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Media Release – COVID19 crisis we can help

 

An online Australian business is offering a lifeline to businesses during this crisis of the Covid19, particularly those who are transitioning to an online platform.  Chat2 is offering any business – 3 Months Online Engagement Service at no cost.

Chief Operating Officer Karen Lloyd-Collins states:

“The conversations that we are currently having online are heartbreaking, particularly within the Tourism, Hospitality, Sporting Club industries, that we seriously want to help businesses get through this by supporting them online.  Even through this time of crisis, businesses still need to retain connection with customers. We are offering an easy solution to do this.” 

Chat2Concierge is assisting all businesses, small or big through this time of crisis.  We have innovative software and a professional highly trained team who is online 24/7 reassuring online visitors, answering online enquiries and most importantly encouraging future online bookings, sales and preventing cancellations wherever possible.

Marketing Manager, Di Wilcocks, Brothers Leagues Club in Cairns summed it up perfectly stating:

Chat2 is providing our club with consistency of message (particularly during these difficult times with the Covid 19 virus).  With a number of different staff running our reception the customer experience can vary. Concierge provides a consistent level of customer service and ‘tone of voice’.

More and more businesses are now going online in these difficult times, with businesses having to close, staff having to self isolate and towns going into lockdown. It’s important to have a system where you can easily connect and communicate with your customers.

“We are currently talking to many businesses, who are feeling over-whelmed and struggling to keep up in this fluctuating environment with the daily changes in government policy, directly affecting them.  We are fortunate enough to have a business model where we are operating “business as usual”. We want to seriously help businesses struggling through these tough times, so we are offering 3 months of our online engagement service for free.  This means having professional staff online 24/7 responding to your customer enquiries, reassuring your visitors and assisting with sales and future bookings”. Karen Lloyd-Collins (COO Chat2) 

If you would like to know more about this offer, email Chat2 at support@chat2.com or to register go to http://bit.ly/march2020chat2offer.

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A technological solution for the economic crisis facing the tourism industry

A Far North Queensland tourism company is standing strong in the face of adversity utilising technology as a solution to the current economic crisis. The Covid 19 virus and the mixed messages that “Australia was on fire” early in 2020 has made this a challenging year for the Australian Tourism industry.  

At the recent Cairns Post Future Tourism event in February 2020 attended by Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Development and Mark Olsen, CEO Tourism Tropical North Queensland, it was clear that the tourism and hospitality sector are facing some dark times without doing something different to retain and grow the tourism market.  

A local tourism company in Cairns has just seen one of their strongest December and January months in their online enquiries.  This was all due to a clever decision in 2017 to do something different, be innovative and align their customer communications with the changing demands of their online clients. 

Passions of Paradise has been utilising the services of a Cairns based technology company Chat2Concierge for the last 3 years.  The company offers a unique, innovative, online engagement service 24/7. Through innovation and doing something different, Passions is gaining growth and momentum with its online presence.

Passions engaged the technological service, Chat2Concierge, to attract more online bookings, more leads, more conversions through their website and social media.  Chat2Concierge’s highly trained online engagement team of real people respond fast (on average 19 seconds) to Passions online visitors with accurate answers. The team highly supported by some smart artificial intelligence (ai),  engage the visitor in the moment they are looking to book. There are also some unique features that track the online visitor to attract them back to the website, without the customer actually being on the Passions website. In December 2019, Passions experienced over 100% growth in online enquiries compared to 2017 and 2018 and even through the dire January 2020, were still recording growth figures of 30% compared to both 2018 and 2019.

During the Cairns Post Future Tourism event there was a strong message to do something different to maintain and grow the tourism industry in Far North Queensland and Chat2Concierge technology is certainly proving to be a great alternative solution for Tourism and Hospitality, not only locally but worldwide.

Karen LLoyd-Collins (Chat2Concierge Chief Operating Officer) was asked how is it Chat2Concierge can make such a difference to a business like Passions who is facing such challenging times within a threatened industry?  

“We have been working with Passions for the last three years, so with our service and unique tools,  we have been able to grow their online customer base, encourage people to book in the moment and as people spend longer on the website utilising our service, Passions have  improved their online presence which has resulted in this significant growth. Online visitors for Passions now know if they reach out to the online service, they are going to get fast, relevant and accurate responses that answer their questions, rather than having to wait on the phone or for  an email response. So our team engage them in the moment and more often than not convert them to a booking.” 

So why is this channel seeing such growth?  Karen advises that, “Online visitors are a little different, they are impatient, can tend to be a little abrupt and want answers NOW. Technology has disrupted the behaviour of our online customer.  They are use to getting information fast, so demand from businesses, fast instant and relevant answers. This is a real challenge for modern business, so we are a solution to this growing issue. We are also attracting customers back to our client’s websites through our service.” 

So why did Passions consider adopting a unique technological service like Chat2Concierge?  Scotty Garden, Passions CEO advised they were looking for a solution to improve their online presence, to gain more bookings and more online conversions.  But one of the biggest benefits of the service stated Scotty, is that it has saved their own staff so much time on the phones and on emails. The service answers the constant repetitive questions that use to take up alot of time on the phones and responding to emails, questions like “what do I bring for the trip?” or “Where do I check in?”.  Chat2 has alleviated alot of this pressure on our own team, as we work closely with the Chat2 team to ensure the online responses are always up to date and accurate. We have found if the questions are answered online, in the moment people are looking, then it is so much easier to get the booking, in that moment. Chat2 is converting over 90% of our online conversations so we are seeing that growth in our online activity.  This service is also reaching more of our international clientele, which is attracting more online bookings internationally. 

In these times of crisis, this unique local service to Cairns, has been assisting tourism businesses worldwide, particularly in the face of the Covid 19 virus.  Karen advised “In the early days of the Convid 19 virus, we started to get questions like “What is your hotel doing to protect guests?”. It quickly became apparent that there was a potential threat of panic which could lead to people cancelling bookings and trips worldwide.  We instantly prepared responses that we shared with our clients for approval and uploaded them into our software to be ready to manage this threat. We are well prepared to assist our clients to save future bookings if this threat evolves.”  

Though according to Karen, these situations arise frequently for their local clients, for example whenever there is an impending cyclone, it is easy to reassure online guests how the region is affected and what trips have been cancelled or not cancelled, many times saving loads of bookings. Karen states that “With our knowledge base and decentralised customer service, we are able to ensure the right and consistent message gets out quickly to customers when faced with unstable situations.”

In this dire dynamic economic environment facing the hospitality and tourism industry, there was a clear message from the Cairns Post Future Tourism event, that tourism businesses need to be doing something different for tourism in the Far North to survive and to grow.  Technology should be considered as an alternative solution to the current challenge facing this industry. Passions has experienced this first hand, seeing incredible online growth while being faced with adversity. 

If you are interested in a trial or free consultation – just go to www.chat2concierge.com – chat with the team and request a consult with Karen. If you mention this article, you will be eligible for a one month free trial of our 24/7 service so you can see the results first hand.

Clipping published by News Corp in the Cairns Post 29th February 2020 pg 32/33

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Chat Blog Uncategorized

Tourism – Strength to Strength

Despite all the doom and gloom surrounding the Tourism industry, we would love to share a fabulous win for one of our tourism clients!

We are in the process of reviewing annual data to see where all our customers start 2020. We are excited to see considerable growth in the live conversation channel we offer to our clients, though a special mention for our Tourism clients who are managing some significant challenges to begin 2020. With travel restrictions worldwide and the impact of the Australian bushfires locally, we are grateful to be a part of their journey, assisting them to move forward and grow.

As shown by the graph above, this particular tour company is picking up more leads and bookings every year since 2017. It is going from strength to strength with records being broken year to year through engaging with online visitors in the moment they are online and ready to book!

Get a free demo here.

#chat2concierge #supporting #engagementspecialists #tourismaustralia #travel #tourismindustry #bookdirect #leads #onlineconversion #targetedremarketing

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Chat Blog Uncategorized

No more direct bookings for Trivago?

Look who was caught red-handed! 
After working with the hospitality industry for a few years assisting hotels to combat the lies and deception promoted online by the large international Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s), it comes as no surprise that their treachery has now been discovered!

According to the Australian Federal Court, Trivago, the Netherlands-incorporated giant has been caught in its deception of promoting hotels that provided the most revenue to them through advertising.  Trivago has been promoting itself on TV screens every night during the Australian tennis season, as being impartial, objective and a transparent hotel price comparison website. Instead it was announced to the world last night by all the major Australian news feeds and papers, that Trivago is actually a conniving, hypocritical,  insincere trickster of the general public. The Guardian What a surprise!

For years hotels ha ve struggled to compete against these massive OTA’s, who have been extorting 15 -20% of their earnings.  It is difficult to compete with these giants who have bottomless pockets of marketing dollars. Hence our Chat2Concierge service has evolved to assist hotels and tourism to meet this challenge.  When a visitor arrives on a client website, our team of professional engagement specialists are there to engage, promote the business by sharing specials, answering questions (pre-approved responses) and placing the buying and booking link directly in front of the visitor to click and buy in the moment they are looking to buy!

Dick Smith alerted everyone to the treachery carried out by the OTA’s 18 months ago when he explained in a video of how millions of dollars were being extorted from businesses into the pockets of huge international conglomerations.   You can view this video at Dick Smith reveals OTA extortion

Trivago has been holding hotels for ransom, as Trivago’s contractual terms work under a “cost per click” (CPC) agreement, where hotels have to pay Trivago a fee, if a consumer clicks on the booking site’s offer through Trivago. The CPC was payable by the hotel whether the consumer made a booking or not! Trivago fined as ACCC wins case in federal court over misleading conduct

The company was also found guilty of providing false and misleading price comparisons as they compared a standard room rate with a luxury room at the same hotel, saying they were providing a cheaper price when they were just offering the normal priced standard room in comparison to a luxury suite. 

Working with our hotel clients and conversing with their online visitors, we regularly receive questions regarding price comparison with OTA’s.  Questions come in the form of: 

“I was just on agoda.com or booking.com etc etc  and they are offering $150 for the deluxe room, but on your website it is more expensive.  So why should I book direct?”

We educate these visitors on the importance and benefits of booking direct on the hotel website. Benefits like no booking fees, no cancellation fees, easy to add to and amend booking, supporting the local economy and many hotels offer incentives for booking directly like upgrades, cheaper breakfast, vouchers to use in the hotel or a discount on the displayed price through free memberships.

Even yesterday, a visitor from the Agoda website arrived on our client’s hotel website and asked:

“Hey, Agoda are offering $30 breakfast – what is included?”

We reply along the lines:

“I am so sorry, we don’t know what Agoda offers, though we offer a $19 full buffet breakfast when you book direct with us!”

In this instance, the visitor replied with: “Great, I will book direct in that case.”

By encouraging direct bookings with hotels, our clients get to pay less commission to the OTA’s and keep more revenue in-house for spending in the local economy either through employment, refurbishing using local trades or even sponsoring the local footy club!

Now the deception of the OTA’s has been revealed publicly through the Australian courts, it is likely more and more visitors will now be visiting hotel websites directly to ask the question.  It’s important for you to be there when this influx of visitor traffic arrives through this current news story and your vistior is looking to book! So be there in that moment your online guests can be guided around your website, have their questions answered, promotions shared and most importantly quick access to the direct hotel booking link.

We have 2 upcoming free live sessions online to share with you the results our hotels are seeing online with an increase in direct bookings.  If you are interested in attending any of these four sessions just click on a link below and we look forward to meeting you online. We have a special offer in these sessions for January only and if you are in any of the fire affected areas in NSW, QLD or  S.A. currently we are offering our services at no cost for 2 months.

Click to book Tuesday, January 28th 10.30am – Hospitality/Tourism live session

Click to book Thursday, January 28th 6.30pm – Hospitality/Tourism live session

With Trivago, the court is still out on the fine to be paid but it looks potentially in the realms of only $1  million, despite this extortion has been going on for years! Thoughts?

 

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Chat Blog Uncategorized

How to drive more direct sales to local business!

The hospitality and tourism industry are being extorted by two large American companies – in this video DickSmith explains how – he likens it to the 1950’s when the small family business had to pay protection money to crime gangs to prevent their business from being burnt down – but its legalised!

We love the passion Dick Smith tells this story and it’s still true – we still have that annoying woman on our TV every night in Australia telling everyone to book online and hand over millions of dollars to these 2 large millionaires in the United States. Chat2Concierge is assisting our hotels and tourism businesses to stand up against these 2 large online conglomerates.

Our team of online engagement specialists promote the business directly through the website to the visitor. We are introducing remarketing technology that will promote the business in the web browser after a website visit without the visitor being on the website. We are taking the fight to the OTA’s on behalf of our customers.

If more dollars are being kept within the business, the more likely they are to spend it within the local community, either through offering employment, undertaking activities requiring local tradespeople or even being more likely to donate to the local sporting clubs!

This is not only a challenge for Australian business as I have spoken to customers in New Zealand, Fiji , UK and the States who all share this struggle. As Dick Smith says “This is extreme greed capitalism at its best!” Always book direct and save our tourism industry.

If you would like to know more we have several free live 10 minute live sessions coming up on Thursday 23rd Jan at 10am or Thursday 23rd Jan at 6pm (AEST) and Tuesday 28th Jan at 10.30am and 6.30pm – just click the times to register or reach out on chat and the team will share the links for you.

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Chat Blog Uncategorized

Why You Only Pay $1/hour!

Aloe Blacc performed at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia with one of his hit songs “I Need a Dollar”!  I had an amazing experience seeing Aloe Blacc perform in February this year, through a terribly dark time as my son was seriously ill in hospital with Ulcerative Colitis and he was potentially having to undergo life saving surgery.  I had booked the tickets several months ago and Aloe was performing only 10 minutes from the hospital, so my husband and I decided to attend. It was such a great night, a real stress relief and Aloe’s performance will stay with me for a long time to come. I loved this line “A dollar is what I need” as that is also what we charge many of our clients – $1/hour!

Why Consider Live Chat?

At Chat2, we are serious about businesses being able to access and afford technology like Chat2. Businesses can virtually grow overnight when they employ a live chat channel.  We are constantly asked “But How Can You Charge $1/hour?” There are four strategies we employ which are explained later in this post. We are serious about offering live chat so it is affordable with a great “return on investment” (ROI) for businesses.  We provide businesses with a voice to stand out in the noisy online space.

Managing a business is tough, especially when it comes to standing out online! Your competition is only a click away so you need to make your business different. But “how” is the question? You may say I am already spending so much on a website, on social media advertising, on lead generation services and the internet has so many businesses in our industry, how can I differentiate myself – is there an easier way? We believe there is…..

To stand out online you need to be providing your customers with answers to what they are looking for fast and effectively. Online visitors no longer have the patience to wade through multiple pages on your website, if they don’t see what they are looking for in the first 60 seconds, they are more than likely to click away from your business. Online visitors are impatient and different to those who pick up the phone or send you an email, those customers have already committed to you.  The online visitor is still in the early stages of the sales funnel, but with live chat you can move them through that funnel very quickly.

If you are there in the moment, when the online visitor is looking and preparing to buy and in that moment you reach out with a friendly   “Hi – we are online – how can we help you today?” They ask a question and receive an answer immediately from a real person, who do you think they are more likely to buy from?  From our experience we are finding that its “you”! You are standing out from your competition in that moment, you are answering their questions in the moment, there is no need for them to go anywhere else or seek out your competitor!

Chat2 also gives you the  opportunity to capture new prospects/leads when they first start to investigate the products/services you are offering.  So no longer will you have to engage the costly lead generator services that provide you leads that are mostly worthless or not relevant as the leads you get from Chat2 are direct from your own website – so very relevant.  We know what it feels like paying out hundreds of dollars for worthless leads, so why not get your own website working for you? After all the investment you have poured into it, isn’t it time to get something back?

Why Businesses Fail with Live Chat

Many businesses fail with introducing chat for several reasons:

  1. They are too slow to answer chats;
  2. They don’t have the resources to answer chats;
  3. They miss chats;
  4. They don’t have an effective knowledge base set up and linked to chat to provide immediate responses and replies.
  5. Ineffective chat techniques;
  6. They don’t take the customer through the 4 stages of a successful chat.

Constantly manning a chat with your own resources is tough and expensive, particularly if that employee is costing you $30/hour or more!

One of our manufacturing clients was using first year engineers as their first tier of technical service, costing them an absolute fortune.  They also struggled with high staff turnover as these new recruits became bored answering the same technical questions over and over again. With low staff retention, the recruitment and training process would start all over again.  Now that is an expensive exercise!

Of course we have many clients who manage chat well, as it has been set up effectively.  They have a comprehensive and solid knowledge base (we help with this), they may roster people on chat or they have people constantly in front of a screen as a part of an admin role.  But not all businesses are set up like this and can afford to have someone dedicated to a screen all day

It’s really important that you do answer chats immediately when they arrive as chatters just don’t wait around. They are seeking immediate answers.  If they don’t get an answer at your website they will just find one that will provide them with immediate responses!

We solve this problem for businesses by setting up your chat effectively and answering chats for as little as $1/hour! How?

Why We Can Answer Chats For Only $1/hour!

We have a team of professional chat operators who answer chats for a wide variety of businesses.  Due to our technology, efficiency, experience and structure we can offer this service at a seriously affordable rate for most businesses.  

Here’s how we can charge $1/hour….

  1. Our Concierge team operate from a Global Dashboard that links hundreds of websites to the one working dashboard.  At a single glance our operators can answer the chats in the order they arrive from hundreds of businesses. As they are operating from a single screen, they can answer chats fast and effectively.
  1. Highly trained professional chat operators can answer up to 7 – 8 chats at a time!
  1. The comprehensive knowledge base we create as part of our service is linked into our artificial intelligence (AI) chat technology.  An answer can be obtained, personalised and sent in a matter of seconds in response to a question.
  1. Chat operators are grouped into industry teams.  They become highly experienced answering chats for that particular industry which means fast effective and knowledgeable operators!

