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This Important Website Feature Is Crucial For Your Business The one thing you should be aware of is the power of real-time conversation with a customer.

By Larry Jones Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In today's fast-paced world, the importance of enhancing the user experience has never been more apparent. Consumers are looking for efficiency, especially in the technological age where countless competitors are available at their fingertips. According to a recent study from Tech Jury, 75% of people prefer live chat over any other communication channel.

While most businesses have a contact form on their website, they lack a live chat feature that offers users instant answers to their pressing questions. Today, free software allows small business owners and startups to integrate live chat into their sites cost-free.

Related: 10 Tips for Web Design That Drives Sales

Using live chat for customer service is a must

Live chat is an online customer service software that operates as a functional help desk with a live representative. Users can ask questions and receive instant answers through a chat box. Businesses can chat with customers in real-time, eliminating any hesitation holding them back from making a purchase.

Customers want their questions answered immediately and will likely go elsewhere if they need help finding what they need. Live chat retains and converts customers whether they are buying on impulse or making a well-thought-out purchase.

Every website should be set up to mimic the sales funnel, converting even the most uneasy buyers toward a final sale. Live chat is taking the place of email or phone calls since it prioritizes convenience. All business owners need to remember the power of saving their prospective buyers time. Live chat is a great way to optimize your site for customer and company benefit.

Related: Ditch the Phone: Why Adding Live Chat to Your Site Just Makes Sense

The benefits of live chat for business sales

One of the most significant benefits of live chat is the immediacy of response time. When customers send an email, they are still determining when they will hear back from businesses. Often, a simple answer could be the missing piece that convinces them to buy.

For example, customers might wonder about the refund and cancellation policy if a business has a subscription-based product or service. Although this information may be on the website's fine print, consumers will question if their unique circumstance meets the guidelines. A quick live chat response eliminates purchase anxiety and helps consumers feel in control of their decision.

Additionally, live chat boosts customer acquisition and business reputation. According to Forester, consumers who use live chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those that don't. While potential customers feel more secure in their purchases, they also build a positive association with businesses.

Customer service is a crucial aspect of running a business today, and it's undoubtedly become harder to meet e-commerce customer demands without person-to-person contact. Live chat alleviates this concern while showing customers that you value their time and questions.

Further, live chat provides 24/7 customer support, giving businesses a competitive edge over other industry leaders. Customers are more likely to engage with a live chat feature, maximizing their chances of staying on-site and taking action.

It's important to note that many live chat agents have access to account information, allowing them to troubleshoot problems for customers in a personal way. Consumers will recognize that businesses took an extra step to accommodate their needs. In turn, leading to improved customer lifetime value and word-of-mouth recruitment.

Related: 4 Ways That Live Chat, as in 'Human' Chat, Still Beats Out the Bots

How to get started and integrate live chat into your business

One of the biggest deterrents to businesses getting live chat is cost. Small businesses should refrain from investing in online customer service agents, as they already have a preexisting support team. Additionally, some businesses assume their industry won't benefit from live chat services.

Technological evolution reveals that live chat and customer service software will become widespread across industries. Now is the best time to stay ahead of the curve and show customers that the quality of their experience is important.

Plenty of live chat options are available that suit various business price points. Small businesses just starting with live chat should prioritize a system that is easy for customers to use. For example, some live chat boxes will offer an FAQ pop-up that answers pressing questions before consumers directly reach out to an agent. Explore some of the leading options on the market today to decide what will help push your business forward.

All business owners must assess the benefits of adding live chat to their websites. Now is the best time to enhance customer service features that attract, engage and convert buyers before they leave your web

Larry Jones

CEO of TelaCare Health

Larry D. Jones serves as CEO at TelaCare Health, Inc., named Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America. With over 25 years of experience in healthcare technology, Mr. Jones leads TelaCare in its mission to make healthcare convenient and affordable so people can live their healthiest lives.

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