Imagine you’re in a shop and you have a vague idea of what you’re looking for but are unsure of exactly what you need.
Now imagine you’re a shopkeeper sitting behind the counter in the shop and you can see your sales prospect struggling to find/choose what they need.
Wouldn’t it be logical to ask the sales prospect how they are, what their problem is and what they are looking for to solve the problem? Understanding their problems will enable you to offer the best solution.
Starting a conversation with your website visitors has been shown to increase the number of sales whilst increasing the number customers who are more likely to rebuy from a company that offers live chat by as much as 52%!
What is live chat?
Live chat (or sometimes known as live support) is the ability to interact with your website visitors in real time as they browse your website. You’ve probably visited a website before and noticed the little “can we help” or “ask us a question” somewhere on the bottom of the screen, or, you’ve experienced a little box pop up asking if you need help with anything. Live chat software ranges from free lite versions to more complex paid versions. Usually your web agency/developer will be able to add the code to your website.
Examples of live chat providers include:
What is a chatbot?
Chatbots are programmes designed to respond or react to a website visitor. They have predefined rules and are always available to respond to your customer enquiry. In a basic example, if a web visitor asks a specific question about shipping costs, your automated ‘bot’ can give the information or redirect the visitor to the relevant information by providing a link to the relevant information on your site.
Examples of automated bot software providers include
In a recent survey by a chatbot programme provider Drift, they found that the following points are the most frustrating elements about any given online experience.
- 34% found sites too hard to navigate
- 31% couldn’t get answers to simple questions
- 28% of web visitors found finding basic details about the company was too hard
- 27% of web visitors found it took too long to find services
If you apply these figures (broadly speaking) to your own website traffic, how many immediate sales/sales prospects could you be losing by not helping your potential customer?
The Pros of Using Live Chat
Using live chat has many benefits to help your business grow. They include:
- An increase in immediate sales – live chat can help your customer through the buying process. You can use your expertise to answer any questions and explain why your product or service is going to be beneficial for them.
- Improve customer support – with live chat you can manage multiple questions and queries at the same time, rather than engaging your main telephone number dealing with one customer.
- Increase your average order value – as well as helping customers understand what they need, you can also suggest extra products or services to upsell and cross sell your service/product.
- Collect customer contact info – by asking for contact data such as email, name and phone, you can add the prospect to your CRM and keep in contact/market to them in the future.
- Provide reassurance with human interaction – people still buy from people. By engaging with you or your team, your visitor can experience reassurance that can only be provided by human interaction.
The Cons of Using Live Chat
- Need resources to manage it – installing live chat and not managing it properly can be more detrimental than not having it. Ensure that you have the resources to allocate the management to somebody.
- Delayed response can harm conversion – If messages are not replied to in seconds, it can lead to poor user experience and a lost prospect. Long wait times for a response are one of the biggest frustrations of live chat users.
- Emotions – without hearing a tone of voice it can sometimes be easy to misinterpret communication.
The Pros of Using Chatbots
Using chatbots could help you efficiently run your business whilst helping you generate more leads. Some of the pros include:
- Collect sales leads – let your chatbot ask your website visitor what they are looking for, or use various rules such as time on a page, view of a particular page etc. to prompt your chatbot to start a conversation and collect customer data.
- Save time & money – use a chatbot to help assist your web visitors when they have a question by providing automated answers. Save money by reducing the amount of time spent on customer service queries.
- Improve customer satisfaction – chatbots can be online 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to answer any customer questions, improving your customer satisfaction.
- Increased customer engagement – remember the shopkeeper earlier? Engaging with your potential customer can reap rewards with more time spent in store and bigger sales.
- Handle multiple customers – chatbots can reply to lots of different customers at the same time, making it easier to deal with multiple customers.
The Cons of Using Chatbots
- Limited responses to questions – if your chatbot isn’t programmed correctly, then it might not deliver the best response, resulting in a lack of customer satisfaction.
- Installation and setup – setting up an automated chatbot can take time as you need to be able to accurately reply to customers, meaning a lot of work setting up responses to potential questions, keyword mentions, etc.
- They don’t suit every business – unfortunately not every business will benefit from a chatbot. You need to think clearly about what the goal of using a chatbot is and how it can improve your business.
Make Chat Part Of Your Customer Acquisition or Sales Strategy
Ensuring your business has a customer acquisition strategy is critical to the success of growing your business or, at the very least, ensuring you have a constant flow of leads to keep your business operating profitably.
If you’re paying to get customers to your website using any form of marketing, wouldn’t it make sense to consider talking to them to help convert these visitors into paying customers or future leads to nurture?