So with the assistance of AI technology, our operators can answer chats efficiently and provide the right answers consistently.  We are experienced across a range of industries and can chat for more than one business at the same time with a single operator, which means we are saving you money.

The Chat2 team have been answering chats since 2016 and we are serious about keeping costs down for businesses and making live chat technology and service affordable and easy to implement.

If you want your business to Save Time, Save Money and generate more Sales, try out our Chat2 Concierge Service.  It’s great value for money with an excellent return on investment.

Try out 100 hours of our service for only $50! That will have us answering chats for you for 2 weeks!  You can sit back and relax and we will answer all online enquiries with a specific knowledge base crafted to your business; highly advanced software; and friendly, professional experienced chat operators.

Interested in giving it a go? It’s so easy! Find out more here!

And “A dollar is all you need!”  for 1 hour of having a professional live chat team answer all your online enquiries in the moment your online visitors are ready to buy.  So you won’t miss out on any more sales, leads or the opportunity to provide world class customer service online.

Just go to chat2.com/100hrs-50off to ensure your business stands out today!

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Chat Blog Tourism

Live Chat for Tour Operators

 

Karen delivers insight into the results from a Tourism client who has been working with Chat2 since 2017. She outlines their initial online challenges and how Chat2 saved time and provided great value to this client. She shares how many chats this client was initially receiving up to where they are now!

If you enjoy data, there are graphs presented around, growth, response time, peak hours, origin of chats and real time customer feedback!

Learn how this tour operator has grown their chat channel by 40% and how their conversion rate is now steadily above 90%!

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Chat Blog Software Updates

Chat2 – Global Dash – This is why we are so fast!

We are faster than ever before!
How fast do you respond to your customers online? Within the hour, 1 day or 48 hours?  I still receive email acknowledgements from well known companies advising they will get back to me in 3 days! Seriously – why would any of us want to do business with a company that will make their customer wait 3 days for a simple first response?   In today’s online world – it’s very simple to find a competitor who is faster.

The Chat2 concierge team respond to online visitors for our clients within an average initial response time of 19 seconds! In the last 12 months our tech team have created a new Global Dashboard so our team can respond faster than ever before for our clients. I will explain how we do this later in the post.  But firstly let’s understand why responding fast to your customers is so essential in today’s technological world for businesses.

1. As customers can access services, products and information in a matter of seconds, they no longer expect a fast response from companies, they are demanding it!

Fast Response = Meet Customer Expectations = Happy Returning Customers.

The CMO Council found that a fast response time was the most important attribute of good customer service.

2. A fast response makes your customer feel as if they are important to you and that your business cares about them. By responding quickly you are developing trust and rapport with your prospects which is essential for any business relationship.

3. If you don’t respond fast in one channel, the customer (if they haven’t given up) will try another channel to contact you, creating more work for you and your team.

4. Finally, responding quickly to your customers will grow your business. Customers will tend to go back to a business with who they received outstanding customer service. Isn’t that something we all want to do – GROW– especially with the challenge of noisy online space?

The Northridge Group’s “Customer Service Experience Report” found that 40% of our millenial generation wait 60 minutes before contacting you in another channel.

I actually think that is quite generous of that generation, Baby Boomers tend to be far more demanding – sorry Baby Boomers – I am sure its not all of you!

“What if you take too long to respond?”

Let me ask – what happens when a company takes too long to respond? What do you do?

More than likely you will seek out a competitor who will respond faster or if you are already a customer you are likely to stop doing business with that company.

According to smallbiztrends.com 89% of people surveyed in their Customer Experience Impact Report claimed they had started doing business with a competitor after poor customer service.

Poor response time certainly reflects poorly on how a Company delivers. It makes you wonder if this is how the company is going to attend to your requests – SLOWLY! We can no longer afford to be slow in responding to our customers, unless we prefer no customers.

“It’s Challenging for Businesses to Respond Fast” 

Quick and Effective Responses to online customers is challenging for businesses.  They may not have the staff, time or capacity to respond effectively to constant repetitive questions.  Staff become overwhelmed and bored with the same repetitive task in having to respond quickly to the same questions, leading to poor customer service and high staff retention costs.

I was speaking to a Manufacturing company recently who employ first year Engineers to answer chats.  Day in, day out, after a four year degree, these professionals are having to answer repetitive, basic technical questions fast to customers to provide a technical support service.  What was being observed was a high staff turnover, high training costs, low job satisfaction and slow, poor customer service. This problem was easily rectified by the implementation of a live chat service with a solid knowledge base.  The basic technical issues were able to be answered fast, effectively and at a much lower cost with a significant improvement in customer service and corporate image. Higher level technical issues were transferred to the first year Engineers who now had more complex problems to solve.

Responding fast to customers is a huge challenge for companies and at Chat2 we have solutions to solve the challenge!

“Solutions” 

Over the last 12 months, our Chat2 techie team have developed a multi-instance Global Dashboard for our operators.  What this means is that we can link hundreds and hundreds of websites to one Dashboard. So our operators don’t need a Dashboard for each client, they are operating on one Dashboard where they are alerted to a new chat from any of the hundreds of businesses linked to the Global Dashboard.As shown in the image at the top of this post.

We have specialised teams of Chat operators for each industry who answer chats.  After we set up the knowledge base for the client, the artificial intelligence (ai) built within the software can draw upon this knowledge base to answer chats (even technical chats) fast and knowledgeably.

The Global Dashboard has made our team faster than ever before! No longer do we require multiple screens and multiple windows open, we only need one screen and one browser window – with the Global Dashboard open. On this one screen multiple client websites are linked to the ONE Dashboard. So we are alerted in the same space of an incoming chat from a hotel client or real estate client or one of our retail clients, we don’t have to flick between several screens.  This technology has made our Chat2 Concierge team faster, more effective and more efficient than ever before! It has also allowed us to take on many more clients without having to increase staffing numbers.

We also offer a wide range of other services from our hybrid chatbot/concierge service, personalisation, chatbots, CRM/ticket system integrations, real time feedback, digital user experience analytics, social media monitoring and engagement, predictive analysis, customer service/front office automation, self service automation, omni channel engagement, customer journey mapping and data analytics and management.

Keen to test the expertise of our Chat2 Concierge team?  Ready to impress your customers with immediate, knowledgeable and friendly responses? Ready to attract more customers online? Ready to grow your business?

Trial the Chat2 Concierge team – you will love our service!

For a short time only we are offering a package deal of 30 days free software trial and 50 hours concierge for 1/2 price. Check out our Offer

Categories
Chat Blog Real Estate

Real Estate & Live Chat – The Perfect Combination!

 

 

A frantic message was received by the Chat2 team on the morning of 12th October, 2018:

“We have just been evacuated so we can not answer the phones. If needed, please advise online visitors that the office has shut down due to an electrical fault and please assist them as best you can…”

Our clients rely on us to ease their worry when the unforeseen happens.  At Chat2 – this is a normal part of our everyday business; there is always some drama at the front end of business for our property clients, though we are there online to answer any question that may come our way from prospects or current customers.

The Real Estate industry has changed significantly over the last decade in the way a connection is made with homebuyers.  Previously you met many of your prospects at a Sunday home open with a warm handshake or at the agency where you could engage your buyer with expertise and warm charm. Though nowadays, the start of the home buying journey is different – it is online and it is essential real estates are there online to greet their potential buyer.

Have you considered live chat or a combination of live chat and chatbots?  There are many property agents utilising this channel including realestate.com.au, so it’s time to evaluate and seriously consider an online chat channel as a new way to connect with clients. With live chat you are likely to pick up more online enquiries and relieve the pressure on your reception team.

Homebuyers have access to property listings, photos, historical sale prices, schools in the area and can even take a Google virtual walk down the street they are considering, at the click of a mouse.  Previously this information was inaccessible to a homebuyer unless they met with you as an agent, but now it is delivered immediately to the homebuyer online.  So if you are there, in the moment, when homebuyers are online (often after hours), you are more likely to engage and assist these prospects while they are in the research and investigation stage.  This is a game changer for your property business and can put you ahead in the industry. You are providing prospects with instant responses to questions, which is what is expected in today’s age of technology.

“Online customers no longer expect fast responses, they are demanding them!”  COO – Karen Lloyd-Collins – Chat2

The Real Estate Trainer (a popular online resource for real estate agents) advises agents to respond within 5 minutes to an online client, after this time your chance of securing a new client drops significantly.  At Chat2, we believe you have to be faster and respond within 2 minutes for online enquiries, our average response time across our real estate clients is currently 18 seconds.

“We no longer measure response time in days or hours, we measure in seconds.” COO – Karen Lloyd-Collins – Chat2

The Real Estate Trainer advises that nearly 78% of prospective homebuyers stick with the agent who answers them first.
At Chat2 we have seen great success using live chat for property managers, it is making daily operations so much easier as you chat with multiple lessee’s at the same time and answer the same questions quickly assisted with ai (artificial intelligence).

Last month we received this chat on a Saturday afternoon after the business was closed.

“Help there is a large ferocious dog in my backyard – my phone is locked in the car – I have secured all the doors and I feel like a prisoner in my own home!”

Yes. A real situation our team easily managed.  The Chat2 team were able to assess the situation, reassure the tenant and calm them down, our client was alerted directly and sought assistance for the tenant, all the while, the chat2 team were online chatting with the tenant.  Yes, we do go above and beyond for our clientele!  Sure these are odd situations, but they happen.

Generally many of the questions received in chat are “How do I apply for a property?” “When is the next open home for …?” “What 2 bedroom properties do you have for sale or rent?” “I have a leak – can I have a maintenance form?”

To see a sample of FAQ’s and responses we provide daily for our real estate clients, visit www.chat2.com/2/real-estate.

The main benefits of live chat for the real estate industry is:

• Providing immediate and fast responses which is expected from clients researching property online.

• Answering questions from multiple clients/lessees at the same time, so no longer just one to one with email and phone.

• Saves time in not having to reply to an inundation of “contact requests” via email or phone.

• Answering the constant barrage of frequent questions with knowledgeable and consistent responses “on brand” and “on message” with the ai built into chat software.

• Providing a friendly online welcome with guidance and information for prospective homebuyers, landlords and current customers.

• Generating more qualified leads and enquiries by being available in real time online.

At Chat2 we have worked with many Australian real estate and property management teams for the last 2 years, providing the tools, insight and techniques to use the live chat channel. We assist real estates to engage and convert online customers. We offer a professional real estate chat team to answer enquiries for real estates 24/7 with real people or accompanied by chatbots.

If you are interested in a free trial of Chat2 Software and Chat2 Concierge Service, go to www.chat2.com and mention this blog in a live chat with one of our team. Of course, if you prefer email we are available at support@chat2.com.

Categories
Chat Blog How To How To

Chat2 Concierge – How To Get Started

Chat2 Concierge is a professional team of real chat operators who extend a warm, friendly greeting to your online visitors at the time they visit your website at any hour of the day.  The team are fully trained in aspects of sales, conflict resolution, sympathy, customer mood enhancement, loyalty building and brand values. You can rely on the team to answer chats outside of business hours, when you are unavailable or as a back-up service if you are unable to answer chats within 90 seconds.  We are a team of professional real people who care about your business delivering “on brand” messages consistently and seek to deliver world class customer service exceeding your customer and your own expectations.

Firstly, you will need a live chat software installed on your website, it can be Chat2 software or another software.  If you only have a Facebook page, we can link Chat2 software to Facebook, so you will receive more chats as well as accessing the ai features for Facebook.  This means we can quickly and easily access the knowledge base created for your business to respond fast and effectively to your online customers.

To install Chat2 software, this is as simple as going to www.chat2.com and entering your website address for a 30 day free trial.  After completing a simple form to obtain your contact details, you will be presented with a 3 options to install, either “Do It Yourself” where the code will be presented on screen with instructions to install, or get your website manager to copy and paste code or the Chat2 team can do it for you. A short video on how to install is found at chat2.com/learn/easy-site-setup/. If you have a WordPress website a plugin for Chat2 is available at wordpress.org/plugins/chat2/.

To start the Chat2 Concierge service, we need to become familiar with your business.  We achieve this in several ways:

1.  A simple online Concierge form is completed by your business providing some of the key details about your business including what you hope to achieve by using the Chat2 Concierge service.  This information introduces us to your business and is quick and easy to complete online.

2.  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) are created with responses– you are welcome to create FAQ’s or the Chat2 team are highly experienced in reviewing websites and creating the FAQ’s for you, as they know the questions that are likely to be asked.

3.  The FAQ’s are approved by your business and they are uploaded into the live chat software.  This is the knowledge base that is created for your business that all chat operators will draw upon to answer chats. With Chat2 software, the team only have to type a few letters of a possible topic and several responses are suggested to them from the knowledge base.  This feature allows the Chat2 team to be fast, knowledgeable and effective in their replies to online customers.

4.  Live Chat software is set up with automatic prompts to chats, auto responses and operator profiles.  Timings of when a visitor is prompted to chat are entered specific for the industry. If the business is also using their own team, we ensure all operators have an image and the user profile is set up effectively.

5. Ready, Set Go – the Chat2 Concierge team will open the virtual door to your website and encourage online visitors to engage in chat.

Chats are audited for efficiency, effectiveness and quality.  During the initial weeks of the service, the knowledge base is refined and polished.  If there are questions that the team have not been able to answer, the contact details are obtained for the business to contact or the chat can be transferred to the business.  For basic or constant questions that are asked and the answer is not available, the Chat2 team will follow these up with the business confirming appropriate replies and these are added to the knowledge base.

For efficiency and effectiveness, we encourage businesses to integrate their Facebook page with Chat2 software.  So all online messages received by the business are answered on the one platform and answered efficiently and effectively with a consistent approach, style and message.

A login to the chat software is available for the business to have access to all chat content and reports. Data is provided in table and graphical formats displaying quantity of chats, peak chat times, visitor or invitation initiated chats, country of chat, response times, quantity of messages by department or operator, chat ratings and much more.

Chats can be exported into a working business file for interpretation and analysis including .csv or excel files.  Customised monthly reports are available for your business analysing the data for you.

If you are seeking a stronger online professional presence that keeps your business ahead in the noisy online space, then Chat2 Concierge is the solution for you.

Speaking with one of our clients in the printing industry just before Christmas and his comments on the Chat2 Concierge service were:

“Work is still coming in for our business during the quiet time of the year. Many of our competitors are struggling to get work at the moment.  By being online consistently, the Chat2 Concierge team has given us a competitive edge. Our clients love receiving immediate responses to their questions, even if the question is not completely answered. They appreciate just having someone who is there and who can respond to them with immediacy, sometimes it can be as simple as taking a message.  Chat2 concierge saves my team so much time, as Chat2 easily answer the constant barrage of the same questions we receive over and over again online. When a job is sent through we already know what the client wants, what date they need it by – it’s a strong qualified genuine lead for us. Having the Chat2 Concierge team online to answer these questions gives us peace of mind and allows us to excel in our industry.” Matthew – Printing and Signage

Categories
Chat Blog How To How To

4 Easy Steps to Create a Knowledge Base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you recall the last time you had a new person start in your workplace?  Was it something you were dreading? Were you thinking,

 

“Oh my, I have a new person starting…  My whole week is going to be taken up with training.”

 

I know.  I’ve been there many times in the past.  Well I want to show you a system where, not only will your staff be delivering world class online service, it’s a system that will train any new staff quickly and efficiently… as well as removing the dread you may feel when a new person starts.

The system I am referring to is an onboarding process we implement at Chat2 when a new client chooses our Concierge Service.  What we do is create a knowledge base around their business so we can answer the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from their customers.  

 

So why is a knowledge base important?

Firstly, and as mentioned above, a well-constructed, well-researched knowledge base saves you time during the training process.  

 

Secondly.  A quality knowledge base shows consistency of message and brand.  It’s important to ensure that everyone who represents your business is saying the same thing to each and every customer each and every time.

 

Thirdly.  An up-to-date collection of pertinent FAQs ensures your staff are delivering faster, and more efficient, service. They know the answers to the questions and are drivers of world class customer service.

 

Finally, having an ‘en pointe’ knowledge base will identify information gaps that your customers may experience on your website.   If customers are asking questions and there is no answer readily available it needs to be added to the knowledge base. These gaps in knowledge may even identify opportunities for new products and services, or alert your business to provide and promote information more effectively online.

Now most businesses have FAQs already set up on their website… But let’s be honest.  Who actually clicks the FAQs and, really, who reviews them one by one looking for answers?  Not many people is my guess. My experience with live chat has shown me that people want answers fast.  They don’t have time to read pages and pages online, hoping to find the answer they’re looking for.  By setting up a solid knowledge base for your business you’ll be able to help them find quick answers to their questions.

 

So where do you start?

 

  • Let’s brainstorm!  

 

Get your staff together for a 20 – 30 minutes brainstorming session.  Ask them to come prepared with 3 – 5 questions that they’re asked all the time on the phone or by email from your customers.  Even if you already have FAQs somewhere in your business or on your website still do this exercise and start fresh. Write these up on a whiteboard so everyone can see them.  You’ll start to see common threads and themes emerging.

  1. Group the common themes

Now colour code or group them in some way so as to create a common theme. Let’s use the hotel/resort industry as an example as it’s very topical right now.  Hotels and resorts are trying to encourage more direct bookings through their websites rather than through the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) who charge exorbitant fees.  Working with us is providing a great opportunity to attract more direct bookings…. But I’ll talk about that later…

 

So for the hotel industry, the evolving themes could look something like:

  • Bookings
  • Rooms
  • Food & Drink
  • Check in / Check out
  • Hotel Facilities
  • Promotions
  • Transport
  • Groups
  • Families   

 

On a personal level, when I’m travelling with my family and researching hotels, I’ll be asking questions about adjoining rooms, good wifi, restaurants close by,  views from the room… to name a few, and as you can see these specific questions are easily grouped under the above topics.

 

  1. Review.  Combine. Expand.

If you already have a list of FAQs, now’s the time to review them with your team and add any FAQs you may have missed into the burgeoning topics list.  Doing this as a team will initiate even more FAQs as new topics are raised and discussed.

