Making the Most Out of Live Chat
Live chat is a great way to engage your website visitors and make the most out of every website hit. By installing a live chat or instant messaging module on your site, you can offer your customers live customer service, sales, and technical support.
When ecommerce first started to gain popularity, many people compared the online shopping experience to that of a store. One of the major criticisms of online stores was that customers didn't have anyone to talk to and ask questions. In many ways, the online shopper browsed and purchased merchandise with little more than the information contained on the page. With the advent of technologies such as Live Chat, this is beginning to change. Although it is not yet in every online store, there will eventually be a time where most ecommerce sites have an employee there to answer questions as they would in a store.
To make the most out of live chat, you should ensure that you have at least one person from your company logged on at all times. This may be difficult at night or in the early morning, but keep in mind that the more often you are available means the more you'll be available to customers. During certain times, companies that use live chat may enlist the help of an advanced call center to help field inquiries about their products. It is interesting to note how Live Chat and similar services are in many ways like calling a company on the phone and emailing them. It is immediate like calling them yet there is a sense of detachment like sending an email. A lot of people appreciate how casual and unimposing it is while being helpful in their shopping experience.
Live chat has an excellent history in opening up communications with customers over the web, but it pairs excellently with other methods of contact such as email. You may find yourself answering questions and providing information on live chat for a length of time when your prospective client asks for pricing information, product or service specifications, or some other information more easily transmitted by email. In this situation getting the person's email address is even easier than by phone because problems with hearing the correct name and spelling are next to none. This also fixes the problem of having to hold your phone and type or write at the same time. You would simply copy and paste their address into an email window and you are ready to go.
Live chat isn't a comprehensive communications solution for your company, but of course it does not try to be. Live chat works best when used as yet another channel of contact between you and your customers. If you don't already use Live Chat, ask yourself "What is standing in my way?" You can already converse with people by telephone, email, and fax. You could really be gaining more business by adding Live Chat to your website. It is a low-cost solution that is easy to use and fits in well with your existing company structure because it allows customers to direct their inquiries by department as well.
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