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Why SMEs will benefit the most from Live Chat

7 min read

07 November 2019

Thought digital customer service tools were only for big companies? Think again! Using tools such as Live Chat will upscale your customer service efforts and convert to improved sales.

Imagine if your staff were lazy, unhelpful and weren’t proactive with customer needs. Apart from being a retailer’s worst nightmare, it’s actually what many consumers experience when visiting a business website.

It’s even worse for e-retailers, where a shocking 57% of customers will abandon a shopping cart if their queries aren’t answered quickly.

Thankfully, technology innovation means businesses can adopt a variety of customer service tools to improve their level of support.

Examples include:

  • Hubspot (collects customer feedback/template style email responses)
  • Salesforce Service Cloud, (provides customer analytics to improve care)

But if businesses want their customer service to convert to actual sales, then Live Chat is the best ROI tool for growth-driven businesses.

Providing a high level of customer service at every point of the sales pipeline via a more authentic connection between a consumer and the business, Live Chat is also the ‘must-have’ tool for ambitious SMEs looking to grow but wanting to stay true to their founding culture.

Live chat: A ‘smarter’ way to support customers

Customers enter a business’s website and are faced with a series of constrictions that could put them off buying their goods and services.

This can include a lack of customer support outside of traditional ‘trading hours’ for example.

This inflexible approach to dealing with customers no longer works. Consumer tastes have changed. They want a richer transactional experience with businesses – and on their terms.

And it’s SMEs, with their focus on a more personable approach to customer experience and support, that can benefit the most from this customer seachange.

A digital tool for growth and changing tastes

‘Loyalty no matter what’ is no longer something businesses can rely on. Instead, they must adopt the right kind of technology to ensure they impress customers and don’t lose them to other businesses that do it better.

Live Chat is a tool for businesses wanting to harness heightened consumer expectations and grow their business more than ever before.

Live Chat is already popular with businesses and customers

But Live Chat adoption isn’t something for the future, it’s well and truly arrived with 30% of customers expecting to see it on business sites today.

“Via Live Chat, I can speak to consumers exactly when they’re browsing for bookings. I can build a relationship with them and make sure I’m their preferred option. My numbers have gone up by 20% this month already.” – Wedding Photographer

Integrating this technology into your website will see your business provide a key differentiator against outdated competitors.

Live Chat adoption is a space that SMEs, in particular, will focus on, with predictions that 87% of the UK’s small to medium businesses will integrate it into their websites in the next two years.

Proven conversion rates via customer satisfaction

Live Chat is not only becoming a popular option among businesses – but consumers also prefer it.

Live Chat can boast:

  • a 73% satisfaction rate (the highest of any customer service channel) 
  • a 42% preference rate (customers prefer using it over other channels)

Most importantly for businesses, Live Chat leads to a 49% increase in website conversion rates. Where the addition of a ‘proactive chat feature’ (when a chat windows ‘nudges’ a user to engage instead of waiting for them to click), has been proven to convert casual browsers into bona fide leads.

A flexible approach to engagement

For these businesses, adopting a smart and proactive Live Chat technology will boost online purchases by 35%.

Consumer changes show that over a third of people are more likely to chat, rather than call a business for customer support after hours.

Also, 15% of chats occur at weekends – showing that consumers want to access a business’s services in a flexible way that suits them. Operating on an ‘extended hours’ policy or even on a 24/7 basis will boost the number of consumer enquiries generally.

“We’ve seen a huge difference in the conversion rate of sites we manage that have Live Chat, compared to those who don’t.” – Marketing Agency

Live Chat offers customers instant gratification by responding in under two minutes to an enquiry. This is light years ahead of platforms such as:

  • email (17 hours)
  • social media (10 hours)
  • telephone (2 hours)

The ideal tool for SMEs

For SMEs in particular, adopting Live Chat is not difficult or hard to manage. In fact, integrating the software to a website takes five minutes and really is as simple as ‘copy and paste.’

Small business owners can control when Live Chat appears on their site and when it doesn’t, such as when they’ve finished work for the day. However, many small businesses are outsourcing the management of their chats to ensure full workflow control and support.

While Live Chat is a good option for larger businesses, it remains the ideal tool for SMEs where it’s the value of site traffic, not the volume that matters most – with visitors who engage with Live Chat being worth 4.5% more to businesses than casual browsers.

Want to know what live chat could do for your business? In 30 seconds, Moneypenny’s live chat calculator combines your information with 2 million chats worth of data insights to deliver a clear picture of the increase in website conversion rates, lead generation and sales. See it here.