(Last Updated On: October 12, 2018)

Where Does Chat Fit Into Your Sales Funnel?

by | Sales Solutions

Your company’s website is, in almost all circumstances, your most important online asset. It is the universal landing page for successful SEO, it is what your customers are familiar with and what guides leads to conversion. No doubt you and your web developer have done a lot of thinking about what features to include and how the website is arranged.

Implementing a chat solution on your business website provides a clear competitive advantage. Chat is great for quickly dealing with customer service issues, increasing customer satisfaction, and reducing cost-per-interaction. However, what about your sales funnel? If used correctly, website chat can maximize inbound leads and increase conversion rates.

Clarify shopper questions

The first and most direct interaction that website chat has with the sales funnel is the ability for customers to simply ask a question (as they might in a real store), and receive an answer from a live customer service agent. Anyone who has ever worked in retail can understand the value of quickly and easily answering customer questions, especially when chat agents are able to handle two to five conversations concurrently on average.

This allows website visitors to continue their research of your products and services with the help of a sales or support rep. Prospective buyers can start a chat conversation to ask if you carry shoes in their size or offer service in their zip code and one of your helpful customer service agents can give them the answer in seconds — rather than waiting hours or days as they might after sending an email. The buying process accelerates as picky and cautious customers can make up their minds faster with immediate online help.

Concierge personal shopping

Of course, you don’t have to treat your website chat solution like a completely passive service. Just as many high-end shops have concierge service in which a single host will show buyers around and help them choose items, businesses can offer a personal shopping experience to all or select customers through the convenience of integrated website chat. Agents can politely introduce themselves and offer assistance when a visitor or lead first lands on your website and then they can choose whether or not to shop with the help of a personal chat concierge service.

Needless to say, for certain target audiences and for those who simply enjoy the attention and personalized interaction of shopping with a knowledgeable guide, this kind of service could earn you loyal customers (and perhaps even a delighted social media share) for a unique online experience.

Pre-scheduling consultations

For many businesses, it’s important that the client know exactly what they want before they make an order. From doctor’s offices to custom construction services, it may be helpful for you to have every customer talk to an agent for a few minutes before they schedule an appointment or service. If you have been relying on phone calls, you may have been losing business from people who don’t care to or can’t talk over the phone. Even if you have a fairly functional survey system, a live chat agent is better equipped to handle unusual situations that online forms simply can’t, and may earn you a few extra sales from people who would have struggled to manage the survey.

In many ways, having an integrated website chat feature is like having a helpful, personal greeter for your website that every customer can interact with.

Lead qualification

Not all leads are good leads. This is one of the first lessons of almost any marketing or sales training. Just because someone has clicked on your ad or looked at your website doesn’t mean they are automatically ready to purchase your product or services (or are even looking for them in the first place). What signifies a qualified lead is often a complex combination of factors and often, human interactions are required to fully qualify a website visitor’s current position along the sales funnel.

A live chat feature in your website can proactively reach out to leads based on specific triggers like time on page, page URL, location, language, and more. Putting a custom chat button on your business website also makes it easy for website visitors to start a chat with a sales development representative, who can qualify the lead during the conversation.

Catch-all customer service

The customer journey is not always a straightforward path for every prospective customer or even for current customers. Some people need help finding what they want, others know exactly what they want and need it specially ordered. Some have account trouble, others order packages and then change locations. The better your team can handle every single one of these potential obstacles, the easier it will be to build a loyal customer base. Providing chat solutions on your website ensures that leads and customers who come looking for answers online will have an easy way to speak with a human and get their issue or questions sorted out.