The way we communicate and interact with one another has evolved with the digital age. Instead of taking the time to call and talk (or leave a voicemail and wait patiently for a call back), we often opt to send a text message or an email and await a response, which usually arrives quickly. Companies implement instant messaging software so their teams and employees can chat quickly about projects and tasks, and customer support departments troubleshoot issues with clients through chat on their websites.
It’s undeniable that a phone call is still one of the best ways to connect with a current or prospective client on a personal and genuine level. But email, text, and chat is often more convenient for consumers who are on the go or in a hurry. Providing your customers with a way to reach you in a convenient way that results in a quick response allows you to connect with more consumers more often. This is where live chat comes in.
How it works
There are several great live chat softwares and tools on the market right now that offer various unique tools, features, and displays, but they all serve the same purpose: to allow you to interact with your website visitors in real time as they are exploring your website or researching your product or service.
Visitors can ask you questions, leave feedback, or discuss your product or service. Depending on the software you use, you can use preloaded answers to general questions for a nearly immediate response, or you can reply with a personal, custom answer yourself. You can also program automated responses for when you’re away from your device, unavailable, or when the visitor is attempting to chat outside of visitors.
How it helps
Live chat doesn’t replace the other forms of contact that consumers can use to reach you, such as form submissions or phone calls, so you won’t miss out on those valuable leads. On the contrary, implementing a live chat gives you the opportunity to connect with visitors who might be in a hurry and forget to leave a form submission or might not have time to call—when that visitor sees that you have a live chat option with a great average response time, they are likely to message you then, instead of waiting to reach you at a later time or possibly leaving and forgetting to return to your site.
Another great benefit of live chat software is that you can use it for lead generation. If a visitor asks a question and isn’t quite ready to make a purchase, you can encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter for more information, and you can request their contact information so that you or a colleague can follow up with an email or call. You can also use the data you collect over time from chat conversations to evaluate your UI/UX and user intent when auditing your site.
How to get it
It’s important to research live chat softwares and choose the one that is best for your business, depending on the features. You also want to make sure that the software is compatible with your current site host. Some important features to look for are:
- Automatic greetings. These encourage visitors to start a chat conversation with you.
- Templates or canned responses. Pre-saved responses to FAQs allow you to reply quickly and efficiently.
- Chatbots. An AI or pre-programmed bot that will chat with users using canned responses to specific key phrases while you are away or unavailable.
- Customizable design. Branding your live chat with your color palette and an appearance that matches your site gives your customer a smoother, more trustworthy experience.
- Archived chat history. If a customer returns to chat with you again, it’s helpful to revisit the prior conversations to understand context and to cultivate that relationship with that customer.
- Analytics. Tracking and reviewing detailed data on response times, timestamps, operator performance, conversions, and more will help analyze the value of your chat interactions. It will also help improve your chat UX overtime.
Once you have found a live chat that best meets your business’ needs, it’s time to install the software to your site. Depending on the software, they might provide you with a snippet of code to place on the backend of your website, or they may offer a widget that you can install instead. Once the software is installed, you should be able to customize the look and function of your chat box so that it works seamlessly with your site. (While you want your chat box to be visible to visitors, you don’t want it to stand out for a clashing color palette or poor visual design.)
We can include this in your site design
If you’re interested in connecting with your visitors quickly, conveniently, and in a way that helps build leads and increase conversions, contact us today. Our design and development team will discuss your audience and user intent, determine the best live chat software for your business, install it on your site, and ensure that it looks and operates beautifully.