e. firstname.lastname@example.org t. 01333 329882
Over the last five or six years live chat on big websites has become fairly commonplace. The reason for this is simple, it generates more sales. But it’s not just big players that can benefit from Live Chat, anyone can. Shopping or researching online is fairly impersonal experience and suffers accordingly, but the ability to be able to talk to someone in a chat box to ask a question immediately brings a connection with the customer that’s hugely valuable.
I am sure you’ve been online looking at something with the thought about buying it, then you have a question and it all goes a little left field. Why? Because there’s no one to ask. Enter the live chat feature. No email, no telephone call, no Twitter or Facebook question, just type your question into the chat box and hey presto.
Well that’s how it should work, and here’s the rub. For live chat to be effective it has to be live chat. There’s no point in putting a live chat box on your site and having it unmanned.
In 2010 Forrester did a report that showed online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer, and that was 2010. The more we buy and research online the more important this is.
Firstly, an obviously, it needs to be manned. Most of these services also come with an App so you can chat from your mobile phone or tablet, but ideally you need someone in your business that’s at their desk during working hours, AND that can answer sales and possibly support questions from clients. You can also turn them off (from your desk or mobile) if you’re not there, and the chat box turns into an email service, not great but better than nothing.
There are several services offering a free option for live chat. For example I use the Pure Chat free service. It gives me unlimited chats for 1 user on 1 website. It’s only limited inasmuch as some of the nice to haves aren’t there like storage of the chats and visitor information. This is fine for my business as I am focussed on B2B so although live chat is useful it’s not used that often.
There are just too many to list here and as I’ve not tried any of them I can’t give any recommendations. Here are a few that I’ve seen online and used as a consumer:
The first thing to understand is that it’s not hard to put live chat on your site. You just need to sign up for a service. DO any customisation that’s offered, colours of the box, initial message, etc., and then it’s a case of adding a little code to your website. This last piece is about 10 minutes work for your web developer so it really is no big deal.
In conclusion happier prospects equals more sales, simple, than live chat is a very effective way of making prospects happier so give it a try.
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