By Tim Breden, Commercial Director, Yomdel
Should outsourced live chat be viewed as a business cost or an investment?
Like most people in business I tend to focus on what I’m spending day-to-day and only look upon larger purchases and projects as investments.
As I look at a variety of business services, I realise that while there is always a cost attached, many can show excellent returns and should therefore be better regarded as investments.
Outsourced live chat is just such a case.
One could easily argue that paying for full time live chat operators, being charged per chat or paying a commission on a sale is a cost to the business. But this is a cost that has a return and it should be looked upon as investment that delivers fantastic ROI figures.
Live chat can be used in so many ways. While purely from a commercial point of view it’s a straight forward sales tool or lead generator, it also provides so much more whilst supporting and promoting your business.
Three ways outsourced live chat delivers returns
- Extended Working. Live chat is available 24/7, most businesses are closed by 6 pm and don’t open again until 8 am at the earliest, yet we live in a society that now works, rests and shops 24/7. If your business also sells abroad, then you want to be able to serve customers living in different time zones.
- Vastly Improved Customer Experience. Having live chat operators there to help your customers through your purchase process, to answer any queries or just offer support is a very powerful tool and an enriching experience for your customers.
- Perceived Company / Brand Size. Having live chat operators always standing ready will enable people to think your organisation is potential bigger than it is. It will also demonstrate that you value your customers and are customer centric.
Outsourced live chat isn’t prohibitively expensive and it isn’t something a reputable company would sell you if your investment model doesn’t work or it just isn’t viable. There’s too much at stake to do this. Good end-to-end live chat solution suppliers want you to be amazed at its impact and revel in the value it’s adding to your organisation.
Live chat is without doubt one of the most powerful tools you can have on your website. You can take a number of approaches, but as with any functionality you need to consider whether you want to wing it and go it alone hoping to master the channel, or you can concentrate on the day job and use an experienced outsourced live chat supplier to help you significantly increase your ecommerce returns.
There are a variety of costing models for outsourced live chat, and if the right one is chosen for your organisation you will be able to clearly demonstrate it’s an investment and it’s an investment with excellent returns.
Simply put, if you have an ecommerce business you need to think of as many ways as possible of directly engaging with your customers as and when they visit your websites. Live chat is becoming the must-have bolt-on for any ecommerce proposition and is a must for any customer centric business.
Just think, when you turn the lights off at the end of another busy day, your outsourced live chat operators remain on call and carry on providing Gold Standard customer service.
About the author: Tim Breden is the Commercial Director of Yomdel. He’s passionate about live chat and for some strange reason supports Brighton and Hove Albion (someone has to I suppose — ed).