We know that live chat is extremely effective for business to customer relations and can be a great tool for increasing leads and sales conversion, so why is live chat for business to business being so often overlooked?
In this week’s episode of our podcast Everything eCommerce, we talked about B2B eCommerce, and one of the topics discussed was the importance of ensuring you are still including a human element throughout your sales process. Although you are selling to a business, ultimately that business is still comprised of people and all interactions are human to human.
Live chat uses in B2B eCommerce:
Often business to business purchases are high value or quite complex, so they call for a lead generation solution where the company can reach out to the business and guide them through a purchase. The business will be looking for information and comparison, and typically have quite a few questions they would like answered. Without live chat, the business could be sitting waiting for a call back instead of getting that immediate response.
Throughout the sales process, it’s common for business to business to have many points of contact where they can ask questions and create a personal relationship with the company. Making a mistake on a £5 business to customer sale is one thing, but no one wants to make an error on a massive business purchase. Having someone there on live chat throughout the sales process adds that element of human reassurance and means that the customer is able to ask any question they need that could otherwise prevent their purchase.
Once the customer has finished with the purchase, your job isn’t done. Now in order to turn them into a happy customer who gets full use out of your product, comes back for repeat purchases, and leaves you a positive review or talks about you in a positive light to other potential customers, you need to be there for the post-sales experience. B2B customer support tends to be a lot more complex than B2C, so having a trained live chat agent on hand to walk them through any issues is invaluable.
How can live chat achieve this?
Response times and real-time engagement
No matter where you are in the sales funnel, you can benefit from a real-time discussion with fast response times. If you are considering making a purchase, having someone to chat to while you are doing the research is invaluable, as it prevents you from having to wait for a callback. Even if you are ready to purchase right away, you may have a few last niggling questions that you need to get an answer to before you hit that buy button, live chat can be the difference between a sale and someone just leaving the website because they weren’t able to find the information they needed.
About 79%¹ of those who prefer live chat say they do because they are able to get their queries resolved immediately. It’s essential to connect to users in real-time while they are browsing your site, this means that you need people on hand who can answer queries. Many businesses use their own sales team for handling their live chat, but then find themselves losing customers when they weren’t able to handle queries immediately. Using a managed chat service with dedicated live chat agents can be a great way to solve this. The agents are fully trained in your business and are able to reply immediately. Our chat agents have an average response time of 32 seconds, click here to find out more.
Personalised human reassurance and trust
When purchasing anything, adding a human element is extremely important, but when the purchase becomes a lot larger, or your credibility with the business you work for rests on the decision you make, human reassurance becomes critical. Google defines micro-moments “intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey.”, so creating micro-moments through a personalised live chat feature can decide whether someone will purchase or not. 90%² of customers surveyed said the “Live Chat” button gives them confidence that they can get help if they need it, and so it should.
One of the main reasons live chat is so effective is its ability to create a totally personal experience. Having a trained and dedicated chat agent to speak to your customers means they can build a genuine relationship with the customer there on chat. Creating a personal and engaging experience also means that the customer is more likely to return and become a repeat customer, as well as spread the word about how great the experience with you was.
Shortening the sales funnel
The B2B buyer’s journey is often a lot longer and more complex than for a B2C product, so a lot more time needs to be spent learning the customer’s needs and aligning them with what they are looking for. Live chat is a great tool when it comes to educating the customer along this journey, and making sure they are considering the right product or service for their needs. The sales process is often done with back and forth emails, calls and more questions needing to be asked. With live chat, the agent can charge through the qualification process and save precious time in figuring out if the customer is a right fit for what you offer. With ThriveHive shortening their sales cycle by 63%³ using live chat, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses are looking to live chat as a sales solution.
Data and CRM
The way that live chat can use data is a monumental benefit of what it offers. Every single interaction a customer has had is stored in a database, where you can search through to find whatever you need. Live chat analytics also offers details such as location, keywords searched, devices and more, which can help you get a better idea of who your customers are. Using live chat data, you can find out the most frequently asked questions, the biggest reservations customers have, and therefore use this to create buyer personas, connect your customer base, and to optimise your website with these things in mind.
Live chat software can also be integrated with your CRM system to create a database of information about your customers. You can use it to learn about FAQs and customer issues or use the information for reaching out to customers, get a quick view of interactions and allow the chat agents to support existing customers faster. You can also gather data on how many visitors your site receives, where they’re coming from, how many chat requests are accepted or ignored, as well as other metrics that can help you implement strategies to improve your website experience and increase traffic.
Live chat is an absolutely invaluable tool for both B2C and B2B relations, and it’s often overlooked for B2B, when in fact it could be the difference between a sale or not.
Find out more about how we use managed chat to increase conversions and for customer support here.
Watch the full episode of the podcast here or catch up on all podcasts here.