When navigating a company’s website looking for support, how often have you been given the option to “Live Chat” with a customer support representative as an alternative to calling an expensive 0800 number and potentially being on hold to speak with a support representative.
The norm is certainly now for big brands and businesses to offer Live Chat support on their websites – in fact it often feels strange now if there isn’t that capability. It is a far better way for companies to communicate with customers – in a result poll consumers used the phrases ‘instant support’ , quick and efficient’, excellent customer service; and ‘on hand to help’ over and over. If you look at the basics who wouldn’t want instant support, at no cost to themselves and the ability to get an issue fixed there and then? And customers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Live Chat. Marketers too can see a huge increase in leads and sales.
First let’s look at what Live Chat actually is.
What is live chat?
If you’re not familiar with Live Chat software it’s simply a chat feature or plugin that you can add to your website that allows you to have a live discussion with visitors to your website. Despite there being many options to choose from, they all offer the same basic functionality. The site visitor sees a small chat box that they click on so they can have an online chat with you. They may need to enter some basic details to start the chat like name, email address and outline query.
Additional features are things like the ability to monitor chats so that more experienced team members can train junior staff more effectively and many chat systems will also have the ability to email the visitor a chat transcript so that they have a record of their online chat.
Some software also offers chat statistics enabling you to identify any common issues and improve your offering or your support.
Benefits of Live Chat
There are some really strong benefits to utilising Live Chat on your site such as:
Instant, fast customer service – Live Chat states you mean business and you are available
Reassure your customer – you are there when needed
Live Chat is anonymous – a lot of people don’t like to pick up the phone
Low cost – it’s free to your customers and cheap for your business – one Live Chat person can easily manage several chats simultaneously.
Lead capture – use it to capture email addresses pre-chat
Identifies common issues – you can review transcripts and use it to improve your website content or support materials
Objectives and outcomes
Let’s take a look at some potential outcomes you may be able to achieve by installing Live Chat:
1) Convert more visitors to leads (and possibly automate this with chatbots)
2) Introduce a new channel to engage with hot prospects that are actively seeking answers and evaluating our product
3) Discover what information our website might lack or bury from our visitors – regardless of how much content you’ve created, visitors still have questions, which makes a live chat feature to get instant answers, very useful.
Which web pages should I put Live Chat on?
Your homepage probably gets the most traffic, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right place to add live chat. Consider key action pages like a pricing page, contact page, or a trial landing page. These are the right places to try messaging because this is where visitors will have questions and have expressed some level of interest in your company simply by navigating there.
Who will work your Live Chat?
According to Drift , the magic window to respond to a lead is 5 minutes. Chatbots are also helpful to extract information from a visitor, but having a real human to answer questions is necessary so try and use one or two individuals on your team to work chat to evaluate its benefits.
Getting many visitors to chat with you might not be the only measurement of success. Consider the other objectives we outlined above. What do you really want to conquer with chat? And what are the early indicators of success so you can determine if messaging is worth scaling? Live Chat certainly holds a lot of promise for marketing and sales teams. It’s new and exciting, but is still unproven. Overall, live chat can dramatically increase your number of leads and sales by eliminating friction and building trust.