 

  1. Expand some more…

Now’s the time to open your website and discuss each of the menu headings with your team and try to view your website fresh eyes. You’re likely to identify more FAQs.   Don’t forget to add questions like  “What is your phone number?” and “Where are you located?”.  I know they’re in front of the customer on the website, but you’ll be amazed by how many times we‘re asked those questions!

You’ve now created the knowledge base for your business. It’s time to put it to work!

There are four main channels customers use to connect with you.  Phone, email, social media and live chat. Your new FAQs will be a resource document for your staff to search and answer questions for the first two channels.  It should be available electronically as the Go-To resource…Now you may be thinking,

 

“But my website already provides all this information.”

Well mostly, but some information may be quite hidden, requiring your visitors to click through several menu items to obtain this information.  Can I just say that today’s online customer is much less likely to do this. We’re all now so time poor and, like you, your customers want a quick response to a question as I’ve outlined in my article “How Fast is Fast Enough”.

Keep in mind that your website only provides some of this information as there are some answers that are just not relevant to place on your website.  So going back to our hotel example, questions like,

 

“How do I get a receipt after my stay?”

“I left my phone charger in the room, can I get that sent to me?”

“I have a 4WD is there any secure undercover parking for a large vehicle?”

 

So more specific questions for more specific instances where your staff still need to know how to answer.  These all form a part of your knowledge base as well.

How does the knowledge base work for the live chat and social media channels?

With Chat2 software, the knowledge base is uploaded into the chat software and because Chat2  integrates with social media, you can answer questions from customers on your website and on your Facebook page from the chat dashboard.

 

So with hotels, one of the most frequent questions we get is,

 

“How do I get to the hotel from the airport?”  

 

It’s as simple as typing the first few letters of the main subject like “airport” or “transport” or “transfer” and the artificial intelligence built into the chat software will suggest the appropriate response direct from your knowledge base.  That’s how easy it is! There is no searching as the chat software does that for you and provides a list of responses that may be suitable.  Your staff choose a response that can be edited prior to being sent in real time to the customer.

Your staff have just excelled in providing a quick, knowledgeable, relevant answer to the customer waiting in real time.  There has been no need to seek out the answer from an alternative resource, they haven’t had to ask a colleague or better yet, haven’t had to come and ask you.  It’s a win/win all round! Your customer has received their instant answer; your staff have found the answer to provide easily and simply; and no one has taken up your time in teaching where, how and what is the answer to this question!

If your new employee can initially spend time on live chat to answer customer questions directly, and online with the artificial intelligence within the Chat2 software, it’s a quick way for them to learn the business as all the answers are presented for them.  They will be able to review the history of chats to learn from what customers have asked previously and how they have been answered. Chat2 software is an incredible training tool for all new starters to your business.

Now as to why our hotel clients believe Chat2 gives them the advantage over those monstrous OTAs who charge horrendous fees and take a large portion of their revenue?  It’s simple really… when a customer checks out the hotel website from the OTA, they are greeted by a warm, friendly helpful service through live chat.  This is a service they don’t receive from an OTA, so the hotel can get the upper hand by extending this professional, warm online customer service and provide the instant answers being sought by their customers. The hotel has the opportunity to promote the hotel through this engagement and, more often than not, obtain the direct booking.

At Chat2, we help businesses stand out in the noisy online space so they can compete against their giant competitors.  

We provide a point of difference.  Particularly for our hotel clients, the Chat2 Concierge Team melds into an extension of the frontline reservations team.  

With our Concierge service we create and set up the knowledge base for you. We do this initially through an online form and the Chat2 team then intensely review the business website creating the FAQs.  We also have the knowledge and experience of knowing what online customers ask for your industry, and ensure all questions are covered. We generally start with 60 – 70 FAQs for a new client and as we progress and answer chats, we discover new FAQs so consistently update the knowledge base for the business.  We ensure that your online customers only receive the latest and most relevant information from your business. We highly value the brand and message of our clients and ensure it is promoted and consistently maintained online. If you would like a knowledge base created for you please come and chat with the team at www.chat2.com.

Or we can assist to get you started.  In our shop we offer templates of FAQ’s for several industries, so just go to www.chat2.com/shop and scroll down to the FAQ’s.  If your industry is not there, we can customise a template for you or specifically generate a knowledge base for your business.

A strong, solid knowledge base used in conjunction with live chat can put your business  ahead of the noisy online crowd in your industry. Your staff will have instant access to answers asked in real time by your customers online.  Your new staff are easily trained. Your business is delivering a consistent message on brand over and over again no matter who they speak with… and you can spend less time on training directly and more time on the pertinent issues for the business.

Categories
Chat Blog Live Chat - Tips and Tricks

10 Top Tips to Introduce Live Chat – So It Works!

 

We chat with businesses around the world everyday to start a relationship, to provide insight to the world of live chat, sharing our experiences with Chat2 and how it is changing the way businesses are communicating with their customers online.  So many businesses are still hesitant to try live chat and even when they do – it doesn’t work well! Why?

For several reasons which will be explored here.  It may be they haven’t created the knowledge base for a successful start in chat or they haven’t correctly set up the chat or they just haven’t been able to get online to answer chats or are too slow to answer chats. That’s why when we introduce a client to Chat2 – we are holding their hand all the way – it doesn’t take long to get going if you know what to do and what not to do!

Even this week we had a new client start with us in the Tourism industry trialing our Chat2 concierge service. We created over 100 Frequently asked questions to get them started and we were off and running with 32 chats in the first day with a 82% conversion rate by the Chat2 support team. A great result for the first day of a trial.

So why are so many businesses failing when they try the live chat channel?   It is certainly a channel that has to be taken seriously by businesses – check out our blogs Does Live Chat really work? and How Fast is Fast Enough?

When implementing live chat – it needs to be done right or yes it can be an epic failure with receiving little to no chats, wasting staff time taking too much time in a chat or worse not replying or missing chats when visitors come online.  Challenges like these are easily overcome and this post will set up you with some tips to success in implementing live chat.  Or of course we can do it all for you with our Chat2Concierge service.

We see incredible results with our clients everyday. Results like more online enquiries, an increase in conversion rates and sales, providing world class customer support with fast and effective responses which in turn  enhances customer loyalty and reduces the bounce rate to the website. All this is achieved through the effective implementation of live chat. Here are 10 tips on how to set up and implement live chat for success.

Tip 1 – Chat Window needs to be anonymous

One of the first tips on how to increase sales and conversions is to get the visitor to enter a chat. This depends largely on how you present your Chat invite and it is this area where many companies fall over before they have even started.

Firstly we need to get the customer into a chat.  Many businesses feel that the way to do this is to present a chat window asking for the customer name and contact details. So can I ask you if you rocked up at a shop and even before you are greeted by the sales person you are asked for your name and phone number.  Hmmm – I know I would be turning tail in the other direction! A business has to earn your trust and respect before you feel comfortable with handing over personal details. So don’t set up your chat window where a visitor has to hand over their personal details before chatting – it turns many online visitors away and tends to not engage them into a chat.

Make your Chat window non-threatening.

Allow a visitor to start asking questions straight away without having to divulge who they are. You will need to obtain their trust and then you can ask for their contact details. Techniques like building trust, how to engage in a chat and how to ask for contact details are covered later in this blog.

Chat needs to appear non-threatening and welcoming to the online visitor so they feel they want to ask a question. The point is to obtain engagement and get the visitor to enter chat.  You are providing a communication channel that is non threatening and the opportunity to ask questions anonymously.

This technique works particularly well for businesses in the areas of cosmetic enhancements, law or even selling cars.  Customers feel comfortable about asking those first initial questions about how to obtain a lip enhancement, or start divorce proceedings or do you have a mercedes available? Questions that can be asked without any threat of commitment. Some of the biggest sales we have seen have been made by starting a chat in this manner. So ensure you provide the opportunity for your visitors to ask questions anonymously and confidentially.

Tip 2 – Warm and Friendly Chat Invitations

When a visitor arrives on your website your goal is to get them to interact with you through your website, you want them to ask you questions.  The majority of visitors will generally not initiate a chat which is why it is important that you invite them into a chat or just let them know that you are there if they need any help.  “Warm and friendly” is the key and you should test what chat invitations work better than others for your customer base and tailor them specifically to your business.

So you could keep it simple – remember warm and friendly and not too robotic – so something like:

“Hi – we are online to help – we love questions – just ask!”

Or

“We are here to make your visit fast and easy – ask us anything!”

Or you could even have a bit of fun, so if you sell fishing tackle, then you could say:

“Hey, I am giving up a day of fishing to be here – so please ask a question!”

You are the one who knows your clientele best so what would they respond to?

One of our hotel clients recently made some changes to their website which prevented their chat invitation to pop up.  This client uses our Chat2 concierge service so we noticed that their chat activity had dropped by 80% in the month. This was highly unusual.  So we contacted the client and discovered they had made some changes to their website which had reduced their chat activity, the following month chat activity was back to normal.  Can you tell from the graph below what month they made those changes?

This is how significant chat invitations are – so they need to be set up correctly and regularly monitored. Chat invitations greatly increase the engagement rate as shown by this experience and also prevents your visitor bouncing to the next website.  

Now you may ask – how long should I wait before I invite them into chat?  I will share the best timing in a later tip.

Tip 3 – Present an Inviting Chat Window

How many times have you seen a chat window with no image of the operator, no name, a cartoon character or sometimes the grey ghostly looking outline of a head and shoulders?  Well it is certainly not an inviting window and does not encourage people to enter chat. You need to ensure the first name and an image of your operator is in the window. A friendly and smiling face is important to engage with your online visitor. This image will increase the probability of a visitor entering into a chat if they can see who they are going to be chatting with.

When I have advised companies to do this – some say “ oh no – I don’t take a good photo or I am too shy or no I am concerned about my privacy”.  We are all our own worst critic. If you really don’t want your own photo presented then you need to find a photo of a person to use, friendly and smiling. Don’t use a cartoon avatar – they can appear a little creepy!

If you are serious about trying out live chat – your chat window needs to be presented warm and inviting, non threatening – so your first name and image will go a long way to increase engagement.

Tip 4 – Log in Everyday

In the first couple of weeks we like to check in with our new clients to ensure they have everything set up correctly.  We undertake a chat audit and provide advice on setup, engagement, getting online, canned messages and chat techniques. For clients using our concierge service, setup is complimentary and we implement the best techniques to obtain results for our clients on chat.

With clients who are managing the chat themselves, more often than not we hear,  “I keep forgetting to log in.” You need to login every day or chat will not work for your business. If you are inconsistent with logging into your chat dashboard,  then your online visitors are likely to go elsewhere as you are not providing consistent online service they seek. So they don’t know when you will be there or not.  There are peak periods for chat activity throughout the week, so if you are online during those periods and advertise those periods on your website, you are more likely to pick up the majority of the online enquiries, providing your customers with the immediacy of service that is now being demanded online.

Another technique to ensure your chat is online everyday is to nominate key personnel within your business on a roster. It’s best this staff are always in front of a computer or answering a phone. Yes you can talk on the phone and chat at the same time! It’s so much easier talking to multiple customers on chat then it is on the phone.

Also set up your homepage on your website browser (we find Chrome the most stable) to be the Chat dashboard and select your browser to appear upon startup of your computer each day.  This will remind you to login to your dashboard.

If you would like to answer chats while you are on the run, then download the mobile app so you can answer chats on your mobile device as they come through.

Now if you find it just too exhausting to remember to login every day – you always have the very affordable Chat2 concierge service that can answer chats for you at any hour of the day or week-end.

Tip 5 – First Chat Message

Ok – so your chat window is now warm and inviting – the next thing is ensuring your chat operators are warm and inviting too.  Chatting is certainly a technique to be mastered. With online chat, you can not rely on body language, tone of voice or any other behavioural indicator to provide signs on how best to communicate with the chat visitor. It is the art of text messaging but in a professional friendly capacity.  Your choice of words and punctuation are of paramount importance.

Firstly, your operator needs to introduce themselves, they need to provide a first name to your chat visitor and welcome them into the chat.  It doesn’t matter if the operator’s name is showing in the screen, they should greet their visitor with their name in their first message. Something like:

“Hi – this is Dan – how are you today?”

Or

“Hi this is Lucy – thanks for that question, let me find that answer for you.”

The biggest DO NOT – is to immediately provide the answer to what your chat visitor is asking in the first message to the visitor.  If you do this, what tends to happen is the visitor controls the conversation and if they are stressed or upset about something it is very easy for the conversation to go wayward. It also tends to be quite an abrupt direct conversation, lacking any warm customer service, as we are missing all those conversational aspects I mentioned earlier. So we need to create this warmth with our language at the start of the chat and steering the path of the conversation. Starting with a natural, friendly courteous greeting can go a long way to set the direction for the chat. Try it, you will be surprised on how much better engagement you will get into a chat.

Tip 6 – How to Build Trust and Engage

Once your chat visitor has been greeted – the second stage of any chat is to build trust and engagement with your chat visitor – you want to engage them into conversation while also answering their questions.  There are several techniques to do this……..

Complete the form below to keep reading the top 10 tips to introducing chat for your business..

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

4 Common Reasons Why Business Resists Live Chat

Does this sound familiar to you?  Over the past few decades the way we conduct business has changed substantially. Websites, email, social media, mobile sites, instant messaging, B2B marketing, SEO etc etc etc… We’ve all had to embrace these rapid technological shifts and many business tell me it’s one of their biggest challenges is keeping up with technology.

So what next?  Right now we are on the cusp of the next BIG tech change in the way we communicate with our prospects and customers.  

On a daily basis I am finding that businesses still hesitate to take that leap and offer live chat to their customers – who are ready, willing AND waiting to talk online!  Why? Let’s explore the top 4 reasons given by companies as to why its not the right time to implement chat.

At Chat2 we have discovered if you wait too long, it’s your competitor who embraces the chat channel and begins to attract all your online sales as well as their own. So it’s better if you can beat them to the post! In this age of technology where greater information power is with the online consumer, business should not wait to provide what online customers are demanding – instant communication!

When offering business this instant line of communication for their online clients – we hear so many reasons as to why it is not the right time to introduce a live chat channel. So we may say:

“Hey – we’re offering you the tools and the service to talk with your customers when they are at the door of your business.  They are in your website and you can talk to them while they are there, right in that moment of real time. You can ask them directly, ‘Can I help find you something?’ or  ‘May I ask what you are looking for?’ How does that sound?”

The response we receive from the business is commonly:

“Oh no – My customers will phone me, or use the contact form or email”;  or

“I am too busy at the moment to implement live chat”; or

“My website provides enough information to customers, so I don’t need chat; or

“The questions people ask on live chat is on my website – so they just need to read!”; or

“Oh – my website needs to be updated so live chat wouldn’t work for us”.

Can you relate to any of these? If you do then you are certainly not alone, as it is what we hear everyday.  I must admit chat is certainly a change to the way we are use to doing business. We have never had the opportunity before to give our customers the opportunity to engage immediately with us in real time through our website.  This has never been possible before. A website has always just been a billboard for business, with a humongous amount of information for the visitor to trawl through. Though the problem is visitors are not keen to do this anymore, particularly once they have experienced conversing in the live chat channel.  Wouldn’t you be more likely to make the sale if you could talk with them while they are on your website?

Of course, you can choose to keep that online virtual door tightly slammed shut to your online consumers.  Though if your competitor has chat and you don’t – which business (as a consumer) would you prefer to deal with?

Let’s look at the top 4 excuses reasons we hear every day and how they can be solved so your business won’t miss out on sales.

Reason One

“I prefer to get a customer on the phone as it is so much easier to convert.”

The phone and email is certainly the channels most businesses are most comfortable working with, as it has been the main tools available. Though with advances in online technology and more power being given to the consumer in obtaining information so readily, businesses need to move quickly to grow online into the future.  

Tools and technology are now available to meet high customer expectations for speed of information. Business should investigate and trial methods like chat to see the difference to their business. Consumers are becoming wary of being on hold on the phone or waiting hours for an email answer.  Live chat is a huge growth channel and businesses need to be onboard for the ride. According to Gartner – it is expected the chat channel will grow by 400% as a preferred customer digital engagement channel from 2015 – 2018.  With the predicted growth of this channel and the significant benefits it provides to businesses as well as customers, the chat channel should be embraced sooner rather than later!

Reason Two

“I am too busy at the moment to implement live chat.”

It’s so easy to implement!  The code takes 10 minutes to paste.  If you don’t have the staff to answer chats, the Chat2 Concierge team are here to get you started. We assist businesses to transition to chat by setting up chat, creating Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ’s), answering chats, transferring chats, providing training to staff and doing anything we can to ensure you are successful in your implementation.  We know what works and what doesn’t. You give up 20 minutes of your time to guide us in the setup and our team at Chat2 do the rest. We are an experienced team of professional chat operators and software developers. In no time you will be seeing more leads and sales coming through your website utilising the Chat2 channel.

Chat2 paid for itself after only one day. I had 3 chats in the first 10 minutes and one was a fabulous sale!”

Brenda – FNQ Apartments

Reason Three

“My website provides enough information to customers”

Or

“The answers to the questions people ask on chat are on the website – they just need to read!”

Consumer behaviour is changing rapidly online and gone are the days where a visitor will sit there and read pages on your website searching for information. If it is not clear to them at a quick glance of the first page or two – then they are likely to seek out a competitor.   So you may have a beautiful website with all the right information but customers want information now and easily accessed! Chat provides businesses with the tool to provide the relevant information fast and meet the customer expectations.  I say “Wow with the Now!”

Reason Four

“Oh – my website needs to be updated so live chat wouldn’t work for us”

Or

“We are going to implement a new website soon so we’ll put chat on then”

I ask you – “Will your website ever be completely up to date?” Our clients love chat as they know their online customers are receiving correct up-to-date information through chat daily. Visitors are regularly asking for clarification of information on websites and they will even pick up errors and bring those into chat. Hey we are all human – right!  Website visitors are now fine tuning our client’s websites for them. They are giving the business insight into what they want from the website and the information they are seeking. What great knowledge to obtain from your own prospects! Businesses can ensure this information is front and centre on their website.

