There’s an old adage that suggests that “No man (or woman) is an island.” This is particularly true when it comes to the business-customer relationship and the customer experience. Customers need to know that they aren’t being isolated during their purchase -- no matter how big or small. A customer expects to be able to contact the business whenever they’re in need. In short, when a customer needs assistance, they don’t want to feel alone. Ideally, they prefer the customer service to be prompt, pleasant, and effective. It is often simpler for brick-and-mortar establishments to offer superior customer support since they can simply post customer-service representatives in visible locations throughout the store. Businesses that service remote clients — the kind who choose to do business with an organization without ever meeting face to face — often find that customer support can be more of a challenge.
Given that approximately 70% of Americans regularly choose to shop and do business online, the problem of remote customer support is one in desperate need of a practical solution. That solution is live chat. As the name suggests, live chat is a real-time customer support option that gives service organizations the ability to connect directly with customers or other site visitors through web-based text chat in real time. With live chat, your customers will never feel like they’re on an island.

Through the use of an embedded instant messaging service or live chat software on a company’s website, customers are easily paired with knowledgeable service agents who are trained to assist and support clients in handling whatever questions, problems, issues, or complaints that they may have. Sometimes, a chat solution may also offer chatbots as an option instead of a liveagent. These chatbots can often serve responses tailored to the customer’s specific needs, saving an organization time and money that may have been spent on a live guide. Depending on the live chat solution you choose, you will get differing levels of service. Some services offer unlimited chats.

And rather than forcing clients to wait hours, or even days, for an email response or callback, live chat functions with all of the time-saving speed and efficiency of a face-to-face conversation. This creates a productive customer experience that enables agents and customers to work together to find resolutions quickly and easily.

Service leaders anticipate customer chat to grow 87% in the next 12-18 months.
With more and more customers making the switch to online buying, investing in a live chat solution for your business has never been more vital. Here are 11 essential advantages of implementing live chat software into your company website(s):
  1. Immediate Customer Satisfaction

  2. Decreased Departmental Costs

  3. Competitive Advantage

  4. Enhanced Customer Relationships

  5. More Effective Outreach for Customer Support

  6. Improved Consumer Confidence and Increased Sales

  7. Further Reach for You and the Customer

  8. Easier Identification of Problems

  9. Better Feedback for Improved Solutions

  10. Quicker Solutions with Instantaneous Help

  11. Increased Customer Loyalty from Overall Improved Support

  1. Live chat offers immediate customer satisfaction

Live chat makes it convenient for customers to get in touch with a customer service representative right away, rather than having to wait for extended periods of time to speak with a representative over the telephone, or receive an email response. A customer only needs to click on the chat box, and then briefly describe his or her question or concern before getting started with the live chat session. This live chat solution offers convenience that means customers are more likely to pursue answers, have their problem solved quickly, and get on with their day.

2. Decreased departmental cost

Live chat can decrease the overall costs of customer support, especially given that it doesn’t require the use of telephones.Research from Forrester indicates that it can cost anywhere from upwards of $12 for a call to a rep vs $5 for a web chat, making it about 17% cheaper. Allowing customers and potential customers to call free of charge from anywhere in the USA can add up quickly; live chat provides an inexpensive and more effective alternative. Customer service representatives can likewise respond to chat requests from any internet-enabled device, which means that you’ll also be able to cut back on office-related expenses.

3. Competitive advantage

With the almost limitless supply of options available to the modern customer via the internet, business has never been more competitive. Live chat helps to set your business apart from the rest, giving customers the ability to connect with representatives, in a way that is immediate, direct and unintimidating. After all, a customer who is able to receive assistance via live chat is 3x more likely to buy a product than one who is forced to alter his or her own schedule in order to comply with set hours of operation.

4. Enhanced customer relationships around the clock

Live chat service can be provided 24 hours a day. If a customer understands that no matter what time it is, no matter where they are, they can rely on live chat to put them in touch with a knowledgeable service agent, then they will be more willing to extend their trust in that company. Better relationships with customers mean more repeat business, improved profits, and better brand reputation.

5. More-effective outreach for customer support

Just as live chat provides a platform through which customers can contact your organization, it can also be used by your organization in contacting customers. By sending a quick chat message to visitors as they arrive at your site, and supplying them with information, special offers, or even a simple greeting to let them know that you are available to assist, you can make that first, most-valuable connection with potential clients who are showing interest in doing business.

6. Improved consumer confidence and increased sales

When a customer has a problem that needs to be resolved, the last thing they want is to have to wait for a solution. Live chat increases conversions by 20% by allowing clients to quickly and easily get in contact with knowledgeable representatives. Removing any hesitation or concern and ultimately buying objection, the customer feels at ease at the time of purchase. This gives them a reason to want to do further business with your organization, the end result is increased profits across the board.

7. Further reach for you and the customer

The internet makes it possible for clients to do business with organizations located all around the world. However, given the potentially-confusing processes associated with ordering, shipping, and transferring money internationally, many customers find themselves hesitant to commit to making a purchase. Providing potential clients with the added courtesy of live chat can help them feel more confident in moving forward, giving them access to a trained professional who can walk them through the ordering process and answer any questions that they may have. No matter where they’re located or what time zone they’re in.

8. Easier identification of problems

Problems are always easier to solve when they can be discussed in real time -- specifically when they’re typed out. When live chat is available, customers type in detail about their specific issue and the service agents can troubleshoot and diagnose the issue as it is being described - removing potential for misunderstandings This method forces customers and agents to better accurate identify not only the problems but a solution that fits.

9. Better feedback for improved solutions

Most businesses spend a significant dollar-amount trying to capture and evaluate customer feedback, via surveys, reviews, and contact forms. Live chat provides a seamless platform on which customers can not only solve the problem at hand but address perceived problems, identify weaknesses in your products or services, and provide suggestions for improvement. Available from the moment that a new product or service is released, it is much more likely to be an accurate reflection of customer satisfaction levels. This information can be collected at a fraction of the cost of putting out customer surveys.

10. Quicker resolutions with instantaneous help

Sometimes, all it takes to find a solution to a problem is a quick chat with a trained associate. Then there are the times when a solution will require the use of additional ‘training’ materials, such as user-guides or other documentation. When this is case, your customer support team can use chat to share this necessary information with clients via direct hyperlinking, which is much more difficult to do over the phone.

11. Increased customer loyalty from overall improved support

All of these customer-targeted advantages result in a single gain that is more crucial to the success of your business than any other—loyalty. Simply put, customer loyalty cannot be bought; it has to be earned. By providing your customer with a simple and effective alternative to conventional support media, you’ll be giving them another reason to continue to do business with your company for years to come.

High performing service teams are 3.2x more likely than underperformers to rate customer-to-agent chat as outstanding or very good

As technology continues to provide new avenues through which clients and businesses can engage in commerce, the need for new customer support tools is obvious. Live chat provides what may be the most effective solution to the problem of virtual customer service (email, support forums), it is quickly becoming a necessity to any business.

The feeling of being isolated in a purchasing decision is no more, reasons such as immediate satisfaction, quicker resolutions, and enhanced customer relations create a better environment for the client. Live chat provides answers at the moment they are needed, it gives the customer increased confidence in their choice therefore improving satisfaction and increasing sales across the board.

 <a href="http://www.salesforce.com/hub/service/live-chat-software/ " target="_blank"><img src="https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/images/hub/service/benefits-of-live-chat-forbiz-2c.jpg" alt="Benefits of Live Chat"></a> 
Ask about Salesforce products, pricing, implementation, or anything else. Our highly trained reps are standing by, ready to help.