You’ve probably noticed recently that a lot of websites now have a little pop-up box or tab (usually in the bottom right hand corner) with a live chat window. If you look to the bottom right-hand side of our website right now you will see one! This is called ‘live chat’ and more and more service-based and ecommerce websites are using them to provide better customer service and also to gather more leads. What do I need to know, what are the benefits and should my website be adopting one?
24/7 Manned vs Turn-on-and-turn-off
The first thing to note is that there are two different types of live chat. There are services which have a customer service representative that is not a member of your staff ‘manning’ the chat 24/7 (for example, LeadChat). These clever people are provided a few FAQs from you and are trained purely to capture contact details and pass them to you as a lead. They do not giving pricing or any other details. The clear advantage of this system is that you and your staff don’t need to spending time chatting and someone doesn’t need to be available 24 hours or every day.
The other type of live chat is one that you can turn on and turn off when you choose, and you or a staff member is the one on the line. The advantage of this is that you can answer more questions and qualify leads more but it only works if you turn it on and reply to chats. WordPress offers plugins for this, such as WP Live Chat Support.
Some businesses choose either the top or bottom option, or some even adopt both. During the day they ‘turn on’ chat and man it themselves, then have the 24/7 option come on after hours.
What are the benefits?
There are heaps of good reasons to use live chat, including:
- The ability to capture more leads (increased conversions)
- The ability to offer support and answer questions more quickly and efficiently
- Help discover customer ‘pain points’ and FAQs so that you can improve your website content
- Make sure your chat leads are being entered into your business CRM or whatever you use to track leads. There are APIs such as Zapier that can often import the leads into your CRM automatically but make sure you have a strong process for tracking the sales and leads. This way you can measure ROI from the service.
Additional Tips When Using a Third-Party 24/7 Live Chat
- Like with most things, try before you commit if possible. Ask the provider if you can do a trial so that you can test them and the system before signing up for an extended period of time.
- Think about and make a list of your customer/ clients FAQs so that you can give this to the provider to help with their chats.
Additional Tips When Using a Self-Manned Live Chat
- If you’re operating the chat line yourself and you have a service-based business, make sure you don’t ‘lose the sale’ by typing too much. Most businesses convert best over the phone after a good conversation, so try and grab their details and give them a call.
- Don’t leave it off all the time! If a user comes to your site and it’s always turned off, it doesn’t look good and serves no purpose.
If you’ve been thinking about utilising live chat on your website, give it a go. If you have any questions about this or anything online related, give us a call.