Online help chat is a powerful tool for businesses in any industry, but particularly those in the retail, law and medical fields. Yet, it’s one of those tools that many professionals and companies still haven’t adopted. That gives forward-thinking businesses incredible potential with the technology, perhaps providing that competitive edge that companies are always looking for. But online, real time messaging is more than a way to get ahead, or an interesting gimmick. It’s a proven method for keeping potential customers on a website, converting them into actual customers and meeting all their needs. In short, it should be a primary feature on nearly any commercial site.
What are the benefits of online help chat?
When people search for products or services online, they frequently run into problems or questions that require assistance. If that person is given immediate access to a customer service representative and the needed resources, they will often reward the business with their sale and positive feedback.
This has been demonstrated through a number of industry studies. One produced by Forrester Research found that among online shoppers, 44 percent agreed that instant access to an online representative is an extremely important feature. According to an ATG Global Consumer Trend survey, 90 percent of online customers think this feature is helpful, and that nearly 2/3 would revisit a site that offers online representative assistance. But the statistic that should really stand out for a business is this one: The ATG survey found that about 40 percent of the surveyed customers stated that online help chat was the reason they made a purchase.
That’s an eye-opening figure, but why is the technology so attractive to people? For one, it offers much faster responses, and doesn’t require people to dial in a number, navigate through a menu, and focus all of their attention on a call. People looking for products or services online need to be engaged immediately, or they will look elsewhere. Nothing is as immediate as an online representative the customer can talk to directly. Customers can also split their focus between the conversation and other duties, so it requires less effort as well. This all adds up to more convenient and more effective customer service. Just having help chat available can keep a potential customer on the site longer, and will be more likely to return positive feedback if used.
It’s also cost-effective, as a single online representative can manage several conversations at once. That means faster customer interactions and fewer representatives needed. It’s a simple function to implement in most existing sites as well, so there is little investment required to get it running.
More and more people are shopping for products and services online, so it makes sense to establish the best customer service possible. Immediate online assistance is a crucial element to that end, and can bring back excellent returns.