The Most Effective Way to Use Live Chat
Most business owners today know what it takes to provide a unique, personal, and positive customer experience when physically interacting with the customer. Unfortunately, many business owners can’t mimic that same success when dealing with customers online.
If you’ve been struggling to find success in this area of your business, offering live chat options can certainly help. Some studies suggest that customers who use live chat during the sales cycle are three times more likely to purchase something from your business.
As effective as it is, many online stores and online business owners don’t feel they have the time, money, or energy to keep their customer service lines open 24/7. The good news is you don’t have to offer live chat 24/7 and you don’t even have to offer it more than a few hours every week.
Of course, you’ll have to be careful about what times you pick, but that’s easy to figure out when you have the right strategies to implement. Don’t worry, we’re going to discuss three of the most beneficial ways your business can start offering live chat without spending too much time or money.
Let’s get started!
1. Utilize Live Chat During Peak Hours
The first way you can make live chat work for you and your staff is by only offering it during peak hours. Since most customers are going to have questions during certain times of the day, those are the times you should target when launching live chat services.
You can already gauge this by looking at the amount of questions you currently receive and when you receive them. Google Analytics is another great tool you can use when learning your customer's traffic patterns on your website.
You also want to account for all the customers you receive when running certain promotions, newsletters, or marketing campaigns. Since these are sure to bring traffic to your website, it’s best to have your live chat open for any questions you might receive.
Once you can find those peak hours to launch your live chat, experiment with 1-2 hour shifts and record your observations so you can reassess how everything is operating after a week or two. In due time, you’ll learn what works best for your customers and they’ll get the service they need -- when they need it.
2. Take Customer Feedback Seriously
When offering live chat to your customers, you’re going to want to make sure your chat queue doesn’t get crowded with questions, comments, and concerns. It adds stress to the situation, results in customers having to wait (which defeats the purpose of live chat), and makes your business look bad on all ends.
So, what does this have to do with customer feedback?
Believe it or not, those negative comments and bad reviews you get mean more to your business than you think. They are your opportunity to improve your business and offer an even greater service than you did before -- to everyone and anyone.
When you listen to your customer’s feedback and implement the changes they want to see, you effectively limit the amount of similar inquiries that are sure to flood your inbox.
Let’s take a glitch on your website for example. When one customer sees it, another one is bound to eventually. And when one customer reaches out to you about it, that means another one will unless you take care of that glitch.
The same goes for those frequently asked questions you get asked every single day. By offering a FAQ page prior to reaching out to live chat, you can eliminate those basic questions from flooding your inbox.
All of this is designed to keep your live chat tailored for those custom inquiries and difficult questions that actually matter.
3. Focus On the Inquiries That Matter
The moment you start marketing or promoting the fact that you offer live chat, there are going to be a lot of people that have questions and suddenly want to know more about what your business does -- especially when you place it at the bottom of every page on your website.
The truth is, not all inquiries are going to be worth your time and some of them are going to come from people that aren’t really that interested in what you have to offer. At the same time, you have to accept their question and give them your time.
Instead, you should be strategic about how you display your live chat, where you showcase it on your website, and at what times you make it available. This will put your business in a position to succeed with live chat.
For example, only showing the live chat option when visitors land on your ‘contact me’ page or the ‘checkout’ page. You can also tailor it to only show on certain product or service pages, which comes in handy if you get a lot of questions about one product in particular.
While you want to help anyone that comes your way, it’s best to focus on the inquiries that matter most and are more time-sensitive than other questions. All the other questions can be answered via email or a support ticket.
If you need further assistance when introducing live chat to your customers for the first time, then Consultants In-A-Box is prepared to help! We know this is something many business owners are scared to offer due to how tedious it can be, but we can help make it easy for you and your staff members.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business better interact with its customers -- after all, what’s more important than their satisfaction?
Ways to Earn Trust When Your Online Business is New
If there’s one thing all new business owners face when attempting to grow their customer base, it’s the lack of trust and lack of track record. It can be difficult to gain trust with customers that know nothing about who you are, what you do, and how passionate you are about your product.
That leaves us with the burning question on every new business owner’s mind, “How do I gain customer trust when I haven’t earned any reviews for them to go off of?”
Don’t worry, you’re not alone when asking this question. In fact, it’s something most business owners are faced with -- especially since it’s difficult to gain customer trust when you don’t have any customers.
That’s why we’re going to discuss nine of our favorite ways to earn trust with potential customers before they purchase your product. What you’ll get in return is interested buyers ready to make that purchase.
Let’s get started!
1. Find the Errors
If you want to build trust with potential customers that don’t know much about your brand, then you have to take a nice, long look at your website to determine whether or not it meets your customers’ standards.
Find the errors, fix them, and search for ways to improve it top-to-bottom. And before you ask, yes those grammar mistakes and punctuation errors do matter.
This includes making sure the website and shop are easy to navigate, making sure your homepage clearly states what your business does, and ensuring you give the customer as much information as possible.
To ensure everything is working properly, go through your site as if you’re a customer and experience it how they would experience it. You can also have your friends and family do the same to get their opinion of it.
2. Take Advantage of FAQs
Having a page dedicated to frequently asked questions is an extremely good practice when building a trustworthy website. There’s a reason why these questions get asked frequently and it’s because they’re the questions your customers are dying to get answers to.
