What happens when your prospects are on your website and can’t get the assistance they need? They leave your website. In fact, that’s what 98% of your visitors do. Live chat is one of the most powerful sales tools to help businesses to communicate directly with their prospects in real time. It turns your website as a lead generation machine to capture more leads and drive sales.
94% of customers who were proactively invited to chat were somewhat or very satisfied with the experience.
Lead generation is the process of identifying and targeting potential new customers known as leads with the intention of cultivating their interest in what your business has to offer.
How live chat improves online sales conversions?
Live chat is an untapped potential for your business. Forrester’s report says that live chat use among customers has escalated substantially in the past few years, from 38% in 2009 to 65% in 2015. The growing numbers show that more and more customers are visiting company websites via live chat.
Convert website visitors into leads
Live chat is an excellent way to maximize leads and optimize ROI. It helps to acquire more customers and of course generate more sales. The chat tool improves the response time of the website visitor and improves the chances of sales.
Shortened sales process
Through proactive triggers send messages to prospects who may need to ask a question about your product or price to make a decision for final purchase. Live chat sales build between the company and its audience, helping to generate more leads through customer loyalty.
Key live chat stats about online sales and lead generation
Here are some compelling live chat statistics that prove the importance of live chat for lead generation.
- 44% of online consumers say having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. (Digital Marketing)
- Live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate. (ICMI)
- 38% customers said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. (Digital Marketing)
- 63% of consumers who used live chat on a website are likely to return to that site. (99firms.com)
Live chat can be used across different industries for different purposes. Here are the top 9 ways how you can use live chat for your sales and lead generation process.
1. Live chat is fast
Live chat is one of the popular channels due to its prompt response time. Response time can be defined as the time between the chat initiated by the customer and the time it is responded to. Responding fast is one of the key features for delivering faster engagement.
Ifbyphone research finds 59% of customers are more likely to buy when brands answer their queries in under a minute.
Late or delayed response time is one of the top 3 reasons why customers leave your website.
How live chat improves the response time? Live chat can reduce the wait time in different ways:
- Handle multiple chats – Live chat helps to respond to customers’ queries instantly. With live chat, an agent can handle 5 to 6 conversations at the same time. Thus, customers get an immediate response without waiting for a long time.
- First contact resolution (FCR) – Identify the customer’s problem, collects first-hand information and deliver effective solutions in the first contact. It comprehends the problems and resolves them by using live engagement tools.
- Reduces queue time with chat routing – Routing the new chats requests based on routing policies such as time-based, URL based and broadcasting, allows customers to get the right solution from the right team or department.
- Canned responses – Pre-Drafted messages can be used in the right way to answer customers’ issues quickly that improves the response time and help customers in quick decision making.
Live chat offers a faster response as compared to other communication channels such as email, phone or social and boost customer satisfaction. Less response time means better customer satisfaction.
2. Live chat is convenient
Compared to any other channels, live chat is popular among customers as it is convenient and helps in making quick decisions. The prompt response delivers a better live chat sales experience and increases customer satisfaction.
Live chat is convenient for the following reasons:
- Immediate connect with a company representative – Live chat instantly connects customers with the sales support agent. As compared to phone support where they are kept on hold before connecting an agent.
- Allows multi tasking – Live chat allows customers to multi-task. Econsultancy reports say, over 51% of customers prefer live chat because even if they have to wait for a few minutes, they can continue with it without looking at the screen.
- Instant knowledge of the queries – Live chat answers customer queries instantly after learning the customer’s problems. When compared with email requires several replies before the issue is resolved and also takes a few days in the process.
- Reduces wait time – Live chat allows your customers to get an instant response to the questions they need answering. It identifies the customer’s problem and offers faster resolution
- Chat conversations are saved – Everything exchanged during a chat conversation is saved. Text messages can easily guide customers and relevant links can be shared that will help the customers.
- Real time resolution of the queries – For eg when customers have any purchase-related queries they are answered on the right point of time. 79% of customers say they prefer to live chat purely because of the immediacy it offers compared to other channels.
3. Automate your sales leads with bots
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots are opening possibilities for small and med-sized businesses. Now, small businesses can use chatbots to automate the support and sales processes.
Chatbot sales cycle
You can automate the sales cycle of your business by using a chatbot. With chatbots, you can provide in-depth business information to your sales prospects, ask them qualifying questions and then prompt them to schedule an appointment.
When the prospect has scheduled an appointment, chatbot notifies and feeds you with lead information. When you speak to your prospect, they already know about what your business does and how you can help them. And you know who they are, what their business is and what problems you could solve for them.
You should train your sales chatbot to gather information from your leads by asking well-structured questions.
You should prepare a list of questions that you would ask new leads. These questions should help identify whether the lead is a good fit for what you have to offer and which of your products are best for them.
Your sales chatbot can be trained to present different offerings based on the answers it receives from the prospect.
For many businesses, at least some human assistance will be needed during the sales process. If there is a complex query and your chatbot is unable to understand, it is transferred to the sales agent for assistance.
4. Increase your website conversion with automated triggers
“Action is the real measure of intelligence”
Measuring and understanding the level of engagement of your website visitors are is key to increasing sales conversions. The monthly website analytics report gives you only data from the past, not the actionable insights in real-time.
What if you could take all intelligence from your visitor information and act on it in real-time?
Automated triggers are the best way to deliver personalized engagement experiences to your website visitors and boost sales conversion.
Different ways automated triggers can increase website conversion:
- Personalized greeting messages – Automated greetings can be a great way to start triggers. Greet your website visitors based on their geographic location. For eg – configure a welcome message in French to greet visitors from France.