Recently, we have introduced a new product called Chatsites – which is a one page website – fully interactive! On the Chatsite you have the basic company information about what you do and the chat box.  The chat software can be teamed with our Chat2 concierge service and/or Chatbot. So having an antiquated website is no longer an excuse not to have chat!

Chat2 has also assisted clients transition from an old website to a new website.  One of our clients had massive traffic with over 3000 visitors a day and when the new website went live our Chat2 team were there to virtually hold the hand of each visitor who experienced any sales, login or information issues.  The transition went exceptionally smoothly, it was the busiest month ever in chat and most importantly though no sales were lost and every enquiry was attended to in the Now!

Don’t miss out on those website visitors banging on your website door wanting answers now!

Can we help to transition your business into chat?  We are experienced in chatting with online visitors over various industries from online retail, tourism, real estate, hotels through to diving, financial, recruitment and printing businesses.

We do all the set up for you, we can chat for you, provide you with the leads, we can fully customise the look of chat, create chatbots on Facebook and/or for your website, create a chatsite, integrate with google analytics or other software. Just ask our team – visit www.chat2.com and have a chat with the team or get started straight away on the link below with Chat2 Concierge.

If you would like to learn more about our Chat2 Concierge team and what we do – there is a short video here. Who is the Chat2 Concierge Team

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends Live Chat - Tips and Tricks

Does Live Chat Really Work?

Written By:  Karen Lloyd-Collins CEO Chat2

One of the most typical questions we are asked at Chat2 is:

“Does Live Chat Really Work?”

We speak with many companies every day who are hesitant to try chat software and tell us:

“My customers are happy to contact me by phone, contact form or email”;  or

“I am too busy at the moment to implement live chat”; or

“My website provides enough information to customers; or

“The questions people ask on live chat is on my website – so they just need to read!”; or

“Oh – my website needs to be updated so live chat wouldn’t work for us”.

Can you relate to any of these? If you do – you are certainly not alone, as it is what we hear everyday.  So let’s look at why live chat is currently a channel that needs to be evaluated for any business.

Technology is giving the power of information to your customer, so if they are not getting what they want from your website they will just go elsewhere.  Customer behaviour online is changing rapidly, so let me share with you what is happening.

 

What do Customers think of Chat?

Did you know that live chat is now becoming the preferred contact channel of choice by clients?  I am not just saying that as an industry specialist, as according to Forbes, 92% of customers now prefer to use live chat to communicate with businesses (Forbes 2017), compared to other channels.

Since 2015, I have noticed a dramatic change in responses from prospects when asked:

“Would you be interested in trying Chat2 – its a live chat channel where you can connect with customers straight away at the same time they are on your website?”

I would commonly hear answers like:

“Oh, you mean – that annoying little pop up window – I close it straight away!”

Now 3 years later – I hear:

“I seek out websites now with a live chat option”; or

“I love live chat – I get all the answers I want straight away without having to search the website.”

This change in attitude is what is being reflected in industry research.

The main reason for the growing popularity of the chat channel is in regards to time. Customer behaviour online is evolving.  Customers are now demanding faster, more instant responses from businesses (Check out our blog on How Fast is Fast Enough?).  There is a huge chasm between the response times provided by businesses compared to customer expectations.  Live chat software is providing the tool to businesses to meet this challenge. According to research by (Econsultancy.com) 79% said they got their questions answered quickly with live chat and 46% agreed live chat was the most efficient communication method (Econsultancy.com). Other reasons as to why chat is becoming a preferred communication channel with online visitors are listed below.

https://econsultancy.com/blog/10644-stats-do-consumers-appreciate-live-chat-on-websites

So if a customer is feeling more satisfied with the method they are using to communicate with a business, it makes sense that they are more likely to connect regularly, establishing a relationship, increasing engagement, building trust and eventually buying.  Chat software, used well, converts browsers to buyers!

“Chat Converts Browsers to Buyers”

This has been our experience at Chat2.  

Sunlover Reef Cruises, a client since 2016, use our Chat2 Concierge Service.  The number of chats they now receive each month has more than doubled compared to the previous year.  So we have seen first hand how successful the Chat2 channel is with this incredible growth.

Other clients like The Energy Hub Australia have commented:

“Our sales have increased by 50% since the implementation of Chat2”.

Salary Packaging Australia advised that:

“50% of the enquiries we receive from Chat2 are genuine sales and leads enquiries, this is much higher than we expected!”

If implemented well, the live chat channel has the capacity to create great results… though businesses are hesitant to implement.  I believe there is this huge divide between how customers want to communicate with businesses and what businesses are actually providing for their customers to connect with them.  How well do you really know your customers? Simply trying a live chat channel is only going to be of benefit…. and it can only produce results. You won’t lose customers trialing live chat as you are more likely to gain new ones.

Let’s have a look at who a chat visitor is and how they any different to the customer who comes into a business via the phone or email?

 

“I believe there is this huge divide between how customers want to communicate with businesses to what businesses provide for customers to connect with them.”

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO – Chat2

 

Who is the Chat Customer?

There are two main types of chat clients – ones that are already customers or ones still in the research/investigative stage of the sales process. It is the latter type of chat customer that a business never may attract without offering the chat channel.

Those customers that come into chat, that are already customers, will just love you more as you are now offering a faster, easier way for them to ask questions and get immediate answers through chat. You have now automatically increased their loyalty to you. Past customers coming into the chat channel are normally looking for information for another purchase and/or support.

The other type of chat client is the “website bouncer”, they are in the early stage of the sales funnel, researching and investigating what companies are offering and are bouncing from website to website. The browsing investigative prowler! They are looking for the best offers, sales, what may meet their needs, has the best value and customer service.  So as they bounce into your website – your chat invitation pops up offering them assistance.

They stop for a sec……. You have captured their attention for a few brief seconds……

Sure they may bounce on but many think..…..”oh I can ask my questions and save time from having to browse all these websites.  I can get all my questions answered in one spot!”

Those that bounce on…. may still bounce back to your website and see the invitation again… this time they think about how much quicker it will be to just ask questions here without having to read about what all the other companies are offering. This is a very common scenario in our experience and we note that it is normally the second or third visit to the website before the visitor engages in a chat.  

Chat increases the opportunity to attract more leads/enquiries into a business. The sales funnel is being widened with the offer of a chat channel. You are capturing potential leads/prospects that may never have engaged without the chat opportunity.  See our blog on widening the sales funnel with chat.

With Chat you are now a STAND OUT online.  You have captured the visitor’s attention and this is likely to reduce the bounce rate to your website.  Once you have captured their attention, the next step is to engage them into chat.  If your chat is set up effectively, then engaging into a chat is easy.

So back to the original question – Does Live Chat Really Work?

So far we have shown:

  • Customers are preferring the chat channel as its fast, easy and convenient;
  • Businesses are picking up more leads/enquiries by offering chat;
  • Genuine lead enquiries are received through chat; and
  • Customers are seeing a boost in sales with the increase in number of enquiries via chat.

So why all the hesitation and objection to trialing the live chat channel? We address each of the comments and objections mentioned earlier in part 2 of this blog to be published next week.  

If you are an online website that sells your products and service online – then having chat on your website is a no brainer.

Did you know that 53% of online buyers are likely to abandon their online purchases.

According to Forrester research, “53 percent of US online adults are very likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their question.”  This reason alone is why companies should have live chat offered as an option. The loss of 50% of your sales when a customer reaches checkout – is serious business!

According to Gartner – it is expected the chat channel will grow by 400% as a preferred customer digital engagement channel from 2015 – 2018.  So in light of this research and the experience we are seeing at Chat2 – you need to answer those customers banging on your website door!

Start today

Click on a link below to start your trial of Chat2 software.

Chat2 Software – 30 day free trial with complimentary setup of the Chat2 Software.

If you would like to learn more about our Chat2 Concierge team and what we do – here is a short video on this service. Who is the Chat2 Concierge Team

Categories
Chat Blog How Fast is Fast Enough? Industry Trends Live Chat - Tips and Tricks

How Fast is Fast Enough?

 

Did you know many businesses are not responding fast enough for their customers? Many businesses don’t realise their response rates are not meeting their customer expectations. Client expectations to get a response from a business are becoming demanding and placing significant pressure on business resources.   So what is the response time customers expect from a business by phone, email, social media and chat? What can businesses do to improve response times?

The three main channels for communicating with clients are email, phone and social media, though the use of chat software has seen significant growth of 8.3% internationally in 2017 (smallbiztrends.com).  Chat as a channel is providing instant feedback to businesses if they are not performing to meet customer expectations.  

How – you may ask?

In those first couple of weeks of using chat software, a business may be bombarded with questions like:

“I emailed you yesterday and I have not heard back from you?”

“Did you receive my order – I placed it 2 hours ago?”

“I left a message on Facebook and no one has responded – it has been 3 hours?”

“I tried to phone you and was on hold for 5 minutes and no one answered my call?”

Does this sound familiar?  Sometimes you are not even aware of this tension that exists within your customer group. Many of our business clients who experience this are surprised to see these initial comments coming through chat, highlighting an issue they were not aware of. It is easy to rectify this situation quickly.

So why are customers demanding more instant responses?  It is a trend being seen worldwide. Customers are demanding more immediacy for a response. Information is so easily accessible over the internet, customers are now expecting demanding that businesses should reply to enquiries just as quickly – this is putting significant pressure on business resources.

So Why is Speed so Important in Customer Service?

When you receive a fast response – doesn’t it make you feel like the business cares about your needs and they make you feel important?

Many businesses can respond faster than ever before with the new technology available, so speed is becoming an issue of competitiveness between businesses. For example, a customer exploring the purchase of a new car online may ask two suppliers about the delivery of the car.  The first car yard responds in 30 minutes, engages the customer, organises a test drive and while a price is being negotiated, the second car yard responds 24 hours later. From our experience, the supplier who responds in a friendly, prompt and professional manner is more likely to make the sale, than the company that replies in 24 hours to a few days  – which is still very commonplace.

In a study conducted by the CMO Council in 2017 – it was found that 47% of U.S. and European consumers surveyed said they will abandon a brand if it repeatedly provides “poor, impersonal or frustrating” customer experiences. Companies need to be prioritising excellence in customer service.  If companies provide easy access and fast responses to questions, then this will result in happy satisfied customers upon which will nurture business growth.

More than 52% of consumers stated that an exceptional customer experience included a fast response time to problems and suggestions, with 47% stating a great customer experience includes instant access to knowledgeable sales staff 24/7 (CMO Council Study).

The CMO study revealed that even though loyal consumers will leave a brand if they’re not treated well, it also highlighlighted that consumers are seeking connection, not perfection and maybe forgiving as long as they feel heard and valued. So as long as they are responded to quickly and effectively – customers will easily be retained and will continue doing business with you.

Many businesses don’t realise customers are quickly abandoning them for the next business that acts quickly and responds with immediacy to client questions.  Is this happening to you? Is your response rate meeting your customer expectations?

“The customer is smarter than ever when it comes to customer service. They don’t just compare you to your competitor, but to any company that delivers an excellent customer service experience. The bar has been raised, and companies must work harder to meet and exceed their customer’s expectations.”

Shep Hyken

Customer Service Expert & New York Times Bestselling Author

Attracting, serving and keeping customers happy are the key to survival for any business.  If customers are not happy it is unlikely the business will survive. But are customers placing unrealistic expectations on businesses?  How can businesses survive in this demanding customer-driven environment? What are the response times customers are demanding?

Let’s consider what current studies are showing us.  What are the benchmarks for response times in the four main communication channels – email, phone, social media and chat.

Email Response Time

When do customers expect a response from a business after they have sent an email?

In a survey of 1200 consumers undertaken in April 2018, it was recommended that businesses should aim to respond to customers within 1 hour or if wanting to achieve a world class standard, within 15 minutes.

“That is crazy” or “That is unrealistic”- you may be thinking!

Yes – it is a huge ask of businesses, though it is achievable.  

The results from the survey showed that 43% expected businesses to reply in a 1 day to an email.

So if your business responded to customer emails within 1 hour, it would stand out from the crowd and exceed the expectations of 89% of consumers! Of course, if you responded in 15 minutes – well that is world class, as you would meet or exceed consumer expectations with 100%.

In another 2018 survey, Superoffice.com surveyed 1000 companies by email asking two questions:

  • Where is the pricing information on the website?
  • What was their phone number?

An incredible 62% of companies did not even respond and only 20% answered the questions in the first reply.  

The gap between the response time consumers expect and what businesses do –  is seriously damaging. You have the opportunity to stand out from 62% of companies by just responding to the email in the first instance!  This is easily done through implementing email autoresponders backed up by a solid CRM. Even by acknowledging that you have received the customers’ question / issue / complaint goes a long way towards keeping your customers happy.

So is there any difference for social media response times?

Social Media Response Time

So what about social media? Are expectations higher? Do customers expect faster response times in this channel and if so, how much faster?

The Social Habit research company explored this issue with its audience and discovered 32% expected a response within 30 minutes and 42% expected a response within 60 minutes. So if you responded to social media enquiries within 30 minutes you will be meeting or exceeding 74% of your customer expectations!  Sounds easy right! But can your company respond to enquiries in under 30 minutes? Responding to an email in under 1 hour is tough, though responding to a social media enquiry within 30 minutes is pushing the capability for many businesses.

But…… there are many companies meeting this expectation easily with the available technology.  Responding to customers in under 30 minutes is a big ask for many businesses, though serious consideration is needed by businesses to connect with customers in social media.  New practices/tools need to be adopted to meet customer expectations, otherwise you will have disillusioned customers looking to other businesses for service that meets their expectations.

We are now working in a global environment where consumers can access products and services from anywhere, at anytime.  It is technology that is giving consumers the power to demand more immediate responses. So is the expectation growing that no matter what time of the day, night or weekend it is – consumers are expecting an answer?

It appears they are!

The findings from the Social Habit Research Company found that 57% of survey participants expected the same response time at night or on weekends as during normal business hours. It’s getting crazy!

So is it any different for phone response times?

Phone Response Time

Phoning a business should result in a fairly quick response, though many businesses still think its ok to have their prospects/customers on hold for a few minutes listening to recorded messages or music before they are answered.  No one likes being placed on hold on the phone, though previously, customers felt they had no choice. Businesses will lose customers rapidly if they don’t adapt to consumer demand for rapid replies, it is fast becoming unacceptable to keep a customer waiting on the phone.  So how long is a customer willing to wait on a phone?

A 2017 survey of 1500 Consumers in the U.S. found that nearly two-thirds were only willing to wait 2 minutes or less before hanging up and 13% stated that no hold time was acceptable.  This is a stark contrast to a similar survey in 2014 where customers were willing to hold for 13 minutes! Consumer expectations are changing and businesses are slow in adapting to this change.

So how big is this gap in the speed of response by companies to what the customer expects, in the three big communication channels?  It is a huge, yawning chasm and to remain competitive businesses need to act now!

So What About Live Chat Software?

 

Chat software is a relatively new technology available to businesses and a different way to connect with customers. Some businesses are hesitant to try chat as they see it as a high-pressure channel, where consumers expect answers immediately and rarely wait around for an answer. Though this technology gives the business the ability to respond quickly to enquiries and that is what customers are demanding. Chat is worthy of serious consideration as it gives the power to businesses to alleviate the pressure on all communication channels and at the same time exceeding customer expectations for a response time. Let me explain how.

Offering chat on a website can reduce phone calls and emails for a business, even boosting sales by attracting clients that would not normally reach out.  So in the first instance, it will alleviate the pressure on the two big incoming channels, phone and email for customer enquiries. More and more consumers are gravitating towards instant messaging channels like chat, so they are becoming more likely to choose chat for a faster response and generally it is the platform they are already on reviewing the business – so the choice for reaching out is easy.

So how fast is the response time in chat?

The 2018 Live Chat Benchmark Report prepared by Comm100 reviewed 40 million chats from companies all over the world representing 13 industries and found that the average response time using chat software is 37 seconds!  This is 8 seconds faster than their finding of 45 seconds in 2016.

With the shift for communication moving away from phone and email, towards instant response platforms like chat, business can respond to enquiries much faster than the current response times in phone and email.  As chat integrates with social media it also provides the ability to respond to social media enquiries, well within the customer expectation of 30 minutes.

“So we’re no longer measuring response time in days and hours but seconds.”

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO Chat2

With effective implementation of chat, a company can meet or even exceed the response rate in all channels, as 37 seconds is well above customer expectations for phone and email.  This is world-class customer service

How to Implement Chat Effectively

What is meant by effective implementation of Chat?

Effective implementation of live chat is the key to attain this exceptional level of response time and requires adequate resourcing, streamlining chat into everyday work processes, training of staff and a commitment by management to chat.  If a customer’s experience of chat is that it is fast, with quick relevant responses, then this will become the channel of choice to connect with a business. The business is likely to see more returning customers due to this world-class service experience.

One of the challenges to implementing chat is having knowledgeable, trained staff on hand to instantly answer chats, particularly in the peak demand periods.  When Chat2 was launched in 2015, we saw first-hand businesses struggling with integrating chat into their daily work processes. Their staff were already busy, so transitioning into providing a chat service was challenging.

Chat2 launched its Concierge Service in 2016 to overcome this challenge and to assist businesses transitioning into offering chat as a service. The Chat2 Concierge Service offers businesses a team of experienced, professional, highly trained chat agents that answer chats 24/7.  Each industry is allocated a specialised team so the members of the team are knowledgeable on the issues and questions received by customers in that industry. With the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) built into the Chat2 software, agents can easily and quickly respond to client requests for businesses.

Once consumer behaviour changes and consumers embrace chat over other communication channels, businesses discover there is less pressure on the other channels of phone, email and social media. In some instances, they embrace the channel and train their own staff in chat to answer transferred chats from the concierge team or answer chats directly from clients.

One of the first questions we are asked when a business enquires about the Chat2 Concierge Service is:

“How will your chat agents know what to say to my clients – you don’t know my business?”

