Have you ever walked around a home improvement store hopelessly looking for someone to help you?
Now imagine you’re wandering around at that home improvement store. No matter where you are in the store you can ask a question and receive an answer immediately.
That would be superb!
This would have saved me hours of my life wondering aimlessly around stores looking for a product or even someone to ask for help.
That’s why website live chat is so helpful to guests of your website.
Website chat services are an excellent way to provide superior service that’s always at their fingertips to your customers.
In fact, you’ll be far ahead of competitors with live chat. Having a live person available to visitors to your website is a great way to exceed visitor expectations.
Chatbots can do some great things and automate some of your chat but they can’t serve your customers like a real person can. That’s why website live chat is so much better than any other communication option on your website.
Live chat isn’t always an absolute must have but in some cases, it is. That’s why I mentioned it as a might need for your website.
Website chat services are a good way to provide customer service and/or convert visitors to your website into leads.
How you approach live chat depends on your needs.
Your Goals For Website Live Chat
Your needs and budget for live chat will determine which route you go.
Website live chat isn’t always expensive. In fact, like most things live chat requires you to decide the balance between the time you have to invest vs money.Your live chat goals will largely decide how you use it on your website. Click To Tweet
There are two types of chat service needs of which can be divided by time and budget.
- Customer service
- Lead acquisition
Your goals will determine which one of these you need and then your budget will determine how you’re able to use these.
I fall into the category of customer service and will describe how I use chat to help set some expectations for how you could use it.
Customer service is the most common use of a website live chat. Just like you have a contact form or email address on your website, live chat is another method to contact you and ask questions.
Of course, live chat is different because it’s instant and more helpful than any other method.
When your website doesn’t have the traffic or not a lot of people initiate the chat feature then this is the best place to start.
For most websites using chat for customer service is a good starting point.
I use a free service called Tawk.to to provide live chat on my website. There are several different options for free live chat though.
I have the Tawk.to app on my phone that alerts me whenever someone initiates a chat.
If I open the app I can see who’s currently on my website and even get details about the visitor such as where they are and how they got there.
It’s a great app but does require me to be at arm’s length on my smartphone during the hours I enable the chat (8 am to 8 pm Pacific time).
I’m in the unique position to be available to chat with a website visitor during all my waking hours (I don’t get a whole lot). Of course, I need a little bit of a break though!
Proactively chat with visitors
I can even look at what pages visitors are on and initiate a chat with them to offer assistance.
I just have to tap on the Join button and I can type something to the visitor.
When I join I’ve set up a shortcut for an intro message so I can get the first message to them quick and easy.
Now that you know how I use the chat for customer service, there are more options.
This is the route I went because not enough people use the chat service on my website. I’m easily able to keep up with the demand.
If the demand for my website live chat ever gets away from me, I have the option of putting some money into it.
If you have little time and can’t manage the chat on your smartphone then get ready to invest some money.
Tawk.to does have the option to have your live chat staffed by their people.
You can hire a Tawk.to chat agent to manage your website chat during certain windows of time or 24/7/365.
You’ll provide a lot of questions/answers so they can get to know your business and how they need to answer chats.
A real person will answer each chat with the information you provide them.You can manage live chat yourself or have 'operators' manage your chat for you. Click To Tweet
You’ll get transcripts and contact information so you can follow up with the client if needed.
It essentially creates a ticket based system where the tickets can either be sent to you for resolution or closed on the spot by a chat agent.
I mentioned you better be ready to invest some money into this though. As of this writing the money you should be prepared to invest for Tawk.to is $129 (10 hours per week) to $728 (24/7/365).
There are other chat services out there though. I don’t get any money for talking about Tawk.to, I just currently use their free chat service.
Customer service is great but sometimes people only come to your website to do business with you.
Then making a conversion is your goal and there are better options for that than a general customer service chat which can get pricey for conversions.
If you only want to provide an improved way to convert visitors into leads and have a lot of visitors using chat then this is the way to go.
It’s a cheaper way to go when you factor in the return on investment (ROI). Costs, of course, can vary but if you get business out of your chat then that doesn’t really matter as long as the ROI is there.You have to spend money to make money and a pay per qualified lead is a great place to do it. Click To Tweet
This one doesn’t break down into time and budget. You either have the budget or you don’t although the price isn’t bad for the potential ROI.
It’s much better than buying leads from a company too. Why? Because you’re getting highly qualified leads that are on your website and already interested in your service.
If you buy leads from a company who does the prospecting you will have no idea what you’ll get and they haven’t been warmed up to your company at all.
With the right traffic to your website who are ready to buy this is the method for you.
It could be that you are a lawyer and have purchased ads to drive people to your website or you have the #1 spot for a powerful Google search.
Those visitors came to your website for one purpose which is to convert. A website live chat that’s ready to help them convert to leads is going to be your best conversion tool for your website.
Pay per lead
ApexChat (this is an affiliate link) is a website chat service that specializes in pay-per-lead priced chat service.
What does that mean?
When someone visits your website and opens up the chat, they’re ready to ask questions and convert. They interview you before starting your service so they have a thorough understanding of your business. They want to ask the right questions to convert visitors into leads.
You’ll only pay for the leads they bring to you. You won’t even get billed for every chat if it didn’t generate a lead.
You’ll get a transcript of every conversation and whether it was billable (provided you a lead) or non-billable (didn’t provide you a lead).
It’s that simple.
Before I start sounding too much like a salesman I should reel it back in a bit.
If you can handle the chats you’re receiving then you could use a service like Tawk.to and convert them into leads yourself. Chat services like ApexChat have chat agents who specialize in this though so you can get back to your business.
How it works
ApexChat is similar to the Tawk.to chat management service in that they get to know your business and requirements in the beginning.
Once they have a thorough understanding of your business and the questions to ask leads, you put their chat service on your website which visitors can click.
You get to choose whether it has the ApexChat branding on it or not and how it works on your website (chat drops down, side tab to start a chat, etc.).
When someone clicks the chat on your website they get a talk to a real live person similar to how it works on the ApexChat web page.
If they send you a lead through the chat then you get billed for it. If it’s just a question then you don’t get billed.
You’ll receive a transcript of the chat along with whether it was billable or non-billable.
The pay per lead model isn’t the right website live chat solution for every website but for the right circumstances, it’s a great option. You only pay for the leads they bring you.
There’s always a lot more to your business than chat on your website though.
There are a lot of places where people can find your business online which is why a review of your online presence is so important.
One other chat option
There are other places on the internet where people may want to chat with your business before a purchase or visit. I won’t cover this in more detail because it’s not about website live chat and I’ve done so in another post.
Google Business offers the opportunity to chat with you directory through Google Maps. You can learn more about Google Business Chat and how that can work for your business.
Review Your Website & Online Presence
A good conversion-oriented website does a lot to grow your business.
Chat is another excellent option for making yourself available and attentive to your customers. It’s also an excellent option for increasing the conversion rate for high traffic websites.
Customers find you from all over the internet.
That’s why we offer solutions that go beyond just your website. We want to work with you to grow your business rather than sell you a website that you don’t need.