Live chat is a tool that can drastically increase conversions for certain businesses. It’s not for everyone, but for the businesses that could benefit the gain can be dramatic. Case studies have shown that conversions can increase by as much as four times after someone’s spoken to someone on live chat.

==> Why Live Chat Increases Conversions

There are many reasons why live chat can increase conversions.

First of all, if people haven’t heard of your brand, they’re likely to be a bit cautious about ordering from you. However, if they have the opportunity to have some human contact, they’re a lot more likely to lower their guard and be comfortable with placing an order.

A lot of people who are browsing your website may actually be quite close to buying, but have just a question or two that’s keeping them from making the order.

They might not want an answer badly enough to pick up a phone and call, or to actually send you an email. However, if a chat box is already on their screen, they might want to know badly enough to click on the box and send you a quick message.

These “objections” could be as simple as: “Could I get a refund if I’m not satisfied?” or “What will the billing show up as on my credit card statement?” Yet if their question goes unanswered, they won’t order.

A live chat box allows you to address all of these issues and turn these near-buyers into actual buyers.

==> What Kinds of Businesses Will Benefit from Live Chat?

Whether or not to use live chat is mostly a question of ROI. Rarely will live chat reduce your conversions. The question isn’t whether or not live chat will increase your conversion, it’s whether or not it’s worth the cost.

Is it worth the cost of having your employee’s time spent on answering customer questions? Is it worth the cost of your time? Is it worth the monthly or one-time cost of purchasing the live chat software?

Typically companies that would benefit from live chat are companies that have the resources to staff the live chat for as many hours a day as possible.

Can you man it yourself? Yes, but it’s not scalable and you’ll likely be distracting yourself from actually building your business.

==> Is it Right for Your Business?

Perhaps the best way to find out is just to test it. Is a four times increase in conversions from the percentage of people who use the chat box worth hiring someone for $10 to $20 an hour?

The best way to know is to just put one staff member on the project for a month to gauge the ROI. If it’s positive, then hire someone full time to take on the live chat box.