Live chat has become one of the most popular ways to deliver customer service. Enterprise adoption of this tool grew from 38 percent in 2009 to 58 percent in 2014, Forrester reports. Live chat use will continue to grow over the next few years, with the market on track to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7.98 percent during the interval between 2016 and 2020, Technavio forecasts.
While live chat has been used mainly as a customer service tool to date, it can also serve as an effective lead generation tool. Here are four ways implementing live chat can boost your leads generation performance.
Improve Your Branding Through Better Customer Service
One way live chat can help your lead generation is by improving your brand’s reputation for customer service. Live chat yields higher customer satisfaction levels than any other channel, with 92 percent of customers who use live chat reporting satisfying results, compared to 88 percent for phone calls and 85 percent for web forms and emails, according to Zendesk research. Leveraging this can boost your brand’s overall customer satisfaction rate, improving your branding and thereby promoting more effective lead generation.
The most effective way to implement it for improved customer satisfaction is to adopt it in conjunction with virtual call center software. A virtual call center enables you to integrate your support with your other support channels. This provides customers with a smooth omnichannel user experience when support tickets move from one channel to another, which also tends to boost customer satisfaction.
Retain Abandoned Shopping Carts
Another way live chat can boost your lead generation is by helping you recover leads that would otherwise be lost to shopping cart abandonment. Over 69 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned prior to purchase, according to the Baymard Institute. Some of this is due to normal factors such as customers changing products or comparing prices, but abandonment can also be due to factors that could be helped by a live chat agent. For instance, a customer might become confused about how to complete the purchase process, which could be cleared up by turning to live chat for help. Or the customer may encounter a website glitch or payment processing problem that a live chat representative could resolve. In these cases, live chat can potentially reduce abandoned shopping cart rates.
To implement live chat for shopping cart assistance, you can have your IT team configure your shopping cart to offer live chat automatically if it appears a customer is having trouble completing the purchasing process. For instance, you can monitor the average time on your checkout page and set a timer to extend a live chat invitation for customers who stay on the page longer than this interval.
Generate Repeat Business
By using live chat to deliver better customer service through omnichannel virtual call center support and shopping cart assistance, you can improve customer satisfaction, making them more likely to buy from you again. In this way, live chat can boost your lead generation by promoting repeat business.
A repeat customer is always less expensive to retain than a new lead is to acquire. By using live chat to promote repeat business, you boost your lead retention rate, making your lead generation systems more efficient.
A fourth way live chat can boost your lead generation effectiveness is by helping generate referrals. One way live chat does this is by boosting customer satisfaction, which makes customers more likely to generate leads organically through word of mouth.
Live chat can also give you the opportunity to actively solicit referrals. For instance, it has become common for companies to follow up live chat tickets with surveys requesting feedback. You can use these surveys to identify your satisfied customers and follow up by soliciting referrals from them. Your most satisfied customers are more likely to give you positive reviews, so it makes strategic sense to leverage this by focusing your referral generation efforts on them.