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Is Live Chat Right for You?

TMCnews Featured Article

October 25, 2012

Is Live Chat Right for You?

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

Many companies have taken to adopting live chat software for their websites, and subsequently have increased their customer interaction and satisfaction. With this knowledge, it might seem like an obvious choice to get live chat software for your own business, but while it is a very useful tool, it might not be right for everyone. It’s important to weigh the benefits and costs, as well as the customers and business you have, to determine if live chat is right for you.

First of all, how much traffic does your website get? Websites with minimal traffic will find their live chat feature just gathering dust, but it’s only natural that the more visitors a site gets, the more of them will want to use the live chat feature. According to Multichannel Merchant, at least 150 unique visitors a day is the cutoff point at which it might become useful.

Of equal importance is how often your customers will want to speak with you. This is highly dependent upon the complexity of your product. There might be some customers inquiring as to whether or not they need what you’ve got to offer, but by far the most common inquiries will be about setup and management. That means that a simple “plug and play” solution will not get many customer inquiries, but one that takes some time to set up and connect will have many customers trying to reach you for support and assistance.

Lastly, and this is important: do the profits you gain from live chat outweigh the costs? Naturally, if you lose money on every chat, it’s not worth keeping. If, however, your customers who use the chat end up buying more often than those who don’t, and you can see a significant increase in sales as a result, then it’s worth keeping. It might be hard to determine this without first installing it, but many live chat services offer a free trial, so you can test it out and check that first month’s sales before deciding whether or not to purchase it.

There are plenty of live chat success stories, and significantly fewer failures. Still, it can be costly if your website doesn’t need it. So weigh everything first, and determine if live chat software can make a difference. If it can, you’ll see increased sales, happier customers, and better interaction with your clients. If it can’t, you’ll just see a larger bill.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Technology Marketing Corporation

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