Allow me to introduce the unsung hero of customer acquisition and retention: live chat for your website. If your business doesn’t already have a live chat product, then you’re missing out on a great way to engage potential and existing customers.
While live chat is effective for capturing information about customer service issues, it’s also much more than that. When used correctly, it can be the swiss-army knife of one’s digital presence.
Here are three specific reasons why adding live chat to your small business’s website is good for business.
1. Capture Key Information About Visitors
Out of every 100 visitors to your website, it’s a safe bet that between 40 and 60 will leave before moving on to a second webpage. Typically, if visitors don’t call, email, or submit a form, you have no idea who they are or what they’re looking for. Essentially, after working hard to bring in website traffic, you’re left with no information to leverage.
The trick is giving visitors another way to share their information. That’s where live chat comes into the picture. Live chat can be extremely efficient in gathering information about a visitor. And, it all happens quite naturally.
Picture a chat box dropping down on a screen. A visitor clicks on the box and is promptly greeted by an attendant saying, “Hi there! I’m Kevin, and who do I have the pleasure of speaking with today?” And just like that, you’ve captured a website visitor’s name.
From there, a chat specialist can easily transition into: “Thank you for contacting us today, Linda. Do you mind if I get a call-back number, just in case we get disconnected?” Those two pieces of information alone give you plenty of options for follow up should the visitor not convert.
Lastly, if the chat specialist gathers an email address, then following up is even easier.
2. Uncover the Best Leads
Chat is also effective at filtering out visitors that don’t fit your customer profile. For example, a chat attendant can quickly identify and inform a visitor that your plumbing business only services customers in North Dallas, or that your transportation business does offer limo service to and from LA Rams football games.
You can provide chat attendants with basic, core information about your company’s offerings, the areas it services, how pricing is determined, and more. While they won’t necessarily be experts, they will be able to provide clarity on any topic you choose.
With live chat taking care of the softball questions, your staff can focus more time on nurturing leads and converting customers.
3. Keep an After-Hours Presence
Chat products also allow you to keep a 24-hour presence. One third of shopping searches on Google take place between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. While you may not sell products like baseball hats and purses, the point is that people are searching and considering purchases throughout the night.
Even if your staff doesn’t work late hours, you can still have a chat attendant burning the midnight oil. Your chat specialist will be able to address basic questions and document contact names and messages. When your regular staff comes in the next day, they can easily follow up with these leads by phone.
Live chat attendants can also connect visitors to emergency phone lines. Let’s say, for example, you operate a veterinary clinic or plumbing business and have a specific number that customers should use in case of emergencies. The chat specialist can call the late night visitor, and connect him or her to the emergency line. As a bonus, when you employ chat during off-hours, people will appreciate your dedication to customer service!
Are you using live chat software for your business’s website? Let us know in the comments!