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Often while online shopping, customers have questions about products and services. While they may be able to find the answers on your site, people like talking to other people – which is why so many businesses are adding live chat support to their sites. Besides keeping potential customers from clicking away to another page, it adds considerable benefits to the staff as well as the company’s bottom line.

Not convinced? Read on for five reasons live chat is worth integrating into your business:

1. Convenience for customers

As I said before, customers like talking to humans! They want help from a live person while they are shopping online, so they can ask questions. Live chat provides immediate access to answers, with a minimal wait time. Customers can continue browsing products online while they wait for a representative to get back to them – increasing the likelihood of them staying on your site, and minimizing the pain of wait times. It is much more pleasant to wait for a live chat than navigating a 1-800 number!

Live chat is critical for answering customer issues, and since it happens right from the product page on your website, your business is more likely to address their concerns and positively impact their confidence shopping on your site.

2. Live chat cuts down on expenses

Live chat software has consistently proven to cut down on employee task time and phone expenses. The major cost savings include:

1. Reducing overall volume of calls to the call center, lowering the average interaction cost.
2. Increased efficiency of customer service representatives: live chat offers the ability to chat with multiple customers at once, reducing the need to hire additional representatives.

Live chat is also cost efficient in that it often increases the average order value of customer purchases, as representatives are able to offer helpful advice and products matching customer interests in real time, along with answers to product questions. This increased confidence helps customers feel better about buying these items, as they are more likely to match customer wants and needs – and less likely to be something they will have to return later.

Implementing live chat function on your website is not an expensive endeavor, since it typically pays for itself with conversions and increased average order values (AOVs).

3. Increased conversions and average order value

Including live chat on websites is a trend that tends to increase sales. The experience with your business is made more enjoyable with the use of live chat, resulting in increased conversions and a higher average order value.

It is key that customers immediately have someone walking them through a sale and answering questions if they get confused, or have a question that could make or break a sale. This helps eliminate bounce from retail websites and ensures that full shopping carts are not abandoned, and also helps your company’s bottom line by increasing the speed and effectiveness of your customer support services.

Live chat also presents additional opportunities for upselling products. Once customers are engaged with a representative who can understand their needs, the employee is in a perfect position of trust to recommend additional purchases that may be great fits for that person and their lifestyle needs.

4. Stand out over your competition

To get a leg up on your rivals, live chat is key. Many top retail businesses are not offering this type of support, so simply having it gives your company an edge that can help you rise to the top. A live chat program gives you a way to connect with your customers, and to focus on the needs of your customers at every major touch point in the buying funnel on your website.

Live chat gives you the opportunity to offer as much value to your customer’s experience with your business and its offerings, and to interact with them on a personal level. Its effectiveness as a platform is incentive enough to begin winning over the customers of your competitors by consistently improving upon their experience with your business.

5. Connect with your customers

This is pivotal on so many points. First, live chat provides access to customers’ pain points, or frustrations. When customer use live chat, they give representatives insight into needs that are not being met, which can be turned into profit: with the company writing new content, such as a blog or article, and turned into improvements in the company’s products and services.

All these improvements and listening to your customers leads to deepening customer relationships, which is critical for the long-term growth of your business. Returning customers spend more, refer friends and family members in their network, and can remain a paying customer for decades, depending on your industry. Live chat programs help foster these relationships by showing your company truly cares about your customer’s input and happiness.