We’ve noticed a rise in live chat apps hitting the market in recent months as more and more organisations are looking to add live chat functionality to their website. We think live chat apps and plugins can work extremely well for certain business types (if used and maintained correctly!) and allow customers an additional method of communication.
Is live chat here to stay?
Will we look back in a few years and find it archaic that live chat was considered new technology? Only time will tell, though our prediction is that live chat will become the norm and soon we’ll see all types of business, from online retail shops to event organisers utilising this functionality.
Does your business need a live chat option?
It really does depend on your organisation. Factors to consider include the type of service or product that you’re offering, the main demographic of your consumer base and whether or not your business has the scope to properly maintain the service.
An eMarketer round up of live chat studies confirmed those who use live chat are much more likely to make regularly purchases online, so live chat is certainly an option to consider if you sell goods online. For those who sell seasonal goods it’s even more positive, as those who use live chat technology complete far more of their Christmas shopping online than those who have never used live chat.
The results of an ATG Customer Service Study suggest brands who deal with sensitive information, particularly organisations who provide financial advice or assistance, should think carefully before devoting time and money in live chat functionality, as consumers prefer to discuss sensitive or complicated information over the phone.
Software Advice also carried out research into live chat and consumer behaviour and shared some their findings, the most interesting of which was the confirmation that younger age groups strongly favour the option of live chatting, with 56% of respondents between the ages of 18-34 opting for live chat to resolve any queries.
The statistics above show the importance of knowing your audience and considering their preferences before making changes to your organisation’s customer service options. Do you sell inexpensive online goods to a primarily younger audience? Live chat is something you should be strongly considering and be willing to dedicate the staff power to run it effectively. However, if you provide financial advice or sell high end products to an older audience then it’s worth conducting your own market research about your specific audience’s preferences before you take the plunge.
Are live chat plugins available for WordPress?
Yes, they certainly are!
Asking your WordPress agency to install a live chat plugin for your business is a simple way to add this functionality in a flash. Getting the live chat set up is easy but it’s the maintenance that takes a little more work. If you’re going to offer your customers the option to live chat then you should ensure it works smoothly; users are only going to use this functionality if they have queries or issues so don’t leave them waiting around for a response, it will only increase their frustration and leave them with a sour view of your brand. At the very least, ensure your live chat is staffed during traditional office hours.
Zendesk Chat, Talk.to Live Chat and WP Live Chat Support are all fully functional plugins that come extremely highly recommended, so they’re a great starting point if you’re looking into live chat functionality.
Have you added live chat functionality to your organisation’s website? We’d love to hear any stories you have about the process and what impact it’s had on your customer satisfaction levels.