Should you be using a web chat functionality on your website? Our latest blog looks at the benefits.

When you are selling products or a service online you are continuously looking to make it easier for your customers to obtain the answers to any questions or queries they may have. Like many websites at Concise Training, we have our contact details displayed so that they are easy to locate. Our email address, contact form, phone number, address and social media icons represent numerous ways that we can be contacted.

Despite having multiple contact methods we were aware that prospects sometimes want to ask a question immediately and don’t want to take the time to pick up the phone (I know I often don’t).  It could make the difference between them purchasing from you, purchasing from a competitor or deciding to come back another time (and then never getting the time).

Live web chat options are becoming more common across big brand websites. Sky Television have been utilising live web chat on their website since 2007. Mobile phone operators such as Three have also found success having a live web chat option available. A consumer trend study by ATG Global found that 90% of U.S. consumers consider live web chat helpful whilst 85% of European consumers ranked live web help as ‘useful to extremely useful’.  

Talking to the Concise Training team at the beginning of the year, we realised that we used live web chat options as a contact method ourselves when purchasing goods and services.  We also found that we had the resource to man a ‘chat option’ which was a keen consideration.  We didn’t want people to want to talk to us and have nobody available to answer. 

After some initial research and to prove the concept, we first chose a free WordPress plugin, which in principle did the job. However, it had a few downsides, including a limit to the number of chats you could have a month, an interface that wasn’t particularly user-friendly, no mobile functionality and it was a bit hit and miss whether it notified you that you had an incoming chat.   It did the purpose of proving the concept so, after some more research, we chose Pure Chat 

PureChat offers a free option which provides you with up to 15 chats a month on one website as well as visitor tracking. We initially installed the free option but after two months we were using all of our allocated 15 chats per month so we signed up for an option with 3 ‘seats’, which can be used on 2 websites and unlimited chats for $20 / month.  

The Pure Chat logo, our choice for a web chat functionality on our website.To date, we have been really impressed with the results from using PureChat.  We have seen a conversion rate of around 75% after chatting with customers. The other 25% haven’t all gone away but are just taking a bit longer to decide 😃.  This is significantly better than we saw from the website before installing Pure Chat.

Why Pure Chat?

It is easy to use – from the initial installation to general use, it is logically laid out and offers a very simple set of functionality.  Active visitors are shown including the page they are currently visiting, how many times they have visited the site, how they found the site  and where they are geographically located .  This allows Concise Training staff to monitor users browsing habits and initiate a live chat if they feel the browser could benefit from some assistance using the ‘Start Chat’ icon.  

The mobile app is fantastic offering an identical experience to operators as the desktop version from notifications to chatting.

From the visitors point of view, a (fully customisable) pop up graphic is displayed on the website. Triggers are available to have the chat box appear after a visitor has been on a page for a certain amount of time or has visited a specific web page(s).   You can also choose what information to collect when a visitor requests a chat. We request first name and email address to ensure we can have a personal conversation as well as a method of follow-up.

This image shows how the web chat functionality appears to visitors of the Concise Training website.

Other useful functions

Schedule & Profile

Each operator can set chat availability for each day of the week. For example, our availability is set to Monday – Friday 9am – 5:30pm.  It logs you in automatically at your start time and logs you out automatically at the end time.  

Notifications

You can set your notifications for incoming chats on your desktop or SmartPhone via SMS or the Pure Chat app.  Notifications come to all operators so you can share the workload.  It also allows other people to ‘Eavesdrop’ on chats to check quality. 

Transcripts

All chat transcripts can be downloaded so can be used for staff training, checking details or we automatically add transcripts to Nimble our CRM system so we keep a permanent record of our contacts with customers and prospects.

Canned Responses

You can set canned responses for anything that you may use on the majority of chats. For example, we have a canned response that is “Hi, you are through to Jonathan, How can I help you today?” All I do is add the visitor’s name to the response so they see an instant greeting from me.

Summary

We have been really impressed with Pure Chat (and have become an affiliate) but we are also impressed with the return on investment from having a chat function on the site and would highly recommend it as a way of giving your audience a personalised experience and a chance to experience the values of your business.  Do stop by and have a chat 😃

Do you use live web chat on your website? What are your experiences? Could it help your business? We would love to hear your thoughts.

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