Everyone understands that high-quality client service is vital to the continuing success of any business or professional practice. If you provide genuine value and a worthwhile experience every time a customer interacts with you, your customers will sing your praises to their friends and help grow your client base. If you’re not already taking advantage of live chat on your company’s or firm’s website, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity to expand your client base and to provide that worthwhile experience to your clients.

Live chat lets you communicate instantly with website visitors through instant messaging. The software works in somewhat the same way as a desktop messaging application like Skype, except that your website visitor won’t need special software. The chat appears in the browser window, so the visitor may “speak” with an agent or operator by typing text into the chat box. Emails and comment sections can’t provide immediate, real-time, two-way communication with your website’s visitors. Live chat can.

HOW DOES LIVE CHAT WORK?

Live chat was originally developed by LiveChat Software in 2002. Today, a number of versions of live chat and a variety of options are available, but all of them provide essentially the same functions.

Live chat works like this: Visitors to your website see a small chat box where text can be entered. In some versions, they will need to type in some something – like their email address or a question – to begin the chat and to indicate to your agent or operator that a visitor is online and wants to chat.

WHY IS LIVE CHAT RIGHT FOR YOU?

Other live chat features include chat monitoring, which allows experienced operators or agents to monitor newer operators or agents. This helps train new personnel and ensures that anyone who represents you online is following your script and adhering to your established client service procedures. Some live chat versions can even email your website visitor the transcript of a concluded chat.

Should your business or professional practice be using live chat? That answer is affirmative, and here are ten reasons why:

1. Live chat makes client service instantaneous. Your visitor isn’t forced to check his or her email every few minutes while waiting for your response. Moreover, live chat tells potential clients that you are prepared to help them – right now.

2. Live chat is reassuring. It tells your clients that you are there when they need you, and that you aren’t avoiding them or simply responding with the email version of a standardized form letter.

3. Live chat is efficient. Not even the best salesperson in the world can manage three or four distinct telephone conversations at once, but with live chat, any trained operator or agent can easily handle several conversations at the same time.

4. Live chat is cost-efficient. In fact, a large variety of “freemium” live chat options are available, and live chat is always free to your website’s visitors.

5. Live chat captures leads. You can program your live chat software to capture email addresses or even telephone numbers to initiate a chat. That steadily creates a promising set of leads from visitors who are indicating an interest in your service(s) or product(s).

6. Live chat guarantees consistency. You can create a script with standardized responses so that every agent or operator knows precisely what to say to every visitor and inquiry. You can rest assured that your agents or operators are providing swift and consistent answers to your most frequently asked questions.

7. If you want to look bigger than you really are, live chat can help. You can create “departments” like Support, Sales, or Billing, and ask visitors to “click” the department they need to reach, even if all of those “departments” are just one lone operator or agent.

8. Setting up live chat could not be easier. With just a small line of code added to your website, you can have live chat up and running in almost no time at all. An experienced internet marketing agency can help.

9. Live chat will help you identify your clients’ most common questions and concerns. It lets you review chat statistics and transcripts to identify the areas where your product(s) or service(s) can be improved.

10. A live chat is faster and more accurate than a telephone chat. For example, have you ever tried to give someone a complicated URL address over the phone? After trying to explain where the colon and backslash go, you’ll probably end up telling your client, “I’ll text it when we’re finished.” Live chat eliminates all of that inconvenience. You can copy and paste web addresses – and any other text – fast and accurately. Everything is visible on the screen, so no one has to be asked to “stand by” or “please repeat.”

Apart from its direct and immediate benefits, live chat can bolster your company’s or firm’s reputation in less direct ways. Your customers may give you good endorsements and reviews on their Facebook pages and anywhere else that’s appropriate. In fact, when you have a satisfied customer right in front of you on live chat, there’s no better time to ask politely for a positive testimonial or review.

WHAT MAY BE THE GREATEST BENEFIT OF LIVE CHAT?

You’ve now been introduced to most of the benefits of live chat, with one big exception. Perhaps the greatest benefit of live chat is simply that clients and customers love it. Go anywhere today that people are gathered publicly, and what are they doing?

They’re talking on the phone – or texting. People love to chat. In fact, we’ve all had at least one acquaintance who simply will not stop chatting! Moreover, your website visitors love having their questions answered and their concerns addressed instantly. Nobody likes waiting.

Your competition is probably already using live chat. If you want to get live chat up and running on your company’s or firm’s website quickly, or if you’d like to learn more about live chat and the other tools that can improve your client and customer service, arrange to speak promptly with the professionals at an experienced internet marketing agency. They can help you decide precisely how to set up your live chat, and they can get your live chat up and online almost immediately.