I like to think of lead chats as a cog in the Singapore lead generation machine. Their presence and value is mostly ignored, yet they’re among the key essential features that play a direct hand in converting your site’s traffic into quality leads.
Even more important than the idea of forms the world appears to be so hung up on are the overlooked, almost forgotten live chats. Given an option to choose between the two, a recent study reveals that you’re better off with the latter choice (a live chat).
Times are changing, and lead capture forms have had their share of the spotlight. Now it’s time you tried doing things a little bit differently and let the world play catch-on.
Before you look elsewhere ( believe me, if there’s one thing you’ll never run short of in the world of digital marketing is options), take a few moments to study about live chats and what they can do for your business.
Capturing Lead through Conversational Marketing
Marketing can be both simple and difficult. It’s simple when you get to understand everything from the underlying frame of reference. It’s like every single piece of information on lead generation that you’re likely to stumble across online can be narrowed down to one specific thing or goal.
Whenever someone mentions lead capture, the first thing that comes to many people’s mind is a sales funnel or landing pages. Only a few people talk about live chats or anything else for that matter.
But at the core, it’s not about investing in some complex lead capture system that only a marketer has the intelligence to understand. It’s about responding to the concerns your site’s visitors have.
You might decide to take a gradual approach and create a sales or marketing funnel. This is the most natural thing to do. But some prospects may want to skip the whole thing and get their concerns addressed by you or an insider member of your team.
That’s where live chats come in.
Chats belong in the conversational form of marketing. In other words, they rely on the gift of gab to convert a prospect. Chats allow your prospects to ask qualifying questions and receive immediate feedback. It speeds up their evaluation process so they can get down to the business bit of it.
Live chats are designed to guide you on how you converse with a prospect. They can initiate an interaction if you allow them to and get the conversation flowing. Some of these chatbots come with advanced features that could take the conversation to a whole another level.
For instance, some chatbots can collect your prospect’s IP address, with which they’ll be using to scour the internet for more information on them. They can reveal crucial information about the employment whereabouts of that prospects – what company employs them? What’s their industry? What’s their location?
With this information, you should know how to respond to them, build desire, and add your appeal to the interaction.
You can even identify a few targets and set up an alert for them. This is particularly the case if your brand is taking an account-based marketing approach. You set up the alerts, and every time a target lands, the chatbot responds by instantly notifying you so you can get one of your customer reps on the steady.
There’s no harm in incorporating both lead generation forms and live chats into your marketing strategy. You still need to drive traffic, and not every single one of the visitors you attract is okay with the idea of chatting up one of your customer representatives.
Form Can Make Some of Your Prospects Bounce away
Forms can be pretty much annoying sometimes. A series of studies also reveal that they’re the reason a noticeable number of your prospects may be bouncing away before taking action.
This is likely to happen when your forms have so many fields to fill in. The idea of entering all that detail can be pretty tiresome. It’s for this reason that you’re advised to only collect what’s relevant and leave the rest.
Don’t force a prospect to enter their date of birth, knowing very well you won’t be using the information anywhere. The point is to try and make everything easier, and one way to do this is by leveraging the power of live chats.
Brands are beginning to adopt a more conversational marketing strategy by incorporating live chats. Some of your site’s visitors are more receptive to live chats compared to forms. First, it’s because it saves them time. They don’t have to keep digging through the site to find the information they’re interested in when they can just talk to you directly and ask.
For business, this speeds up the process of converting a prospect. It also allows you to collect the information you need about a prospect before marketing to them.
You can Apply Chatbots Across Platforms
Contact forms can be pretty hectic to design. Plus you’ll be required to add one to every page you want them to appear. You also have to create a custom landing page for every single one of the campaigns you run, particularly when you’re offering a broad range of products and services.
Chatbots, on the other hand, are relatively easy to deploy. You can even deploy them to as many pages as you wish in one fell swoop. You can even set the message to reflect the prospect’s path. Find out where they came from and the page they’re looking.
