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How a Live Chat Service Can Improve Customer Retention

Thursday 15th February

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

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How a Live Chat Service Can Improve Customer Retention

Thursday 15th February 2024

While gaining new customers should of course be a key focus for your business, retaining your existing ones and preventing them from leaving should always be a priority. Research shows that it can cost 5 to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one (plus 65% of a company’s business usually comes from existing customers), proving how important it is to have a solid customer retention strategy in place. One great way to ensure customers stick around is to offer a Live Chat option on your website, with 51% of consumers agreeing that they will buy from a company again if it offers this type of support. Live Chat allows you to speak directly to your customers while they’re browsing, and give them the information they need to convert - whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for your service, or making a booking. Read on to discover how this aids customer retention.


Quick Responses, Quick Solutions

First and foremost, customer queries can be resolved promptly via Live Chat, with wait times and handle times being much lower than they are for emails and phone calls. Email conversations often require a lengthy back and forth, whereas Live Chat interactions usually reach the desired conclusion within just one session. 82% of consumers consider an “immediate response” from a brand to be very important, so, with the average Live Chat response time being less than 23 seconds and the average resolution time being no more than 42 seconds, it’s clear to see why this method is the preferred option for customers wanting a speedy turnaround.

Fast customer service increases retention because if they’re confident that they’ll receive a great standard of support, customers are much more likely to use your business again instead of turning to a competitor next time they need to make a purchase.


Live Chat Increases Personalisation

80% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that provide a tailored experience and 66% of them expect brands to understand their individual needs - and Live Chat is a great place to offer this level of personalisation. Talking to customers while they’re right there on your website means you can suggest items, services and deals that suit their preferences and requirements instead of leaving them to navigate their way through products and information that aren’t right for them, while also showing them that your brand is highly attentive and cares about them on a personal level.

Personalisation is becoming more and more important, as customers find themselves increasingly frustrated with seeing content and messaging that doesn’t reflect their needs, and more loyal to brands who offer bespoke experiences. In fact, an impressive 92% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase after being provided with personalised recommendations.


Live Chat Reduces Cart Abandonment

More than half of cart abandonments happen as a result of customers not being able to find quick answers to their questions, demonstrating how crucial it is to be available to chat to shoppers before they become frustrated and decide to give up on their purchases. Whether they need more information about the products in their cart, details about an offer or promotion, shipping and delivery options or payment methods, it’s essential to monitor for strong buyer signals so that you can jump in and assist them with their queries before it’s too late.

Interacting with a Live Chat agent makes customers 2.8 times more likely to end up buying a product, and those that do so tend to spend around 60% more than non-chatters, proving the tangible link between Live Chat conversations and ROI.

Hands typing on laptop with live chat speech bubbles


Live Chat Encourages Repeat Purchases

As well as reducing the likelihood of cart abandonment, Live Chat also helps facilitate repeat purchases, with 63% of customers saying they’re more likely to return to a website that offers this service. Think of it from a buyer’s perspective: if you’ve had a great interaction with a business online, they’ll be at the top of your list the next time you need to order a similar product. Testing the waters with a different brand you’ve never bought from before can be risky as you don’t know what level of service to expect - sticking with the best is exactly how brand loyalty and brand love are formed.

Repeat purchases increase a customer’s CLV (customer lifetime value), a metric that measures the total revenue your business can expect from a single customer throughout the relationship. Achieving a high CLV for each customer will help you reduce the costs associated with acquiring new customers, while also boosting the likelihood of advocacy and helping you predict your churn rate - naturally, those with a high CLV are less likely to churn.


Upsells and Cross-sells

Upselling and cross-selling are another important part of customer retention, both of which can also be done via Live Chat. Upselling means suggesting a higher value item to a customer than the one currently in their cart, while cross-selling means encouraging customers to purchase add-ons or accessories to complement the item they’re currently buying, therefore increasing the total value of the sale.

Of course, you should avoid being pushy with your customers when it comes to these kinds of interactions, as suggesting too many extras can be off-putting and may deter them from completing the purchase at all. However, there’s nothing wrong with using Live Chat to gently make them aware of the benefits of a higher-end product or additional item and show them how it will meet their needs.


Live Chat Feedback Surveys

A major advantage of interacting with your customers is that you can gather real-time insights about your products and services, which will give you the information you need to further improve customer retention. These insights can either be collected directly from your customers while you’re chatting to them, or at the end of the conversation via a post-interaction satisfaction survey to find out if they were happy with the standard of service received.

Your Live Chat survey doesn’t need to be long or complicated - a short selection of questions such as “How did you feel about our customer service today?”, “Would you recommend us to a friend based on today’s service?” or even a simple traffic light rating system will help your business evaluate how well it’s performing in terms of customer care and how effective its Live Chat strategy is in comparison with its other service channels.



From product questions and shipping enquiries to personalised recommendations and restock requests, there are lots of different things your customers might want to ask you while they're browsing your website that will impact their retention rate - that’s why a Live Chat widget is a great option for your brand if you want to reduce churn.

Are you considering installing one but aren’t confident that you'll be able to keep up with all of your incoming messages? Don’t hand the process over to an unreliable chatbot (86% of consumers prefer interacting with a human over a bot!) - we’re here to help. Our team of live chat agents are available every day of the year to respond on behalf of your business and will ensure every customer receives a quick response to their enquiries. We’ll use your tone of voice to guarantee consistency with the rest of your brand communications, and will take the time to learn everything there is to know about your products and services so that we can provide 100% accurate answers. Contact us today to get started.