If your company makes a lot of sales through your website, or if a large number of your sales are initiated by customers visiting your website, you should consider adding live online chat to your site.
Live online chat allows visitors to your site to click on a button to have an online discussion with you or one of your sales/customer support people. Basically, by clicking a professional looking chat with me? button, customers are brought to a familiar instant messaging system.
This live chat technology is not only scalable and cost effective, but it has greatly increased our sales and lead generation since many people are more comfortable having a few questions answered via chat than taking the time to call in. Some of our customers have told us that, while they have never actually clicked the live chat button, they like knowing that it is there if they ever have a quick question on our service.
This type of customer sales support can be a bit distracting. So, while I highly recommend installing a live chat on your business website as well I do have a few caveats. First, this tool works very well for our big ticket items, like our document scanning service. It can be a bit of a waste of time if you offer free or very low price items (for example, responding to potential users of our free scanning software product via live chat can sometimes be time consuming and not generate real revenue.) Secondly, since you never know when a customer will be pinging you online you should make sure you can turn on and off the live support feature as needed – you don’t want to be interrupted when you are in a meeting! Finally, you do need to be disciplined in how long you spend on any given live support discussion. If a chat is appears that it will not generate a sale and will not help an existing customer with an issue then you need to gently transition the conversation to email, where you can control the amount of time you spend responding to the customer.