What is Live Chat? And Why Do Practices Need It?

28th Jan 2020
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Live chat can transform the way that accountancy firms engage with their clients. Sometimes called web chat or live web chat, it is a tool you can add to your website that allows you to communicate with visitors in real time via a pop-up chat box. 

Similar to the instant messenger functions on social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, live chat usually appears as a small window in the bottom-right corner of your website. Live chat is most commonly used by people who want to ask questions or get help from businesses quickly and without having to call.

If you’re not sure whether live chat is right for your practice, it’s worth asking the question; What is my website for? If it was created to communicate with both existing and potential clients, sell products or generate new leads then it’s clear; you should think seriously about adding live chat to your website - as the right live chat service can handle all these, and more. 

So, why does live chat matter to my business?

42% of live chats result in new business.  Live chat allows you to engage with clients in a new way. It catches the growing number of millennial entrepreneurs who communicate primarily by text and email, as well as those who might not have time to trawl your website or have questions that need answering quickly and efficiently. 

By offering the chance for clients and prospects to speak to you via an instant, no-pressure medium you give potential clients a convenient and helpful experience of your firm. Moreover, you will stop impatient browsers from moving on when they don’t see what they want right away and can take the first steps to bringing new clients on board with ease. 

If you want only to offer live chat during business hours, it is essential that you choose a live chat system that shows clients whether you are on or offline. This ensures that expectations are managed and nobody sits waiting for a reply that won’t come. You can choose either to hide the live chat button when you’re unavailable or change your ‘chat now’ call to action to ‘contact us’ - ready for you to follow up on the next working day.

However, 37% of live chats occur outside of core business hours and 16% occur at the weekend, representing a huge amount of potential lost business if your live chat is inactive during those times.  For businesses who want to offer an enhanced client experience and ensure maximum lead generation, it’s worth partnering with an outsourced service provider who can help manage your chats on an overflow basis, when you’re unavailable or even 24/7. This means you’ll be able to bag new enquiries when you’re out on lunch, on holiday, sick and even sleeping.

Like many industries, accountancy is now a 24/7 sector and few practices can afford to ever be truly ‘offline’. Cloud based alternatives are already taking market share from traditional firms - live chat is one way of claiming back some of the digital landscape and making client care and lead generation a top priority for your business. And, with a proven live chat partner such as Moneypenny, you can rest assured that every single interaction taken via your live chat is supporting your wider business goals. 

Moneypenny provides live chat and telephone answering services to a wide array of accountancy practices, including five of the Top 30 firms. Visit http://www.moneypenny.com/uk/accountancy-answering-services/ to find out more.