6 Reasons Live Chat Dominates Customer Service for Your B2B Storefront
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We’ve all seen chat widgets embedded on eCommerce websites. Maybe you’ve even used live chat to ask a company about their products, or things like shipping times. But is having live chat really necessary for a B2B business? We think so.
According to a Forrester survey, 44% of respondents said that having a live person to answer their questions during their online journey was one of the most important features a website could offer.
Let’s talk about why live chat dominates customer service for a B2B storefront.
Live chat improves the buying experience for your customers
The number one reason to utilize a live chat function is that it makes customer support extremely convenient. Customers can get their questions answered immediately.
It allows customers to ask a question the moment they have one and removes the extra steps involved in sending a support email and waiting to hear back, only to lose momentum for the next step of the purchase. With live chat, a live support person can respond with an answer that may have been a barrier to purchase, speeding up the purchasing decision process.
This is especially important in B2B business because customers are usually more thoughtful and have more questions, concerns, and take more persuasion when it comes to business purchases than the impulsive nature of consumer purchases.
Reduces the sales cycle
Live support allows for questions to be answered immediately. Several live chat statistics showed that buyers prefer live chat for customer support over other channels like phone or email.
Live chat also saves customer information from their store visits which allows support reps to use personalized information to assist customers in their buying journey. This increases customer satisfaction because it creates an experience that is tailored to them.
Enables support representatives to convert prospects
Live chat enables a higher opportunity for support representatives to convert prospects because it reduces the wait time involved in getting answers to pertinent questions. Instead of having to read sales pages, and wait for a call from a sales rep, customers can get information to their most important questions up front.
As we mentioned, B2B purchases need more nurturing than consumer purchases. Because B2B buying is for commercial purposes, the sale needs rational analysis, longer consideration, and ongoing assistance by the seller —or in this case a support rep.
If a support rep can give on-demand information about products or services and learn more about the potential customer's needs, they can give them the attention they need. It also enables more opportunity to upsell related products based on the customer's needs, as well as personalize conversations based on previous chats and store visits before they ever even talk to a sales rep.
Helps keep your customers engaged
When there is an easier way to do something, people will always choose it. Live chat is easier and faster than reaching out for support through phone or email, which makes their likelihood of reaching out and engaging, not only once, but multiple times with inquiries— more likely.
In addition, live chat doesn’t feel as personal as writing an email or calling a company, so customers feel comfortable reaching out more than once because there is a certain ease and quick turnaround that makes engaging with a company feel more streamlined and efficient.
Data can help with user experience decisions
From time to time, customer roadblocks on your B2B eCommerce site may come up in live chat because it is so easy to reach out and get assistance. Live chat can help inform how you set up your site so that future customers can more easily find what they need and make it easier for them to come to a purchasing decision.
Understand customer buying behaviour
We mentioned this above, but because live chat support is linked with your online store, it enables you to understand what your customer is doing on your site, the questions they are asking, and the journey that they are on once they hit your storefront.
The quantitative data from your store in combination with qualitative live chat data can help you understand more about your customer and their needs from a more holistic view, which can inform important decisions you make about products you offer, the layout of your store, and content you produce.
In a lot of ways live chat may be more important in a B2B environment than in B2C
because customers need more information and more nurturing when deciding to make a purchase for their business. Having live chat available increases the likelihood of customers engaging with your support team, and reduces their barriers to purchase, all while informing customer buying behaviors so that you can collect data that will improve the overall experience for future customers and the longevity of your business.
How can B2B Wave help
B2B Wave can help you add your favorite live chat solution to your B2B eCommerce portal to help you take your customer support to the next level. We have successfully helped customers integrate live chat solutions like Drift, Intercom and Olark. Find out more about all of our integrations here