10 Best Practices to Utilize Chat Tools for Effective Marketing

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    Is your business using chat tools for marketing?

    If not, then you might want to include them in your marketing strategy sooner rather than later.

    After all, statistics suggest that potential customers who chat with you first are 82% more likely to convert and pay you more as opposed to those who don’t chat.

    Source: Intercom

    Since most customers today are looking to connect with brands in real-time, live chat tools have tremendous potential to improve customer experience. And happy customers mean increased sales!

    Moreover, Live Chats tools can help you bring customers onboard by giving them a visual context and can help with boosting revenue.

    All in all, chat tools can do wonders for your marketing & sales strategy if used effectively.

    Here are ten best practices to utilize chat tools for effective marketing:

    1. Make your chat tool accessible.

    It’s essential to make it easy for customers to find your live chat tool on your site.

    If you make your visitors go through extra steps to find your chat tool, they might just abandon your site altogether.

    However, it is not a good idea to let your chat tool take the entire screen either. Making it appear as a pop-up can also be annoying for some users.

    Always remember that support tools are there so that people can get their queries answered. You don’t want to force chat with them.

    Thus, a good place to put your chat tool is on the bottom-right of a window. It is the standard placement for chat tools, and visitors usually expect to find them there.

    Also, as per research conducted by the Nielsen-Norman Group, web visitors usually scan a page in an F-shaped pattern. So, the bottom-right of your site is an ideal place to put your chat tool without hampering customer experience.

    However, there may be some exceptions to that. Here’s an example by one of the best Linkedin automation tools in the market using the live chat icon on the bottom left.

    While it’s not conventional, it’s still highly effective. When the viewer clicks on the icon, a live chat box appears exactly as it would if the icon was on the bottom right.

    Source: Expandi.io

    2. Research common questions and develop answers.

    Scripted Live chat answers can be awfully dull. But if you implement them well, they can prove to be very effective.

    Having FAQs ready can help your customer service team to answer more queries, and you can have a faster average response time.

    A study found out that 79% of people like live chat tools solely because of the immediacy they bring.

    For instance, Expensify (a San Francisco-based online expense management company) was able to bring down response time after they started using live chat site-wide for marketing.

    Creating FAQs based on common questions from visitors not only brings down the response, but it also helps you avoid boring live chat scripts. All in all, creating FAQs for your live chat tool is a win-win.

    3. Integrate your chat tool with your CRM and automation system.

    Live chat tools come in handy if you want to gain information to build your marketing strategy.

    Here are some of the common customer details that live chat can help you attain:

    • Any particular issue the buyer is dealing with
    • Demographics
    • The products your audience is interested in
    • The products they tried in the past
    • Details like email address, name, etc.
    • And more

    Since many chat tools allow integration with CRM and automation systems, you can quickly store all these details to leverage them later on. You can even add the information you gather as tags or custom field data.

    It will increase productivity in less time as you’ll be able to follow up automatically.

    For instance, when a customer is interested in a certain product and has queries about it, you can send automated messages to solve the issues.

    Moreover, you would be armed with many essential details if that customer engages with your sales team again.

    Not choosing to use the data you gather from live chat will be a great loss as you will miss out on the free insight into your customers’ minds.

    4. Give your customers a visual context while onboarding.

    Live chat representatives should be as up-to-date with the details of the website as possible. If someone has a query, they should be able to provide a brilliant visual context to the customer, especially if the answer is complicated.

    A co-browsing feature/collaborative browser that allows customer support reps to collaborate with the customer’s browser in real-time can be of great help. The chat support can control the user’s screen remotely and help navigate correctly.

    Or you can incorporate digital tools like Whatfix in your marketing strategy. Such tools help you give customers interactive product tours, making user onboarding more engaging, therefore building up your brand’s reputation for actually caring about customers.

    Another way to increase customer onboarding efficiency is hosting regular onboarding webinars. You can actually demonstrate the most important features. This also gives your new customers the chance to ask specific questions about their use cases and about the product.

    Chat tools are effective for one-off specific questions, but onboarding webinars are more effective for a wholesome onboarding experience, especially if it’s a complex product. Webinars and chat tools should be used in conjunction to maximize onboarding efficiency.