Some chatbots allow you to link them with the specific goals that you have and even assign them rule-based actions.
Suffice it to say there’s more to live chats than that simple app you use to chat with your site’s visitors in real-time.
Chatbots can be Used Offsite
Did you know that you can use a live chat offsite? How about you embed a chat link on that email that you’re planning to mass shoot to your prospects?
You can even reach new customers via Facebook Messenger bots. It goes without mentioning that they’re pretty responsive and can be accessed via mobile phones.
In other words, with lead chats, you don’t have to lure your prospects to a particular web page to capture them. You can target them from anywhere, on any online platform they’re on.
Chatbots Offers More Insights
No need to belabor the obvious, there’s a direct exchange of information here. While live-chatting a prospect, you can ask them about anything, and they’ll respond. There’s that guarantee of getting immediate feedback from them, which can go a long way into helping you figure out how to adjust your marketing strategies.
Too bad the same can’t be said about lead capture forms. Here, communication is only one way. The only thing left for you to do is to read between the lines and understand the reaction of a customer towards your business or brand.
It all boils down to experience. If you’re an experienced marketer, with enough knowledge about a sales funnel and what happens at each stage, you should be able to tie one and two together and find out what your prospects feel about that particular stage.
For instance, if a great majority of your customers are abandoning a form midway, without completing an order, then that could be interpreted to mean there’s an issue with that offer or that particular stage of the funnel. Any further reasoning you come up with at that point is pure conjecture.
The only thing you know is that there’s a problem, but you can’t narrow down to the specific nature of the problem. With lead chats, the least you could do is ask. But lead capture forms only leave you with one option – to make wild guesses and try ironing things out on specs.
The Quality of Leads
Leads have to be qualified. There has to be a test that you subject them through before you can go ahead and qualify them.
If the number of leads that are qualifying for your marketing channel is on the extreme low, then that could mean there’s a problem with your search ads, inbound marketing, and social media efforts. Again, lead capture forms leave no room for you to know the exact nature of the problem.
Was that what they were looking for? If not, what exactly were they hoping to find?
Luckily for you, these are the questions you can just ask a prospect directly and know where the confusion is coming from. So where you’re not looking to drop one in favour of the other, then common sense dictates that you keep both – at least so that they can feed off each other.
When your prospects begin asking for a product or service that you don’t offer
When your prospects begin bombarding you with questions on a product that you don’t offer, that could mean that your marketing strategy needs some serious adjusting. For all we know, you could be sending a wrong message out there.
Or perhaps you’re wasting your time and energy on a product or service that’s outdated, and it’s time you went back to the drawing board and updated everything. But what better way is there to find more about this than to ask your prospects directly via a live chat?
How to Use Website Live Chat for Lead Generation
It’s not a secret anymore that a website live chat can help you generate leads. But what exactly should you do to achieve this goal? We spent the last couple of weeks researching, and below is a summary of how to use website live chat for lead generation.
Start By Installing the Right Chat Widget on Your Website
Seems pretty obvious, but you cannot generate leads without a reliable chat widget. There are hundreds if not thousands of companies that offer them. Take time to compare each widget’s features and pricing to find one that best suits your needs.
One sure way of selecting the right one is by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. What would you expect to see on the chat when you land on the website for the first time?
An engaging pop-up widget with a proactive chat invite message is perfect for starting conversations with new website visitors.
Check the reviews posted by other website owners who have used the widget to know if it’s worth buying. Write to the support team if you need clarification about the features or the price plans to avoid regrets later.
Google ranks websites that offer an excellent user experience higher than their counterparts. So, as you scour for the chat widget, ensure that its pop-up doesn’t interfere with the visitor’s browsing experience. It shouldn’t be an annoying addition but a supplement that creates seamless communication between the customer and your brand.
