In recent years, businesses and their contact centers have undergone a rapid digital transformation.
Consequently, the way we communicate with customers has swiftly evolved in order to keep up with consumer demand.
It was once the case that phone calls and emails were the primary communication channels for contact centers.
It is vital that businesses cater to this demand for efficient and convenient customer service.
This is where live chat solutions come into play.
Not only does it help enhance the customer experience, live chat is also a powerful tool to boost sales and optimize lead generation.
So, if you’re wondering how to get started with live chat lead generation, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Live chat defined and how it is implemented
- The live chat vs chatbots debate
- The advantages of live chat
- The power of live chat lead generation
- Top tips for optimizing live chat lead generation
What is live chat?
Simply put, live chat is a communication channel embedded in a company’s website.
It’s used across a vast range of industries. Around 67% of B2C organizations offer live chat customer support and 74% use it to drive sales and generate leads.
Live chat software allows website visitors to have real-time conversations with your support or sales team via direct messages.
It’s the ideal tool for customers seeking convenient and humanized assistance.
How is live chat implemented?
Live chat solutions are frequently implemented to boost conversions and customer satisfaction.
In most cases, live chat software will appear on your website page as a widget icon or pop-up chat window.
The automatic pop-up is a proactive way to engage customers and encourage visitors to start a conversation.
Both customers and agents can initiate contact by sending the first message.
Forward-thinking software, like Talkative’s live chat solution, comes with innovative capabilities that improve and humanize the customer experience.
These features include personalized automated responses and the ability to cobrowse with customers whilst chatting to them.
Live chat vs chatbots
Chatbots are automated systems programmed to simulate conversation with customers.
Some chatbots use AI technology to respond to messages, whereas others are designed using decision trees.
Either way, both are limited in that they can only respond usefully to common or straightforward queries.
They are ineffective at dealing with more complex issues where a customer needs intricate advice or guidance.
They are also not favored by the majority of your website visitors, as 75% of consumers prefer customer service from a human agent. Users often become frustrated with the robotic nature of chatbots.
However, this is not to say that chatbots are completely redundant.
They can be a great way to proactively reach out to website visitors with automated greetings.
If a customer responds to the prompt, they can then be transferred to a live chat session to continue the interaction.
Chatbots also have the benefit of 24/7 availability. They don’t require human agents to function, so they are available to assist customers outside of your contact center operating hours.
And, their responses are immediate. So, if they do have the answer to a problem, the customer receives a solution instantly with no delays.
Undoubtedly, the ultimate solution for your contact center is one that combines the use of both chatbots and live chat.
However, when it comes to humanizing the customer experience and optimizing lead generation, live chat clearly has the upper hand.
We’ll demonstrate how in the following sections, where we delve into the details of live chat advantages and live chat lead generation.
Advantages of live chat
Live chat technology is undeniably a valuable asset for any business or contact center.
It currently reigns as consumers’ favorite support channel; in 2020, the global customer satisfaction rate with live chat peaked at 85.6%.
The decision to empower your website or contact center with live chat comes with many advantages - let’s dive in.
Increase conversion rates
A key benefit of live chat is that it helps you sell more.
In fact, website visitors who engage in live chat are 2.8x more likely to convert than those who don’t.
To emphasize this point, 79% of companies say that integrating live chat support has had a positive impact on leads, sales and revenue.
Our customer Healthspan, for example, has seen a 500% increase in customer interactions since launching Talkative’s live chat, plus a direct uplift in online sales.
Live chat’s speedy, back-and-forth messaging also shortens the sales process. Quicker conversions means more time for further conversions.
Furthermore, live chat creates more opportunities to upsell. Your sales team can smoothly offer further recommendations and relevant deals as the interaction progresses.
Efficient customer service
Although live chat support is not always as immediate as a chatbot, it can still provide rapid customer service.
In fact, the global average wait time for live chat support dropped to just 35 seconds in 2020.
Live chat allows human agents to provide efficient assistance through convenient, real-time communication.
This means that customers can get swift solutions from a single interaction. The same issue might take days to resolve via other channels like email.
Humanized customer experience
As well as providing efficient and convenient customer service, live chat also humanizes the digital customer experience.