A FAQ page does several things for your business and its customers. It informs the customer about who you are, what you do, and how you do it, as well as giving you an opportunity to display your expertise and establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
Finally, they give you a chance to limit the amount of inquiries that get flooded into your email inbox and phone support lines. This means a more streamlined process for you and the customer, which always leads to more trust when first starting out.
Don’t forget to include specific information about your company that wasn’t a good fit for the About page, information about products you sell, your return policy, shipping information, licenses or certifications, and anything else that might help the customer learn more about your business.
3. Hand Out Samples
When you’re truly having a difficult time grabbing the attention of customers and getting them interested enough to buy your products, it might be time to consider handing out free samples to a select few customers. Not only does this gauge interest, but it gets people using the product.
After all, who wouldn’t try something that’s free?
It’s a price you’ll have to pay in the beginning, but it can pay off dramatically when done right. You’ll not only gain positive reviews and repeat customers when they try the sample, but you’ll give others more reason to buy the real product when they miss out on the sample.
Here are some ideas you can try when handing out samples to potential customers:
- Use the power of a sample to request a review, testimonial, or survey from potential customers.
- Send a sample to a social media influencer related to your industry and have them market the product on their page.
- Do it the old-fashioned way and set up shop at a convention or art show and hand out samples there. Any event that’s related to your industry will work.
Since there will be an up-front cost to doing this, you’ll want to be strategic when preparing to hand out the samples. Don’t give them away like candy on Halloween. Instead, be precise about who gets one and make sure it also benefits you in some way.
4. Accurate, Yet Catchy Descriptions
You’d be surprised at how many online stores fail to utilize the product description when marketing their products. In fact, many business owners don’t write a product description at all.
If you want your customers to feel more comfortable when shopping for your products and browsing through your store, you need to make sure your product descriptions are detailed, creative, catchy, and specific.
You should be listing the measurements of the product, what they receive (if it comes in a box), how much it weighs, any disclaimers, warranty information, and ways the customer can enhance the product. Of course, images and video certainly help add to the experience for the customer.
5. Customer Service & Support
When you open your online store, you’ll likely have a lot of people that visit your store and immediately have questions. While most of these questions can easily be listed in a FAQ section on your website, that doesn’t always mean the customer sees it.
With that being said, it’s important to make yourself as available as possible to your customers. When they have a question, comment, or concern, you need to accommodate them immediately. Failing to do so could push them away and create a negative experience between you and the customer -- something they’ll tell their friends and family about.
There are two things you need to pay attention to here -- time and attitude. The longer you make customers wait, the more time you give them to find what they’re looking for elsewhere. Having a bad attitude with the customer won’t help the situation, either.
To solve this, many businesses are utilizing live chat and support chatbots that make itself available 24/7.
6. Return Policies
Building trust with customers that have yet to purchase your product or try your service is difficult, but offering a return policy that makes it easy for the customer is one of the best things you can do to soften the investment they’re making.
When they know they can return it if it’s not what they were expecting, they feel much more comfortable and almost view it as a sample because there’s no risk involved on their end. In addition to that, you gain customer insight when they tell you why they’re returning the product.
Since offering a return policy can become expensive for new businesses, you can always make the policy exclusive to loyalty members -- that way you also incentivize them to sign up with your loyalty program.
Once you have the return policy made up, make sure you post it everywhere for the customer to see. On product pages, the about page, contact page, FAQ page, and even the homepage of your site. Social media is another great tool for letting customers know.
7. Make Security a Priority
We live in a digital world and with that, we need to change the way we think. For those with brick-and-mortar shops, you understand how important it is to keep your customers safe when they enter through your doors -- it helps build trust with the customer.
The same thing needs to be done with online stores. With privacy being a huge concern on the internet and customer’s identity at stake, they need to feel safe when they visit your website. Making sure you use an HTTPS website, as well as use apps and plugins to further the security of your website is essential.
8. Content Is King -- Still
While many business owners have given up on content, it continues to be one of the single-most beneficial tools your business has on the internet today. It shows that your business is active, it gives the customers more value, and establishes yourself as a leader in your industry.
Building trust with content is extremely easy when you know what your customer wants and how to get it to them. Blogs are very popular today because it gives brands a chance to display their voice, vision, and expertise in a unique way.
Your content on social media is important too. Making sure you not only give the customers the content they need, but also interact with them and spark conversations to keep the connecting going is crucial to building trust with new customers.
Don’t give up on content. In fact, double it or even triple it. Your customers will notice, you’ll start to build an online presence, and you’ll start to see the customers flowing in.
9. Be Yourself!
When’s the last time you interacted with a company and felt like you were talking to a robot the whole time? This happens often in business today and it’s as unfortunate as it is ineffective.
Customers like doing business with real people. They want to feel heard, they want to know they’re being thought of, and they want to feel like they’re being helped. Those are three things most customers don’t get today.
You can change that. Don’t be scared to be yourself and let your customers see the personality or character in your business. Be human -- it’s what the customers want and it’s what your business needs.
Make your company feel real and your customers will reward you. They’ll connect with you and support your business through thick and thin.
If you need further assistance with building customer trust, don’t panic. Our team at Consultants In-A-Box is prepared to help you find success when getting your business started. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business grow!