Live Chat interfaces are boring, they don't always work well and even if they do you normally get a scripted response - followed by e-mail our support team. It's due to my own experiences that I had never really considered using a Live Chat system here on SEOAndy. That was until our latest revamp - a revamp that means we'll be creating new, more relevant and updated versions of content from years gone by and moving to a more streamlined offering. We're opening up consultation services once again, but we should add we've got limited availability for this (at time of writing).
To go with this revamp I've decided that Live Chat should be part of what we are doing. That statistics stack up and having tried a few over the past few months I have rolled it out across the new site. It's down there in the bottom right hand corner of your browser (it scrolls with you).
Here are my...
5 Reasons Business Websites should use Live Chat
1 - It's Convenient for Users
Around 60% of e-mails received over the past year to SEOAndy have been to ask for help and advice. Something I am more than happy to give, after all SEOAndy is about helping as much as possible, so if we can clear up an confusion we will. Live Chat will enable us to help a little more quickly and mean there is less waiting around for a reply - we won't be online 24/7 but where not live you can use the Live Chat to leave a message.
But it's not just business sites like SEOAndy that can benefit, a study by emarketer found that "63% of respondents who chatted said they were more likely to return to the site, and 62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself." Showing that user loyalty is likely to increase with such a system as is the probability of making a sale (on ecommerce websites).
2 - It's Cost-Effective
Ok, it may not be "Free" like e-mail is, but Live Chat systems - like the one we use OLARK - are very cost effective. Indeed, OLARK offers a 'free forever' offering with certain limitations and limited integrations.
If you use WordPress there are a number of free plugins that have Live Chat functionality, however as with everything it comes at a speed cost & potential security cost.
Another reason for Live Chat being cost effective is that it's much cheaper than perhaps 'renting' a phone number and it has often been found to increase staff efficiency (as there are less emails among other reasons).
3 - It Finds Pain Points
One of the best things I found about using Live Chat has been that it gives you a level of insight into your audience. For example our experience has shown that certain types of article are more likely to result in lead generation or general questions. Live Chat, with OLARK is great for this because the system allows for "co-browsing" which is a way in which you can basically a screen-sharing tool so you can really jump in and help you user there and then.
Also most live chat systems give you a transcript of each chat, meaning that you can always find more pain points shown by customer questions.
4 - It Gives You an Edge
In a world of constant improvement it is sometimes hard to stand out from the competition, but Live Chat helps to do just this.
We've found that Live Chat, because of it's speedy nature, allows you to gain an advantage over your competitors - whilst you may be one of 5 companies in a shortlist, if someone is looking at your site and can get answers straight away then from a brand point you look awesome, from a customer service point you look great and from a general customer feeling point of view they know you're around. it's win win win.
5 - You Can Only Gain
There aren't many tools where its a case of you can only gain from it as a website and business. Live Chat is one of those tools and piece of functionality that is so cost-effective and easy to install that its really a winning game. Users will either start to use it from day one or they won't and if they don't you can just remove it from the site - no big issue as its a pretty cheap way of getting contacts & you can pay monthly on most platforms.
So give it a try, Live Chat may change your business.
Finding the Right Live Chat Platform
So we've already told you that SEOAndy uses OLARK Live Chat, we are users for the Bronze service which is their lowest paid version. But we've tested a number of others, so here's a quick run down.
- Live Person - well established, starts at $18 for 1 user, nice dashboard.
- WhosOn - a pretty cool Live Chat system
- Kayako - A more traditional help system with ticketing.
Have you ever used Live Chat on your site, or thought about it, what are your experiences?