answering live chat for small business
answering live chat for small business

Small Business Owner's Guide to Live Chat Software

Last updated: September 15, 2021

When a small business first starts out, it’s hard to tell whether it will last in the long run. Countless factors affect every company’s overall performance, and even offering a great product or essential service doesn’t guarantee success. One factor that can make or break a company is it’s customer service. And when you have a live chat software, you’re ahead in that area. 

If you stumbled across this article, you’ve already got an idea of what live chat services offer. Customers can reach out to your company directly from pages on your website. This offers a level of customer service that consumers have come to expect. Of course, not all live chat softwares are equal. This is why it’s imperative to understand your options. 

When you know what you need before beginning your search, your company’s ability to succeed will skyrocket. 

Benefits of a Live Chat Software for Your Business

Before diving into the different types of live chat softwares, it’s wise to start with an overview of the benefits they provide to your business and website. After all, every entrepreneur should understand why they need a service before investing in it. These are just a few of the advantages you’ll get when you shift over to the world of live chat: 

Improves Page Rank

Search engines consider many factors when ranking pages, and the time spent on the page is an important metric. If someone visits a page and begins interacting with your chat messenger system, their time on your website will increase dramatically. 

Turns Leads into Customers 

Few leads turn into long-time customers. This can change with a live chat software. You can start customer engagement — an integral part of lead conversion — the moment someone comes to your website. You can even offer complimentary services or discount codes from the outset.

Improved Conversion Rates

It’s a proven fact: live chat increases conversion rates. Many people who visit your product or service pages may have unanswered questions. If they can’t figure out what they need, they’ll likely leave your website. When live chat is available to answer those questions, you’ll increase conversion rates exponentially. 

Increases Buyer Confidence

Consumers who use chat services buy more because they’re getting helpful insights and advice. That’s because their confidence is higher when a company offers this added value. Live chat support on websites also show clients that a company cares about their needs and that it is legitimate. 

Differentiates Your Business

Perhaps most importantly, live chat differentiates your business from competitors. Consumers have countless options for everything from law firms to home services. By simply offering the added benefit and resource of live chat, you’ll stand out among all the others. 

 

The Types of Live Chat Softwares

When you compare live chat software providers, you’ll notice countless differences. The list of services available is massive, and whether you get certain features will depend on your final selection. In every case, though, these offerings fall into two categories. Either Enterprise Level Services or Start Up Level Services describe every option you’ll come across. 

Enterprise Level Services

Enterprise level services come with a massive infrastructure of features. Spotify, Whole Foods, Mastercard and many other major corporations use similar offerings. They offer a full suite of services that include:

  • Chatbots 
  • Reporting 
  • Automations 
  • Self-serviced tech implementation 
  • Analytics

For a major company, these features are essential. Due to the volume of website traffic, they must rely on advanced automations and chatbots that can instantly respond to messages and answer questions; it financially isn’t viable to have live receptionists answering the chats.

Additionally, there are teams of data scientists and analysts regularly monitoring the the analytical reports and making statistically significant decisions. And lastly, these companies have entire IT departments that can easily implement the software without the bat of an eye. All these features allow a baseline level of customer service that can reduce a company’s workload while leveraging the specialized teams they have on staff.

Start Up Level Services

A Start Up Level live chat software offers many of the same benefits and services as enterprise level. They just do so on a smaller scale and this makes them a better option for smaller companies. It’s a simple fact that most businesses don’t need the massive scale offerings provided on the enterprise level plans. But small companies are still going to the big live chat providers for this service, which is a huge mistake. Why? Well, the big live chat providers are focused on capturing enterprise level clients, so the start up level services are typically an afterthought and the customer support is subpar for this reason.

There are two things that stand out most about these live chat offerings: professional tech implementation and real receptionists that answer your chats. Since the provider handles setup themselves, small business owners can focus more on what they’re good at. And with real receptionists, small business owners don’t have to waste their time answering every chat or spending time and money training and delegating the task to another member of staff. 

Many of these vendors also offer answering services for small businesses, so it’s an all-around better choice for certain brands. 

 

Which Type is Best for Small Business? 

Although there are other factors that can influence whether a company chooses an Enterprise Level or Start Up Level service, at this point I think it goes without saying that if you’re running a small business, then the latter is your best option. With the Start Up Level service, you will reap the following benefits:

  • Free, professional technical implementation of the software.
  • Receptionists that answer every chat and represent your business right.
  • Simple features so you can understand performance without the confusion of a robust feature set. 

When choosing between the different live chat softwares, there’s only one smart choice for small business owners. With start up level offerings, you get all the same benefits of enterprise options without the added cost, tech hassles or loss of one-on-one consumer interaction. 

 

What is the Best Live Chat for Small Business?

Whether you have built an established brand or are just starting out, the benefits of live chat should be pretty apparent. As a small business owner, you’d likely benefit from Start Up Level services, but there are many options out there to choose from. How do you know what’s best for your company? 

You can visit our report, What is the Best Live Chat for Small Business? The Complete Comparison Report, to learn more. Because when it comes to your company’s success, having the right tools and resources can dictate your level of success.

Written by

Hope Holland

Hope Holland

Hope joined Abby Connect in 2016 as a receptionist. She now leads the Sales Team in their efforts to help small businesses with their communication needs. Hope has always valued the customer experience and understands how crucial it is for businesses that want to succeed. With this mission, she strives to help businesses connect with their clients and improve the experience their business offers.