A lot goes into creating a successful business. One of those things is definitely quality employees. However, those employees must also be able to communicate effectively with one another or their potential will remain limited. For many companies, the best way they’ve found to do this is with chat and IM software.
IM stands for Instant Messaging. This type of software, just like chat platforms, allows employees to speak to one another as if they were text messaging. However, this software works on their computers, meaning they get a traditional keyboard to work with.
Chat software also makes it possible for multiple parties to speak at once in the same conversation. The third (or fourth, or fifth, etc.) person needs to be invited into the conversation, but any party can leave as they see fit.
Most forms of IM software are designed so that if someone is away from their desk for a certain amount of time (or if they’ve locked their computer), others will be made aware. This way people aren’t sending the person message after message even though they’re not getting a reply.
Another way that this software works is by allowing customers to engage with companies over the World Wide Web. For example, many businesses employ this software for their website. This way, if a customer has a question, they just click on a chat icon and can begin asking it immediately. As it turns out, many customers seem to prefer this method over placing a phone call or sending an email and having to wait.
Not long ago, Forrester Research conducted a survey that found that 44% of Internet consumers reported that the ability to get their questions answered immediately was one of the most important features they considered when using an ecommerce site.
Given that last statistic, if your company sells products or services over a website, then it would seem that chat definitely makes sense for your business needs. Considering how popular this type of software has become, if you’re not using it, there’s a good chance those 44% of your customers will go find a company that is.
These are far from the only statistics either. ATG Global Consumer Trend did a study that showed that 90% of customers found live chat features on a website to be very helpful. 63% were actually more likely to go back to a website that offered this feature.
Perhaps best of all, though, this is an investment that will not only boost profits, but cut costs too. Chat software reduces the number of calls your call centers have to take. Also, each representative using the chat software can handle multiple conversations at the same time, meaning less overhead on your side.
Of course, as we mentioned, chat software is great for employees too. If you have a lot of staff members spread across divisions and on different floors throughout the building, chat is a great way to facilitate communication. It’s more fluid than email, yet still lets employees copy and paste large amounts of information that may be cumbersome to communicate over the phone.
Chat and IM software probably seems pretty simple, but given how many great benefits it can have, you should consider the following factors about any platform before purchasing it.
You could easily spend a lot of money on this kind of software. Many platforms simply won’t be an option for most small businesses simply because of how expensive they are. Fortunately, with so many different versions to choose from, you should probably be able to find something in your price range. Start with a budget and then begin looking at what the market has to offer.
One important feature to think about if you’re going to be using IM software with customers is the ability to transfer the chat from one representative to another. Some platforms don’t allow this which can lead to a bottleneck when one representative doesn’t know how to assist a customer, but their supervisor or somebody else does. Unless the person who can help is somewhere nearby and can spend the foreseeable future at the representative’s desk, the customer is going to be frustrated with the help received.
Many companies these days use a CMS (Content Management System) to help run their ecommerce business. If this is the case for your company, you’re going to want a chat platform that will integrate and work with the system flawlessly. Fortunately, many companies appreciate this and make their chat software to do so.
While there are a number of ways your employees and customers can communicate, chat and IM software is unique amongst them. Many types are very affordable, yet offer priceless benefits.
The Cloudswave Awards is a seasonal ranking of the Top 10 business applications across several categories.
This ranking is based on the cloudswave score, the weighted average score that captures the essence of multiple critic reviews into one number.
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