With the demand for ‘instant’ answers from potential customers rising in the social media age, having a website that offers enquiry forms is increasingly seen as a hassle with time delays in response causing lost sales for businesses. These demands have seen a rise in the number of websites offering ‘Live Chat’ and for good reason with some studies showing up to a 31% increase in the number of leads generated when using the service.
There are a number of advantages to live chat, for example:
- Increased Conversion Rates – All online marketing efforts rely on your website to convert the visitors into sales or leads. Having live chat on your website has been shown to increase conversion rates which will lead to an increase in sales or leads, with no additional increase in marketing spends. E-commerce sites can especially benefit from this as products are generally sold on multiple sites with consumers more likely to shop around until they get the answer they are looking for (rather than wait for an email response).
- Convenience – Providing website visitors with an immediate way to find help and the information they are looking for is extremely convenient. This ensures that any concerns or queries are answered in real time while the customer is thinking about your business or product. This in turn increases the chance they will become a satisfied customer.
- Cost Savings – For both customer service and sales staff, responding to enquiries via email or answering phone calls can be time consuming. With live chat you have the option of handling multiple chats at once, or multi-tasking by chatting while undertaking other duties. The increased productivity of your support and sales teams offsets the low monthly cost of having live chat on your website.
- Quality Control – With all live chat sessions recorded it is easy to spot issues or opportunities in your sales process when reviewing sales team chat logs. This quality control also identifies ways to improve otherwise unknown website issues with common questions needing to be addressed more clearly in the website design.
There are hundreds of live chat options available, and all providers share the advantages mentioned above, however below are two main services that stand out from the bunch:
- LiveChatInc.com – One of the biggest live chat services in the world, they have turned what could be a complicated setup and management process into a simple, easy to use, and fun way of connecting with your customers. Once installed (by simply copying and pasting a code onto your site) the login area where you monitor and engage in chats is very easy to use, even for the tech-illiterate. The service comes with many useful features (such as mobile applications so you can chat to customers on the go) and a comprehensive statistics breakdown so you can work out the value of live chat to your business.
- LeadChat.com – Based in Melbourne, Australia this company offers a live chat solution for the time poor. Instead of setting you up with the software to talk to your website visitors, they save you time and talk to your customers for you. All staff have a focus on lead or sale generation via your website and are extensively trained in your business so can answer any questions your customers may have. Over time, the staff at Web Reception learn what your customers commonly ask and will become adept at converting them into a sale or a lead.
With most live chat providers offering free trial periods I recommend trialing the service on your website first. For a small monthly fee this could ensure that you are getting the best ROI possible off every marketing technique currently sending traffic to your site.