Live chat software has become an invaluable tool for businesses looking to begin the conversation with their leads as soon as possible.

Having a rep, or even yourself, online right when a hopeful visitor has a question can dramatically reduce the sales cycle.

On the other hand, live chat is also amazing at satisfying current customers concerns and problems. Using chat for support can improve retention and customer success.

All with lower costs.

Truth is that a small company can vastly improve the entire customer journey by using live chat effectively.

Here’s our take on:

  • Using live chat in on the marketing and sales side of things
  • Using chat for customer support
  • Best practices to ensure live chat will work for you and your team

How to Use Live Chat for the Marketing and Sales Team

According to one study, live chat can improve conversions by 20%. The same study found that customers who are willing to chat with you are 3 times more likely to purchase from you!

Here are four ways you can quickly begin using live chat for sales and marketing.

 

Number One: Immediately Answer Questions

The ability to immediately answer visitor questions, as they come, is the highest-rated benefit of live chat (by consumers).

Email and even social media aren’t nearly as fast and effective as chat.

Imagine the normal cycle. You have visitors that come to your website. Your goal is to convert them into leads by getting their contact data. Then, slowly nurture them into becoming customers and beyond.

Now imagine if those visitors come to your website and visit your pricing or other landing page. They have a question, and low and behold, that live chat button is right there in the corner.

They click on it and ask a question. A reps then immediately answers it for them and they book a meeting with your sales team.

It happens. All. The. Time.

Here’s an screenshot (below) of both Gist’s Chat Tool as well as an interaction with an actual web visitor.

(Note: The image reads from the bottom up.)

Untitled design 3

Customers feel more confident when live chat works. This means that you have to be aware and quickly respond. But if you do that, you can cut out so much time nurturing them into trust.

Live chat creates immediate trust — when you engage in conversation quickly.

Number Two: Nurture Visitors (Before They’re Leads)

Part of the reason it builds trust is the ability to nurture your visitors before they become leads.

While customers are talking over live chat your team can send them relevant content — based on their questions. And those visitors can actually view that content while still chatting it up with your reps.

Number Three: Generate and Qualify Leads

One of the things you can refer visitors to are lead magnets. A video course, upcoming webinar or downloadable resource of some kind.

They would have to give up their contact data, but it would likely be easier after a nice conversation. Chat allows you to build trust before you ask for their email address.

Qualify Leads

In the same vein, visitors may or may not be your ideal customer. With live chat you can qualify leads from your conversation.

To figure that out, you can almost immediately begin asking qualifying questions. If someone is a lead, great! If not, you’ve wasted minimal time.

Here’s another screenshot (below) with an interaction with an actual Gist web visitor.

(Read from the bottom up.)

Qualify

Number Four: Book More Meetings

You can nurture visitors from the moment they walk through your virtual doors. Next, you can qualify them to find genuine prospects for your business.

Finally, marketing and sales teams can actually drive sales via live chat.

Say, your rep is having a chat with someone who is either a visitor or a current lead. This contact really shows signs of being a prospect.

If done correctly, your prospect can become a meeting scheduled.

Here’s another example from one of our conversations. (Remember, bottom up. 🙂

Book

Note: Using a tool like Gist, you can do all of these things from a single platform. Setup live chat on your site in less than a couple minutes and we have a meeting tool right there in the same dashboard. You can link you and your reps Google calendars and go right from using live chat to sending the just link right in one place!

Benefits of  Using Live Chat for Customer Service and Support

Live chat is not only a great sales and marketing tool. Businesses can interact with current customers to help them avoid issues or deal with any trouble they may be having.

Number One: Immediate Response

Like sales and marketing, current customer still want an immediate response.

A benefit for you would be a potentially immediate resolution for your customers. If clients have to send an email or leave a phone message (or even wait for you on the phone) it can really slow the process down.

Slow customer service can also create a negative perception of your business.

It’s likely true in your business that many of the support tickets or customer service issues can and should be handled with a simple answer.

Being able to give those answers within minutes of questions being submitted will dramatically improve customer satisfaction as well as reducing the support burden.

Here’s another example (below) of an actual interaction with one of our current customers. (Read text from the bottom up, please. 🙂

Answer

Number Two: Educate Your Customers

Chat is a fantastic way to educate your customers.

There are many DIYer’s and those who don’t want to cause a fuss. Chat allows them an outlet to ask a question without troubling their sensibilities. Reps can send these clients to a knowledge base article or knowledge base video.

Perhaps there is a frequently asked questions section explaining exactly how to do the thing that they want to do so they can fix the problem themselves.

This educates customers and actually gives them a higher level of success with your product

As an example, below is an actual interaction within Gist with one of our clients.

Educate

Number Three: Allows Customers Freedom to Multitask

Live chat support methods allow customers to multitask.

Come on. You know you’ve scrolled Facebook or sent a couple emails while on a support chat.

It seems crazy to stop everything you’re doing and create an email or pick up the phone and have a call with someone to discuss this problem. You’re pretty much shut down you can’t do anything else.

But with live chat customers can send a message. Your team can say hold on, give me a couple minutes while I check on that for you.

Now, the customer isn’t tethered. They can scroll through Facebook or they can handle some business. This makes the support process seem like it’s going by quicker. If they’re on a 10 minute phone call—not so much.

Number Four: Transparency and Betterment

Lastly using live chat provides a level of transparency for your clients.

By automatically sending the entire transcript of your conversation in an email, you’ll both give the customer reassurance while documenting the issue.

For instance, a client has an issue with a feature of your product. They ask their questions via chat and you send them an article explaining exactly how to use said feature. If the client loses the link, they’ll have to ask again.

But if you send an email, the link with also be in their inbox for future use.

Here’s a quick look (below) at my inbox dedicated to such transcripts (I use them in articles like this one).

Another way is to ask those who engage with your support team to complete a survey. You can automatically trigger this with marketing automation.

Giving customer the opportunity to tell you how your representative did this is a great way to show that you’re open and transparent. It will also communicate your company is ready to learn how to help better next time.

Note: Gist helps you connect live chat and support better than any other tool on the market. Along with our powerful Live Chat Tool, we offer knowledge base and help desk solutions. Support ticketing, support content and support chat all in one platform.

Getting the Most Out of Your Live Chat Software

Setting up live chat on your website is ridiculously easy. It’s using it effectively (or at all) that makes all the difference.

1 Integrations are Key!

A live chat software here, a CRM there everyone uses multiple tools in their business. It’s getting them all to play nicely that’s the issue.

Integrating your live chat to, say, your support software means your team will be better organized to handle customer requests via chat. Using a meeting scheduler that works with your chat software will help bridge the divide between sales and marketing.

Keep in Mind: Gist offers multiple tools across the spectrum of marketing, sales and support. Our live chat can be set up in just a couple minutes. Then, you can just as quickly get our meeting scheduler and help desk started. All the tools under one roof.

3 Set Up Bots for the “Off Hours”

Of course, you’re not always on, right?

You may be at your desk throughout the day, but bots can take over when it’s closing time. No, you don’t have to understand algorithms to get one of these intelligent representatives.

Here’s a very simple bot (screenshot below) we set up for our own efforts. (Please read bottom to top.)

1 2

 

3 Actually Use It

One of the main problems people have with live chat? They don’t use it.

Trust me, I see hundreds of chat conversations every week. Your visitors want to speak with you. But if you don’t take it seriously, you’ll never have those interactions.

Takeaway: Don’t just sign up for a free trial. Actually install the live chat software and dedicate a few hours every weekday to having it on. Go ahead, you can do it right now!