The Stats Behind Live Chat
About half of those reading this article, quite simply, don’t like live chat. It doesn’t appeal to you, makes you fear it won’t represent your brand well, don’t understand quit how it works or why others would use it. The other half of readers enjoy live chat, use it regularly and have had some good experiences with better website utilizing the modality. Regardless of your personal feelings about live chat, the fact that according to Hubspot 57% of people use and enjoy the service means that it can and usually should be a component of any business-to-consumer sales environment. Let’s review why you want live chat on your website, how it works, what to avoid, and options.
Why Your Business Needs Live Chat
The data. It always comes down to the data, here at SEOversite. As noted above, the chances that you love live chat if you didn’t grow up with it are somewhat lower, but don’t let the fact that you don’t utilize it influence having it as an option for the high % of people who do enjoy it. We also know that you may not be among those spending over a billion dollars a year on drones or virtual reality headsets or your PlayStation 22, but rest assured sales are occurring. Here are a few snippets:
- Finances Online reports that 74% of B2B and 85% of B2B businesses use live chat for sales
- Plus, according to eMarketer, 63% of customers said they’re more likely to return to a website that has a live chat.
- And to boot, 51% of customers want businesses to be available 24/7 per Inc. Magazine.
- Last, in the industries we serve (most of our clientele are medical practices, med spas, legal and insurance practices) over the last decade of offering live chat through our SEOversite preferred vendors, we’ve found that around 90% of clients who try it see a profitable ROI from live chat in markets throughout the USA from New York to LA, Chicago to Miami, and small cities in between.
So the audience has spoken. They want live chat, use it, enjoy it, has a high probability of profit, and if you don’t have it, you are behind the proverbial eight ball compared to your competitors.
How Live Chat Works
While there are many forms of live chat, the most effective ones utilize real people who truly reply within 60 seconds to an online inquiry for your business. They are typically college-educated, perform live chat as a profession, and specialize in your industry (medical live chat, legal live chat, live chat for real estate, etc.), offer service after hours and up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Further, they will have the ability during business hours to live-connect an interested online shopper to the business by phone using advanced technology.
To ensure the person “in the sky” chatting with your customers keeps their foot outside of their mouth, they get “coached” by your business on what to say, plus develop a “knowledge bank” they can reference to provide basic information to typical questions. Further, they know what is beyond their scope and how to collect contact information for the proper team member to get back to the customer the same or next day if they have a question they cannot answer.
While the focus is lead generation and capturing contact information, the best live chat companies in the country do so with a healthy balance of personality and information, without overstepping. It’s a fine balance and why picking the right team is key.
What to Avoid While Choosing a Live Chat Company
In the last section of this article on live chat, we outline the ideal paradigm followed by the best live chat providers. Unfortunately, most live chat companies do not offer all that is outlined above (get in touch with us at guardian@SEOversite.com for a complimentary recommendation to a great live chat team – we get a small affiliate fee as a thank you for the referral) and mayhem ensues.
Here are some common pitfalls you may have already fallen for, and if not, wish to avoid:
- “I’ll save money by using a chat bot.” While bots can be useful for trouble shooting, FAQ answering, and a few other reasons, when it comes to selling a product or service you do not want a robot trying to capture contact information or close a sale for obvious reasons. Further, your business is asking for a problem because according to Statista “47.5% of US internet users feel the greatest challenge with chatbots is they provide too many unhelpful responses.” Sure, it’s cheap, but try to contact customer service through a chat bot at Facebook (now Meta) and give us a buzz when you’ve pulled your last hair out.
- “My team will respond because I want to save money and because only they can answer these questions.” Yeah, so no. We understand budgets and if your business cannot afford live chat, don’t settle for junk. Indeed, if you are brand new, on an extreme budget and bootstrapping you may simply have no choice other than to kick the live chat can down the road six months, but if you can afford to pay the bill for three months, invest in quality. While a few hours a day you may have the coverage from an onsite salesperson at your business, remember that most businesses are closed from 5pm or 6pm until 9am, plus the entire weekend. That means you have an “out of office” message on you live chat (or are about to have turnover if you force your team to monitor the chat box 24/7, plus spend a bundle in overtime) at least 100 hours a week out of 168 in total. Further, while it is true your local team knows the products, service and business better than your live chat company, remember their role isn’t to close deals, but rather to capture inquiries, answer questions, improves service levels, and they are limited by their knowledge bank on what they are allowed to share.
- “I just don’t like it as I’ve had bad experiences and don’t want my customers to have one too.” We get it. There is terrible live chat out there. That’s why you use our guide and outline (and referrals to our live chat affiliates) to avoid those issues. In 2022 and beyond, having no live chat at all is already a service issue as so many people relax in bed with their iPad searching for products and services last at night and move on from your site if you don’t have live chat available.
Who Should I Pick for Live Chat:
So first, while you can do all the research on your own despite knowing nothing about the subject matter and hope you pick right, we simply recommend reaching out to our award-winning team for a zero-cost referral to one of our live chat SEOversite Preferred Vendors. Speak to them and hire them if you like them or hold off it it’s not a fit. This is what we do, having made hundreds of introductions and connections to web vendors since our inception in 2014. It’s no wonder we’ve been named Finalist or Technology Executive of the Year by the GM Chamber of Commerce, Best Places to Work in South Florida in 2021, and for our fourth year in a row to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. If you prefer to go it alone, use the guide above and ensure you are using a reputable team with superb review, utilizing real people to really chat live, with direct connect and up to 24/7 service. Make sure to avoid bots and “do it yourself” chat technology that plugs in to your computer.
Have questions? Guardian@SEOversite.com and we can chat live with you (or business-to-business we recommend using phones ☺).
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