The Benefits of Chat
We live in a world of Amazon Prime, grocery delivery, movies at your fingertips, and news updates by the minute. Our expectations for that sort of responsiveness are very high. How is your business adapting to this ‘I want it now’ mentality?
If your solution is to complain about modern shopping trends, you are missing a huge opportunity to connect with your customers! By providing options for your customer to get support or answers at their convenience, you are demonstrating that you are there to serve them- not the other way around.
If I could tell you that there is one tool that can increase sales and conversions, build trust with your shoppers, saves money, gain you competitive advantage over your competition, and improve your website experience- you would say SIGN ME UP!
That tool, my friends, is chat.
Sound too good to be true? Let’s talk about the customer experience for a minute. Let’s say I’m shopping on your website and I have a question. If I email you- with an average response time of 12 hours– I am likely to find that answer on someone else’s site and buy from them. If there was an option to chat, I would have taken that because I know that chat means I’m more likely to get that response in real time.
Why wouldn’t they call? Your customer could be at work, multi-talking, or more likely they don’t want the hassle of ‘push 1 for support, push 2 for sales’. No one likes the dreaded automated phone tree.
How does this give me a competitive advantage? Most likely your competitors aren’t doing this, or aren’t doing this well. One survey showed only 14% of companies are utilizing this feature.
If your business relies on lead generation– as most sales-focused businesses do- keep in mind that speed is queen here. There’s a 10 fold decrease in your odds of making contact with a lead after the first 5 minutes. Yes, that’s right. 5 minutes. This is a great opportunity for you to review your lead handling process.
How does this save me money? Chat platforms are much more cost-effective than setting up or outsourcing to a call center. Many of my small business clients don’t have the resources for that kind of system- so a chat function can bring them closer to their customer for little to no investment.
So how can you integrate chat into your business’s communication and sales strategy?
First off- get it started- don’t over research. A great first step is to integrate Facebook’s Messenger tool. This chat will work just like Facebook Messenger- information comes through that app and can be answered by anyone you have given access to. This is the system I use on my own website and it works very well for me.
Your next step is to set up some standards with the people on your team. Who will be answering? When? And what is the expectation for response time and quality of response?
You also need a nice autoresponder! Something on-brand and consistent with your messaging.
Once you have a process and some experience with this- make changes as necessary. Maybe you need a chat system that has more features, maybe the scheduling with your teams needs to be adjusted. Monitor this process and adapt it to your business and unique needs.
A word of caution about paid chat systems- figure out how you will be using this system before sinking money and time into a system that could possibly be a poor fit for your company.
A note about the information coming in- this is gold! Don’t fear these inquiries. You can clearly see where your customer’s pain points are when shopping with you! Our customers can show us our blind spots with feedback. Is you shopping experience confusing people? Does your FAQ page needs some updates? Is your sales team not giving the best service? Utilize the information coming in as free research and use it to improve your business.