With each passing year, businesses look for more innovative ways to reach out to potential customers. And as these options increase, so do visitor expectations. In the past few years, website chat functionality has gone from a novelty to a vital part of how many businesses communicate with their target audience. As it turns out, there’s a reason for that trend.
More than one reason, in fact. Live chat offers your website visitors a valuable opportunity to get their questions answered quickly and efficiently. It removes the steps necessary to pick up the phone or write an email, removing barriers for your audience to engage with you. Here are 4 statistics that show just how vital web chat functionality has become today.
1) Live Chat is the Preferred Customer Service Tool For Your Audience
According to one study, no less than 73 percent of users taking advantage of a website’s chat functionality for their customer service need were satisfied with their experience. That makes live chat the number one tool in this regard, pacing ahead of email (61 percent), social media (48 percent) and phone (44 percent).
Of course, success in customer service depends largely on the competency and speed of the agents working your live chat. But the medium itself lends itself perfectly to customer service issues, helping businesses improve their retention rates.
2) Respondents Who Encounter Live Chat Are More Likely to Return
In a landmark study, eMarketer found that no less than 63 percent of users who encounter live chat on a website they visit become more likely to return to that website in the future. In other words, they appreciate the tool, which helps them better remember the website as valuable and informative.
Any experienced digital marketer knows that return visitors are key to success. A member of your target audience might not convert the first time they encounter your online presence, but they become much more likely to do so the second time. Through chat functionality, you can improve your chances of making that second time happen.
3) Live Chat Can Boost Your Conversion Rate By Up to 45 Percent
Use the tool the right way, and it can have a significant impact on your bottom line. One experiment by digital marketing expert Neil Patel, for instance, increased lead conversion rates by 45 percent through the simple use of chat functionality.
That number might be an outlier. Nonetheless, the value of live chat for your conversion rates cannot be overstated. A visitor on the fence will be more likely to give you their contact information if you can ask them a couple of questions that go beyond your web content quickly and effectively.
4) Live Chat Can Make or Break Your E-Commerce Efforts
If your business operates in the e-commerce space, live chat becomes even more vital. In fact, Forrester Research found that 44 percent of online shoppers count live chat among the most important features a website on which they shop can offer.
Incorporating chat functionality may help you combat cart abandonment. You can reclaim sales by users who are stuck or don’t feel confident about their impending purchase. In other words, you can streamline the decision and checkout process for your visitors, maximizing your online sales as a result.
The Rising Importance of Website Chat Functionality
Just a few years ago, building live chat functionality into your website counted as a crucial competitive advantage. But increasingly, and thanks to statistics like the above, the tool has become so ubiquitous that it’s even more dangerous not to take advantage of it.
Put simply, you don’t want to fall behind a competitor who offers a similar product but with better visitor service. Through live chat, you can get even and even ahead, managing and surpassing rising customer expectations. To learn more about incorporating chat functionality into your website, contact us.
Also published on Medium.