Even though live chat is an inexpensive tool, you still want to make sure you’re getting the most out of this lead generation machine. With just a few tips and tricks you can turn up your live chat efforts and turn the trickle of conversations into a flood. We’ve talked to thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs who use live chat and gotten the best “cheats” that make generating leads a breeze.
Maximize your availability
Your website visitors have questions. Are you available to help them? The more time you’re available and accessible for your visitors and customers, the most you’ll be able to help them. In fact, by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human. Instead of forcing your website visitors to email you (or worse call you) just set your chat box status to available more often.
Studies have shown that most people can’t stand waiting on customer service for more than one minute. In addition, research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. Responding instantly is made much easier by setting up desktop notifications. You can also set up SMS notifications if you’re not alway at your desk. That way, any time someone starts a chat, you’ll receive a text message. If you have a mobile app installed on your phone for your live chat software, the easiest thing is to respond from your phone. The faster you can respond the better the experience for your website visitor. It’s not hard to respond quickly if you have the right tools at your disposal.
A chat box form is just like a website sign up form. The fewer required fields the more likely a visitor is to complete the form. Some sign up form case studies have shown increases of anywhere from 34% to 120% increase in conversion. Best practice is to eliminate any required fields on your chat box. It’s far more natural to get a name and email address during a live chat conversation. Think of it as if the conversation were happening face-to-face. You would never ask from an email address before starting an in-person conversation. Removing fields increases conversations.
Use targeted chat boxes
If you have a team large enough to have separate sales and support teams, consider using targeted chat boxes. The idea is to use a different chat box for different types of website visitors. Consider creating one chat box for all sales questions. This might mean assigning only sales reps to a chat box on your homepage and pricing pages. You could then create a chat box for your support or FAQ web pages. Next assign that chat box to your support reps. This helps keep the conversations targeted and directed at the team most likely to have the best answers.
While we always hope that website visitors will strike up a conversation with us, it may not always happen organically. Triggers are a great live chat feature to initiate conversations with qualified website visitors. Most live chat software platforms will allow you to add triggers to specific pages or set triggers to fire after a visitor has been on your website for a certain amount of time. This is a great way to increase engagement and approach your website visitors (but not in an obnoxious way).
Even though the experts say you’re not supposed to multi-task, we all do it from time to time. It’s hard to get everything done in the day if you’re not moving from one thing to the next quickly. It’s easy to forget to about your browser tab in the background which can lead to not setting your availability accordingly. Scheduling is a great way to automatically turn “on” and also turn “off” live chat for your website according to a set schedule.
Get questions day and night
We get it. At some point, you have to sleep. You can’t always be online to chat. For most businesses, however, you have website visitors with questions at all hours of the day. Ensure that you are capturing each question no matter what by converting your live chat box into an email capture form. By enabling the form, you’re not only helping potential customers you’re also improving conversion on your website.
Don’t assign the wrong person
At first blush it might seem to make sense to assign live chat to the intern or new hire, it’s not a best practice. Website visitors are potential customers if they engage your team, a great first impression is key. Oftentimes visitors want instant answers to questions that would lead to a sale or online purchase. If the person assigned to live chat is not knowledgeable about your products or service they might deliver a sub-par service experience.
Add a chat box at the point of purchase
A Surepayroll study found that on average, 68% of shoppers abandon their online shopping carts. Just think about that. Your website visitors have spent time on your website, found something they are seriously considering and at the moment of purchase they walk away. Don’t let your future customers leave your site without crossing the finish line. Adding live chat on shopping carts or on checkout pages will give shoppers an opportunity get any final questions answered. You might find that shoppers have questions about pricing, returns or shipping. Answering those simple questions just may improve your overall sales numbers.
Automate follow up
A study by Forrester found that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. The benefits of automated follow-up are clear. And leads you acquire through a live chat conversation may not be ready buy immediately. By not following up with those new leads you’re missing out on a lot of new deals and potential customers. Connect your live chat software with a marketing automation tool to ensure you continue the relationship beyond the website visit.