A pop-up message offering instant support from a real human has a friendly, personal vibe. It’s more akin to an in-person customer interaction than writing an email or phoning a call center.
This personalized experience involving human contact optimizes the customer journey and makes your brand more memorable.
The human element of live chat is ideal for providing more detailed guidance and solving complicated queries fast.
Because of this, live chat’s humanized support helps increase first-contact resolution rates.
Live chat solutions are a great way to boost productivity in your contact center.
Consider this – an agent can only engage in a single phone call or respond to one email at a time.
With live chat, by contrast, they can handle multiple interactions at once. This results in a faster and higher resolution rate.
If any of your competitors are not offering live chat, you have a window of opportunity to implement it first and stand out from the crowd.
Imagine you’re a customer browsing websites, trying to decide between a service or product offered by two businesses.
Are you inclined to write an email or wait on hold for phone support? Or, would you be more likely to contact the company that is readily available via live chat on their website?
As you can see, providing high-quality live chat support may win over customers torn between you and your competition.
Strengthen relationships & brand loyalty
The humanized experience provided by live chat helps to establish positive relationships with consumers.
These relationships are strengthened by the conversational element of live chat, as it enables agents to build trust and rapport with your customers.
Enhanced digital journey
Live chat software can be integrated into your website or app as a consistently accessible widget. Thus, it is embedded within your customers’ digital journey.
Consequently, potential leads will no longer have to dig through your website to find contact details if they have any queries. Support is already there for them, just a click or message away.
This easy access minimizes consumer effort and creates a seamless customer experience.
Increased customer engagement
Live chat is an ideal platform to connect with prospective customers and acquire new leads.
Once you make live chat available on your site, you’ll likely witness an increase in customer engagement and acquisition through increased interactions.
This creates more opportunities to convert website visitors into qualified leads.
Live chat lead generation
Lead generation is the process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for your business.
The end goal is to transform consumer interest in your product into a sale or successful conversion.
Lead generation can be challenging for online business.
Even if your website has high traffic, you may find it difficult to turn website visitors into real opportunities.
Live chat can be a major part of the solution to this problem. It helps your organization pursue and generate leads naturally through increased interactions and customer engagement.
Now, let’s consider some live chat features you can employ to maximize lead generation.
Customer data & journey mapping
In order to generate more leads, you can utilize customer data to provide personalized live chat support.
This will help you to identify and understand potential leads by learning more information about them.
Talkative software allows you to employ customer data such as:
- Interaction logs
- Purchase history
- Customer world location
You can also integrate the use of customer journey mapping to fuel live chat lead generation.
This capability gives your contact center agents an overview of the customer’s website journey during their current session.
They can view which pages on your website the customer has visited and how long they have spent browsing them.
Customer journey mapping helps to contextualize your customer interactions and allows your agents to offer more tailored and helpful advice.
We’re all aware of the complications that a language barrier can create.
Language-related communication issues or misinterpretations can be problematic for agents attempting live chat lead generation.
Potential leads may become confused or frustrated if they are not adequately understood. They may even lose confidence in your brand or product.
To solve this problem, Talkative has embedded real-time multilingual technology into our live chat software.
Agents can use this tool to instantly and effortlessly translate live chat sessions into over a hundred different languages.
With this feature, your contact center can give exceptional support and customer service to any lead, in any location.
Chat email triggers
It is vital to remember that the lead generation process does not stop when your live chat team is offline or busy.
Just think, what if a potential lead attempts to initiate a live chat but your contact center agents are unavailable?
The best way not to miss this lead-capturing opportunity is by having an email trigger option within your chat widget that customers can use at any time.
Agents can use submitted emails to identify high-potential leads, and get back to them promptly.
Email options like this are useful because they provide an alternative point of contact for leads in cases of urgency.
Live chat for social media
A progressive solution you can adapt to attract more leads is live chat for social media.
This feature integrates your brand’s live chat into social messaging channels such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and SMS.
In relation to lead generation, the key benefit is clear – if your website visitor is one of the billions of individuals using social media, you can capture that lead via their favorite messaging platform.
Top tips to optimize live chat lead generation
Implementing live chat software and making use of its lead-capturing features is a solid start to generating more leads.
