27 Apr Free Live Chat Support. Why It’s Good.
If you are like many business owners, you spend time thinking of how to get more customer and how to answer the many questions would-be customer might have. You can sit back and wait for clients to come to you and you can wait for them to call or email with a question, but that method, particularly in a world where most businesses have a website, is inefficient and time consuming. That’s where online live chat support helps.
44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer. Forrester Research study
Online chat support comes in many different flavours, but its main feature is the ability to see who is on your site, and where, and ask them if they need help or have a question. Conversely, they can hail you. Some find the idea a little invasive, but chat support can really add a layer of customer service that is immediate and efficient for both the business owner and the business webite’s visitors.
How live chat support works
We’ve all seen them. You visit a website and a minute into your visit, a small window pops open with a prompt that reads “Need help?” or some similar greeting. This is chat support. You can close the window if it annoys you, or just ignore it, but, in many instances, it’s good to know that if you have a question it can be answered immediately.
Benefits of live chat support
- Online chat increases consumer confidence A chat support system on your website leaves the visitor with the impression that you care about business and customers and have thought about ways you can provide customer service and improve the customer experience.
- Online chat provides immediate customer service When I’m on a website and have a quick question, I’d rather not write an email or pick up the phone (which is often not convenient if the call is long distance). Seeing that a support agent is at the ready is convenient. I can quickly ask a question and carry on. My experience with support is that the live chat support agent is not selling or pushy. Overall, I find support agents to be helpful and courteous. This kind of help is appreciated, needed, and has value to me. I’m a lazy consumer. Even if the information is on a website, if I can’t find it quickly, or am experiencing frustration finding the nugget of info I need, if I see a live chat feature, I’ll use it.
- Increase sales by providing immediate support Live chat support can and does increase sales. Our lives are busier than they’ve ever been and we don’t want to spend a lot of time trying to find something on a website. If someone is on your website, and you see them moving from page to page, or back to a service or product page, they are looking for something. If they can’t find it quickly on your website, they’ll move on and your competitor may get the sale.
- Save time Save your website visitor’s time by answer questions instead of letting them roam your website looking for answers. Save your time by providing the information they need when they need it. You’ll answer less phone calls and reply to fewer emails.
- Configure canned-responses for frequently asked questions A canned response is the live support version of answering a frequently asked question. You have a list of pre-composed responses that you use when needed. This saves you typing the same response over and over. Again, a time server.
- See, in real time, how visitors interact with your website With online chat support, you can see what pages visitors are on and how long they stay. You can quickly visualize the path they take through your website without having to view Google Analytics data or server logs.
- Not costly Many live chat programs have free versions or are low cost. The software is easy to set up and learning to use it takes little time. If you have one person in your company that spends much of their time in front of a computer, that person could provide online support.
Free or low-cost live chat support software
Free edition (1 seat/basic features), Lite ($12/operator), Standard ($25/operator), Professional($39/operator)
14-day trial (free), Standard ($10/mo), Premium ($20/mo)
30-day free trial, Basic ($9/mo), Pro ($29/mo), Enterprise ($49/mo)
Free version (1 agent), Basic (2 agents for $29/mo), Corporate (5 agents for $59/mo), Enterprise (10 agents for $99/mo)
Free. OfferChat states that the software will always be free because their revenue model is based on outsourcing live support operators to businesses.
Free version (1 agent), Premium (1 operator for $5/mo), Enterprise (unlimited operators for $50/mo)
From $15/mo or $99/year. 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year subscriptions available.
I’ve used two online chat support software programs: ProvideSupport and OfferChat. ProvideSupport has more features, but OfferChat is great if you are testing the waters and don’t want to incur cost until you are certain live support will work for your business. If you are interested in installing chat software, Websessive can help. Contact us, or even use our live chat 😉