Marketing, PR & Advertising and Technology

Live chat improves customer engagement

October 6, 2014
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With a constant influx of news at our fingertips, questions that can be answered by search engines and chatter from social networking sites — it's no surprise that many people have short attention spans when browsing the web.

Most marketers focus a considerable amount of their time on driving traffic to their site. But all that traffic is not doing you any good if you are not encouraging the user to take action, right?

Typically the more difficult your product or service is, the more lengthy the process will be. Also, the more major (expensive) the purchase, the more a customer has to think about it. Consider adding in a live chat feature to your website as way to aid in the sales process. 

Help your customer

Many times prospects will have specific questions but are reticent to reach out and contact you. Some companies fill this void with extensive FAQs and product specifications; others force you into contacting them. Offering a live chat function can sometimes engage with an otherwise apprehensive prospect. You are able to get to the root of their problem and offer a solution or direct them to a specific portion of your site that assists in winning their business.

Visibility is key

Make sure the user knows a chat function is available. Most live chat applications have some form of widget or button that can be customized and applied to your site. Place the button where it will easily be spotted by users. This could be at the top or sidebar of every page with a subtle, yet strong call-to-action that drives a user to click for help. Applications such as Olark and LivePerson even offer widgets that are easily integrated into some of today’s well known content management platforms, making the processes seamless.

100 percent availability

Adding a live chat feature does not mean you have to be waiting in the wings 24/7 for someone to pop onto your site and inquire. Most services provide both a live chat feature and an offline, leave-a-message type feature. This allows you to maintain your usual workflow while adding another level of customer service. Using pretty basic data gathered from website analytics, you also can determine when the peak times of day are for website visitors. This way you can ramp up your visibility with the live chat tool. Perhaps this is now becomes a function of your frontline customer service individuals.

Increase revenue

At the end of the day, you are not doing all of this out of the kindness of your heart, right? No, you want to know how this will affect your bottom line. Take a moment and think about how you interact with websites on a daily basis. If you don’t find what you are looking for in a moment's notice, you have backed out and are off to explore other options. Employing a live chat feature allows you to interact with your customers in real time by answering their questions promptly and expediting the sales process.

Whether it is comparison shopping or just general understanding, consider using live chat and offering the next level of customer service to assist in the sales process.

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