Use Personalisation to Keep Them Engaged
We have covered the benefits of personalising website browsing and shopping experiences in multiple articles already. In the context of a website live chat, you need to keep the visitors engaged and interested in your brand lest they exit without buying.
Envision the customer browsing the pages, unsure which product to add to the cart. They also don’t have enough information about the money-back guarantee policy or the return policy.
Your live chat should offer direct answers to their questions and seek to gather more information about the customer’s needs and expectations. Be careful not to sound too salesy or invasive in your responses.
Be professional and use your understanding of the target market to offer the best product recommendations. The more personalised the conversation is, the easier it will be to win their trust and convince them to buy.
Offer Valuable Incentives and Discounts
Sometimes the customer wants a little push to add the product to the cart and go through the entire checkout process. Note majority of online shoppers gravitate towards brands that offer quality products and services at discounted prices.
So, be open to offering valuable incentives and discounts if you sense that the customer is on a tight budget or is not on the fence. For example, you can offer introductory discounts to new customers. Alternatively, you can onboard them by offering additional support to help them create their profile and submit essential details such as credit card number and address.
If you decide to offer discounts, create a sense of urgency to encourage them to take the desired action immediately. Successful brands such as Amazon have mastered the art of combining incentives such as discounts with excellent customer experience to transform regular web visitors into buying customers.
Use Data to Understand your Target Audience
First, every decision you make regarding your business should be based on accurate market data. Therefore, you need to invest in smart tools to continuously collect and analyse market data. Use the data to get a clear understanding of your target audience.
The insights from the reports will enhance the conversations you have with potential customers on the website live chat.
For example, knowing the frequently asked questions will enable you to anticipate queries from new customers and have ready answers. Timely responses to questions submitted via the live chat feature will quickly get the customers into the sales funnel.
The data will also enable you to prove that your brand is an authority and that they shouldn’t consider shopping at the competitor’s website. If you notice a trend of more website visitors using live chat to find out more information about a product or service before purchasing, use it to your advantage.
You can also create custom landing pages that you can direct the visitors to by providing a link through the live chat. Make sure that these pages are responsive and mobile-friendly, as most customers shop using smartphones.
Map Out Your Sales Funnel
The sales funnel highlights the specific stages that the customers go through before they eventually decide to buy. Surprisingly, many brands are yet to map out their sales funnel. As a result, they don’t know the friction points that hinder most of the website visitors from converting.
Be different by taking time to create and understand your sales funnel. Again, the data collected from the target audience will help you map it out.
Learn how the customers walk through the sales funnel to know how to use the live chat to guide them through the different stages. If you identify friction points, use the live chat to eliminate them.
For example, if a customer is hesitant to complete the purchase because of the pricing, be ready to explain it in an easy-to-understand manner.
More importantly, the support team should work cordially with the sales department to offer the best shopping experiences to customers.
Use Live Chatbots to Automate the Lead Generation Process
First, note the difference between a website live chat and a live chatbot. The latter is fully automated; it offers automated responses to questions submitted by website visitors. On the other hand, the live website chat is run by real humans who get notifications whenever a new customer submits an inquiry.
In both, the communication is in real-time. However, it’s recommendable to automate the lead generation process by incorporating a live chatbot. The bot will be available even past normal working hours, unlike live chat.
It will engage with the customers on your behalf and send you notifications if the customer requested information that wasn’t available in its database. Ensure that you respond to the notifications first thing in the morning to avoid keeping them waiting.
In addition, you can use the live chatbot to filter out the questions and connect the visitor to the most appropriate agent. That way, the customers will get direct and prompt responses from personnel on your team who are most knowledgeable about the topic in question.
Concisely, the more information you have about your customers’ needs, the easier it becomes to furnish them with the right answers and encourage them to buy.
Make Sure you Qualify your Leads
With a live chat feature on your website, you will be able to respond to the many questions first-time visitors have regarding the products and brand in general. Not all of them are ready to convert when they submit an inquiry.
