Live chat has never been more relevant than right now. Digitalization is growing rapidly, and we are more online than ever before. Purchases and customer experiences have moved to online platforms, which makes business websites the window to the world and the first impression. Therefore, websites have become a crucial part of a businesses even though they are not an e-commerce company. The outbreak of the global pandemic COVID-19 in 2020 has accelerated the digital development even more, which underlines the relevance of live chat. A live chat is a versatile and efficient tool which can benefit businesses in multiple ways. We will use the sales funnel model to illustrate a funnel with and without a live chat implemented. Here we will explain specific how live chat can affect your funnel in every step. If you are still not sure whether you should implement live chat as your next tool in your stack of sales and marketing tools you have come to the right place. Let’s get to it!
Live chat improves your sales funnel
Above are two examples of a company’s sales funnel. On the left is a traditional sales journey and on the left is a sales journey where live chat is integrated. As you can see, the big difference is that the latter is significantly wider at the bottom. More specifically, this means that the company on the right converts more website traffic to buying customers. But how exactly does a live chat transform more visitors to real sales? We will take a closer look at that now.
The first step of the sales funnel is all about getting traffic to your website. To make potential customers aware of your business you probably already have some marketing activities focusing on generating traffic to your site. It can be advertising, SEO or social media activities. We will get more into SEO activities later, as live chat (to many people’s surprise) can have a positive effect on that. We will continue to the next step of the funnel, where the effect of a live chat is clear. In this phase you want to focus on keeping your website visitors interested in what you offer. This is a job that live chat fulfills to perfection. By inviting visitors to interact with the sentences “We are online” and “Hi, can I help you with anything?” you indicate that you are online and ready to help. In the chat it is possible to communicate with a real human being who can give your potential customers immediate answers to their inquiry. As you can see in the traditional sales funnel, which by the way is the case in many businesses, many customers are on their own most of the time during the online customer journey. Live chat can function as an online assistant who helps visitors on the site, just as an assistant would do in a physical store. We will get back to why availability is crucial and should be highly prioritized.
In the last part of the sales funnel, it all comes down to if you can get customers to choose you.
Even having a live chat that focus on customer service will leave the customer on their own the last part of the journey which can be risky. Our live chat solution will cover this gap as our chat consultants will collect contact information on those customers who shows buying interest. The contact information will be forwarded to you so you can contact them and easily close the sale. This is extremely valuable as many customers stop their research for alternatives as soon as they are waiting for an offer.
We hope that we have made it clear how live chat can have a positive effect and support all steps in your sales funnel and because of that increase your conversion rate. We will now dive even more into the different steps and show specific how live chat improve every step in the funnel.
Higher ranking in search results
As mentioned earlier on live chat can have a positive effect on your Search Engine Optimization. A higher ranking will naturally increase the amount of traffic you get on your site. Studies show that in 70% of all Google searches one of the first five results gets picked. So how do you get a higher SEO rating so you can attract as many customers as possible? You must look at your website’s page authority. The term page authority covers multiple things and changes regularly, but we know for a fact that sites’ engagement is one of the factors Google measures.
Websites’ engagement is among other things measured based on its dwell time and bounce rate which live chat can have a positive impact on. The two terms are both concerned with how long visitors stays on the site. If your dwell time is low, you probably have a high bounce rate. That means your visitors quickly decide to leave your site after entering. In purchase related situations it is often because your visitors have a hard time finding what they were looking for. A live chat can make sure that visitors find what they are looking for. Through personal dialogues the chat consultant can help and interact with the potential customer which will increase the time the visitor spends on the site. The visitors’ engagement on the site will also grow as the chat consultant will clarify some concerns, answer practical questions, or help them find what they were looking for on the site. A higher dwell time and better engagement rate can lead to a higher ranking in the Google search results than your competitors, which is incredibly valuable.
