How To Use Live Chat to Improve Your Marketing
Why has live chat grown so quickly?
It’s hard to browse around the internet these days without running into live chat windows left and right. So, why has it become so popular so quickly?
Well, simply put, live chat fills a gap in customer service online. It adds that hands on personal touch that was lacking in the digital world. The rise of live chat on the web goes hand in hand with the rise of personalization in marketing campaigns and site experiences.
It used to be the in-store experience and the online experience were completely separate and unalike, but with live chat and personalization, we are coming back to one holistic experience per brand, whether you walk into a physical retail store, or interact with the brand online. Live chat adds the human element to the online world and gives each customer the personal attention they need and the instant gratification of an immediate tailored response.
Now, live chat has been around for a long time…so why is it just in the past year that it has become so widely popular? Well, to be blunt, live chat tools used to be horrible. Instead of improving the user experience, they were clunky tools that took site visitors out of their flow and were difficult to use. Today, on the other hand, there are a few companies offering kick ass live chat experiences. From an end user perspective, these lives chat platforms provide a seamless experience, integrating perfectly with the existing site experience.
What are the different ways to use live chat on your site to improve your marketing campaigns and site performance?
There are 2 routes:
This is the “here when you need me” route. It is very subtle and let’s the user be in control. Instead of popping up messages throughout the users experience, this just makes the user aware that live chat is available and then let’s them reach out if the site doesn’t answer all of their questions or they want to talk with a human.
We recommend starting with this route of integrating live chat. There is nothing more annoying than messages popping up when you don’t need them as you go through a site…it can even deter users from staying on your site and completing their exploration. Don’t get in your customers way. Start with unintrusive live chat and let visitors reach out to you on their terms.
Then you can move into logic based live chat once you have a better understanding of user behavior around live chat.
2) Logic Based
Unlike unintrusive live chat, logic based live chat pops up with relevant and useful messages based on users specific actions. You create predefined situations or triggers that cause a live chat window to pop up with prefilled content for your visitor.
If the visitor responds, then a live chat begins. But you can also use this just to provide the user with relevant information on their journey in a “Did you know…?” type of fashion.
This can really add value to your visitors site experience, but you have to have a deep understanding of your user behavior in order to effectively implement logic based live chat. You should only use this type of live chat when it completely makes sense.
The point of this type of live chat is not to force your users through the sale, but rather to accurately help them along their site journey where they need it.
What tools should you use?
We love Intercom because it not only provides a seamless live chat experience with all of the scripting and logic that you might need, but also transitions to email when you’re not on live chat so that you can continue the conversation with your customers over time. This is a nice blend. On top of that it offers a suite of customer communication and support tools.
Olark is a solid straight up live chat platform. It is very easily to implement and get up and running and provides a good on-site experience without all of the additional features and frills of Intercom. This is an especially good tool to check out if you are just starting out with live chat and are unsure how important it is to your site experience.