Live Chat: The Powerful Tool Every Business Should Have

How many website visitors does your organization receive on a weekly basis? Studies show the average number of website visitors for small to medium size businesses is ~700 a week (Source). Who are these site visitors?

  • Are they qualified leads?
  • Are they customers interested in more of your services or products?
  • Are they people looking to partner with your organization?

Live chat enables you to find out more information about these visitors, get more leads, and close more business.

Why it is important?

  • Live chat provides an effective engagement channel for prospects and customers to receive instant feedback on questions, allowing these visitors to immediately get their questions answered and obtain information about your organization.
  • There’s also an operational benefit to using live chat: one internal resource can manage multiple conversations at once, increasing efficiency and lowering the cost per interaction, when compared to phone calls.
  • Industry research shows that live chat has a measurable impact on visitor conversions, and is just as valuable for B2B as for consumer-facing sites (Source):
    • Forrester Research identified a 20% increase in sales conversions, paired with a 70% reduction in cost per interaction.
    • Gartner Research observed a 12% reduction in phone call volume.
    • The American Marketing Association likewise observes a 20% increase in conversions, with the potential for as much as 305% ROI on the cost of implementing live chat.

How will it be utilized?

  • The live chat functionality can be implemented quickly using a third-party service provider in such a way that internal resources can have the chat function running on their computer desktop.
  • When a visitor to your website submits a live chat request, the internal resource will receive a notification and be able to conduct a dialogue via a chat window, similar to common instant messaging platforms such as Skype or Google Chat.
  • Most live chat platforms also have the option to set up offline greetings messages, or to hide the live chat option when resources are offline.
  • Most importantly, the live chat platform can be used to capture contact information that can be loaded into outbound campaigns (emails, direct mail, phone calls, etc.)
  • Most of the live chat service providers allow businesses to set up their own rules which makes live chat more realistic for small to medium size businesses to implement. Here are some examples of rules you can implement:
    • If a visitor uses the live chat function during offline hours, you can set up live chat to enable the visitor to send an email that your internal resources can respond to the next business day.
    • Targeted chat allows you to automate decisions about how and when to interact with your visitors. For example, you can set rules to interact only with visitors who go to a specific page or have been on the site for a certain amount of time.
  • Finally, chat reporting and transcripts will give visibility into the performance of the live chat function and the internal resources covering it.

There are many easy-to-implement and cost-effective live chat tools such as, Olark, Bold Chat, and Live Chat Inc. This engagement channel allows you to capture more information about your site visitors, and can help you capture more leads to grow your business.

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