Adding live chat service on website is a way of engaging visitors to your website directly while they are on it and using a Live Professional Operator to try and get them to buy or make an appointment for your salespeople to call them.
Everyone has a view about it. ”It’s brilliant and I couldn’t do without it anymore”. “It uses far too much time and costs too much”. Some will even tell you they have never heard of it (where have they been hiding recently?).
Like all new technologies early on it creates a variety of opinions as early adopters say “I want live chat on my website”. They grab it and live with its deficiencies, but get first mover advantage.
Suppliers learn from early adopters, so it gets better and more people say “I want live chat on my website too”. Over time, whole industries can adopt a new technology and it becomes a must-have.
But in these early days myths grow up around the new technology. Some are put about by believers and vendors, saying it’s the best thing ever. Others are from those opposed to the new technology.
Here are some of them:
1. Live Chat on a website is only for big companies not an SME like me – the internet has leveled the playing field, allowing small companies to compete directly with bigger companies. So if the big companies are adopting it, then as an SME I need to have a look to see what live chat on my website might do for me. Most of the web hosting company use live chat support for their customers, eg. Namecheap, Godaddy, Bigrock etc.
2. It costs too much for an SME – to get a manned live chat service or virtual receptionist service on my website, the setup costs can be just a few hundred pounds and running costs can be as low as £40 per month. In fact, as an SME having perhaps 100 chats per month, I can get live chat on my website for a year for as little as £14 per hour!
3. There’s no real benefit for an SME from the live chat on my website – manned live chat service on my website keeps my business open, even when I’m asleep. Live chat operators answer questions from potential clients doing a little late night browsing and even make sales lead appointments for when you arrive in the office the next day. If those aren’t real benefits I don’t know what is.
4. Live Chat on my website is just an extra cost – customer online help expectations are high. 31% expect help to be immediate and 71% expect help within 3 minutes or they will leave my website and check out my competitors! What’s the opportunity cost of not having the live chat on my website?
5. Live Chat on my website won’t help sales – research has clearly shown that buyers of more complex products are 53% more likely to purchase after a chat and buyers of simple products are 38% more likely to buy after a chat.