Live chat marketing isn’t new. In fact, the idea has been around for decades.
However, the technology has taken leaps and bounds in the past few years.
Now, using live chat on your website allows you to have direct contact with your customers while they’re shopping or browsing your website.
That means you can be there every step of the way as they decide whether or not to buy your products. Then, you can help them say yes to the dress! (Or the coffee mug, dog food, WordPress plugin, or online course that you’re selling.)
However, you may have doubts about the real benefits of live chat marketing.
Or, you may be wondering how to make it work for your business.
Keep reading: we’re going to discuss proven reasons why live chat marketing is essential for modern businesses, plus seven methods you can use to make your live chats stand out.
Live Chat Marketing: Why Do You Need it?
Your Customers Love Live Chat
According to research by Forrester, web chat has become more and more popular in the US over the past several years because it’s a low-friction channel to get in contact with an agent.
For the customer, live chat makes the most sense out of any contact method for one single reason: it’s the fastest way to contact a company.
You know how much you love sitting on the phone listening to music while waiting to be connected to someone? Well, your customers feel the same way.
What better way to value their time than to provide them with the fastest means of communication possible?
Allows You to Respond Faster
Live chat is instant: it allows you to respond to your leads and customers as soon as they type a question.
And when you’re trying to provide a good online experience, speed is essential.
In fact, according to a study by Drift, you’re 10 times less likely to contact a lead if take longer than five minutes to respond.
Drift tested the response times of over 433 companies, and they discovered something unexpected: the fastest companies all used live chat to respond.
What does this mean for you?
Adapts to Different Needs
Unlike other marketing tools, live chat can actually be used for many different purposes.
Most websites feature a live chat on the home page, which allows people to ask questions about the product and make informed decisions. You might also find live chat on the pricing page for a product, there to help people through to the final purchase. This makes live chat a useful sales tool.
Live chat is also commonly used as a customer service tool. When customers have problems with a product and can’t find answers to their questions on the website, a live chat is an excellent place for them to get the help they need quickly.
You can also use live chat as a lead collection tool. For example, many companies now place live chats on their blogs, allowing people to sign up for their email newsletter for discover related articles.
This versatile tool ultimately helps you gain more leads, land more sales, and build customer loyalty.
Happy customers mean more business, and it’s clear that customers are happy with live chat. If fact, web visitors who use live chat are actually 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who don’t.
Another study by Bold360 found that people who use live chat spend 60% more on average.
So, adding a live chat to your website can increase order value and bring an upturn in sales, both of which lead to higher revenue.
Your Competition isn’t Using Live Chat (Yet)
According to the study by Drift mentioned above, only 14% of the companies surveyed are actually using live chat.
For you, this is good news: there’s still time to get on board with live chat marketing.
In fact, you’d be ahead of the curve if you start now. That will set you apart from your competition, and make you stand out to customers.
However, this won’t last long. More companies are starting to catch on to the wonders of live chat. And soon, any website without a live chat will be left in the dust by their competitors.
Are you ready to make a difference with live chat and gain a more loyal customer base?
Here are seven methods you can use to make live chat work on your website.
7 Live Chat Marketing Methods to Make Your Chats Stand Out
1. Generate Customized Greetings for Different Goals
Proactive live chats are when the chat bot sends the first message, rather than making people search for the live chat feature on a website.
So, what should the live chat say in its first message to your customer?
As mentioned above, live chat can be used to help you accomplish multiple goals. So, you can adapt that first message depending on which goals you want to accomplish.
The best way to do this is to generate a unique greeting message depending on where the person is on your website.
For example, a live chat on the product category page of an eCommerce site could pop up with a message like this:
“If you’re not sure which [product] to choose, I can help!”
Or, a live chat on the pricing page of a SaaS tool might say something like this:
“Can I answer any questions about our pricing or plans?”
Check out how HubSpot does this on their pricing page:
Using a chat bot on their pricing page, they’re able to help web leads get personalized guidance in choosing the right package for them.
