Benefits of live chat

5 reasons why live chat also helps brick-and-mortar retail to be successful
Reading time: 7 minutes

A positive and differentiating customer experience is of highly important in brick-and-mortar retail, which has been hit hard by COVID and is driven by a huge competition. In particular personalized experiences play an important role for 80% of consumers. This means that your customer must feel understood, well cared for and advised from the first moment of contact until the checkout. Even after the purchase he wants to have the feeling that he can receive your support at any time.
Therefore, your service must offer a communication on eye level for your customer, regardless of the chosen communication channel. This is the reason why live chat is becoming more and more popular with businesses across all industries.

A chat to advise the customer? That’s just for e-commerce, isn’t it? We prefer to advise our customer personally, receive an order over the phone or answer an inquiry by e-mail. That’s what you probably think as a shop or restaurant owner in the first moment.

We will name you 5 reasons why a live chat can also help your local business to advise customers, bind them in the long term and bring them back to your store.

1. The force of habit – meet your customers in their comfort zone

Everyone, really everyone, texts. Especially the younger generations seem to be glued to their smartphones, but mostly shy away from the original function: The phone call.

A few years ago, text messages were still reserved for certain age groups and mainly used for private communication. Today, the majority of people uses various apps to exchange information with others on a daily basis. As a result, the way of interpersonal communication has changed fundamentally, which online shops and service companies recognized as an advantage already years ago. They started offering a live chat on their websites or apps, which the customer can use to communicate with a client agent or chatbot in real time, express their wishes and complaints, be guided to the right product or request help if there is a problem. So why don’t you offer the preferred way of communicating from your local retail store?

2. Optimize your conversion rate through speed, convenience and personalization

How did live chat become so popular? On one hand, it is fast because it usually provides the answers and information the texter wants in real time and it is convenient because the customer can submit his request directly without having to leave the website. He neither must write an e-mail in another application, for which he might have to wait several days for an answer, nor does he have to pick up his mobile phone to end up with an unanswered call or in the waiting line.

The customer is the focus. This means not only leaving the choice of contacting you to the customer, but mainly offering individual interpersonal communication. In addition to personal advice in the store, a live chat is the only channel that takes place “on site” on your own website and also in real time. This combination enables each salesperson to navigate an interested customer, to answer purchase-related questions directly and to recommend additional products. Not only does the conversion rate for companies which offer a live chat increase by 40%, the purchase value of customers which were in a chat before also increases by 15%.

“Often it’s just a small question that the customer has in mind, but is holding him back from making a purchase. But nobody picks up the phone anymore, bothers to write an e-mail or fill out complex contact forms on websites. With a direct chat, you as a retailer provide an easier way to get in touch and can guide the customer with individual advice or problem solving where you want him: To a successful checkout. The key is still the interpersonal contact.” Markus Demirci, Founder and CEO of mPocket.

3. Increase team efficiency & avoid cancelled purchases

Your salesclerks are already overloaded and have to answer inquiries about product availability, dates of repair jobs or table reservations after working hours by e-mail, social media and telephone? The phone rang several times today without being answered because everyone was occupied in-store?

This is neither profitable for you and your business, nor does it ensure that your customers are available in these ways. Many are tired of the overflowing inboxes, while others cannot be reached by phone at all. This makes interaction and customer loyalty much more difficult. Additionally, you have the risk that interested customers will switch to a competitor in the meantime.

A Forrester study determined savings of around 17-30% by live-chats compared to phone calls – depending on how many customers they are chatting with at the same time.

It is not only more convenient and efficient to answer chat requests, but you also reduce the risk of requests disappearing like a missed call.

Consumers are volatile. If the check-out for an order via your online shop is too complicated or if an inquiry via alternative contact options is not answered quickly enough, your customer will change to one of your competitors in no time at all.

4. Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty

From your retailer’s point of view, a chat already makes sense? What do you think your customers think? A survey of more than 45 million live chats across different industries proves the excitement about live-chats with a customer satisfaction rate of more than 80%.
This is not surprising, is a live chat replacing continuous loops with hotline music, days of waiting for emails or the filling of complex contact forms that, in case of doubt, are not even effective for the customer.

Today’s customer prefers live chat for a number of reasons:
– It is fast and free (compared to some phone hotlines)
– It is individual and entertaining
– It is completely anonymous
– It is inclusive and unbiased: Deaf people are also given the opportunity to receive information quickly. Discrimination due to anonymity is excluded
– It is suitable for multimedia: Voice messages or file up- and downloads are possible as well without changing the communication channel

Live chat allows far more personal interaction and communication than any other contact option. By designing the chat window accordingly, you represent the values of your company and provide with the chat also a face.
Another advantage is that the customer’s pain points are immediately discovered during the chat and at best, turned to your advantage – namely to solve it. Just like in a face-to-face conversation, your salesclerk can recognize with much more empathy what is bothering the customer or where he might need some support.

“When it comes to a positive shopping experience, it’s the human connection that we all love. This is central to customer satisfaction and yet it is provided by a live chat. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers through its entire customer journey. This is how your customer wants to communicate with you.” Markus Demirci, Founder and CEO of mPocket.

5. Collect and measure customer data

Even if anonymity initially lowers the inhibitions, if the chat is successful, you and your customer will still reach the point where certain information may be available: The customer’s name, address, telephone number or e-mail. In the digital age, data is a valuable raw material that you can use to bind these customers to your store long termed, e.g. through text marketing to extend contracts or automated birthday wishes.

Of course, you can also collect the data over other contact options, but with a live chat you also receive immediate feedback from the customer. If the chat is going in a good mood, they will certainly be willing to leave you a review.

If you analyse at the end of the day, for example, the number of incoming chats, the response time and missed opportunities because no one in the sales team has answered, you will get valuable information about the weak points in your team. The sales or reviews are an indicator of your customers satisfaction.

In addition to the growing sales, the topics your customers are having via the chat will be most valuable for you. You will know which deficits your online presence has or where the customers pain points are, and you can react accordingly with the meaning of customer satisfaction. You can maybe even save some of your salespeople valuable time, which they can spare for personal customer consultation.

In summary, a live chat may not be suitable for every target group, but it is becoming increasingly popular and used across several industries. Smaller, local retailers, restaurant owners and service providers can also take advantage of it.

“Your customers are no experts of your products or services – you and your team are. Although the customer is king, is always right and knows what he wants, he might need a bit of guidance and support here and there in order to be able to make a purchase decision. In your chat you can advise your customers, encourage them and guide them to the products – in an individual and interpersonal way. In my eyes, a live chat is not just a support, but rather a sales chat.” Markus Demirci, Founder and CEO of mPocket.

Are you convinced that your customers also want to contact you via chat, and you want to know more about it? Are you still looking for a tool that makes it easier for you to chat with your customers? Check www.mpocket.io – you can also use our chat there. If you prefer it “old school” just write an email to hallo@mpocket.io, we are looking forward to hearing from you.

*For reasons of better legibility only the simultaneous use of male and female language forms is not used. All personal names apply to both genders.

Jasmin Janson

Marketing & Communication Manager mPocket

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