    5. Install chat tools on high-intent pages.

    There are certain pages where you can place your live chat widget to see the best results. Landing pages are a great option since they’re likely where the intent to buy is highest. Therefore, you’re more likely to see high-quality conversations coming in.

    Even statistics suggest that customers are 45% more likely to convert on pages where their buying intention is higher.

    Source: Intercom

    Another important place is the pricing page which actually is a sort of landing page – for pricing obviously. Or, if you are an ecommerce business, you can prioritize your customers’ checkout page.

    In case you don’t want to place chat tools on every page, it should at least be on pages where visitors are likely to have queries.

    So place them on service pages, contact pages, pricing pages, landing pages, and sales pages.

    For example, Premio uses chat tools on landing pages to interact with its visitors, increase engagement, and, ultimately, to gain more leads.

    What makes this example unique are the options to directly contact their team on Facebook or just send an email. While some visitors would prefer just live chat, these really are options to consider.

    Source: Premio.io

    6. Add real names and faces.

    You will see many live chat applications with fake faces or images that appear like stock photos.

    But if you are using chat tools like Intercom, you will know that your customer support rep is not a random rep but a real person.

    There are many examples out there, but here is one from a DevSkiller, a skill assessment software, using Intercom’s live chat tool. In addition to a simple interface, there’s a support rep with a seemingly real name and profile picture.

    While there isn’t a way to tell right off the bat if the photo is “real,” more often than not, if there is a photo coupled with a name, you can expect a response to your query soon.

    Source: DevSkiller

    It’s essential to use your own image and name if you want to provide transparent and reliable customer support. Your customers would rather chat with a real person from your company than a corporate logo.

    Thus, make sure to add real names and photos in your chat tool and on the chat button. It will increase the chances of having meaningful conversations.

    7. Set expectations.

    Of course, direct statements are most effective, and customers prefer an immediate response. But you can’t always have answers to all the queries.

    In this case, give them an accurate time period or limit by when they can expect a response. Luckily, modern chat tools have a message responder for this.

    You can also let them know about your operational hours and the channels from where the response might come, such as email, messenger, etc. When you set such expectations, it shows that you are considerate of your customers.

    Also, don’t forget to update your status regularly and let the customer know exactly what you are doing to help them.

    8. Lead with a question.

    The goal of using live chat tools is to let your customers engage with your brand directly. And to accomplish the goal, you will have to initiate by asking your visitors specific direct questions.

    For instance, “How can we help you today?” is far better than “We are here to help you.”

    Naturally, asking specific targeted questions to your niche market helps you initiate conversations. It also gives you an opportunity to know your customers’ needs better and help them.

    9. Target customers with smart triggers.

    Targeting customers with smart triggers can boost your sales tremendously. Thus, it’s a great idea to target specific user actions on your site and send automated messages to influence them or clear a doubt.

    Live chat tools can be used to incorporate this into your site.

    For instance, you can send smart triggers to reduce cart abandonment rates. You can also add it to pages with high bounce rates on your site. The moment customers land on that page, an automated message can be sent to them in real-time to engage them, make conversions, and alleviate their doubts.

    10. Drive leads.

    One great way to use Live Chat is for lead generation. You can either reactive chat as a qualifying tool or engage in proactive chat to push the prospect through the signup process or checkout process.

    Here’s how the Hubspot, a world renown developer and marketer of software products, uses its live chat successfully.

    Source: Hubspot

    While visitors are reading one of their blog posts, they let a live chat window pop up asking if the users would like to improve their marketing in 2020. If the user clicks “Start here,” they are sent to a landing page for a crash course on marketing.

    You can also try to get an email address or mobile number to follow up with your target audience.

    Wrapping-Up

    Chat tools can prove to be really useful for communication and providing customer support. And if implemented effectively, they can help you generate leads and drive sales as well.

    You just have to follow the right tips and tricks.

    Start by making it easily accessible for your site visitors and follow the strategies mentioned in this article. Remember to personalize your chats as much as possible.

    People want to feel like they are talking with real humans rather than machines. Thus, it’s also essential to use real names and faces to form real connections.

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