By generating welcome messages in your live chat that are specific to the pages people are viewing, you’ll get better results from your chats and really help people towards the right goal.
2. Be Clear About the Wait Time and Hours of Operation
While a live chat is fantastic when you have a customer support team working 24/7, not all companies have the resources to do so.
In fact, the average wait time for live chat support is 2 minutes 40 seconds.
That’s why it’s important to set clear expectations from the get-go. When a customer sends in a live chat request, it’s important that they understand how long they’re going to be waiting to talk to someone, and whether or not there’s someone on the other end to answer their question.
For example, you could set up an automated message that tells the user about how long they’ll be waiting. Or, if you have specific business hours when your customer service reps are available, make sure you mention that.
By setting these expectations clearly from the beginning of the chat, you’ll make sure your customers aren’t disappointed.
3. Set Up Chat Bots to Keep Responses Super Fast
Did you know that 21% of live chat support requests go unanswered?
Obviously, that’s not the way to make a good impression and gain loyal customers.
If your company doesn’t have the resources to keep up with the live chat requests coming in, what can you do?
It’s time to let the tech take over.
With AI chat bots, you can make sure that people get an answer even when you’re not around.
Check out how Drift does this with the chat bot on their homepage:
First, the chatbot does some work of qualifying the new lead. Then, when the time is right, the chat is pushed to a live agent.
Using this method, you’re able to answer questions immediately, get people’s attention, and ultimately seal more sales.
4. Keep a Chat Transcript
In many cases, it’s important to have a written record of what was said. Especially when it comes to customer support cases, keeping a transcript of the chat is great for checking how your agents are handling each case.
But, transcripts aren’t just useful for you: they can be helpful to your customers as well.
So, to take your live chat marketing one step further, email the chat transcript to the customer at the end of the chat.
To do this, start by collecting their email right from the beginning, like this:
Then, once the chat is completed, send over the transcript to the email that you collected at the beginning.
5. Create Templates to Help Solve Common Issues
Many times, people will come to the live chat with very similar problems.
To help your customer support team or sales team answer these common requests quickly, create templates and canned responses that get them started.
People come to a live chat for a quick response. Don’t leave them hanging like this:
Templates allow your agents to respond faster, since they won’t have to type out the same response over and over again during the day. This helps ensure that no chat gets dropped.
For example, a common live chat request is more information about the return policy. Instead of typing it out every time, create a template that explains the return policy succinctly.
Of course, every template should be customized before it’s sent to the customer, and agents should try to limit the number of times they use templated responses per chat. However, these can be a real time-saver for the common questions that come up in your live chat.
6. Make Sure Your Live Chat is Mobile Friendly
We all know that people are browsing more on mobile than ever before.
However, did you know that people also want live chat to be available on mobile?
In fact, proactive chat invitations on mobile devices are increasing engagement rates by 400%.
Since live chats are basically text messages, it’s only logical that this feature should be available for people on their smartphones too.
So, make sure your live chat is mobile friendly!
7. Use Live Chat All Over Your Website
The most common places to find a live chat are the homepage, pricing page, and customer support page.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself.
For example, why not put a live chat in the FAQ section, like this one:
You can also use live chat marketing to capture leads in other places on your website, such as your blog.
Check out this chatbot that I recently came across while reading an article:
The goal of this live chat was to get new subscribers to their newsletter, and it works great to capture new leads!
Keep looking for new places on your website where a live chat could help push users towards their next goal, whether it’s making a sale or getting an email address.
Live Chat Marketing: Taking a Step Into the Future of Your Website
If you put a live chat on your website now, you’ll be tapping an undiscovered gold mine.
Remember: your competition may not have live chat on their website now, but it won’t take them long to figure out they need it.
If you’re willing to take the leap now, you’ll be getting a serious leg up on your competition.
Take the time to do your live chat right by generating custom greetings, using chatbots across your website, and giving people the answers they need when they need them.
When you do that, you’ll be able to capture more leads, land more sales, and build a loyal customer base.