For most sales directors, sales success hinges in part on your SDR team’s ability to respond promptly and professionally to incoming inquiries during the buying process. In addition to being many website visitors’ and consumers’ preferred mode of communicating with a company today, live chat can be used throughout the sales cycle to increase sales conversions. Most importantly, live chat is the preferred mode of communication for consumers, exceeding voice, email, and social messaging in popularity. Below are ten ways to use live chat to enhance your sales strategy (and most importantly, your sales results).
1) Bring authenticity to your business
“Authenticity is crucial to continued loyalty from fickle audiences. This poses a challenge for marketers: They must navigate the latest and greatest means of meeting the customer where they are and ensure the messages they put out are both genuine and in alignment with their brand principles.”
– Ashley Diebert, Vice President of Marketing at iQ Media
Interacting with a company representative via chat helps to establish your business as a legitimate force within your industry. Introducing chat shows your target audience the following:
- You understand their desire for a fast response
- You have the tools and resources to address their concerns quickly
- You are serious about wanting to do business with them
2) Gather valuable customer data
Chat transcripts provide valuable Voice of Customer (VOC) data that can be instrumental in helping you shape your sales and marketing plans. For instance, you can review questions, words, and key phrases that prospects use when inquiring about your products. The data you retrieve can help you identify the following:
- Which of your products or services are in the highest demand
- The keywords that your customers use to discuss products and services they need
- Customer opinions and suggestions related to your products, website, and content
3) Add a human element to the sales process
“Most savvy merchants understand the importance of human interaction, no matter how strong the investment in multichannel selling and digital customer service. In fact, a recent global study of more than 24,000 consumers and 1,000 businesses confirms the fact in no uncertain terms: consumers everywhere highly value the human element in their interactions with businesses.”
– Anne Patton, Vice President of Marketing for Verint Systems
As automation gains popularity across the globe, a growing number of consumers are craving the personalized approach that accompanies interaction with a human. Offering customers the option to chat about your products and services provides this necessary personalization and humanizes your business.
4) Keep your customers engaged
The typical website visitor will leave your website after only 10 to 20 seconds, highlighting the need to keep visitors engaged. Customers who interact with chat agents are more likely to stay on your website longer, which will ultimately increase the likelihood of conversions.
5) Reinforce your brand to customers
“Agents should draw on corporate identity, sales chat purpose and audience expectations to shape the voice and tone of their chat sessions… Agents should be trained on, and expected to convey, the official voice and tone of the company they’re representing (e.g. informative, professional and innovative).”
– TELUS International
As a business professional, you already know that many of your customers make choices based on company branding. Chat sessions provide a prime opportunity for sales agents to promote your brand and allow customers to connect with your brand and learn more about your products and services. Furthermore, it’s easy to make your chat solution act as a seamless extension of your company branding by incorporating custom fonts, brand colors, and backgrounds into your chat boxes and buttons.
6) Upsell and cross-sell
Once a chat is initiated and the lead is fully engaged, you have the exciting opportunity to educate the buyer and provide product recommendations using a consultative sales approach. In some cases, this means introducing the customer to a new or superior product that better meets his or her needs. The end result is often a higher rate of customer satisfaction — and a healthier bottom line for your business.
7) Shorten the sales cycle
“People are making decisions faster than ever before, and they expect to be able to act on those decisions instantly. People want help in these decision-making moments. For marketers, this means shifting their strategies to keep pace with these impatient consumers.”
– Think with Google
Customers who use live chat to inquire about products typically receive responses to their questions in a matter of seconds. By receiving key product details more quickly, customers are able to expedite their purchasing decisions, thereby shortening the overall sales cycle and delighting sales professionals.
8) Set yourself apart from your competitors
“True story that relates to sales. Someone was visiting our site and asked me to tell him what we did better than our competitors. I asked in return, ‘Were you able to chat with any of them today online?’ He said, ‘no :)’, signed up, and paid for our service that day.”
– Josh Ledgard, Founder of KickoffLabs
In spite of the fact that consumer demand for live chat grew 8.3% in 2017, there are still many businesses that are not offering chat to their customers. Live chat enables your business to be competitive and effectively stand out in a sea of similar offerings.
9) Post-sale customer support
Post-sale support is vital to a successful customer journey. Customers can use the chat feature to quickly reach out to manufacturers and service providers to ask product-related questions and relay the following:
- Inquiries regarding product assembly, setup, etc
- General technical support questions about a product or service
- Requests for operators manuals, service manuals, additional training, etc
10) Resolve questions and problems quickly
“Live chat isn’t just good for communication, it’s good for saving time. In fact, statistics show that most problems get resolved in 42 seconds – meaning you can help more customers, while your customers get the answers they need in the fashion they want.”
– Daniel James, Business2Community
Speed is King for a growing number of busy consumers. Questions and problems seem to crop up at the most unpredictable times, sometimes arising on the weekends or in the middle of the night. Companies that feature 24/7 chat (supplemented with the assistance of chatbot technology) are able to offer an unparalleled level of responsiveness by providing customers with a fast, convenient way to access support.