One of the most important parts of running a business is generating leads and bringing in new customers.
If you think web forms and gated content are the only way to bring in those leads on your website, you might be surprised. In recent years, small businesses and large corporations alike have seen success in implementing live chat to capture lead information.
Benefits of Live Chat for Your Business
A recent study found that 73% of customers prefer live chat as a communication channel.
What’s more, data shows that using chat services on your website not only saves you time but also boosts conversion rates.
Usually, representatives take on tasks that are necessary but often more time-consuming for customers. Examples include scheduling appointments, suggesting knowledge-base articles, and collecting information from potential clients.
Live representatives aren’t just helping you save time, though.
They are beneficial for the customer, too. Reduced wait times mean customers can get on with their days and view visiting your website as a positive customer experience.
Adding a live chat service to your website can improve your search engine performance as well.
Chat windows keep visitors on your website longer – ‘dwell time’ – which improves your page rankings on search engine results pages.
You can also analyze the chat’s data to determine which pages your visitors spend the most time on, how they came across your website, how long they spend on the site, and much more. This data allows you to determine which visitors are most likely to become qualified leads and tailor your marketing campaigns as a result.
Implementing Your Live Chat Feature
Think ahead before implementing a live chat feature on your website. Will you be available to chat yourself at certain times, or will you need assistance from an external service or chat bots?
Being available to chat with customers yourself from time to time adds to the visitor experience, but only if you are truly there. When you log in to chat with visitors, do so on a schedule and avoid any other distractions while chatting. Slow replies are likely to leave a negative impression.
If you make use of an answering service, ensure they have a comprehensive understanding of common tasks and questions from customers to make it easier to provide quality interactions.
Regardless of whether you’re chatting yourself, your chat widget must be easy to use. Provide a clear name and title on the chat interface. Additionally, customers want to know who they’re talking to, so avoid faceless profiles. Add a professional, smiling picture of yourself (or the representative handling the chat) to personalize the experience.
Remember, your chat window isn’t just about answering questions. You can also use it to provide incentives for your visitors to shop. Consider exclusive offers, free delivery, or discounts tailored to new or returning customers.
Using Live Chat To Welcome Customers
Your visitors’ live chat experience can begin as soon as they land on your homepage. All you need to do is set up your live chat service to greet customers and ask whether they’d like to know about specific services or products. Distinguish between a new visitor and a returning one to personalize the experience even further.
If you conduct a pre-chat survey, you can quickly gather the information you’d need to contact your visitors in the future. Asking for their names, email addresses, and telephone numbers is an excellent way to quickly generate a lead list for additional follow-up marketing campaigns.
Generating Dialogue During the Interaction
With a chat widget, you can choose to proactively initiate conversations. This can work well when a visitor has been on a single page for a long time, or is on a product page that suggests they might be ready to buy.
Perhaps your visitors landed on a specific URL that typically yields a high conversion rate. Chat representatives can ask how to provide further assistance. Visitors can opt to learn more about your products, shop for specific items, ask for a representative to call them, or simply tell you that they’re browsing.
When a chat dialogue is initiated at the right time, starting a conversation can be the key interaction that progresses the visitor on their purchasing journey.
Retaining Customers at the End of an Interaction
Live chat services provide opportunities to interact with your potential customers right up until the very end of their visit.
Visitors will often spend time on a website, even adding items to their shopping carts, only to decide to click away from the site without completing their orders.
Use a live chat service to ask visitors why they are leaving the website and find a way to help them get solutions to their needs. If customers abandon their shopping cart, a live chat widget can pop up to offer a discount and attempt to bring them back. Even if these interactions don’t turn into sales, you may receive feedback that helps you create a better user experience.
It is likely that you have a contact form somewhere on your website, and it is also likely that you’ve had visitors fill out the form but never submit it. A chat widget may be able to collect information without forms by offering potential customers help. They can answer specific questions and have a two-way conversation that makes it far more likely that you’ll get the lead information you need to follow up and make a sale.
If you’d prefer to always have live representatives available, consider a live chat service to help you out when you can’t chat yourself.