Therefore, it’s imperative to qualify them with the help of your dedicated sales team. The kind of questions they ask and the response you get when you recommend a product will enable you to determine whether they are qualified or not.
Develop a lead qualification criterion that the sales and support team can quickly use to group new website visitors. Be ready to change it depending on the customers’ needs change or when a trend takes the industry by storm to avoid being left behind.
Put in Place Measures to Offer Live Chat Support 24/7
Online customers are immediately hooked to a website when they see 24/7 customer support. The fact that they can get help from the support team even during the wee hours of the night will give your business an upper hand.
Picture yourself as a first-time visitor in an eCommerce website that sells treadmills. You agree that mere fact that you will get responses from the team on how to set up the treadmill even in the middle of the night is enough to encourage you to buy the product, isn’t it?
24/7 live support will help customers get the utmost value for money from your products and services. More importantly, it will enable you to collect valuable data from potential customers that you can use to fine-tune your digital marketing campaigns.
If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford to offer round-the-clock support, provide plenty of resources online to reduce the need for the customers to contact you. More importantly, indicate your working hours and offer alternative communication channels like social media or live chatbot.
For example, you can create a dedicated FAQ page with answers to frequently asked questions. Be sure to include links in the answers to direct the visitors to other pages on your website with more information related to the question.
Target Customers Who Abandon Cart
Running an eCommerce website is not easy. There are countless factors that you have to consider before implementing any changes. You also need to monitor multiple metrics daily to sniff out issues before they wreck the business.
One of the metrics you will be dealing with is the cart abandonment rate. The hard truth is that not everyone who adds a product to the cart will follow through with the purchase. A high cart abandonment rate will hurt your sales and profitability.
Installing a live chat widget on your website will help reduce this rate considerably. Display a pop-up window right before a customer abandons a cart to offer them help. For example, if a customer adds several products to the cart but gets distracted and starts browsing your blog section.
Displaying a chatbot and offering to help them find the information they are looking for faster will keep them on the page longer and eventually encourage them to go back to the cart and complete the purchase.
That simple human interaction will have a major impact on your business. It will not only reduce cart abandonment but also enable you to learn more about your customers’ needs. If they are not ready to convert, you can request feedback and details such as email addresses.
Use the email address to send them retargeting emails, but don’t do it immediately. Give them time to think about their choice by waiting for several days before connecting with them again.
Incentivise them by offering a discount if they visit the website again and complete the purchase. Make sure that the products are still in the cart to help them complete the purchase faster.
Ask for Feedback and Run Surveys
Earlier, we mentioned that not everyone who visits your website and starts a conversation with you on the live chat is ready to convert. That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean that you should ignore them and concentrate on visitors who are ready to buy.
Request them to participate in a short survey to help you understand their needs and preferences. Their responses will help you streamline your processes and prepare adequately for their next visit.
You can also ask the customers for feedback before closing the chat to gauge the quality of support you provided. Make sure that the survey is straightforward, as they may be in a hurry to exit your website.
Gauge Lead Generation Performance via Live Chat
Monitoring the performance of your lead generation efforts via the website live chat will help you make informed decisions for the future. Learn from your mistakes and have a positive mindset. Other successful brands have gone through the same learning process and are now reaping the fruits of their patience and effort.
Please take note of strategies that result in the highest number of conversions and use them more on new website visitors. Also, the experience gained from the interactions will be instrumental in helping you start and maintain a conversation with new customers.
Train the support team on how to offer the best customer service using use the live chat. Encourage teamwork and collaboration to ensure everyone works towards the same goals and objectives.
The Final Thought
So should you discard your lead capture forms in favour of lead chats?
The answer is no. You may keep them both. But you may be surprised to find out that you’ve been sleeping on that one marketing element your business needs so badly, a lead chat.
Any more questions on lead form capture or lead chats? Kindly talk to us, preferable via the live chat at our MediaOne Marketing website and let one of our customer representatives address your issue.