So true – which is why we request new clients to complete a simple online form, so the team can find out more about the business and what the business would like to achieve using the concierge service.  We create answers to likely questions we are expecting from customers in that industry, as we are already familiar with the questions that are being asked. These questions and answers are entered into the chat software for the business or concierge team, so we are all saying the same thing to clients.  A great knowledge base is created, that can also be utilised when you need to train new staff. As a part of the Chat2 Concierge Service, this knowledge base is updated continuously. If there is a question the team can’t answer, we seek the answer from the business, to upload answer for next time.

The Chat2 Concierge team employ highly successful techniques to engage new visitors to your business and welcome returning visitors.  Our chat agents provide prompt, polite and personalised customer service which is paramount to representing your brand. We monitor and report on our performance by the second, which means our chat agents are some of the most responsive in the business. The concierge team have an average response rate of 18 seconds, with generally most chats answered in under 30 seconds.

“Chat is providing a huge opportunity for businesses to provide world-class service. At Chat2, we are answering chats for businesses within 30 seconds, with an average response time of 18 seconds”

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO Chat2

Our clients are attaining world-class response rates and alleviating the pressure on other communication channels.  They are standing out from their competition as they are now exceeding the response times customers are demanding. Chat2 Concierge can provide the resources for those periods of peak demands with an incredible return on investment. Many of our clients who have trialled the concierge service are still using the service since our launch, as the conversion rates on chat are improving all the time as the team works in partnership with our business clients.

We invite you to view a short 2 minute video on the Chat2 concierge service and how the team are converting 80 – 90% of chats for business internationally!

We welcome any questions through chat about our services, including chat integration, customisation, staff training, chatbots, FAQ creation and more.  Our Chat2 Concierge Service is also offered to businesses committed to other chat software. Visit us at www.chat2.com

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

Facebook and Chat Software – New Directions for Business

 

Facebook is on the verge of making rapid, radical changes.  The social media giant has been big news in 2018. First with the announcement of the change of direction for the company and now facing significant security breaches. Last Sunday, Facebook took out full page ads in seven British newspapers and three American ones apologising for the privacy scandal.  It certainly raises concerns for businesses being on the social platform and to consider other options to connect with customers online.

In January, Mark Zuckerberg announced the purpose of Facebook was undergoing a major change.  Feedback from users was that posts from businesses, brands and media were crowding out personal moments.  Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the goal of Facebook will change from helping users find relevant content to helping users have more meaningful social interactions.  For businesses this means that less priority will be placed on business posts in Facebook so there will be less exposure in news feeds for businesses. Greater priority will be given to content that promotes more meaningful interactions between users.  

Businesses will have to revamp their Facebook strategy to keep apace with this announcement.  Businesses will now receive less exposure and traction on their Facebook posts into newsfeeds of potential customers.  This article will make some recommendations on what businesses can do in response to these major events affecting Facebook.  Even if you don’t have a Facebook page the recommendations provide an alternative to business publishing online promotions at minimal cost.

How will the recent Facebook changes affect businesses?

The eight (8) major changes affecting businesses on the Facebook platform include:

  • Preference will be given to posts that create interactions between people not between pages and people.
  • Posts with long comments of more than a sentence will be given priority viewing in newsfeeds, as they encourage interaction between users.  Businesses could experiment with commenting from their personal profile rather than from the business page as Facebook may consider this to be an interaction between users.
  • Live videos will be given preference as it stimulates conversations.
  • These changes will apply to all Facebook pages personal, business and group pages.
  • Pages that post frequently, like 2 -3 times a day, are less likely to obtain traction. Marketing Specialists are advising businesses to post less frequently with quality content maybe only once a week.
  • Images with quotes, Gif’s and competition posts will not be displayed on news feeds.
  • Links to pages outside Facebook like blogs are also unlikely to be seen.
  • Any posts with engagement bait ie. competitions or inviting people to comment are likely to be removed by Facebook and not given any exposure.

How can Business promote through Facebook?

Facebook has advised that the paid advertising portal will not change.  This is one of the last avenues left for businesses to get traction in Facebook – what a surprise!  So Facebook want businesses to pay for getting any exposure. The organic reach option will no longer be readily available for businesses. The push is to move businesses towards paid advertising.  

It will be important for businesses to ensure the advertising content published on Facebook is of high quality to obtain strong exposure, particularly as they are now paying for it.  This is in line with Facebook goals, as they want content to be more meaningful to their users. So if businesses are now re-directed towards paid advertising obviously Facebook is going to experience a surge in this income stream.  Many marketing analysts are stating that it is likely that the cost of advertising will also increase with the demand, as Facebook won’t want their platform flooded with advertising.

Businesses can consider an Alternative

One of the most under-utilised platforms for businesses is the use of instant messaging applications.  Consider how you now communicate with your loved ones and friends, even business associates. Are you using more messaging apps?  Apps like Messages, Facebook Messenger, What’s App, Skype, Snapchat, Chat2 etc. In 2016, 1.58 billion mobile users accessed the top messaging apps to communicate.  This figure is projected to escalate to 2.48 billion users in 2021 as shown in the graphic below.

In 2016, more than 1 billion people used Facebook Messenger each month (Facebook internal data), that is a staggering statistic and demonstrates Facebook Messenger has been leading the way as an instant messaging application.  Though the effect of the “Delete Facebook campaign” is yet to be seen for the social media giant.

Connecting with customers through Facebook messenger opens up a whole new opportunity.  Why is this? Facebook messenger is an exceptionally powerful tool in that as soon as a customer interacts with Facebook messenger, they have immediately given the business the permission to contact them again in the future.  You can add them to your contact lists and grow your business.

Another instant message application businesses can consider if you don’t want all business conversations known to Facebook or don’t have a Facebook page is Chat Software.  So maybe consider getting your prospective customers off the Facebook platform and onto your own communication channel. This removes the Facebook control and puts you back in command of your data and information.

Chat software is a simple piece of code added to the business website from which the business can start chatting with online customers directly.  Most live chats are started with an invite into chat that pops up on the website. Some live chat software have an option to link directly into Facebook Messenger where a copy of the messages are taken from messenger into the live chat software, like Chat2.  So you can see the exact conversation in messenger and the live chat software.

How Can Businesses Get Website Browsers into Messenger or Chat?

If you are using live chat software – you can easily grab the attention of your website visitor by setting up auto chat invitations that prompt a visitor into chat.  Research has shown with this invitation – visitors are 3 times more likely to chat. At Chat2 we set up auto chat invitations for our new customers to make the transition into chatting as smooth as possible.  

Businesses can also run Facebook advertisements with a direct link into Facebook Messenger or live chat, they can offer discounts/ specials/ enticements if a customer connects through a chat application on their own web or Facebook page. Facebook also offers local awareness advertisements to reach as many people around a business location, so the advertisement appears to a person in close proximity to your business.  The link in the advertisement can direct them into the chat software.

How does Instant Messaging Apps Grow a Business?

When an online visitor uses the chat or an instant messenger interface, the business can obtain the person’s name and location, and with Facebook messenger their gender, profile photo and email.  If the chat software is integrated into Facebook messenger, then a list starts to generate from all visitors that have interacted with the business and is captured within the chat software. Automatically this is growing business by building the contact list.  

Once a client interacts in Facebook messenger, a business has immediately been given permission to contact that client again in the future. This is exceptionally powerful as it gives permission to the business to contact that client again within a 24 hour window offering other promotions, specials and discounts from your business.  At the time of writing, the cost to access this advertising channel is $0. Though I am sure it won’t be long before Facebook charge for this opportunity, so I advise to embrace it while there is such a great return on investment.

There is one concern when directing customers into Facebook messenger and that is the Facebook giant has access to your business conversations and information contained in a chat.  It is a valid concern, particularly in light of recent news. One way around this is to redirect your visitor back to your website where they can chat with the business directly through live chat software. Many businesses have chosen the live chat software option to avoid sharing business conversations with Facebook. Though there are still many who are sacrificing this confidentiality in order to have access to the powerful Facebook messenger.

 

How can Chatbots help business growth?

Just last year Facebook also allowed for chatbots to be added into messenger.  For those who are not familiar with chatbots – it’s a software application that attempts to act like a human answering questions on your website in a pop up box. At this stage, bots are primarily used to answer simple questions and share basic information. Though this technology is improving at rapid speed and eventually visitors will only be conversing with chat bots.  

Some live chat software have incorporated Chatbots as an option.  So the chatbot can be developed to greet customers initially into the instant messaging application albeit messenger or a live chat software,  but when the questions are too hard or too technical, they have the option to chat with a real person. The purpose of a chatbot is to provide answers quickly, though sometimes they are not the answers the customer is looking for, as the technology still has some way to go before it can determine the intent of the visitor chatting.

I would like to ask the question – how comfortable are you to have your questions answered by a robot?  Or do you prefer to have a real person attending to your enquiries?

At Chat2 we are finding that consumers of this generation are still not quite ready for long conversations with Chatbots.  They still want to be able to speak with a real person. They don’t want to go through menus and menus of items before finding the answer they are looking for, they want personal assistance immediately, they want their questions answered now.  That was the whole reason for going into the messenger or chat app.

It was this demand for the human element still within an instant messaging application that the Chat2 concierge team evolved. At Chat2 our clients have the option to use real people, chat bots or a combination of both.  Businesses can answer their own chats if they prefer, or if they are too busy they can use the professional Chat2 Concierge team to answer chats. The Chat2 Concierge team are a team of real people answering chats for many businesses around the world achieving 70 – 80% conversion rates in chat. An option that is gaining in popularity is the Chat2 Hybrid with chatbots and Concierge being offered to the website visitor at the initial start of a chat.

I am expecting when our generation of teenagers form the majority of consumers with purchasing power, there won’t be any hesitation  with interacting with robots. The generational shift will happen and as the technology develops further, we will eventually see intelligent robots serving customers online – but surely there will still be the need for a little human touch.

I welcome you to experience the Chat2 Chatbot to gain insights into the power of this tool for your business. Click here to start a chat with our Chat2 Chatbot.  Have a chat and tell us what you think!

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

How to Boost Sales with Less Emails and Fewer Phone Calls!

Wouldn’t that be a dream come true for business owners! How much time do your staff spend on emails or on the phone communicating with customers?  What if you could reduce the time spent on these tasks and make more sales!

Emails occupy 23% of the average employee’s workday (Forbes report) and the average employee checks their emails 36 times an hour.  Email isn’t a great tool for staying productive with 59.56% of email traffic worldwide being reported as spam. The phone adds a personal touch, though you can only speak with one customer at a time and sometimes it’s hard to keep the phone call focused to achieve the desired outcome.

Think about how you talk to the people close to you.  Rarely by email, sure sometimes by phone, but many of us are now resorting to using instant messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, Messages, What’s App, Instagram and Snapchat.  It’s expected that there will be 2.48 billion users of mobile messaging apps by 2021 according to Statista.  So it makes sense that businesses should also embrace this communication channel.

 

“How?” You may ask? “I don’t want my staff on Facebook all day – they’ll never get any work done!”

Your staff don’t need to be on Facebook to answer Facebook messenger chats!  Let me show you how.

Firstly, businesses need to recognise that the majority of their customers are on these instant messaging channels and they need to be there too!  And this is where chat software becomes invaluable to the business.

It’s so easy for a business to reach out online while the customer is there, with a quick,

“Hi – how is your day going?”

“Hi – can we help you with that product?”

“Would you like to know what colours are available?”

“Oh we have a promotion on that very item today.”  

Chatting directly to your clients, engaging them, providing them with answers quickly and easily on their preferred communication channel, is the equivalent of a customer visiting a bricks and mortar store. It builds trust.

It’s the norm now to have a business website and a Facebook page, and sure, you can use Facebook Messenger directly.  But it’s time-consuming, distracting, and has limited reporting or data analysis… Instead, businesses can install chat software on their website and link it directly to Facebook Messenger!  So as they say, you can “have your cake and eat it too”.

Your staff can chat with many customers from Facebook and the website at the same time! What a great time saver and how productive your staff will be making multiple sales simultaneously!  It’s like having multiple phone lines coming into your business, with one staff member answering all the calls at the same time! How effective is that? 

What is Chat Software?

Chat software gives businesses the opportunity to chat directly with their customers from the website or Facebook page using an instant messaging platform.  It’s a software application and easily installed on your website by pasting a few simple lines of code. The code creates a widget (pop up box) that allows your customers to chat with a real person in your business. Giving your customer an opportunity to ask questions about your products and services on the same communication channel they are using. They don’t have to pick up the phone, they can ask the question right there and then.

You may now be thinking: 

“What if I don’t have the staff to answer chats?”

“What are the real benefits of installing chat software?”  

Well, let’s explore those questions!

Why Every Business Needs Live Chat?

1. It’s Cheaper

Can you speak with more than one customer on the phone? No… but you can with chat! Experienced operators can speak with, potentially, up to 10 clients at one time!  This is a huge saving in time and cost of phone calls. Providing your customers with access to instant messaging on your website, and giving them the option to chat with you directly, will reduce the number of phone calls and emails for your frequently asked questions!   Giving your customers immediate answers moves them further along the sales funnel towards a sale… and with more queries being answered at once by a team member (impossible with a phone or email), it will require less time and resources.

Virgin Atlantic has stated that using live chat is cheaper than answering phone calls from consumers or responding to emails—Virgin states that the average chat agent can cover the work done by 15 agents focused on emails.

2. More Sales and Conversions with higher order value

Website browsers have questions about your product and service and many times they are not ready to hand over any identifying information until they have answers to a few basic questions.  

Sunlover Reef Cruises enquiries often start with “What is included in the reef tour?” Website browsers are comparing what other tour operators are offering, but as Sunlover is online and ready to answer questions like this they more often than not make the sale.  This initial conversation builds trust with the customer, so they feel more confident in buying. The monthly number of chats has tripled for Sunlover since they started with Chat2 software in 2016.

Chat software gives you the chance to answer any immediate objections from the buyer.  We can all think of those main questions that any new prospect asks us and if we are there – online – at the time the buyer is ready to buy, to answer those simple objections, we are more likely to convert.

According to the American Marketing Association chat software can increase sales conversions by 20%. The Energy Hub Australia has experienced exactly this by being online and answering questions such as “How much is freight?”  or “Will this hot water system be suited to 2 bathrooms?”. The Managing Director has reported that sales have increased by over 50% for the online retail store due to live chat.

Chat software not only increases the number of sales – it also increases the average order value. Just by chatting with your prospective customers online you get to understand their needs, and are able to recommend other products by up-selling or cross-selling to increase the order value.  Virgin Airlines found that the average order values for consumers who use live chat are 15% higher than consumers who do not use the software.

3. Grow your Lead and Client database

When website browsers engage in chat it provides the opportunity for businesses to obtain contact details through the chat software from which a contact list can be generated for future promotions.  If the chatter comes via Facebook Messenger into chat, there is the added bonus where the business will obtain the person’s Facebook profile and allows the business to re-contact the prospect within 24 hours under the Facebook rules with further promotions and information.  Chat software provides businesses with a new online lead generation tool at a minimal cost.

The Nutritional supplement company “Happy Healthy You” is finding great success in this method of marketing utilising the integration of Chat2 software and Facebook Messenger and sending promotions and advice to their 120K strong Facebook following.

4. Get to Know your Customers

When a prospect chats with a business, it’s an opportunity to learn from the experience and get to know their browsers a little better.  They can find out what information is being researched about their business; what product or services buyers are currently looking for; and in the process, build trust with their customers through consistent and meaningful engagement.  

The business can then ensure their website is providing the information that is being sought by potential prospects. It also gives businesses an insight into new products or services they could be offering, particularly if they have prospects seeking out these products.   

5. Improve Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

According to eDigital customer service benchmark, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73% compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone. 

The reason for this is due to the “efficiency and immediacy of the experience”, says Kirk Parson, a Senior Director at Market Research company, J.D. Power

Communicating with your customers through the channel they prefer will certainly keep your business “top of mind” when it comes time to purchase.  You will also retain more customers if you are easy to access with quick answers and levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty will significantly improve.

6. Consumers are demanding immediate information.

We are living in a fast-paced community and consumers are demanding more immediate answers to their questions.  The amount of time consumers are prepared to wait for an answer is shrinking, particularly those consumers connected online.

Eptica Research found that 44% of people said they wanted an answer on Facebook within 30 minutes and 62% on email within 2 hours. Consumers are wanting a fast, accurate, helpful response no matter what the time or the communication channel.

Shane Gooding (Manager) from Cartridge Mate supports this and states, “If we don’t respond to a chat quickly, we lose the opportunity to chat, they don’t wait around for very long on chat.”

Research shows that the average response time for customer service requests on social media is 10 hours, and emails 12 hours. This certainly doesn’t meet consumer expectations. Consumers don’t want to wait any longer for an email response or on hold in a phone queue.  

Consumers want information on demand, not when businesses decide to schedule an email. People no longer want to wait for information or search for an answer, they want the answer to come to them.  If you can’t respond with some immediacy to their questions, they will be gone in a click to the business where they can get answers quickly.

What if I can’t respond quickly to a chat?

As we now know it is the immediacy of the answer that is important to the online consumer and a key factor in making or breaking the sale. The implementation of a chat software can certainly give the business the opportunity to answer quickly, though response times need to be measured.

Our experience at Chat2 has been that if a chat is answered within 60 seconds, it is likely the customer will engage with the business.  Yes. It‘s not much time, though auto responders are set up to acknowledge the chatter immediately and they also provide some breathing time before answering a chat.  With the Chat2 software you can also see what your customer is typing before they send their question. This gives the operator more time to prepare a fast, accurate response.   

Many businesses are not yet set up to take on live chats – so Chat2 offers a transitioning service with Chat2 Concierge.  The Chat2 team set up all the FAQ’s for the business within the software and answer chats on behalf of the business. Chat2 concierge clients have chats answered within 30 seconds on average.  The team is very fast and is achieving high conversions rates within chats, ranging from 70 – 90%.

Chat2 offers Concierge as an ongoing service in the hours selected by the business, or the business can choose to answer the chats in-house once they have observed how chats are answered by a professional team of Chat Operators.

