live chat app that offers integrations with work tools like Google Analytics and Mailchimp, as well as with social media and email providers. In premium plans, Tidio includes a live visitor list, advanced visitor analytics, the ability to see what a customer is typing before the message is sent, and other features.
One oft-mentioned downside of Tidio is the heavy price tag for businesses with more than one service agent. Another is that more advanced features are only available on expensive plans.
It’s time to break the ice
Today’s best live chat apps cut your support costs, boost conversions, and keep your customers happy. There’s no faster way of resolving issues or giving much-needed info to your website visitors.
Some apps offer more customization, more advanced analytics, and more management tools. All of these, though, come at a price. With the right checklist in hand, you can choose what fits your needs and think twice before paying for features that might end up being useless.
Good luck, and here’s to more happy customers!