Live Phone Chat: Is It A Boom Or Bust For Your Retail Business?

During the 2014 Boxing Day sales, a representative of Myers stated that "Online has been a real benefit to us, but I acknowledge also that there's a lot of other online offers out there today and it's more competitive." Retail stores like yours only stay popular if they can offer great customer support year round, but in particular during the busiest times of business. If you are considering adding live phone chat to your arsenal of customer service for your online sales, here are three factors to help you decide whether it is the best fit for you.


If you are going to add a live chat service to your company website, there are several costs that you need to consider. These include:

  • Cost for a web designer to make the alteration to your website layout.
  • Cost of the software that operates the live chat function.
  • Cost of the possible additional staff you will need to monitor the live chat area.
  • Possible cost of upgrading your server or bandwidth. Offering live chat could bring a considerable increase in traffic to your website. A crashed website that cannot cope with visitor numbers is a negative experience for your customers.

While you could outsource the live chat component to a third-party who can be trained to answer on behalf of your company, the monthly leasing cost of the software may not be as expensive as you think. Your current Internet provider can give you an accurate breakdown of the fees that would be charged.

Of course, if you cannot offer your customers great service, the cost factor does not matter anyway as they will choose to shop elsewhere.

Personal Service

One thing customers love is great service. A survey conducted by Optus found that 95% of customers will return after an outstanding experience, but only 39% of customers will come back after a good one. A live chat facility offers an outstanding experience for your customers because:

  1. Customers who are undecided about making a purchase will be more likely to complete the transaction when an immediate answer to their question can be found. Since it is impossible to list the answer to every question on your website, a well-educated agent can give them exactly what they need.
  2. First-time online buyers are naturally wary of online shopping, having heard horror stories of items being paid for but never received. Showing them an interactive agent is as good as putting them in front of a real, live person. This will ease their fears and make them confident about spending money with you.

Opportunity To Upsell

One thing that a live human being can do that a computer cannot is take the opportunity of having a customer's attention to upsell to a better product. For example, if a customer is asking about when brand A will be back in stock, some gentle persuasion on the benefits of purchasing brand B could net your business a higher sale value.

Whether upselling a product or just pointing the customer in the direction of another product that better suits their needs, live chat can make sure that a purchase is completed and that no customer walks away empty handed.

MYOB has previously stated that live chat is one of the big market trends for 2014. Just because you missed the boat last year does not mean that it is too late to use this effective tool to see an upswing in your sales this year. Get organized now, and your retail business will be well prepared for the sales booms that will happen later in the year.

For more information about different live phone chat opportunities, contact a company like Hot Gozzip Talk.