Many moons ago, I published an article on the latest in bleeding edge customer service and pre/after sales support - live chat. At that time, I had trialed the first commercial live chat service around and was totally blown away by it. But it caused some conflict in me as I saw it as an invasion of privacy. In fact, at that time, I would consciously avoid sites that displayed a "click here for live chat" button as I knew full well that I was being tracked through their site. How times change.
Live sales and support chat services are no longer bleeding edge, they are mainstream, and it seems that if you aren't using these kinds of services, you are really missing out on closing sales. Convenience has overcome the privacy fears in most online shoppers. Many ecommerce sites have reported an increase of up to 50% in sales through providing live chat software as a standard part of customer service.
According to a survey by Andersen Consulting, nearly 62 percent of Internet consumers said that if live online customer service were present, they would purchase more products online.
How does live chat work?
In most instances, very little in the way of software is hosted on your own site. You are provided with a few snippets of code to add to your pages, along with a button. The code signals the live chat server, hosted by the service, when somebody visits your site. The chat service then sends a signal to software installed on your desktop computer, or in some cases via an online application, to alert you to the fact that you have a visitor.
From there, you can watch in real-time as the visitor moves throughout your site. At any point, you can pop open a window to offer customer service and support, as is common in bricks and mortar stores - although in an online environment, this can startle some prospective clients - not a great way to try and generate sales.
While you have the client or "operator" application open, the button on your site will indicate to visitors that you are available to chat. When your software is disabled or not running, the live chat/support button will indicate that you aren't available, but a message can be left for you.
What are the benefits of a live chat service?
In relation to sales, many clients are hesitant in purchasing even if they have only one unanswered question. In this age of "I want it now", live support chat means that they can get the answers to their questions in real time, instead of the to and fro in standard customer service email.
Many sales are also lost at the point of ordering, clients get understandably edgy about providing personal details during the purchasing process, leading to shopping cart abandonment. By providing live support, you can assist them in that final hurdle between the lead and the sale.
If a client sees a live chat button on your site, it can also help them to be reassured that even after a sale has been made, they will have easy access to after-sales customer service and support.
The tracking component of these support chat applications can also help you to understand more about your site and the way that people interact with it. You'll be able to more accurately gauge at what common point that people tend to leave your site - the Achilles' heel of your sales process.
Also, you don't need to make your live chat service implementation public. By creating a password protected area, you can have it set up as a private conferencing facility for your clients.
Boldchat is one of the cheapest live chat support services around - an economical way to improve your sales, customer service and support without skimping on quality!
I've tested it out on a number of occasions and spoken at length with the CEO of BoldChat, Kent - via Boldchat of course :). Kent and his team are dedicated to providing the very best quality service to web site owners, superior in operation to other live chat software applications!
Boldchat has a full range of features, including (Pro series):
Premium versions of Boldchat are backed by a 30 day Money back guarantee. Try out the free version of Boldchat today to evaluate its impact on your web site - I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised by the ease of implementation, operation and just how easy it is for your visitors to use - they'll love your new approach to customer service.
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In Loving Memory - Mignon Ann Bloch
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