Live chat software: opening the door for online visitors

Community Content

By: Howard Williams

In a high street, an open door shows customers they’re welcome in your shop. Online, however, opening that door is trickier. You need to show your online customers that you’re ready to do business with them – which isn’t always easy behind digital barriers of screens and distance. WhosOn SmallTalk
So, how can you open a digital door and give customers that welcoming experience? You need to be available to your customers, demonstrating approachability, accessibility and efficiency. And live chat software can help you achieve just that.

Here, Howard Williams, marketing director of the software house behind free live chat solution WhosOn SmallTalk, explains how live chat software opens the door for your online customers.

Opening your doors for online customers means demonstrating that your business is approachable. Firstly, you need to be easy to contact and have an easy to use website. But beyond that, your help needs to be upfront and open. This is simply about being there for your online visitors. After all, how can you give customer care if you’re not there?

A live chat channel can help you achieve this approachability. It gives your online visitors an extra choice when they need support. Some customers dislike picking up the phone, some hate checking their emails for weeks on end, and some want to keep their social media accounts strictly for social engagement only. Offering a live chat channel gives such customers another option, making you that bit easier to contact.

This extra option encourages customer engagement. The instant nature of live chat software means you can offer support online the same way a shop floor attendant would in store. A live chat channel can be used to point customers to relevant content, to fix their woes, and to build a trusting customer relationship. It tells your website visitors that you’re ready to listen and to help at any time. That live chat button, in itself, is an open door that leads to instant help.

A live chat channel can also open the doors to your online customers by improving site accessibility. A chat channel is a low barrier support option, meaning it is easy for customers to use. It’s splashed on the front of your site: ready and responsive in one easy click.

Like you, your customers are busy. The speed of live chat support wildly improves the accessibility of your site to those busy customers. A live chat channel means that customers can connect with your business during a short break, or while they’re out and about, without needing to shout over crowds of people and noise from passing traffic. For customers short of time, being able to receive instant support is a major accessibility boon that opens the doors of your business.
Chat also makes real-time support accessible for customers with communication-based disabilities, such as deafness or speech impediments. Where these customers may not be able to use a telephone-based support option, live chat makes real-time support open to them too. In turn, chat increases both the accessibility and inclusivity of your business.

Convenience and efficiency
Opening your doors to online customers means making their online journey efficient and easy. Plus, when your support is convenient to use, it keeps those doors open for return customers. Customers who indicate ‘more effort’ in contacting a company are 61% less likely to repurchase – so it’s well worth upping your online efficiency game.

A live chat channel minimises channel disruption. That handy inline chat window means that there’s no need for prospects to leave your site in search of answers or help. They don’t need to log into their email account, take time out for a call or exit your site to send a tweet. The help they need is precisely where they need it, and precisely where it’s most convenient.
Plus, with a live chat channel, support is more efficient. Chat not only enables quick connections between you and your online visitor, but the real-time conversation it provides means that resolutions can be dealt with quickly. Remember: a quick response leads to a quicker conversion.

Keep customers from closing the door on you
Live chat software appeals to customers for a plethora of reasons, from efficiency to the human touch, to the ease with which it can be used. By incorporating a chat channel on your website, you’re opening the doors to your online customers, inviting them in to your digital store.
By being reachable, you’re also building trust and credibility with those customers too. So, with live chat software, you aren’t just opening the door for your online customers, you’re keeping it open for them to return.

With both paid and free live chat software at your fingertips, what are you waiting for?