Customers are expecting you to be available
Once a potential customer has landed on your site there is a lot that can determine whether or not it ends up in an actual sale. In a perfect situation the trust and chemistry arise immediately, and the customer chooses you right away. Unfortunately, this rarely happen, and a lot can go wrong that causes the customers’ exit. Website visitors are hard to convince and therefore you must do everything you can to give the best first impression. If your website has a live chat, you are signaling that you want to help which is the best you can do to attract and keep as many customers as possible. If an interested customer opens the chat and start chatting, the chat consultant can maintain and even increase the interest in your company through personal interactions.
The digitalization has changed our behaviour and expectations for companies’ availability. We have become more impatient and we are expecting immediate answers when we are interested in a company. At the same time, the structure of the internet means that potential customers are always just one click away from competitors. In order to meet consumers’ needs you have to give the same customer experience online as you would in a psychical shop. Just as you would expect to be able to seek help in a psychical shop, a live chat will play the corresponding role on your website. Imagine that you are in a psychical store with no opportunity to get a quick answer on product related questions. Frustrating, right? In that situation you would probably not be satisfied with filling a contact form or reaching the company by phone where there is a chance that you call outside opening hours. In the same way it is not good enough for your website visitors.
Availability is also very much about how customers can reach out to you. Being able to get in touch with you through chat is very attractive for both you and your customers. A new market research done by Megafon shows that 45% of people prefer to contact businesses through chat. Even more importantly, the research show that +50% of people chooses to deselect a business if they cannot get in touch with them through their preferred communication channel. A global research done by J.D Power also shows that chats are the preferred way of communicating with companies. It shows that 46% prefer live chat compared with 29% that prefers email and 16% for social media. Having a chat is not only convenient for your customers but is also the ideal tool for you to generate more sales as you will not get deselected based on a missing communication channel. If the live chat you implement even handle customer inquiries 24/7 you have reached the top of availability. Our data particularly shows that many tend to chat with businesses outside normal office hours which underlines the importance of having a chat that is open 24 hours a day.
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Interactions lead to conversions
We know for a fact that the availability and customer service you are signaling through livechat leads to increased conversions and more paying customers. Coverting traffic is specifically something that many businesses are struggling with. The challenge is typically that most businesses prioritize sales and marketing activities in the top funnel. Many spend over 85% of their marketing budget on getting traffic to their website. Traffic is of course never a bad thing but the prioritizing of the funnel will show in the conversion rate. Statistics show that 17% of website visitors has a buying intention men only 1-4% end up buying something. Converting website visitors to buying customers is a real problem for many companies. Maybe you are one of them? In that case you might want to consider live chat, as you through chats can gather information about your visitors. Through chat dialogues you are able to see your customers signals, which can help you get more knowledge about why customer chooses you, why they are deselecting you or what information they are having a hard time finding on your site. These are signals that would be easy to registre in a psychical shop but online it is much more difficult. Chat dialogues makes it possible for you to get to know your potential customers and optimize your site based on your findings which eventually will increase your conversion rate.
Besides getting a deep understanding of your customer base you can use live chat to generate leads. As mentioned earlier on, it basically means that the chat consultant will collect contact information on people that are intersted in being, and will forward their information to you. You will also get the entire chat dialogue so you can get a clear sense of what the customer wants to get an offer of or what question they want you to answer. This is incredibly valuable as many actually stops looking for alternatives while they are waiting for an offer or an answer to their product related question. While the potential customer’s interest in you are on hold, you will receive the lead that easily can get you informed about what the needs are and how you should approach the customer when you contact them. In that way you have the best starting point for converting leads to buying customers.
As you might have realized, the sales funnel is not just four steps where you can work with each steps’ separate tools. The most effective and optimal sales funnel is when there is an interplay between the various sales and marekting tools. Therefore we also do not suggest that you only focus entirely on the bottom of the sales funnel, as well as you should not only focus on the top funnel. It is crucial that you focus on the sales funnel as a whole and you should not spend the majority of your budget on traffic generating activities. Live chat should be your next sales and marketing tool due to the positive effect in all of the sales steps which in the ends leads to more sales. It is an efficient tool that neither exceeds your budget nor expecting much from you. The effect of your live chat will show in several areas of your business, and the price you pay for your live chat solution will be nothing compared to the value it creates. Are you ready to give it a go?