This article follows on from “why chat? The essential reasons why you need chat on your website”

We have described the power of making your website interactive and why that leads to increased sales. Just loading chat to your site is not enough and can damage your brand. Here is a 10 point guide to getting your chat service right.

1)     Get your website noticed.

2)     Answer every chat

3)     For sales, steer clear of bots

4)     Privacy

5)     Establish the reason for the chat

6)     Gather contact details early

7)     Keep the conversation flowing

8)     Know your subject and understand the customers needs

9)     Agree next steps

10)  End chat and Follow up immediately

1)     Get your website noticed

Getting your website noticed has spawned it’s own an industry. This summary merely attempts to provide a brief overview.

Websites are like shopfronts; they need footfall to be effective. Every good web designer will know how to provide the metrics you need to know if your website has that footfall. The majority of our clients use Google Analytics which enables them to know how many visitors they are getting over a period of time. There are also tools that can analyse the web traffic of your competition so you can compare.

This footfall is generated in a number of ways.

Organic traffic is a term used to refer to visitors who have landed on your website as a result of unpaid searches. They tend to come through search engines such as Google and Bing and are not referred from another website. The algorithms used to find your site use various methods of ranking but generally if you have a good design, good content, relevant keywords and add fresh content regularly to your site, you will improve your relative rankings over time. This is not a quick fix.

Improving your ranking is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Your web designer can provide more detail as to how you rank now and what you can do to improve. If you’re hands on, there are tools available that provide a checklist of tasks to improve your score.

Registering with industry sites and business directories will assist SEO and may generate immediate results.

There is a lot more to SEO and if you need help, please contact the team at c4b.live

For immediate results, you may consider Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC). Most common is Google Ads. By paying the PPC provider, you can put your company at the top of a search. If someone clicks on the link to your website, you will pay for that click. Again, it’s not straightforward and an industry has built up around creating PPC ads.

2)     Answer every chat

Users love chat when they get an immediate response. However, many websites have chat that is unattended and unmonitored. Seeing a chat widget raises the prospects expectations and a poor experience can be a damaging first impression. Generally, no chat is better than bad chat.

3)     For sales, steer clear of bots

Chat bots can work well when assisting an information search or routing visitors to other destinations. However, similar to IVR (Interactive Voice Response), it is important to keep it simple and avoid too many options. Website visitors have choice and it’s important to make the experience as positive as possible to keep them engaged with your chat service.

4)     Privacy – be clear about what you’re doing with the data

Trust is key to selling your product on the internet. Add a privacy notice to explain what the visitor can expect their data is to be used for.

5)     Establish the reason for the chat

It is important to establish early on whether you can help the website visitor. If you are focussed on sales, capturing a visitors details before finding out they are carrying out market research can be frustrating

6)     Gather contact details

A great enquiry is worthless to you if you lose contact and are unable to follow up.

7)     Keep the conversation flowing

Ideally, a hot prospect should be handled whilst they are online and in buying mode. Taking a message and telling them that someone will get back to them at a later stage is not what they expect. If you can persuade them that they are talking to the right person, you can help them end their search then and there.

8)     Know your subject and understand the customers needs

The best people to sell your product are your sales team. They have access to relevant and current information, and they know the details of the product and the company. If you use a managed chat service, ask if your sales team are able to join a chat when a hot prospect has been identified. Otherwise, ensure they know enough about your business to competently assist a prospect.

Almost all private enquiries will be part of an emotional, high involvement decision. Building trust and rapport is key. Asking open questions and listening to your customer is crucial. Help them to see that your product fits their needs.

9)     Agree next steps

You may have had a great chat lasting 15 minutes with 40 interactions. However, Chat is unlikely to be the final step in the sales process. Ideally, you will have built enough trust and rapport to book a visit or a viewing to move your prospect along their buying journey.

10)  Wrap-up the conversation and Follow up immediately

Confirm your agreement from step 9 with a follow up e-mail. Most chat services will have the option of a chat transcript. Attach that to an email as a reminder of the chat and the agreements.

Summary

Web chat can be a great sales tool. Outsourcing the service is an efficient and inexpensive way of extending your sales team. Most Managed Chat Services use software designed for support purposes and are lacking in a few key areas. C4B Connect is designed for sales. Simply by clicking on a text or an email, your sales team are able to connect directly to a well-qualified online visitor. Wrap-up emails and transcripts are all automated. Put simply, we qualify; you sell; we wrap-up.

For more information, contact James Lloyd on 07710 311577; [email protected] or chat with us at c4b.live.