Is Your Website Turning Potential Customers into Paying Customers?Katie Pray
All before 8:00 this morning, my mind was racing about making sure I remembered all of what I had to do today. Obviously I made a mental list, but who actually remembers what is on the list when the time comes when you need it? All before I had breakfast I had to remember to turn the pool on and get the robot vacuum in, get dish soap after dropping the kid off at daycare, get a cake for said kids upcoming birthday, get a new door knob for the front door, get my car inspected (that was due in March), get my oil changed, and I also had to find a company that does window replacements for our house. That last task is something I have been meaning to do since the end of June, and ya know what would make my life a lot easier? If that company had a Live Chat agent on their website so I could check that off my list.
In real life, I am considered a Millennial. I had an AOL screenname, I crushed Mario Kart, and I would rather use a Live Chat function if it were offered than pick up the phone and call a company or physically go into a business. For businesses that utilize a Live Chat feature, it is allowing the consumer to interact with a business the way that they want to. My parents, being Baby Boomers, they would rather pick up the phone and call or walk into the business, but by offering the Live Chat function, they can choose how they want to interact with a business.
From a consumer standpoint, there are a lot of reasons a business would want to have a Live Chat function on their website: 1) they believe they can get their questions answered immediately, 2) they can multi-task, and 3) they believe it is the most efficient communication method.
From a business standpoint, having Live Chat is a no-brainer because it is a way for someone to represent your business 24/7, without paying someone to represent your business 24/7. With 42% of chat leads coming outside of normal business hours, this is a great way to capture those leads coming in, and then following up with them during regular business hours. If the company I am dealing with for my windows had Live Chat, I could easily get on there and give them my information to see when my project will start. Now if I had to fill out a form on their website with my information and then wait for a response? No way I am doing that! We live in a society where we want instant gratification; we want our questions answered immediately. Even if I used the Live Chat function and the agent responded with “someone from our office will be in contact”- that’s great! I have reached out and they know I am expecting a call; the ball is now in their court and if they have a good customer service team, I would expect to hear from them relatively quickly. Forty two percent of consumers say live chatting in their preferred was of giving contact info, which is higher than any other lead method.
Think about your own consumer behavior for a minute. If you go onto a website, do you typically fill out the form and wait for a response, or are you more comfortable giving your information to a Live Chat agent?
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “those bots and automated responses drive me nuts!” That might be the case with some chat features, but our Live Chat agent is just that- a LIVE Chat Agent. It is not a bot, it is not Artificial Intelligence, and it is not automated responses. It is a live person that is gathering lead information for a business so the business can then follow up with that lead. Something to keep in mind about this digital offering is that it is not a money maker and going to make you rich. This is a renewal tool and a way to show clients their Return on Investment (ROI). By running Live Chat along with another digital product, it offers a great one/two punch in showing the ROI because on most websites, we will be able to track someone clicking on the “Start Chat” button and then show those as Live Chat Conversions on the Monthly Report.
The way that Live Chat works, is we create a piece of code for the Live Chat that is put into the container tag. This piece of code is what activates the Live Chat feature, so the business must be able to install a container tag on their website for Live Chat to work. Once that code is placed, the Live Chat agent will start to show on the website and the user can access the Live Chat on the left-hand side of their screen, or the bottom right corner.
If the user is visiting the website through their phone, they also have the option to text using the Live Chat. If they do decide to engage via text, the button will go to a text number provided by Live Chat that will match the area code of the business’ phone number; the client will not be able to have their cell, or another phone number, listed as the number that comes up when “text us” is selected.
Once that chat is initiated, the agents’ main goal is to gather lead information. The agent will have information on the client’s business from a checklist we give you to have them fill out and, from information gathered on their website. The goal is to get the phone number or email address of the visitor so that the client can follow up with that lead. Once that lead information is gathered, a full transcript of the chat is emailed to the client at the conclusion of the conversation, IF information is gathered. If someone dumps out of the conversation or does not give any info at all, then no transcript is sent.
If you’re dealing with a medical type of client, Live Chat is a product that you can offer because the transcripts are sent to a portal where the client can login and access that information instead of being emailed to the client, so it is HIPAA compliant.
The leads that are gathered are categorized into 3 different types of leads (Sales, Other, or Service), and the client is only charged for those that are considered “Sales” leads:
- “Sales” (billable) – Someone the Live Chat agent chatted with and obtained the visitor’s name and contact information (phone number and/or email address), what the visitor is looking for is offered by the business, and the visitor falls within the business’ geographic coverage area
- “Other” (non-billable) – Someone who is outside of the geographic coverage area, someone looking for a service the business doesn’t offer, looking for a job, etc.
- “Service” (non-billable) – An existing customer of the business – they may be trying to reschedule an appointment or get in touch with their sales rep, etc.
Another benefit of adding Live Chat is that is increases conversion rates, and who doesn’t love a good conversion? Twenty percent of chat conversations result in a lead, and 40% more leads are gathered online when using live chat then with no chat.
As I mentioned earlier, providing Live Chat on a website allows a consumer to interact with a business they way that they want to, but it also allows for two-way communication between the consumer and the business. I always like to think of sales as dating. If you go on a date with someone and they just keep talking about themselves, that’s probably as far as the date is going to go. If the date is more of a two way conversation and both parties are learning about each other, then there will likely be another date. It’s the same with business. When we were getting quotes for new windows, there was one company that came in roaring and pounding their chest about how great of a company they were, how their customer service was the best, their warranty was the best, and they had not great things to say about their competitors. Needless to say, they didn’t get a second date. The company we did go with asked about our current windows, conditions of the house, aesthetics we wanted to keep and get rid of, etc.. By having a Live Chat agent on a website, a businesses is opening up the opportunity for further dialogue with the consumer.
From this blog you can see that there are a lot of positive reasons for having the Live Chat option on a website both from a consumer standpoint, and from a business standpoint. Selfishly, I am going to leave you with one of my favorite things about using Live Chat, and that is that you get to bypass an automated phone system. How many times have you tried continuously hitting “0” until you were able to reach someone, or you waited to hear all the menu options incase there was one that was a better fit, and then you forgot what number to push so you had to listen to them all over again? And one last question; why is it that no matter who you’re calling, if they have an automated phone system, their “menu options have recently changed.” Moral of the story, utilize that Live Chat!