But, if you want to fully optimize your contact center for live chat lead generation, take note of the following tips.
Provide your live chat team with effective training
Simply offering live chat support to your customers is not enough.
It needs to be utilized effectively by your employees in order to deliver an excellent customer experience and entice leads.
Therefore, it’s vital that you give your contact center agents up-to-date training on live chat best practices.
All efforts to optimize live chat lead generation will be in vain if your agents are not equipped to deliver exceptional live chat support.
Offer proactive assistance
A great way to increase live chat lead generation is through proactive engagement.
Consider reaching out to your website visitors first, rather than waiting for them to initiate contact.
Agents can do this by sending relevant questions to customers once they have spent a prolonged amount of time on a website page. This can help qualify them as leads.
Respond promptly to messages
Customers use live chat because they want answers to their queries fast.
So, it is imperative that you don’t keep potential leads waiting too long. The longer they’re kept in a live chat queue, the more likely they are to lose interest and trust in your brand.
The best way to counteract this problem is through live chat software that incorporates average wait time displays.
This is one of the great features that Talkative’s live chat offers.
In order to maximize live chat lead generation, agents must provide a personalized customer experience.
This can be achieved through the use of customer data and actively listening to customers in order to adapt each interaction to their needs and preferences.
Remember, a personalized experience is a more memorable and enjoyable experience.
You are much more likely to generate leads through live chat if you provide this level of tailored service.
Escalate to other channels if needed
It’s important to realize that, as beneficial as live chat is, it’s not always the right channel for every customer interaction.
Sometimes, a complex query will require guidance beyond that which live chat can offer.
This transition must be done smoothly to give potential leads the seamless omnichannel experience that consumers love.
Entice leads with creative incentives
You can use live chat interactions as an opportunity to generate leads by offering incentives or rewards in exchange for their business.
Incentives like discounts, free delivery, or vouchers will encourage leads to engage in live chat and follow through on purchases.
This tactic will create happier customers who are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend your brand to others.
1. How does live chat software handle customer data privacy and security concerns, especially given its integration into various aspects of the customer journey and potential access to personal information?
2. Are there specific industries or types of businesses that may benefit more from using live chat for lead generation compared to others? Are there any industries where live chat might not be as effective?
While live chat can be beneficial across various industries, its effectiveness for lead generation may depend on factors such as the nature of the business, its target audience, and the complexity of its products or services. For instance, industries with high customer interaction volumes, such as e-commerce or SaaS, may find live chat particularly valuable for engaging leads in real-time. Conversely, businesses operating in highly regulated sectors or those with niche markets may face challenges in leveraging live chat effectively for lead generation.
3. What metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) should businesses track to measure the effectiveness of their live chat lead generation efforts, and how can they optimize these metrics over time?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring the effectiveness of live chat lead generation typically include performance metrics such as conversion rate, response times, customer satisfaction score, and lead capture rates. By tracking these metrics over time, businesses can gain insights into the performance of their live chat initiatives and identify areas for improvement. Optimization strategies may involve refining chat scripts, training agents to enhance their communication skills, or implementing automation (e.g. AI chatbots) to streamline the lead generation process. Regular monitoring and analysis of KPIs are crucial for fine-tuning live chat strategies and maximizing their impact on lead generation.
The takeaway: Live chat, a lead generation tool for your business
It’s clear that live chat is an essential addition to any business website or contact center.
Not only is it a popular and convenient customer support channel, it can also take your lead generation to the next level.
This is because live chat aligns with the demands of the modern consumer. It is fast, humanized, and versatile.
With the live chat features and strategies detailed in this article, you can provide personalized service, increase conversions, and optimize lead generation.
But only if you implement the right solution for your business. One that has been specifically tailored to your contact center’s needs.
And that's where Talkative comes in.
Our platform provides a complete suite of engagement channels that'll empower your customer advisors to connect instantly, and effortlessly, with your digital customers.
And as a primary feature of the platform, Talkative's enhanced live chat comes with a hue range of tools to help you engage and convert your customers - from message preview to dynamic canned messages, automatic translation, and much more
Want to see how Talkative could help your brand achieve more leads through live chat? Book your demo today.