The live chat service of a commercial website fulfils a specific function when strengthening the tie between the site and its visitors since it allows the rapid capturing or channelling of their interest in the services or products offered on the site. At the moment a visitor enters a website (whether it be directly or through a search engine like Google), they still find themselves identifying with the reasons that motivated their search, which means that their willingness to establish initial contact is high. The live chat service allows this situation to be used to maximum advantage, offering the visitor the possibility of making a real-time enquiry, thus starting a sales process. Beyond the final result, the rate of attracting visitors, converted at that moment into prospects, is increased greatly (optimizing the investments that can be made in positioning or web marketing campaigns).
Other channels of communication are not as effective. E-mail forms that the visitor must actively look for in the “Contact” section lack the immediacy that live chat can offer and, since it always involves a deferred response, such forms run the risk that the interest which motivated the initial search will dissipate. Telephone calls, another option, mean an additional cost for the customer and create a difficult obstacle for visitors from other countries or speakers of other languages to overcome. Thus live chat becomes an alternative to these two channels, providing both speed and closeness.
Furthermore, live chat contributes to offering the visitors a more complete service. When allowed by the software interface, the possibility of guiding the visitor through the site with aided navigation enriches their experience of the site. And the opportunity to respond to their specific enquiries demonstrates that there is a company behind the screen ready to really advise them. This helps in increasing empathy and trust, making the site feel more personal.
Overall, and for different reasons, the use of live chat in commercial websites permits an increase in the rate of conversion of visitors into prospects and offers a more complete service to potential clients.