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Offering live chat can be something of an ongoing balancing act. Various stakeholders will have different opinions as to where it offers the best value: Sales may see it as a way to increase conversions, while Support may want to keep it focused on the customer experience. Ultimately, it falls on the shoulders of a support manager to see the bigger picture and determine how live chat supports the company’s overall goals.

That capability for instantaneous communication with your reps can have an incredibly fast and significant effect on your business goals. That’s why it’s crucial to be sure that your live chat goals align with your business objectives. You don’t want an opportunity to slip by, so here are five business goals that can be supported (and more achievable) by offering live chat:

1. Improve customer satisfaction

According to Zendesk’s Benchmark Report, Live chat has the highest satisfaction rate amongst all customer service channels. 92 percent of all chat support interactions result in a satisfied customer, hence why offering chat is so often coveted by successful customer service departments. It’s far faster than email support and benefits from the capability to quickly share educational materials, something that phone/voice support can’t do.

2. Increase sales and revenue

As potential customers scour a site for information on your product or service, having a chat representative available can be as effective as an extra Sales Development Rep. They can answer questions, navigate customers around your site, and funnel qualified leads to Sales. Customers are 3 times more likely to make a purchase when you reach out to them via live chat.

One example is Le Tote, an apparel and accessory rental service that uses an automated trigger to open a chat when a customer lingers on the checkout page. Helping customers who are active in the buying process can clear up potential obstacles and increase conversions.

3. Reduce support costs

Live chat can make any agent more productive: it gives them the means to handle multiple conversations at once (something that’s harder to do over the phone). The enhanced efficiency means more customers are supported faster, and that means a lower cost per contact.

Zendesk Chat was able to help Miinto, a fashion network, reduce their call volume by 40 percent. They enabled quick-click answers in their chats that could answer frequently asked questions with a single button click. Eventually, they were able to employ less staff to answer more of they customers’ inquiries.

4. Lower cart abandonment rates

Shopping online is convenient, but not all customers are inclined to purchase whatever they put in their cart. In fact, most of them aren’t: 55 percent of shopping carts are abandoned by customers.

Live chat can give a representative the chance to close a sale that may have otherwise slipped by. They can provide more details about the products in the cart or suggest similar items to add-on. For eCommerce and online retail, it can be a very effective strategy.

5. Improve response rates

It’s no secret that customers don’t like to wait. Live chat allows for fast, real-time answers, meaning customers are more willing to engage with a rep via chat since it resolves their problem quickly. Faster responses mean faster resolution rates, and that means better agent productivity, reduced costs, and – you guessed it – more satisfied customers.