Implementing live chat on your website has never been easier or more affordable.
What is your website’s purpose? Is it to sell products? To drive traffic to your store? To motivate prospects to engage in a conversation with you? Chances are, if you’re a retailer with a store, your website will provide the greatest value by driving store traffic. If you’re a supplier, getting meetings would be a good goal.
Too often, websites ramble on with information about the company, but don’t do enough to help a visitor answer the question “what should I do next?” That’s where live chat features come in.
Live chat features have been around a long time. But the earliest versions of them weren’t really suited to small businesses. They were expensive and required a lot of code maintenance for one thing. They were also inflexible, making it difficult to manage them unless you had a dedicated full-time staff monitoring the chat system.
Today’s chat features allow you to allocate different types of inquires to different sales people or departments, easily put your chat into “away from my desk” mode (which triggers an email instead), get people to chat with you via SMS or WhatsApp, or even schedule a meeting or phone call. They are also very easy to implement with almost any modern website platform.
There are two learning curves to implementing live chat. The first is learning how to use the chat software and manage your chat dashboard. Most chat systems can be mastered within an hour or two. The second is in setting up the operational support for your company. If you are a very small organization, that can be as simple as making a few agreements about who will do what, and when. For larger companies, it can take a few meetings to discuss the processes you need to support customers through website chat.
Either way, it’s important to note that chat is not a “website” activity to be handed off to the marketing department. Chat is a sales activity, and should be managed by sales people who are prepared to answer every type of sales and service question. Chat is an opportunity to convert prospects into buyers.
By implementing a chat feature on your website, you considerably shorten the distance between website visitor and buyer. As far as purposes go, that’s a pretty compelling reason to implement chat!