Consider Live Chat For Your Website?
natural result of good marketing, you will begin to see increased
traffic on your website. For some companies this is the time to
consider adding live chat to your web pages. If you need to provide
visitors with immediate assistance, explain complicated product
options, and answer customer’s questions, it may be time for chat. Affordable and versatile, chat can provide you with an edge over
Companies in the following industries are already successfully using
live chat: web hosting, software, real estate, finance, education,
e-commerce stores, insurance, and law firms.
Why would you consider live chat?
Here are some reasons:
You can use chat to engage visitors when you see signs that
they’re about to abandon your site.
You can provide canned answers to your chat agents for them to
be able to routinely chat with more than one visitor
It could be a great opportunity to get instant feedback from
Live chat allows visitors to speak with your staff online
without dialing any number or writing emails.
Live chat can also show you the number of visitors who are
currently visiting your site, even when they are not actively
You can integrate chat in a pop-up window that will open only
when the visitor clicks on a hyperlink, therefore not
interfering with the way visitors currently interact with your
Use the information you receive from live chat to refine your
pay-per-click campaign search terms and trim expensive,
unresponsive keywords from your campaigns.
Close more prospects because when you engage customers in a
chat, they can ask the right questions and direct them to
products compatible with their specific equipment. Consequently,
your product returns will also go down.
What do you need to do to implement live chat?
Review your company’s FAQ’s and knowledge bases. If your
company does not have this, you can begin by monitoring your
customer service logs to build this knowledge base.
Implement the chat technology into your existing website and, if
needed, your intranet. This way not only your clients, but also
your employees can use the chat technology.
You will also need chat software compatible with your website
platform. There are many free versions available, including
Google Talk. However, if you want to engage the services of a
third party to handle the additional customer support, you
should think about using a call center service that specializes
in online chat. They have the necessary processes and
procedures that can be customized to your specifications, can
you can get started right away. These services range in price
from $40 to over $150 per month, depending on the features you
wish to use.
Features of Many Chat Services:
Provide the chat client in an HTML version so that it will
operate on all computers without anything to download or
Set up of a Pre-Chat Customer Form to capture information before
the chat. This is particularly important for customer service
Configure and automatic invitation to identify visitors with the
greatest potential to buy, based on which pages they have
visited, how long they remained on a page, where they came from,
which keyword they used to find you, which items they have in
their shopping cart, and whether they have previously purchased
from your site. You can set up the rules for these chat
Set up a mode for email when online chat agents are not
available. This 'leave a message' feature is a great way to
generate leads after business hours.
Allow the visitor to print a record of the chat transcript at
any time. Also, give them ability to have the chat script
emailed to them.
After the chat, provide a customer survey form to see if the
chat was helpful.
Chat on a secure connection. For this, you will need a 128-bit
SSL encryption connection, and customers can provide sensitive
information like credit card numbers securely.
View a customer’s desktop with screen sharing features.
Customer information collected during the chat session can be
collected in your CRM database.
Since chat is web based, your representatives can send text,
URLs and files to customer’s PCs.
your intent is to deliver an in-store experience to an online
customer, you may be ready for Live Chat. Some people even feel that
Live Chat provides a better experience than a phone call because you
can’t convey what a product actually looks like over the phone, but
you can show it to the customer online with chat.
is a freelance writer.
[Contact the author for permission to republish or reuse this article.]