- Identify and engage returning visitors – Acquiring new customers is crucial for your business. Returning visitors are identified as those who have established a higher level of interest in your business. Finding out your returning visitors and how you treat them is more important. For e.g, create a personalized message for visitors returning to your website for the second time.
- E-mail campaigns for more conversations – E-mail campaigns are a vital marketing strategy to gain customers. Engaging your prospects when they are on your website is imperative. For e.g, You can set up an intelligent trigger based on campaign content, name or source with a contextual message attached to each trigger.
- Proactive engagement for quick decision making – Generally it is seen that prospects keep dropping off after spending some time on a specific page of your website. For e.g, you can send a proactive trigger message to those prospects who spend more than 50 seconds on your pricing page. Reach out to them to understand if they have any concerns and answer their questions to negotiate a discount.
5. Connect with your CRM tools for sales automation
“Keep track of sales leads in a CRM, not in your head.”
You can seamlessly connect your live chat software with your customer relationship management (CRM) tools such as Salesforce, Hubspot, Infusionsoft. Integrating live chat with the CRM tools allows you to gather and store information from the website chat conversations with the visitors.
Benefits of CRM integration are:
- You get a more detailed picture of the customers and you can provide better communication.
- When your visitors begin a chat on the website, they are considered as a potential lead. By using live chat sales data across your funnel, you can generate more leads with higher conversions.
- Allows your chat agents to gain additional perspective into each customer’s history.
- Resolve customer queries instantly that automatically increase customer satisfaction.
With CRM tools, the sales process is improved as the team doesn’t have to look for the information required for engaging customers. The sales reps can directly do it from CRM and have everything in one place. Thus, connecting with CRM tools automates the sales process and improves team effectiveness.
6. Train your chat support team
What should be the focus of training the support team?
All your efforts to deliver a better customer experience and increase sales rate will fail if you don’t have a trained support team.
Your customer depends upon your sales support agents to have the ability to deliver the information, guide in the right direction and resolve queries in a quick yet pleasant manner.
Here are some practices to be followed by the support team:
- Soft skills training – Train your customer support agents to be polite and empathetic. Being gentle towards your customers makes the conversation positive. Using courteous phrases like “Let me find out for you”, “I’m glad that was able to help you” always works.
- Product training – The support team should be trained with the upgraded information of product add-ons and features. The agents should be aware of the services, pricing, subscriptions, plans and all the offers related to your brand.
- Knowledgebase – Make sure that you upgrade the knowledge bases and inform your customer support team about the same. This helps in quick assistance to customers with the effective information they are looking for.
- Canned responses – Train your support to use the canned responses in a balanced way to make the chat conversation meaningful. The pre-drafted messages improve response time and customer experience.
You make like to read – Training tips for your live chat agents
7. Use live engagement tools for the complex sales process
Live engagement tools help to connect with the customer in real time to identify and collect the first information on the problem. It allows collaborating with the customer to resolve the issue instantly and delivers an in-person experience.
Providing better assistance by using customer engagement software makes your conversations effective.
What if your customer is browsing the service or the pricing page and needs to fill up a form, which he finds difficult?
You can use live engagement tools such as co-browsing, video chat to guide the customer in order to help to fill up the form successfully. Co-browsing tool helps to share customer’s screen to deliver real time solutions.
Using live engagement tools helps your business in the following ways:
- Instant resolution of the customer queries
- Time-saving for both agent and the customer
- Simple and easy to use for the customer
- Raises chances of sales conversion
- Interactive customer engagement and raises satisfaction
Personalizing chat conversations through video chat develops trust in customers and improves customer experience. Co-browsing solution helps the customer service reps to interact and guide during form fill up or for banking assistance to deliver better customer experience.
8. Route your sales chats to the right team
When a website visitor or customer starts a new conversion they could be a new lead or a logged-out customer. You can autoroute the right conversation to the right team member. Following this reduces the chat wait time and improves the chances of sales conversion.
Routing of chats
With automated routing, the new chat conversations can be identified and directed to the right department, team or team member. Routing is based on three categories.
- Time-based routing – Following the round-robin rule the agent with a free slot will be assigned for a new chat request from a visitor. It will continue till agents have a free slot to accept a new chat request.
- Broadcasting – A new chat request will be routed to all available agents. The chat request can be queued setting a queue time. When the agent accepts the chat request, the request will be removed from the queued list.
- URL based routing – URL rules allows to route chats from selected web pages to specific department of agents depending on the web page where the chat started.
Using tags to the chat conversations helps to organize, sort and filter them. The sales team can further identify the tagged chats and follow up. Chat tags help the sales team to reach out more leads and close sales successfully.
9. Use analytics to understand your visitor journey
Do you want to learn about the people who visit your site?
Visitor analytics does it for you. You can see where visitors come from, your most popular pages, and get in-depth insights and stats. You can use this information to initiate a proactive chat with your visitors and improve the chances of sales.
Visitor analytics helps in the following ways:
- View your website stats in charts & graphs
- Track your visitors by country, device, IP, conversions & much more
- Get email notifications with in-depth reports
- Display a traffic counter to show off your stats
Key takeaways: why live chat is one of the best sales and lead generation tool
It’s quite clear how live chat is your most powerful sales hack for online conversions and lead generation. Determine your conversions and sales followup benchmarks internally, implement the above points and evaluate your results.
With the right implementation of the above strategies and connecting live chat with your CRM and other tools, you can immediately improve your sales cycle and followup process.