You may not think that live chat is an integral part of your marketing strategy, but did you know that it can have a real effect on website conversions and sales?
Simple Feature, Big Payoff
To clarify, we're talking about those little chat windows that pop up when you visit a site and ask, "Can we help you with anything?" The consumer can, if they wish, type back and spell out just what they want to know or what problem they want solved. It's a neat trick for customer service, but in a broader way it can also help you sell more – studies have shown that 90% of customers think it's helpful, and that 44% of customers actually think it's one of the most important features that a website can offer. Additionally, it's less expensive than communicating via phone or other methods.
Think about the work that sales reps do in the real world. They talk to people, answer direct questions, put a face on the company, deal with misconceptions, and help fix problems. Along the way, they also help sell to customers that would have otherwise walked right out the door. Live chat windows help do much the same thing in the online world, keeping people on your site, answering questions and helping them on their way through the purchase process. If you don't have a chat window on your site to help visitors, consider implementing this surprisingly simple feature!
Key Points About Live Chat Programs
When setting up a live chat on your site, consider these elements and how they will affect your conversions:
- Timing: This is both a minor and important point. If you immediate flash a chat window at a new visitor, they probably won't be interested – they're still figuring out what's going on. If you wait too long, then customers may have already made a decision or moved on. That's why you often see chat windows pop up after a couple minutes instead of right away.
- Features: Is your chat window movable? Expandable? Can it collapse? Can users enlarge the font if they are having trouble seeing it? Does it work well on mobile devices? These features are very important when it comes to conversions.
- Audience: Typically, people who use chat windows are more Internet savvy and have a better idea of what they are looking for. Use this to your advantage! Market your chat windows as a way to get things done fast, have questions or problems answered immediately, and generally make online life easier.
- Research: Always collect data from your chats. The most important information is exactly what the customer is having trouble with. Chats will help you hone in on those parts of your website that are confusing and need to be tweaked – so you end up with better product descriptions, purchasing processes, and more.
- Training and Scheduling: Chat quality depends on the experience of the person at the other end. Train and schedule your chatters carefully! A single chatter can take care of multiple customers at the same time, but quality will drop if you suddenly have a crowd that wants to ask questions all at once.