Implementing chat software for your business will certainly boost sales if implemented correctly.  Chat does relieve the pressure of phone calls and emails on frontline staff and hence reduce costs.  Though chats need to be answered with a sense of immediacy as there’s not much patience in the online world.   The next company offering your product or service is only a click away.

Categories
How To

Surveys – Real Time Customer Feedback

Obtain real time customer feedback from your online visitors while they are on your website through surveys.  This video demonstrates how to create surveys and ask your online visitors about their experience with your business.  You can ask them to rate your service with a 5 star rating system, or provide a multiple choice question seeking feedback from them or asking open-ended questions to get to know about who is visiting your website or Facebook page.

You can manually send them a survey, trigger a survey at the end of a chat or through chatbots.  All the data is collected within the Chat2 system or can be exported into a spreadsheet or integrated with your CRM.

 

 

Categories
How To

How to reset your Chat2 password

It’s very simple to reset your Chat2 password.

Go to your login page for the Chat2 dashboard.

This is your website address with no “www” and no “.” then add .chat2.com on the end.

If your website is www.hypenergy.com.au then your login url for Chat2 will be hypeenergycomau.chat2.com.

Once you are on the login screen – there will be a link that states “password reminder” to the bottom left of the password field.  Click this link and you will be taken to the restore password screen.  Please enter the email for your user account with Chat2 and an email will be sent to you with your restored password.

Please watch this short video on how to reset your password for Chat2.

Categories
How To Operating Chat

Viewing reports in Chat2

This short video shows you how to view reports in Chat2.  Find out how your live chat channel is working for you.  If you are using our Chat2Concierge service – watch this short video so you can see how hard we are working for you behind the scenes and our performance.

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

How to Compete with Amazon – Interview with CEO Karen Lloyd-Collins of Chat2 – an Australian Live Chat Software company.

Good Evening Everyone – My name is Jay Robert from Shop Ferret E-Commerce News. My guest this evening is Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO of the Australian live chat software company – Chat2.

 

Jay: Hi Karen – welcome and thanks for your time to talk to us at Shop Ferret News.

Karen: Thanks Jay – it’s nice to be here.

Jay: There is a major event occurring in the online retail Australian market at the moment with Amazon launching its online store.

Karen: Yes – it is a significant time for the Australian retail market.  An event we hope that most brick and mortar businesses have prepared for.  It’s going to be tough initially to compete against such a giant like Amazon.

Jay: The Amazon Australian launch is this Friday the 24th November, do you have any ideas as to this sudden announcement?

Karen: Actually Jay, a soft launch is expected on the 23rd November,  with some of the Australian companies that have signed up to be a part of the initial trial.  A major launch will occur on Friday, 24th November, the following day. I am sure this has been timed to correlate with Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales events!  So just in time for Christmas.

Jay: How do you think Australian retail businesses will cope with this major international player coming into the Australian market?

Karen: Australian Retailers have had many challenges from large international players over the years – some have been quite successful like Aldi’s, others like Starbucks have struggled in the Australian market.  So it is really up to the Australian Retailer and how they approach this event of Amazon entering their space.

Jay: How do you think they should approach this threat?

Karen: Well, the Australian retail business would already have a presence in the market.  If they are brick and mortar you would hope in this day and age, they have an online presence too.  It is up to the Australian business to enhance their customer experience and build a stronger loyalty to their product or service – no matter the price.  Also to promote that they are Australian, as consumers in Australia are very loyal to products made in Australia.

Everyday sadly I see many poor examples of customer service in Australia  – this is an area that needs major improvement. Just last Saturday morning I was needing a modem quite urgently.  I phoned the closest telco company– which is one of the largest in the region.  I phoned 3 times and there was no answer and not even a message service.  I was quite surprised and had to see for myself as to whether this company had closed its doors.

When I arrived at the front door, the shop was teaming with customers.  I lined up and after 25 minutes I was eventually served.  I just had to mention to the staff member behind the counter that I had phoned 3 times and no one had answered the phone to respond to a simple question. I needed to hear for myself why the phones had not been answered – I was expecting they would be horrified or shocked by my experience and immediately get someone to check the phones.  But do you know what their response was?

Jay: Well – I am sure they were surprised.

Karen: The staff member informed me: “Oh if we are too busy, we don’t answer the phone!”

Jay: You are kidding?

Karen: I wish I was. I actually could not believe I heard that response. I was dumbfounded that a telco company would actually think it’s ok not to answer the phone!  

Jay: Yes that is a very sad example of customer service.

Karen: Australian business need to do so much better, particularly with Amazon starting to court their customers.  Businesses need to pick up their game and compete on other facets not just price and there are ways this can be done.

Jay: So do you have any suggestions how Australian Businesses could compete against a giant like Amazon?

Karen: Yes – they need to bring the fight right back to Amazon – just like a David and Goliath.  Australian Retailers have done this before and they can do it again –  they just need to think more innovatively and ask themselves what can they do differently to keep current customers and attract more.  Especially in the online marketplace, as consumers have everything they need right at their fingertips.

Jay: Karen – tell me a little about Chat2 and how does Chat2 assist businesses.

Karen: Jay – Chat2 provides businesses with an opportunity to chat directly with their customers while they are online looking at the business website or facebook. It gives businesses the opportunity to find out directly, what their online customer is looking for and to provide immediate answers to their questions.  It has been proven that customers who have contacted a business through live chat are more likely to buy from that business and also will tend to buy more.

Jay: So are you saying that Chat2 provides a pop up window for the customer to chat with the business but they are really chatting with a robot?

Karen: No , not at all.  Our experience particularly in the Australian market is that online customers prefer a real person to chat with.  Live chat in Australia is still a relatively new concept and consumers are still learning about this alternative means of communicating with a business.  Consumers are a little hesitant at first to use this innovative technology, though we are seeing it is now gaining momentum and traction in the Australian market.  Chat2 software differentiates your business from your competitors, as there is someone there to talk to and answer questions easily and quickly right at the moment they are asking.

Jay: So do you mean business owners have to be on the computer all the time to answer questions from their customers?

Karen: Goodness – no – we all need a break from the online world.  You or your staff can certainly be online during the business hours answering questions on chat.  Though if you don’t have the resources to do so or you are just too busy – we offer our Chat2 Concierge service from $1/hour where we can do it for you.

Jay: That sounds very cheap.

Karen: Well our aim is to make Chat2 affordable for all businesses.  So having a tool like Chat2 allows you to answer chats from your website and facebook, it gives you an innovative edge over the large retail giants like Amazon, that have just started to try and find their place in the Australian market.  I am sure Amazon will mainly compete on price, though with a live chat software service, you can be in the online space when your customers are there looking to buy and ask them right away what are they looking for and advise them on how you can help.  

Chat2 provides amazing insight into your customers and what you may be able to do better to attract more customers.  These are things you may never have thought of before. You are hearing directly from your clients in the moment, finding out what they are seeking and you can advise them how you may help.  You may be able to provide a better price,  add additional products to attract the sale or even just being there to help can go a long way with consumers.  Chat2 is providing the businesses with a tool to engage new clients and build their trust and loyalty with the business. Clients will recall this experience and remember receiving such great customer service they are more likely to return.

Jay: With your Chat2 Concierge Service – how does your team know what to say to the online visitors of a business?

Karen: Jay, you will be surprised at the number of times a business receives the same question over and over again.  For example for a reef tour company we are asked everyday – “what do I take to the reef”or “how much for a child ticket?” Sure the answer is right there in front of them on the website, but we are all busy, busy people so we don’t want to read through the pages and pages of a website, we want answers now.  These are simple questions and easily answered. We ask new clients for these FAQ’s initially and we build upon them as we start to answer chats for the business.

Jay: So your team must be pretty fast typists?

Karen: Actually we have several tools built into the software to ensure our operators are fast and answer questions easily and effectively. Chat2 has much ai (artificial intelligence) which assists the operator by suggesting possible answers to the frequently asked questions. So the operator only has to type in a relevant word and there are several answers suggested for them to select.  These answers have been previously set up by the Chat2 team. So even your new staff have a simple way of learning answers to the FAQ’s when they start with your business.  A knowledge base is created within Chat2 software specifically for you.  Also we have a voice to text function that allows operators to speak answers that are immediately converted to text, that makes us really fast in answering and responding within chat.

As a part of our fabulous service we set up the FAQ’s for you. Customer service is our number one priority and we want to make your experience with us memorable and exciting.

Jay: So are you saying that even if Amazon is arriving on Australian shores, Australian retail businesses need to think innovatively to develop a strategy on how to compete with Amazon?

Karen: Yes I believe Australian businesses have the passion and the talent to recognise they need to raise the bar to compete with online international giants like Amazon.  It’s companies like that Telco I mentioned that will go out of business, as they are not providing the customer service demanded by consumers.  If Australian retail businesses are responsive to their customers and provide the service that is being demanded from them, I think they will do just fine.

Jay: So you believe Chat2 can assist with this significant challenge being faced by Australian Retailers?

Karen: Absolutely – it is all about the customer experience with the business.  Gone are the days where the only experience customers have, is when they visit the brick and mortar premise to purchase items. The customer experience is now so much more and sooner Australian businesses realise that, the more likely they will survive and more successful they will become. The customer experience now is not just the face to face with your staff, but it also includes their online experience through your social media, email platforms and website. Websites were never interactive but now with Chat2 – they can enhance the overall customer experience, build loyalty with a wider range of clients, obtain a greater understanding of your customer’s need and provide a greatly improved customer service experience.

Jay: Thanks so much for your insight Karen.  It has been a pleasure speaking with you this evening about the future of Australian retail businesses in light of the online Amazon giant entering the Australian Retail Market.

Karen: My pleasure Jay.

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

Chat wins more customers online……here’s how

You have thousands of customers on your website each month.  Have you ever said “hi” to them? Asked how they were?  Asked them – What are you looking for? Can I help you? No….

With Chat on your website – you now can! Chat will put you in the same space as your prospects and you can reach out and say

“Hi……can I help you?”

You have never been able to do this before.  You had to wait for your website visitor to make the first contact.  They had to click the contact us form, pick up the phone or send an email.  With Chat they can reach you – you have created a welcoming stress-free space for them to ask you questions about your product/service.  They won’t be concerned about getting the hard sell or having to commit to buying something they are not sure they want.  So they are more likely to engage, chat and buy. That’s what you want – right!

Chat gives you the opportunity to widen your sales funnel at the beginning of the sales funnel. You have never had the opportunity to reach and connect with customers in the first stage of their purchasing.  These customers are in the Attract stage  of the “Sales Funnel” as shown in the infographic below.  These customers would not normally contact you during this stage as they prefer to do their own research and investigation on the product/service they are interested in.

design

With Chat there is now the opportunity for you to reach out and ask these prospects if you can assist them in the Attract stage or they can reach out to you and ask questions in a safer, stress free environment.  Creating this opportunity for clients is naturally going to widen the top of your sales funnel, where you will now capture more possible sales, leads, customers then you have before. You now have the opportunity to start a conversation, engage and build trust with a potential new client in the very initial stages of purchasing.  This widening of the sales funnel will have a positive effect all the way through the funnel, resulting in more sales online.

Chat visitors are quite different to your clients who reach out to you via phone or email.  When a client reaches out to you via these communication channels they have already moved further through the sales funnel and believe that you are a possible option for their purchase.  Offering chat on your website will give these clients another option to contact you where they can get quick, relevant answers to their questions.  They no longer have to listen to hold music on the phone and won’t have to wait for hours or days in getting an email response.  Chat is giving these customers an opportunity to assess your offer faster and if they are engaged with your business, they are more likely to purchase from you. According to Virgin Atlantic Airways, customers who chat convert at nearly 3.5 times the rate of those who don’t.

Chat provides you with more opportunity to do what you do best and sell your product/service to a prospect. And chat also gives your customers a more effective, quicker way to obtain the information they are looking for faster. It’s win/win!

Once you have won the client with a purchase, you can survey your customers through Chat2 and obtain relevant valid data directly from your online customers to ensure you will have them returning again and again.

Give chat a Go and type your website address into www.chat2.com for a free trial today…..Don’t wait any longer…….its easy to install and you will be chatting with your online customers in no time.

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

Amazon in Oz! Do you need to compete? Here’s how……..

Online chat is finally starting to evolve in the Australian market. The Australian (May 15, 2017) recently reported that more retailers are starting to embrace the chat technology on their websites, particularly with the launch of Amazon in Australia imminent.

“To maintain growth, retailers continue to adjust their strategies to adapt to changing market conditions such as the pending arrival of Amazon,” Commonwealth Bank national retail industry manager Jerry Macey said. (The Australian)Amazon has confirmed that it will be rolling out its services in Australia over the next few years. Amazon has not confirmed a launch date, but speculation suggests it will be in September 2017 (Choice.com.au) In light of this news – Chat2 is offering free chat concierge hours where we answer the chats for you.

Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon advised the strategy will be to offer “low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery” to earn the business of Australian shoppers. In light of this news, more and more retailers are trialling new online retail strategies to ensure they can improve competitiveness when Amazon hits Australian shores.

Chat on websites is one strategy that is being employed to improve online competitiveness and customer service. For online chat to be effective, chats need to be answered within 60 seconds, otherwise customers tends to move on.

woman-work-computer-happy

Chat2 launched the Chat2 Concierge service in 2016, as many chat clients, particularly in Australia, were struggling to answer chats within the 60 second industry standard. This can be explained as chat is still a relatively new technology in the Australian market and despite being able to chat with 5 to 6 customers at one time, this is quite a change of work habit from only attending to one client at a time through phone or email.

The Chat2 concierge team are achieving incredible results answering chats for customers, obtaining 70 – 80% conversion rates and 90 – 100% satisfaction rates for response, friendliness and knowledge. As the Chat2 team work with the clients over longer periods, the satisfaction and conversion rates increase. The Chat2 concierge service is providing a great return on investment for many businesses at a cost of only $1/hour and chats can be answered 24/7.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology has been built into the Chat 2 software, so operators are presented with a list of relevant responses to a clients question to enable quick, relevant and effective replies. The Chat2 concierge team set up and maintain relevant canned messages to complement this AI feature as a part of the concierge service. The Chat2 software also includes a voice to text function to allow for faster responses particularly in a multiple chat environment.

The secret to implementing chat effectively to boost sales, conversions and customer service online is a fast response time in answering chats. This has been one of the biggest indicators to online success with Chat. The average response time for the Chat2 concierge team is currently 26.8 seconds!

Would you like to try our concierge service but already committed to another chat provider? We can still help, we have various clients in this situation for whom we answer chats for – still with amazing results!

Interested to try the Chat2 software or concierge service…………………

Would you like to see for yourself the effectiveness of Chat on your website…..

We would like to make a very generous offer to you, that goes over and above what we currently offer on the Chat2 website…………………..

Chat paves the way for new sales, leads and conversions. Customers tend to buy more after chatting. Your customers will love the new style of customer service and we will love watching your business grow and thrive online. Are you ready to embrace chat to connect with your customers online in real time – just do it! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the staff to man it – because we do and we are achieving 70 – 80% conversions – we are professional chatters!!

We make this offer to encourage businesses who are still a little unsure, not quite understanding the technology, not quite sure how it is going to work, let me make the decision easy and hassle free, let us do it for you………

Register at www.chat2.com.au and then contact us at sales@chat2.com to obtain a 3 month free trial of the Chat2 software and 100 hours of Chat2 concierge. You need to advise in your email that you would like to accept the offer made in this article.

Don’t wait any longer………………

Get a head start on your competitors as chat technology is evolving and most businesses with a presence online will soon have chat. Act now and accept our generous offer – you only have everything to gain.

Email us at sales@chat2.com and receive 100 hours of Chat2 concierge complimentary.

We love seeing our clients businesses grow online with Chat2!

Categories
Chat Blog Why does your business need Chat?

Increase sales online with live chat

 

Do you want more Customers? Do you know there are thousands of your customers hovering around the outskirts of your business online and you are not letting them in?  They are banging on the door but no one is answering. They have been bouncing in and out of your business and you probably did not even know they were there and willing to buy? They were unreachable until now! Watch this video to show you how you can grow your business online, reach out and engage with new customers and sell to more customers. Watch your business grow with Chat2!

If you say – I don’t have time to answer chats – well we can do that for you too.  For only $1/hour we can greet your customers, engage in a chat, help with common questions and nurture your customer towards buying from you. Its as easy as that – we set up all those frequently asked questions and answers and provide your customers with the information and knowledge they are seeking.  If the Chat2 team are unable to answer the more detailed questions, we offer for you to contact them at a convenient time, so you can do what you are best at and make the sale.

Chat2 can offer the software with AI technology, customisation, training and the Chat2 concierge service.  On average 5% of visitor traffic engage in chat, though some high performing businesses manage to attract 12% of their traffic into chat – so for a small business with 3000 visitors a month they could potentially be attracting 150 – 360 more enquiries a month.  That is potential business you would never have attracted without live chat for your website.

Watch the short video, our CEO Karen explains how Chat works! We offer three versions of the software from free chat software to our Business and Professional versions depending on the number of operators required.

Go to www.chat2.com and sign up for a free 30 day trial. Learn about Chat2 at www.chat2.com/learn or drop by for a chat – we would love to hear from you.

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

Who loves solar?

In the Chat world it is often raised that online chat can only assist with simple enquiries and nothing too technical or specific. The chat received this morning by the Chat2 Concierge team for our client NQ Solar (www.nqsolar.com.au) – was a specific, technical, in-depth enquiry and this is how it progressed………..

Visitor: Hi, I am looking into an off grid solar system.

Chat2: Hi, be with you in a moment.

Chat2: Hi – I am Cathy. Thanks for your enquiry – I can certainly help you. We have several variations of off-grid solar power systems, depending on your needs. One of our experts will be able to assist you in the selection of an Off-Grid Solar System.. May I ask your location please?

