Customer Experience News & Trends

Research: Live chat seriously pays off (even for B2Bs)

Live chat features aren’t just for B2Cs anymore. They’re showing serious bottom line benefits for B2Bs, too.

For years, sales, marketing and customer service professionals at B2B companies have passed over live chat as a communications tool, thinking it’s a consumer-friendly-only technology.

Not anymore — and there’s research to prove it’s a solid, practical tool for B2Bs.

A study by Insite Software found:

  • live chat increases conversions by 20%
  • customers who chat are three times more likely to buy, and
  • live chat improves customer experiences and satisfaction

Researchers and trailblazing companies have found that B2B purchasers act much like consumers when they’re buying. They’re accustomed to online convenience, information and speed in their personal lives. Now they expect it with professional purchases.

Follow best practices

Whether you deal with B2B or B2C customers, you’ll want to follow the most current best practices for live chat:

  • Be ready for demand. If you don’t have the staff to give immediate live chat help, it’s better to not offer it at all. When customers see a “chat now” icon, they expect immediate help. So first and foremost, only offer chat if you have the resources available to respond immediately.
  • Be secure. Customers care about the privacy of their chat conversations. Most best-in-class organizations guarantee that conversations won’t be released, exposed or redistributed. Invest in software that is secure, and let customers know that security is your priority, too.
  • Be an expert. Don’t put staff on chat detail just because they’re savvy with social media or texting. Staff chat lines with product experts so customers always get fast and accurate answers.
  • Be available. Chat doesn’t work for every question, issue or solution. Give customers more options with click-t0-call and/or screen sharing solutions. Customers may need co-browsing help, too. Screen sharing gives your experts a vantage point that allows them to fix issues even quicker.
  • Be integrated. Don’t bother with chat if it’s going to be a stand-alone communication channel. It’ll only work well if it’s integrated with your entire Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Everyone in your organization must know what’s happened in chat so they can better help customers through other channels and in other circumstances.

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