How To Use Live Chat To Boost Customer Retention and Generate More Leads
Did you know you could lose at least half of your customers if you don’t respond to their questions quickly?
According to Forrester research, more than 50 percent of customers said they would likely abandon an online purchase if they can’t get answers to product questions.
If you don’t have a plan in place to address your customers’ needs, consider implementing live chat into your website.
Here’s the why and how:
Let’s Talk A-Bot It
In the past, the decision process for implementing live chat was deciding who would be responsible.
The support team?
A new option has emerged: chatbots or virtual (non-human) assistants.
A chatbot is designed for providing a quote or appropriate phone number, while virtual assistants (think Siri) are built around machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).
Early stage companies will want the control of having team members operate live chat, as one sales rep can handle four to six chats or more depending on level of detail needed, and the entire experience can be controlled and monitored.
However, as your company grows, if you’re not considering chatbots or virtual assistants in at least some capacity, you’re ignoring a growing trend.
Live Chat Implementation Checklist
Live chat is not a turnkey solution.
The process requires not only choosing a live chat vendor, but training team members and deciding how and when live chat will be available for site visitors.
Here’s everything to consider:
Purpose: What is the main goal of the live chat service?
- Reactive Lead Generation: The most traditional form of live chat. Sales reps chat with visitors and treat them as inbound leads.
- Technical Support: SaaS products (web-hosted applications like Salesforce and Zendesk) that require backend installations open up live chat as a developer resource. These leads will be CTO-types looking to estimate the required resources for setup.
- Product Support A support rep or customer success team answers questions and provides product education for visitors. The conversation is transferred to a salesperson when required.
Format: Where live chat will display and for whom?
- Homepage/entire website: Create rules around when users will be notified about the chat option and when the chat should be hidden, such as on a specific “Request a demo” landing page.
- Pricing page: If you’d like to get started by testing the service, implement on the pricing page and have sales reps experiment with coupons and discount offers.
- Trial environment: Live chat becomes increasingly important for trials. Users will have questions as they consider long-term applications. This is where quality live chat support can be the tool that wins a new customer.
Guidelines: Standards for success and optimization
- Response time: Pick a number and stick to it. Visitors may leave your site if they don’t see the average response time posted. This can also be used as an internal metric for evaluating sales teams.
- Follow-ups/Nurturing: Fortunately for sales reps, quitting a chat mid-conversation is not like hanging up a phone call. Their information can be collected and sent to integrated customer relationship management software. Sales reps can then create follow-up campaigns for these leads. Make sure this process is ironed out before implementation.
- Channel management: Make sure prospects get the same information through live chat, social media and on the phone. Canned responses and FAQs can be used so the whole company stays on message. Some vendors combine live chat services with call center software so teams can keep things centralized.