Visitor: 15km out of Innisfail

Chat2: Thank you. Our off grid systems are designed specifically for the clients needs/property and budget. Everyone’s needs are so different, so we are unable to provide a generic quote without further review of your property. Did you have a budget in mind or know the size of system you were hoping to achieve? ? I can get Chris contact you about our Off-Grid Solar System. May I ask your name please?

Visitor: I tried an online calculator but I’m not sure if I completed it properly, it came up with a 16.5 kw system. iIt is going to cost around $40k to get the power connected to the property so anything under or around that is probably reasonable. Sorry my name is Dale.

Chat2: Oh I see – nice to meet you online Dale! I’ll take note of this information and pass it on to Chris who will get in touch with you. May I ask for your phone number so I can pass it on to him please.

Visitors: Thanks – its 04xxxxxxxx

Chat2: Thanks very much!! ?Chris will contact you tomorrow about your query. In the meantime, is there anything else I can assist you with today Dale?

Who said Chat can not assist with technical enquiries – NQ Solar were impressed with the chat! The Chat2 concierge team do not know about solar but do know how to use the tools within Chat2. This chat was easily managed through the use of canned messages – which are pretyped replies that operators can choose from easily. It is important to have a mix of natural conversation and canned messages. Can you spot the canned messages within this chat?

If your business is interested in trial our Chat2 concierge service to receive leads like this for only $1/hour – please email karen@chat2.com.Cooktown Photos

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How to generate more online sales in 2017!

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Start 2017 with a bang and induce your website visitors to buy from your website  this year! Avert them from clicking to that next website. How? Engage with your consumers online through your own website. Talk to them while they are on your website, say hello, engage and have a conversation in their time – in real time. Is this possible? Yes!

All Australian online consumers have used the internet to do some form of purchasing activity and around one in four purchase items online weekly (18th Nielsen Annual Australian Connected Consumers Report 2016). This trend is being seen globally with the Total Retail 2016 survey recording 54% of 23,000 shoppers in 25 countries purchasing online (www.pwc.com). With so much purchasing activity it is becoming essential for businesses to engage with their customers in the online space.  Installing Chat2 on your website will give you the opportunity to chat with your customers while perusing your website.

Australian online consumers are demanding more information when it comes to purchasing online according to the Nielsen report, what better way for them to obtain this information if you are there to greet them online and answer questions quickly and efficiently. Chat2 will convert your browsing visitors to paying customers by providing the information consumers are demanding.

Significant growth in online purchases is being seen in the areas of clothing/shoes, cosmetics/skincare, concerts/event tickets and food/grocery items as shown in the diagram below. If you are operating in these industries it is essential for to take advantage of these trends. Be innovative and do something different to engage your customers online.

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It is important to know your customer base so you can identify the essential times for you to be on chat.  Our team at Chat2 have observed that the busiest chat times for many of our clients are just after the close of business, so around 6pm – 11pm, during the lunch break from 11am – 2pm and at the start of the business day from 8am – 10am.

However, the age group of your target client base is also an important factor in identifying the peak times for Chat. According to the latest Nielsen Australian Connected Consumers Report 2016 (see graph below), it was found consumers 60+ are more likely to purchase in the morning hours and around midday.  The peak time for consumers aged 16 – 59 tends to be between 6pm and 10pm.  The Chat2 concierge team concur with these findings, though observe that midday is another peak time for consumers in the age group 16 – 59.

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Are you keen to engage your customers online in 2017 though too busy to answer chats? Our experienced Chat2 concierge team can do that for you for only $1/hour.  We greet your customers, engage, build their trust, clarify their query, assist where we can or obtain details for you to contact them and answer their question personally.  Our Chat2 team are obtaining great results and converting leads from 70 – 80% of the chats for clients.

Lead the way in your industry and install Chat2 to engage with your growing consumer base purchasing online.  The beginning of 2017 is a great time for many industries to install Chat2, particularly if it tends to be the quieter time for your industry.  Being in the online space to greet your customers will boost your sales and give you a great start to 2017.

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For a demonstration of Chat2 and its features go to www.chat2.com/learn. Or just install Chat2 entering your website address at www.chat2.com for a free trial.  Come and chat with us at chat2.com or email to sales@chat2.com.

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Media Release

chat2-1dollar

chat2-linkedin-logo

live chat software – customization – training – chat concierge

Media Release: 21st June 2016

 

ONLINE CHAT SERVICE FOR $1AUD/HOUR 24/7 FOR BUSINESS
Chat2 has launched an online assistance chat service – where website customers are greeted by experienced chat operators for a cost of only $1/hour to businesses!

Businesses are installing live chat software on their websites to allow customers to chat with them while searching the website. Chat2, an Australian live chat provider found businesses were struggling to answer chats when using a live chat service.

CEO of Chat2, Karen Lloyd-Collins states “Our customers were finding it difficult to be online to answer chats as they did not have the people to man their own live chat service during business hours. We were also being asked for an after hours service to answer chats.  So we have provided a quality, affordable solution by offering our chat answering service 24/7 for only $1/hour”.

“Our Chat2 operators have undergone extensive training on how to answer chats to obtain results. All operators have prior chat experience though we have fine tuned their chat skills with our own chat expertise,” advised Ms Lloyd-Collins.

“We are very excited to be able to offer this opportunity to our customers, as we believe it is a high quality and affordable service that enables businesses to greet their customers in the online space. It is opening a new virtual door to customers.”

The business decides the hours the Chat2 operators answer chats and how chats are answered. Information on the business is collected through an extensive online questionnaire.

“As of last week our operators are now answering chats for clients in the tourism, renewable energy, retail and information services industries and we are hoping the business community will embrace live chat as a channel to their online customers and allow us to assist with growing their business” stated Ms Lloyd-Collins.

If you would like to know more about this service please contact the CEO Karen Lloyd-Collins at Karen@chat2.com or visit www.chat2.com.

 

 

 

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Answering Chats – Inhouse or Outsource?

woman on chat2

You want to add Chat2 – a live chat service to add to your website to capture leads and boost sales directly from your website?  Many companies nowadays are implementing a live chat service on their websites to assist their customers with answers to questions ranging from customer support to sales enquiries. A skilled live chat operator can dramatically increase your conversion rates just by being available to answer questions without the delay of email or the hassle of a phone call.

But who will answer the chats?  The problem with a live chat operator is, well, it needs to be a live chat operator. You need a real person on the other end of the line, available to answer any questions that may come up and possibly 24/7, as the online world never sleeps.  You could utilise your own staff, though you may need to change work processes as there are not many businesses who have staff sitting around idle. Also most business don’t operate 24 hours so that makes it difficult to utilise your own staff.  So another option to consider is to carefully outsource your chat to an experienced chat service.

In- House

If you decide to provide coverage of Chat2 utilising your own staff, then it should be done for the whole time the business is open for business.  Chat2 opens a door to your customers in the online world and if they expect you are at work, you need to have this online door open at the same time.

The beauty of chat is that staff can attend to several customers at the same time unlike phone calls, so already there is an improvement in efficiency of time.  However, it can be difficult for staff to operate two live communication channels of chat and the phone. So possibly a dedicated roster system may be the answer, rostering staff with a variety of duties on a computer also to answer chats.  Roles that are utilised to answer chats are normally those who undertake duties on a computer during their working day.  They may include sales, administration, marketing and even accounting style of roles.

If staff answering chats are not normally involved in frontline customer service, canned messages within Chat2 need to be set up effectively and staff should be trained in how they are expected to answer chats.  Our experience has been that many of the answers to questions from Chat2 are found on the website. Its just that the website visitor does not have the time to seek out the answers through reviewing pages of website content.

If your staff are slow at typing that is not a problem with Chat2, as this live chat software offers a voice to text function, where your staff can speak their replies that are then converted to text.

To man Chat2 effectively it is likely you will need after hours coverage of chats as many customers normally do their research and surfing the web when they are not working.  It is not financially viable for most businesses to provide this out of hours cover.  So the solution is outsourcing of your Chat service

Out-Source

So why choose to outsource your chat service?  One reason we have already mentioned is to provide greater coverage of hours at a more effective cost.  Other great reasons of why to outsource chat are also the main reasons why you have chat in the first place.

  • Customers have said that having their questions answered mid-purchase made them feel more confident with their purchase and was one of the better features a website could offer in modern e-commerce.
  • Chat is immediate and more responsive than email, call centres or other forms of communication.
  • Chat2 is also cheaper than a dedicated business phone line.
  • One chat operator can manage multiple conversations at once, which isn’t possible with phone lines, though if multiple complex conversations are active, it can be challenging.
  • Chat2 helps people get immediate support if they encounter an error in the purchase process, which they would otherwise abandon their attempt and shop elsewhere.
  • Chat2 alerts companies to issues on their website ie links or buttons not working. In many instances companies don’t know of these problems but through chat they are made aware quickly and can rectify the issue to prevent loss of sales.
  • A live chat service is surprisingly still with a low adoption rate even today, so implementing it is very likely going to give you an edge over your competition.
  • At targeted places in the conversion process, with known pain points, live chat can ease the customer through these pain points through the support of a live chat operator.
  • Outsourcing gets you all of this cheaper than hiring in-house staff.

Successful Live Chats!

  • Training in how to use the Chat software and how to answer chats is pertinent as to whether your chat service is going to be blazingly successful or die a slow death.
  • If you decide to retain in-house operators to operate Chat, ensure they are well trained in both these aspects as well as knowing your website, business and the canned messages within Chat2, exceptionally well.   Knowledge is a key quality to any successful chat operator.
  • If outsourcing, operators need to have a high level of competency in written English and in-depth information about your business should be requested including what you do and how you would like your chats answered. Even on how to answer the “I don’t know question” as you never say “I don’t know”, there are more helpful techniques to the business to manage this question.
  • Sound real! You are using real people as chat operators, so ensure they sound like a real person and not robotic. Customers online are quite hesitant and unsure of the chat technology as many websites are manned by robots, they want to know they are talking to a real person.  So encourage your operators to engage in normal conversation and don’t sound robotic.
  • Promote Chat. If you have a chat service on your website ensure it is clearly seen, let visitors know you are now available on Chat. Promote it under the Contact tab, on facebook, twitter and any other media channels. People need to know about it so it will be used.  When starting out with Chat sometimes it is good to run a competition through Chat, maybe the 100th chat visitor wins or a random chatter will be selected through using chat.

The Choice!

Providing a chat service on your website is certainly an innovative move forward for your business and the benefits as outlined here are numerous.  It is great if you can man the chat service in-house as that is where the knowledge and the experience of your business lies and you will certainly improve sales, customer service and loyalty to your website.  Though many businesses struggle to have the resources in-house so it also makes sense also to outsource Chat to experience chat agents.  The decision will be based on your internal resources, hours of chat coverage and cost effectiveness.

Chat2 is an Australian live chat provider with clients throughout the globe.  Chat2 provides the live chat software – Chat2 and offers direct training at your business or via skype. Training topics include How to Use Chat2 software, An in depth setup of Cha2, and How to be a Great Chat Operator. Chat2 also provides a chat concierge service where our experienced operators look after website chats for you, so you can feel assured that you are leaving your business in the hands of experienced, well trained chat operators available when you need them at a minimal cost.

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Do you ignore your online customers?

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Is Chatting with customers new? Of course not! Conversational ecommerce has existed in some form or other since the earliest days of online shopping. You called up the shop owner (whose website you were looking at) when you had a query or wanted to order something.

A few years later, as email was popular, you emailed the shop owner when you had a question before a sale. Or if you were hunting for a discount. Then, emails became contact forms. Easier.

Then, contact forms became live-chat plugins. Live chat is one of the easiest, quickest interfaces for a visitor to communicate with a site owner. It is a fast growing communication channel as more businesses become aware of the technology and it has a great return on investment after a significant price war occurred in the early months of 2016.

Price War within the Chat Industry

Early in 2016, some of the big U.S. companies in the Chat industry drastically reduced prices of their live chat products and this led to a domino effect within the industry.  Most chat providers dropped or reduced their prices as more and more competitors entered the industry.

Chat2 software is now only $USD10/month ($15 AUD) for an operator with all the perks a chat software program can offer.  If you obtained 10 leads from your website over a month that is only $1 per lead, you can’t get a cheaper lead generation tool than that!

Growth of Chat usage

According to the latest Customer Service Benchmark results from eDigitalResearch, of 2000 companies surveyed, 31% are currently using live chat and 73% of these companies rated their satisfaction with the chat channel as high.

Chat2 allows you to chat to a representative of the company in real time, without the long delays and having to listen to tiresome hold music. One third (37%) of those surveyed now expect to be able to contact a company through live chat – this is up from 30% in 2014. Given how easy it is for site visitors to reach out to contact a company representative quickly and for free, it is not surprising that more customers are expecting a chat service to be available.

Derek Eccleston, Global Commercial Officer at eDigitalResearch states “The latest Customer Service Benchmark results suggest that the easier a company makes it for a customer to contact them, the more satisfied they are likely to be. Brands who are managing their live chat well are making live chat easy to find on their website, clearly signalling to users when their customer service team are available and how long they may have to wait, as well as allowing them to talk openly and honestly about their issues, queries or complaints”.

Conversation and Conversions

Conversation helps increase conversions. It’s like going back to traditional shopping where you talk to the seller and have a feel of how good or bad he/she is and how helpful they may be in an ongoing retail relationship.

If you engage a website visitor into a friendly conversation, you will  quickly obtain trust and create a “feel good” sensation about your company and your products.  The visitor may keep researching online, but undoubtedly they are more likely to come back to your business where they can get their answers quickly, efficiently and at no cost.

Chat2 your customers

Today, most of us spend about half of our waking hours chatting and responding to messages. Social media and forthcoming online sellers who chat with their customers (and leads) over chat apps have blurred the lines between a market relationship and a social one. Today, the place you go to connect with friends as well as brands and businesses is same: online.

Customers won’t feel odd when businesses reach them via a chat app instead of email. In fact, they are expecting it because you don’t have to jump between various channels of communication.

The sooner you take to conversational ecommerce, the better your chances of growth through improvements in customer service.  Cost is no longer an issue with chat, it appears to mainly be the hesitation in adopting something new.  Be innovative and don’t be left behind. Contact us at sales@chat2.com or chat at www.chat2.com.

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Blowing Up Customer Service

Blowing up Customer Service!

 

Do you want to open a new door for customers to come flooding in? Do you want to talk with customers while they are looking at your website? Do you want to provide great customer service? That is why we are all in business isn’t it? To provide a great service to customers.  Customers provide us with income, growth and an opportunity to do bigger and better things.  They need to be our focus.

More customers prefer Chat2 as a communication channel

When I offer Chat2 to new clients, one of the first comments is – “but I don’t want to employ another person to operate chat”.  Who said anything about employing another person? Sure that might happen if Chat2 is the channel your customers are demanding you communicate through. We are seeing this change in many industries.  Businesses need to prepare for a different way of doing things as technology evolves or the technology will disrupt and overtake the business. The video industry had this unpleasant experience. Explosion-700x400

Be open to technology and innovation. Consider it, trial it, customer service is evolving with technology in the online space and business need to take heed or potentially become invisible.

Chat2 improves customer service and loyalty

Information is so easy to access online and this is educating our customers and empowering them to go elsewhere if they don’t like the customer experience.  That was what I did this morning. There was a technical glitch on the website where I always buy my coffee.  There was no Chat2 to fix the problem for me so I went and bought my coffee elsewhere.  If the first website had Chat2 – I could have immediately contacted them, advised them of the problem and they would probably have offered me a free coffee to keep me as a customer.  I would then become more loyal to them and continue to buy my coffee. Its all about customer service. If you don’t provide it online, your customers will go elsewhere.

Online is the new space for businesses and customers to meet –  so get use to connecting with your customers in this space.

 

Mike Milburn, senior vice president manager of the Salesforce Service Cloud stated

“Live, personalized service is revolutionizing how companies deliver customer care. Real-time, and on-screen guided assistance boost engagement and build rapport between the customer and the company. It also enables businesses to serve the right information at the right time. Advanced technologies like these are the future of customer support,” Milburn predicts.

 

Chat 2 is a technology that allows businesses to provide live, real time, personalized and on-screen guided assistance to their customers.

Who will operate Chat2

 So how do we initially embrace this technology and incorporate it into our businesses?   First you need to evaluate the current positions you have, who is doing what?  Could you add live chat to their role? A chat operator can chat with numerous customers compared to a traditional phone operator, so maybe roles need be redesigned. Chat2 can be allocated to various positions that use a computer for their role.  It could be admin, reception, marketing, accounting, human resources or purchasing duties.  The operation of Chat2 could be rostered through various positions or everyone can be online at one time to grab that chat.  You receive a sound notification and banner on your screen when a chat is received. Its just like having another phone line but through a computer, tablet or phone and you can speak to more than one customer at a time.

Chat operators are far less costly compared to the traditional phone operator according to a Forrester study, as the cost of phone call far out weighs that of a chat.  Also more clients can be assisted at one time in comparison to a chat operator which is a great time and cost saving.

If you find that Chat2 is really popular with your customers and that is their preference to communicate, then maybe you need to change how things are done. Maybe that is changing roles, employing chat agents or even employing contractor chat agents to answer calls and get leads. If you don’t you may become the next video store story.

 

Chat2 can be online and self-managed

Chat2 can send automatic messages to online customers if they start a chat.  Chat2 can ask automatically for them to leave their name and number and the business will phone them.  No one needs to have done anything.  There are many other automatic prompts that can be set up in this way.

Embrace Chat and ensure your online door is always open.  Chat2 should be online throughout business hours and answered by staff or with the automatic prompts. Being online during business hours every day will encourage your visitors to use Chat2 more frequently.

For Chat2 to be embraced by customers you need to let your clients know about the new communication channel or it won’t be used, so ensure you promote it on your website.

 

“The only thing that gives an organization a competitive edge…is what it knows, how it uses what it knows and how fast it can know something.”

Larry Prusak

 

Chats can be answered from Anywhere at Anytime

 

Chat2 is mobile so check out how you can Work from Anywhere, Anytime, Any Place.

