The effects of quarantine have hit people and businesses hard. And as a small business, we get that you may feel more isolated and disconnected from your customers now more than ever.

But we’re here to say that social distancing is a prime opportunity for you to create a deeper connection with your consumers and distinguish yourself from your competitors. Online platforms were intended to promote meaningful relationships behind the screen. In a time of social distancing, live chat is the catalyst that can make it happen for your business.

Whether you’re using live chat for customer support, scheduling appointments, or converting sales, live chat can help you create more meaningful relationships that foster brand loyalty through and beyond these uncertain times. 

Here’s why: 

Live Chat is Personal 

How many times have you tried to call customer service to only hear “Dial 1 for English, Dial 2 for Spanish, Dial 3 for online billing.”

We get it! We’re also frustrated with automated systems because they can’t provide complex help or empathy, chatbots that make you yell, “Representative” because all you want is to cut the crap and speak to a real person. 

Related: When to Use a Chatbot vs a Live Chat Agent

It’s a fact: People prefer human to human contact, and in these days of social distancing, it’s essential to give people the social connection they are craving within your business. Live Chat is not only an affordable way to do so but also allows you to make a powerful impact on how your consumers feel during these stressful times. 

Live Chat Offers Consumers Fast Solutions and Instant Gratification

We live in a world of the Amazon effect, where people want instant solutions and gratification at their fingertips. Whether they want to speak to somebody immediately, order a product instantly, or book an appointment in less than a few minutes, people want things fast. 

More often than not, if people don’t get the quick help they deserve, they’re going to go somewhere else. 

People want to feel like a company is valuing their time at $1,000,000 a minute, so if you’re proving solutions at high-speeds with Live Chat, then you’ll encourage loyalty in a way that acknowledges their problems and honors their time as well. 

Live Chat Gives Consumers Convenient Options

Consumers want the convenience of being able to access you in different ways. Just recently I needed to speak to Southwest Airlines to cancel a flight, but due to COVID, the only way to contact them was to call. 

I had a four-hour wait.

Long wait times don’t cut it anymore, and I believe I can speak for others when I say that I wished Southwest had other options, like to talk to a live chat agent, email, or even text. 

Live chat is not only a very convenient option, but also a very effective way to handle customer support and scheduling. Even if an agent can’t help the customer at the front line, they can easily pass off the chat to somebody who can.  This can all happen without the consumer having to call another number or re-tell their entire problem to another representative. 

Live Chat Anticipates Consumers’ Needs

45% of consumers say that they’ll switch brands if a company doesn’t actively anticipate their needs. Thus, it’s your responsibility to deliver a solution to a problem they didn’t even realize they had before. 

Think for a moment, what would it take for your company (no matter the size or industry) to offer solutions that foresee your consumer’s problems consistently? 

You have to consider everything possible in your business, create a thorough knowledge base, and build and manage an FAQ—tons of work that live chat agents can alleviate from you. 

Related: What’s a Knowledge Base and Why Do You Need One?

Further, live chat will help you meet your consumers in the middle of their problem, and offer consistent and accurate solutions based on managed knowledge bases and FAQs.  

At Flow our live chat agents pride themselves in delving deep into every aspect of your business at onboarding so we can actively anticipate your consumers’ needs. Whether you offer a product or service, we explore every single crack and fold to outline processes to anticipate the most frequently asked questions and upsells. That way, when your consumer comes onto your website looking for help, we’ve not only thought of what they will ask, but outlined a process and solution to provide an exceptional experience. 

Live Chat Centralizes Your Consumer Experience in Your Business

Live chat agents constantly put themselves in your customers’ shoes to proactively identify problems so they can anticipate and provide correct solutions. However, there are always consumer problems that you may miss. 

Once those issues are revealed, our live chat agents can prioritize creating new solutions and documenting new processes in your knowledge base. This way, they are tirelessly identifying and filling gaps in your customer experience so you can generate, convert, and nurture your customers into brand advocates without burning your marketing budget.

Related: How Flow’s Marketing Flywheel Puts You on a Path to ROI

Live Chat Builds Meaningful and Reliable Relationships

Consumers increasingly reward brands that give their relationship deeper meaning. In other words, your consumer is going to love coming back to you if you make them feel heard, acknowledged, and taken care of. 

By providing convenience and gratification while anticipating needs, ultimately, what you’re doing is creating a meaningful and dependable relationship based on trust. You’re showing your customers that every moment matters to you, you can consistently nail it, and always be reliable. 

Though it might not seem like every single interaction should matter with such intensity, let us put it like this:

All it takes is one poor experience to shatter your relationship with your customer.

During social distancing more than ever, people are looking for brands that offer genuine care and high-quality connection.  If you provide one bad experience, you can guarantee that person will tell an average of 15 people about the service, versus the 11 people that they will tell after an excellent experience. 

With live chat, you’ll not only be able to offer convenience, gratification, and high-quality solutions but also create a brand experience that centralizes your customer relationships at an individual level. 

Right now is the time to invest in ways to efficiently and genuinely connect and nurture your customers. At Flow Marketing, our live chat agents are trained in business models, product and service knowledge, search services, and, most importantly, customer experience. On a dime, our agents can identify a consumer’s problem and proactively provide accurate solutions that anticipate consumers’ needs. 

Our live chat services are here to help impact and connect with your customers in a way that will put you on a path to ROI through and beyond COVID. 

If you need extra support, check out the following articles below, or feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns: