The benefits of live chat for small businesses and how to make it work

The benefits of live chat for small businesses and how to make it work

Do you have live chat on your small business website yet? If not, you are potentially missing out on the great benefits live chat has to offer. While we are all familiar with it on big company websites, there’s no reason that small business can’t do the same. Yes, you may be a little skeptical. But chances are you are in for a delightful surprise.

What you will learn in this article

  • Why you need live chat on your small business website
  • The benefits of live chat and 5 incredible tips for making it work
  • The 24/7 myth debunked
  • Integrating live chat into CRM
  • How to get started with CRM

Why live chat is good for business

There are several persuasive reasons for introducing live chat to your small business website. These include:

  • It’s substantially cheaper than answering questions by phone
  • It’s faster, more efficient, and easier
  • Over half of potential leads will give up if they can’t get an answer quickly
  • Offering live chat keeps prospects hot. Or, at the very least, warm-ish until you can follow up.

The benefits of live chat 

Amazingly, it’s also estimated that over 60% of website visitors will return simply because you offer live chat. Being visibly available is essential and builds trust and belief that you are a serious business. Offering live chat can help you:

  1. Obtain new customers 
  2. Convert more website visitors
  3. Save you time and money answering questions compared to other customer support channels

Before revealing the 5 hot live chat tips for small businesses, let’s first address the elephant in the room.

Debunking the 24/7 myth

Live chat does not commit you to offer round-the-clock support seven days a week. This perception is wrong as very few small businesses can afford that level of support. The fact is that having an option to leave a message when you’re not online will help boost your business, even if your response will take a few hours.

So long as you set expectations, most reasonable people will cut you some slack since you are a small business. Indeed, most live chat tools have the option of visitors leaving their email addresses so you can respond as soon as you are available. As long as your response is prompt, there is no downside to live chat.

5 great tips to make live chat a success for your small business

Capturing leads: About half of all potential customers say it’s imperative to have access to a human customer support agent during their buying journey. Website visitors are far more likely to click for a live chat than make an effort to send you an email or make a phone call.

Be strategic: If you are concerned about the volume of chats your site might generate, be strategic about where you place the live chat widget. It needn’t go on every page – or even the home page. Instead, place live chat where it will have the most impact. For example, on a product or service page or in your FAQ section.

Be mobile: Being a small business owner comes with a few perks. If you need to leave the office to do the school run, it doesn’t mean you have to be offline. Most live chat providers have mobile apps. You don’t need to be shackled to your desk to offer customers support when they need it.

Be personal: Bear in mind that live chat is less formal than customer support via the phone or email. So you can afford to let your personality shine through a little and still be business-like. Shorter sentences, rather than giant blocks of text, work much better. If a query requires a longer explanation, link to resources on your FAQ page, for instance. And don’t be afraid to use the occasional emoji if appropriate.

Go free: The excellent news about live chat is that it needn’t cost the earth. Most live chat tools have free plans for small businesses. This will get you started with live chat. You can always trade up later if the demand increases.

Integrating live chat into CRM

CRM is well-liked due to its ability to integrate with your existing tools. As today’s customers are using multiple channels to reach your small business, you have to deal with them all simultaneously.

This is almost impossible to do manually. However, you can integrate live chat and all your other communication channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., into your CRM system. This way, you can remain on top of what is happening and support customers no matter how they choose to interact with you. Instead of multiple dashboards, you have one comms console that lets you efficiently field all inquiries as soon as they arrive.

How to get started with CRM

If you are a small business, you by now want to:

  • Find out more about CRM
  • Integrate live chat 
  • Improve your customer experience

But given the constraints on your time, cut to the chase and go straight to cloud CRM providers. These platforms are the most viable option for small businesses regarding price, ease of implementation and use, and ability to scale in step with your changing business needs. See for yourself by arranging a free trial with a cloud CRM vendor. This gives you some time to get a feel for the platform and the technology without any obligation.

Verdict

Live chat and all your other customer touchpoints can be integrated into CRM. As we live in a world of tech-savvy consumers, there is an expectation that businesses, small and large, can support multi-channel communications with customers. 

With CRM, you can keep track and manage all your customer interactions no matter where they occur. For example, if a customer posts about an issue on Twitter and then switches to a live chat on your site, they expect a seamless experience with the customer support team.

Contact our support today and find out more about integrating live chat. We are a cloud CRM specialist and geared toward small businesses.

Article
Oct 22, 2021

Team Samdock

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