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Why Is Live Chat Essential for an Online Business?

Why Is Live Chat Essential for an Online Business?

It’s in every entrepreneur’s best interest to be on the lookout for innovative tools and techniques that will help them increase sales and grow their business. When it comes to online businesses, customers can sometimes feel lost if there isn’t a place to answer their questions. 

Instead of sitting idly by and watching how your website visitors click their way to your competition, you can boost their customer experience by offering an effective means of communication. Adding live chat support to your toolkit will make your customers feel important and appreciated. 

The importance of live chat shouldn’t be understated. According to a study conducted by ZenDesk, around 92% of customers feel satisfied when they have the option of a live chat feature, which scored significantly higher than other options in the poll: voice (88%), email (85%), web form (85%), and social media (Facebook 84%, Twitter 77%).

So, let’s stop beating around the bush and face the facts. Today, having live chat on your website is no longer seen as a sort of gimmick but rather, an absolute necessity. Keep in mind that 82% of consumers today consider an “immediate” response time as important or very important if they have a sales-related question. Over 90% say the same thing about a customer service question. 

Live chat software allows sales teams to interact with website visitors as they’re looking over your content or informing themselves about a product or service. That said, what are the actual benefits for online businesses to use live chat?

Improving the Website Experience

If live chat is available, your prospects and customers don’t have to stop what they’re doing to ask a question. Instead of calling or sending an email, they can use live chat to have their questions answered in real-time. 

Keep in mind that around 57% of online consumers tend to abandon their purchase if their questions aren’t answered on the spot. Likewise, some 44% also say that having their questions answered by a live person during purchase is among the most important features a website can have. 

Website experience aside, people who use live chat features are also three times more likely to buy. Click To TweetA win-win situation, right?

Lowering Customer Support Costs

In a typical call center, customer service agents usually handle both phone calls and emails. The problem is that they can do only one at a time. Experienced live chat agents, on the other hand, can handle up to six chats at the same time! The ability to resolve multiple issues at once means that you can manage your customers with a smaller team, reducing your customer support costs. On average, live chat is between 17% and 30% cheaper than a phone call. 

Boosting Sales and Conversions

The benefits of live chat come from its potential to boost sales and conversion rates.  According to the American Marketing Association, B2B companies can experience an average conversion rate increase of 20% when they are using live chat. With live chat, every time a prospect has a question about a product or service, you can answer them immediately – while the person is still on your site.

This enables you to immediately quench any doubts and guide them toward making a purchasing decision. For online businesses, this is particularly important and serves as their version of having a sales assistant in store. A report by eMarketer shows that online customers did 75% of their shopping during the live chat.

Building Trust and Long-Term Relationships

The main benefit of a brick and mortar location is the opportunity it provides for the brand and customers to meet and build rapport. This is rarely the case with online businesses yet, when it comes to B2Bs, trust is absolutely essential

Live chat allows prospects and customers to come into contact with your staff, have direct conversations, and build trust. Long-term relationships are built on trust and also tend to be less price-sensitive, meaning that you can upsell more of your big-ticket items. In fact, over 63% of customers using live chat tend to return to the same brand. 

Getting To Know Your Customers Better

It’s known to every online business out there that not every website visitor will immediately make a purchase. One option is to sit back and hope that the visitor will return at some point in the future. Another thing would be to use the live chat window and collect some information about them, turning them into leads. 

So, before the live session begins, ask users to provide their contact information. Not only will this help you identify the person but also use the data for a more personalized experience down the line. You can even go ahead and ask them if they would like to receive company news and promotional material for your email marketing strategy. This way, even if they will not buy from you today, you now have a way to nurture them until they do. 

Understanding Customer Needs Better

Live chat is used by customers to gain answers for certain pain points they may have. By engaging proactively, companies can provide instant relief to these questions. 

For instance, all frequently asked questions can be put together to create a FAQ page on the website. And when others type similar queries into their search engines, your site will appear at the top of their search engine results pages (SERPs). This simple technique can do wonders for your organic SEO. Also, some live chat platforms like Nextiva allow you to have frequently-sent responses automated for these questions, further speeding up the chat process and increasing the customer’s experience. 

All feedback and suggestions provided by customers via live chat can be used to enhance or rethink the product or customer service. Since live chat conversations are backed up, companies can use specific details in their follow-up correspondence. This will make customers feel more valued and appreciated, increasing their confidence in the process. 


Online businesses rarely have the opportunity to speak with their customers and prospects directly. Almost everything is automated, and the human factor gets lost. Live chat can bring that back by providing more personal interactions. 

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