Should you or should you not invest in 24/7 chat support? That is the question.
The continuous rise of the eCommerce industry comes with its fair share of challenges. For example, catering to different countries is a big issue. You have to deal with logistics, customs, taxes, and customers in different time zones.
Thankfully, there are solutions. Chat support is the latest major game changer and it has definitely upgraded how eCommerce retailers do business.
What are the benefits of chat support for eCommerce retailers?
There are a lot of reasons why chat support has become so popular. Here are our favorite ones:
- 44% of survey respondents shared that having their questions answered right away during a purchase activity is the most important feature of a website. (Invesp)
- Online shoppers who use the live chat feature are 40% more likely to buy. (Emarketer)
Effective and cost-efficient
- Live chat for customer support is actually 50% less expensive than investing in traditional phone calls for the same quality of service. (Forrester)
- Businesses that used chatbots saved $300,000 on average in 2019. (Intercom)
Grows the business
- 79% of organizations said that live chat sales, revenue, and customer loyalty were positively impacted. (Kayako)
- The average return for one chat is $249. (Techjury)
Not just live chat—but 24/7 chat support: Experts share their insights on why eCommerce brands need it
After letting the numbers talk, it’s time to listen to industry experts. We’ve successfully compiled the five major reasons why eCommerce retailers should incorporate round-the-clock chat support.
1. Speed and availability will set you apart from your competitors
The reason why chat support is successful followed the same principle as why eCommerce stores continue to be popular: convenience.
Sibel Yüksel, Product Owner from Desk360 shares the importance of speed in today’s business landscape with this illustration: When you send an email to customer support, you really don’t know when you can expect a reply. Phone calls, on the other hand, can be time-consuming and disruptive.
“So what’s left? Enter live chat support. It’s a fantastic way to deliver instant help to customers without leaving the website,” Sibel continues to emphasize. “The world is constantly changing, and customer expectations are changing with it. Customers value speed more and more. When they contact you about anything, they expect a response immediately.”
This supports research from HubSpot which says for 90% of customers, an immediate response is a crucial factor in customer service. Plus, a separate study reported respondents prefer customer service channels with the fastest response time.
Jennifer Hay, Head of Sales of SimpleTexting, summarizes this point all too well.
Visualize this. A potential customer has a question about your product and they can’t find the answer anywhere. Then your customer support team is not responding. Result? You can lose the sale!
2. Scale and grow your business smoothly
Scaling an eCommerce business is totally different from getting one up and running. As your digital presence grows, you’ll start hitting your revenue goals. This means you’ll start getting more customers, receiving more placed orders, and earning more revenue.
Aniza Valenzuela, Multi-Channel Marketing Manager from Re:amaze couldn’t have said it better. A growing business means there are more people to serve. If your customer support strategy and the team can’t keep up, you’ll have a constant push and pull. In fact, 96% of customers will leave due to bad customer experiences.
So what should you do?
To ensure that all inquiries are catered to no matter the time, you can always explore chatbots with automated but personalized answers. Outsourcing a 24/7 customer service team is another solution that also provides less hassle compared to hiring and training in-house manpower.
3. Gain insights into customer behavior
24/7 chat support means being able to take on customer support tickets at any time of the day. It means being able to handle more tickets and inquiries than other companies without round-the-clock support. Essentially, you get to have more data on your customers.
Evaluating insights will help you learn more about your customers and their buying behaviors so you can focus on improving the overall customer experience. You’ll know what you need to focus on—whether it’s response time, conversion rate, or even the customer satisfaction score (CSAT).
Here are just a few examples of learnings you can gather from your data and insights:
- If most of your customers were just browsing before engaging with the chatbot or agent, this could mean the support channel is popping up in the picture too quickly.
- Knowing the timeslots when most inquiries would come in will help you manage your operations.
- If the majority of the support tickets you’re getting are related to shipping or logistics, it might be worth a shot to review your courier.
- If your average response time is dropping, you might need to revisit your SOPs and processes.
4. Improve customer relationships and foster loyalty
When support is available whenever customers need it, it makes them feel valued and looked after. In fact, 79% of customers shared they actually want brands to show they care about them.
Darren Heaphy, Head of Product at eDesk explains building meaningful relationships with customers is a win-win for both parties.
When customers are happy with their experience, they will keep doing business with you. This will lead to an overall increase in revenue brought about by customer loyalty. After all, 80% of future profits will be from 20% of already existing customers.
5. Facilitate a seamless customer experience and the rest will follow
Lastly, Ashley Scorpio, Senior Vice President of Partnerships at Hawke Media, describes how 24/7 chat support is a key factor in generating trust with new buyers to help them complete a purchase. She also mentions that 24/7 chat support is essential when it comes to resolving any customer concerns on logistics or shipping issues which have to be dealt with in a timely manner.
Chat support is incredibly useful for optimizing the overall customer experience because users no longer have to leave the website to communicate with support agents. It’s the epitome of convenience and ease.
Michael Wadsworth, Justuno’s Partner Marketing Manager, discusses that certain inconveniences can cause potential customers to leave your website or other channels. When they leave, they might end up doing business with a competitor.
So it’s extremely important to ensure all business operations are running smoothly from checkout to delivery. However, if there are disruptions, a reliable 24/7 chat support system can come to the rescue to facilitate smooth and fast communication.
Wrap up: Unlock the benefits of 24/7 chat support
While a lot of brands already employ chat support, not all have it available 24/7.
At the end of it all, an eCommerce brand with a fast, convenient, always-on, and personalized customer support system is ready to succeed.
The experts agree—chat support should be available 24/7 so you can fully cater to your new and existing customers and provide them with unparalleled customer experiences.