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About Online Chat Services

Are you making a connection with your customers? Web sites provide a convenient opportunity to offer goods and services to customers, yet it limits chances of building a rapport with them. A customer associates all experiences to your brand name, so the more positive contact you have with them, the more solidified the relationship becomes. Offering live chat on your site compensates for the lack of connection.

Live chat offers customers security and assurance in making a purchase. Buyers enjoy the ease of shopping online, but become wary if met with a question and no available answers. FAQ pages and product/service descriptions cannot encompass all inquiries. Maintained lines of communication considerably lower the chance of lost conversions. According to research conducted by phplivesupport.com, a customer is 20% more likely to make a purchase using live chat.

Advantages
- Offers the opportunity to make more sales through representatives’ suggestions
- Provides “real-time” insights into browsers’ habits
- Ability to take notes on customer concerns to use for future reference
- Helps in avoiding shopping cart abandonment
- Alternative to using 800 phone services
- Customers get immediate feedback

Disadvantages
- Disruption in the buying process
- Extra investment in hiring and training staff to cater to live chat services
- Customers become frustrated when services are not available or “offline”
- Disruptions in service or bad customer service could dissuade consumers from making a purchase

Cost
Live chat services will be less expensive for basic instant messaging services and increase with more advanced features (such as customer analytics). Forrester Research reports that the average live chat session will cost your company $3 to $5 dollars as opposed to $10 for the average customer service telephone call.

Suggestions
- Have the shopper initiate the chat. Pop-up ads are not desirable by online shoppers.
- Have the shopper end the chat. Place a reason why time and resources are limited on the site if that is the case.
- Do not “force” the browser’s URL to change.
- Hire resources to be available on a 24-hour basis



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