 

Technology is changing the face of customer service

Technology is changing the way we do businesses with customers. Be prepared, get ready for the change, embrace new technology before your competitors. Don’t be left behind. Technology is blowing up the old ways of customer service!

 

Try Chat2 – it costs nothing to trial and gives you the power to know and make an informed decision about this innovative technology.

 

Visit www.chat2.com to trial today.

 

Be Innovative and grab the opportunity!

 

Karen Lloyd-Collins

CEO

Chat2

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Chat Blog Uncategorized Want to grow your business online? Here's how!

Want to grow your Business online? Here’s how!

What is Good Customer service?  Think about the last time you were served by a business – what did you like? What didn’t you like?

When I receive fabulous customer service I feel elated after the experience, it’s a great boost in my day.  Receiving great customer service is an experience in itself.  If you receive great customer service you are likely to become a customer, be an advertisement for that business, be a return customer and generally feel good when you deal with that business.

Recently, I experienced a poor example of customer service which I wrote about in my earlier post here.  I was quite shocked this type of service still exists from a large dominant organisation in our economy.

So what is good customer service?  I believe it has the following 3 main elements:

  1. Welcoming and friendly – not pushy.
  2. Prompt and efficient
  3. great knowledge of the product

Chat2 software can assist your business in escalating customer service and encouraging returning loyal customers to grow your business.  Here on some tips on how to provide great customer service online.

Mel on NQ site

Welcoming and Friendly

If you are greeted with a smile, no words just a smile, upon entering a physical business – how do you feel? Normally good and you drop your guard a little. A new customer would like to get their bearings first and become familiar with the surroundings, before being approached by a salesperson.  They are more likely to approach the smiling salesperson to seek service.

From a salesperson perspective they are keen to make a sale, if they are a clever they would be reading the customer’s body language to assess the need for immediate sales assistance.  If the client had eyes averted, looking around, walking away from the salesperson, then they would read this customer is not ready for client service.

Online web service is quite different when using live chat software.  Firstly, you know the customer wants service, you don’t have to read body language signals. So that first hurdle disappears.  Though to be welcoming and friendly in the first instance you can’t smile through the website, so you need to use friendly, welcoming words without sounding robotic.

Short, simple welcoming messages are best. For example:

“Hi- hope you are having a great day”

“Hi, hope your feeling great today”

“Thanks for the chat – how are you?”

These could be set up as your initial automatic responses to give you time to be aware and answer the chat.  Asking a question like this can set the tone for a positive chat. The chat then starts on an even keel.

When a visitor has sought to use chat as a complaint line, your chat person needs to diffuse this tension to start the chat positively. It is always best to empathise with the visitor first, try and diffuse any anger by saying things like:

“I am sorry to hear that”

“Sorry to hear you are having that experience”

“I am sure we can fix that for you”

“ Let me try and help you”

“I am sure we can find a solution for you”

Remember you always need to keep your tone warm and friendly, so empathy will assist in the client warming to you and gaining some trust.  It can be challenging keeping the tone of your conversation friendly in the text form.  So always read the message to yourself as if it was coming from someone else or have a canned message set up to assist with prompt warm replys.

Prompt and Efficient

Upon entering a business in the physical world, you want your question, query or assistance to purchase attended to as quickly as possible.

This is more so in the online chat channel.  If a customer starts a chat they are looking for assistance. The business needs to respond quickly or they have lost that potential customer. For small to medium size businesses who don’t have the luxury of a room of chat agents, they need to have automatic responders set up within the Chat2 software. These responders are warm and friendly, not robotic, to quickly engage the customer in the chat.

Keep your replies short and concise as your website visitor does not want to read paragraphs on chat, they are seeking quick and efficient answers. Encourage your website visitor to answer questions to engage them in the chat.

If you a chatting with an online visitor be careful of leaving your chat visitor waiting too long in between replies.  If you are having to check prices, stock, technical information, let the chat visitor know.

“Just a sec – I need to check stock”

“Sorry – can you wait I need to ensure I have the correct price?”

“Just a moment – I need to clarify information with our technical team.”

They will then be prepared to wait for your next reply.  If it is taking longer than expected, let them know ie. “sorry, still checking”.

You need to treat the chat visitor as if they are in front of you – though keeping in mind they can not see what you are doing visually, so you need to keep them up to date. In the instance you are away from chat for longer than you expected, you can set up Chat2 to provide a reply in that time frame, for example:

“Sorry to keep you waiting”; or

“I have been delayed – please leave your name, number and email and I will contact you asap.”

You don’t want to lose your chat visitor so you need to obtain a way of being able to contact them, if you have not already obtained contact details.

It can be challenging for your chat person to answer two live communication channels at the same time.  Ideally, a chat person would be someone in the back office who has other duties and are not the first person to answer the phone or attend to customers who visit the business. These chat personnel could be support administration personnel, in areas like sales, accounts, marketing, human resources, operations etc.

 

Knowledge of Business Service/Product

Chat personnel in your business need to be well versed in the product/service offered by the business.  The visitor on chat is expecting the person who answers the chat to be able to assist their queries.  After using Chat2 software, you will get to know what your website visitors are looking for and be able to train your chat personnel in the best replies to the questions.

Chat2 will also assist you in deciding what information to provide or not provide on your website, or whether your website is friendly in obtaining information.  You will be able to provide links from your website to common information being sought.

Many of us have such busy daily lives, website visitors sometimes don’t want to read pages and pages of website information, they want the information handed to them on a platter.  For great customer service, it is ideal if your chat person can provide this information quickly and efficiently, then and there, while the visitor is on the business website.

If you are using chat personnel where their role is not directly involved in the detail of the product or service, you need to ensure these people are well trained on answering queries or have access to the standard business replies from the common questions. This is easily set up in Chat2 with canned messages.

Or if this type of chat person is not able to assist they can always reply:

“Sorry the person I need to check with is not available at the moment, can I take your name and phone/email and I will get them to get back to you?”

This is an opportunity to gain another customer that may not have contacted your business without having access to live chat software.

Implementing these 3 elements of customer service in live chat software will encourage customers to return to your website.  If a visitor lands on your website with live chat software, they are more likely to purchase from you, over a competitor who does not have live chat. 79% of these customers who purchase said they purchased as their questions were answered quickly using chat.

Enhance your customer service online with these tips on being welcoming, providing prompt and efficient service, with good product knowledge. Chat2 will engage your online website visitors with great customer service providing the opportunity for business growth.

 

Karen Lloyd-Collins

CEO

Chat2

 

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Are you worried about security of a shopping website? Chat Blog

Are you worried about security of a shopping website

Christmas is just around the corner.  It is the time many  of us start jumping online to shop for those Christmas presents.

As you peruse a site and head towards the shopping cart, those doubtful thoughts start to pop into your mind. Just because a website looks beautiful it does not necessarily mean it is safe.  We start to wonder………. Is this site secure? Will I receive the items? Are they a dodgy site? Will they scam or spam me forever afterwards?  We then turn back to the internet looking for reviews of the website concerned.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if they had Chat2 software installed on the website.  You could chat directly with the business and ask some pretty pertinent questions about their credentials.  Where are the goods delivered from? Where is the business based? How long have they been in operation? Do you have a phone number I could call?

Doesn’t this look so much better to your customers that they can talk to a real person through your website.

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Chat Blog How To Uncategorized

Customising the Look

Colours, themes, and CSS can be edited with the options available under Themes. 

In your Chat2 dashboard go to Installation/Themes/Create New

First give the new theme a name:

 

Then click on the Widget Container to change colours of widget.

 

Click Save or Update (if updating a current theme). 

If this is a new theme, then you need to allocate this theme as the Default once done. 

To do this, go to the side menu and select Installation/Default Theme and select the name of your new theme to be the Default. 

Your new theme should now appear as the Chat2 widget.

If you are skilled with CSS code, your ability to create is only limited by the imagination.

Or we can create a beautiful new theme for you – just Chat2 us!

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Eye Catchers

Sometimes visitors don’t notice they can chat. Eye catchers can solve this by displaying a prominent image above the chat tab. 24 Bit PNG image files can be uploaded in the need help widget area which is accessed by selecting:
Settings/Embed code/widget themes/[add-edit]/need help widget

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Chat Settings How To

Invitations to Chat

Sometimes visitors are either too shy to ask for help or they simply haven’t noticed they can chat. Configurable, timed, proactive chat messages can prompt the visitor after a set number of seconds has passed.
Research suggests that after two minutes on the website visitors are more likely to need help and accept proactive chat prompts.
This means the chat automatically starts and types out a preset message asking them if they need help. To set these up select Settings / Auto Chat Starters (Invitations).

The video below explains how to set up Auto Chat Starters which are an automatic invitation inviting a visitor to chat. Research has shown most chats commence in this way.

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How To Operating Chat

Canned Messages – instant responses

Chat2 was designed with website operators in mind. Customers and visitors alike regularly ask the same sort of questions. To save time and provide visitors with fast and accurate information Chat2 operators can record answers in the canned message area. Click on settings in the top right hand menu.

When chatting you will be able to select from suggested canned messages by typing a few letters, any messages that contain those letters in the title of the canned message will appear for your selection. Select the message and it will appear in the chat box for you to edit on the go before you send to the visitor.

The other option is to select the canned message from the drop down list or searching in the field next to the drop down list.  The canned message will appear in the text window so it can be edited prior to sending to a visitor. Then click the arrow to send.

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Chatting

This is the chat window, where operators can chat to visitors and have a set of tools to inform and assist them.

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Answering Chats

When a chat comes in, you will receive both audible and visual alert notifications.  Please see the setting up notifications video located at setting up chat notifications

This short video gives you a quick overview of how to use Chat2 and answer chats.

You can see the number of visitors who are initiating chats on the “Pending ” tab. Hover over the icons to reveal their purpose.

To ensure all visitors are answered when they initiate a chat, you can set up automatic responses. These are the responses a visitor will receive when they initiate a chat and are waiting for a response. To give the operator a chance to pick up the chat an automatic message can be sent immediately to say something like “Hi, we will be with you in a moment.”

This short video explains how to set up these automatic responses.

A website visitor who initiates a chat will then always be answered by the business, without any assistance from an operator.

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Notifications

It’s important to setup notifications so you can answer chats when they come in.

This quick 2 minute video shows you how in the Google Chrome browser.  Google Chrome is the best browser to use when operating Chat2.

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Getting Started

When Chat2 is installed on a website it will be offline initially. While offline Chat2 will take messages and forward them to the email that was used to sign up to Chat2. Offline Chat2 will look something like this:
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There are two ways to log in

  1. Go to www.chat2.com and click login located on the menu bar at the bottom of the page.


Enter the field details as requested and click login.  The dashboard of Chat2 will be displayed for your website.  The login URL will be displayed in the top of your browser, save this URL to your bookmarks as you will be able to login directly when going to this URL.
2. The second method to log in is to enter the login address (URL) directly into the address bar at the top of the Chrome browser. The URL will consist of your website address without the www or dots followed by .chat2.com. For example if your website address is  www.nqsolar.com.au then your login url is nqsolarcomau.chat2.com
If you put the address into your web browsers address bar it should load a login page that looks like this:

Enter the email address and password you registered with and then click login.

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Installing Chat2

Installing Chat2 is simple, this 2 minute video shows you how.

Once you have typed in your website address at the chat2.com home page and completed the details form, you will be provided with three installation options.  Whichever option you choose, a short code will be produced for you or your website manager on the screen.  The code is to be pasted into the footer or onto each page you want Chat2 to appear. The code is available in the “Get Instructions” email you received when the Chat2 account was registered. If you need help, just chat 2 us at www.chat2.com

You can simply click the “Not your job” link and forward this onto your website manager or developer if you wish.

Chat2 is also available as a plugin through WordPress.

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Chat Blog Would your Customers Use Live Chat?

Would your Customers Use Live Chat?

“If we offer Chat2 software on our website will our customers use it?”

This is one of the most common questions we are faced with from our new customers.

If your customers use less effort in getting their questions answered quickly, it makes sense they will use Chat.  In 2016, business growth will be about customer service, particularly online.

How to meet customers  online

One of the first places customers go when looking for answers on products and services is the internet. So isn’t this one of the best places to meet your customers? They are already there looking for answers on your website.

If your customer had access to chat software at the very place they are looking for answers, they are likely to ask you questions about what they are looking for? That would be much easier than having to search through the web pages to find it themselves. Time is at a premium for many customers these days.

If they receive answers quickly in the space they are searching, they more likely to purchase, book, share their contact details and become a return customer of your business. They don’t even have to switch communication channels. They are receiving great customer service where they are on your website. So they will prefer to deal with your company than your competitor.

Who are these customers using chat?

Who are these customers that are more likely to engage in a live chat conversation on your website?  From research undertaken by Software Advice, it was found the usage of a live chat software like Chat2 correlates strongly with age.  Younger people aged between 18 to 34 are more likely to use live chat compared to older people aged 55 and over, particularly with regards to online shopping and simple queries.  Though this potentially could change as our population ages with the experience of using chat software.

Online Shopping Enquiries: Preferences for Live Chat vs. Phone by Age
Online Shopping Enquiries: Preferences for Live Chat vs. Phone by Age

 

Source: www.softwareadvice.com/resources

Though once the questions became more complex eg. Financial queries, the trend reverted to a higher preference for the phone over chat in all age groups. In the 18-34 age group, the difference was only around 15% for those who opted for the phone over live chat. However, in the 55+ age group the difference was much greater, where approximately 70% more preferred the phone over a live chat option.

Do older customers use Chat?

Overall, the research shows primarily Generation Y prefers the chat channel to get information on products and services. Though there are exceptions to this trend. Sometimes it is just the fact that chat software allows for immediate answers and offers convenience, even when the target audience is in the upper demographic. The online hearing aid vendor, Audicus reported that their customers tend to use live chat for the obvious questions even though the answer is right in front of them, for example “How do I get a hearing aid?”

Older People

Warick Phillips, Manager of NQ Solar – The Energy Hub, an Australian company has found they are connecting more frequently with their clients and obtaining genuine leads through using Chat2 software.

“We are selling a product in the upper price bracket and customers can be hesitant in our industry to pick up the phone and ask about pricing as they fear they will be given the hard sell. Our company is not like that, but Chat2 allows our customers to contact us in a non-threatening softer environment where they can get their answers clearly and quickly. Chat2 allows us to build rapport with our clients, so after a few minutes we are able to obtain details for quotes or to arrange a site visit”

Warick informed us the majority of their clients tend to be in the age group 30-60 age group, so another example of an exception to the trend.  It would make sense that as our generations age communication channels like Chat will gain higher usage and popularity into the future.

Why do some Baby Boomers and Generation X’s buck the trend?

Sometimes it is not just about getting instant gratification through quick customer service which is being demanded more frequently by our customers in the online world.  There are other factors at play and these can include:

*Not having to listen to hold music on the phone;

*Chat2 provides a written record accessible by the customer;

*Customers can multi-task while chatting;

*Customers don’t have to wait days for answers like email; and

*The environment is less threatening than face to face or on the phone.

Who will use Chat in 2025?

As our generations age it is likely the usage of Chat as a communication channel will become the channel of choice despite age. Chat is slowly gaining more popularity as more people are exposed to the technology and are comfortable in using it.  Mobile technology is taking more of the world’s population online so the uptake of Chat technology will become essential for business to stay in contact with their customers.  Our hypothesis at Chat2 is that age is unlikely to be a consideration in the future when identifying users of chat technology.

If you know of business that could benefit from this blog – please share on the links below.

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Introduction

Chat2 is a web application that adds live chat to websites and Facebook. Using Chat2, website operators can chat, help, guide, interact & transact with website visitors. Chat has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any communication medium.

Here is a short demonstration video of Chat2 from the perspective of the website visitor and the operator.

An operator is someone who is logged into Chat2 answering visitor questions and assisting them with their enquiries. Operators can do more than just answer questions, they are empowered with concise information snippets and tools they can share with visitors in a way that’s contextual, relevant, and faster than any other communication medium.

Chat operators strive to answer visitor chat requests as fast as they would phone calls. They can answer questions from several visitors at the same time. Operators, do their utmost to maintain customer satisfaction by promptly assisting visitors.

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Chat Blog Customer Service - Can our expectations drop any lower?

Customer Service – Can our expectations drop any lower?

We have too many customers - don't let him in!

We have too many customers – don’t let him in!

Am I going crazy – have our expectations of customer service fallen that low?

Last week I phoned a local telecommunications business four times to enquire whether they had a specific USB dongle in stock. The phone just kept ringing out. I started to wonder maybe they had closed down or moved……. this was a major local telecommunications business, so I drove into the city to check.

When I rocked up to the shop, they were busy with shop customers and after waiting in line for 15 minutes, I queried whether their phones were working today. The response was “oh if we are busy we don’t answer the phone”. Really! I could hardly believe the response. This is a major major major telecommunications business – you don’t just not answer your phone!!!

To me they might as well have slammed the door in my face. They obviously don’t want customers bothering them as they already have too many, what a lovely position to be in! But really is that acceptable, is that how we want to be treated as customers?

Customers are demanding better customer service and they are coming from all directions, face to face, phone, online through more and more doors. Is it right to slam one of those doors closed or develop a strategy to maintain business image and profile? I know I will be going elsewhere to purchase my next dongle?

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Chat Blog Work from anywhere - anytime

Work from anywhere – anytime

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Doesn’t this look great – lounging in a hammock on an exotic island far far away – well maybe not too far – WiFi is close.  If you are worried about missing out on that important client contact while lounging away during these holidays.  Don’t worry any more.

Chat2 allows you instant contact with your clients while they also are leisurely perusing your website during the Christmas break.  Don’t we all do it – take the opportunity to surf the internet for new products, ideas in readiness for the New Year!!

You can receive chats on your laptop, ipad or mobile phone with alerts going straight to your smart watch to tell you someone wants to connect with your your business as they review your website.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity over the festive season.  Happily lounge by the ocean knowing you are not going to miss that important contact and it won’t be by an intrusive phone call.  Just a bit of texting on the side as you have another sip of that cocktail.  Don’t we just love the holidays.

Install your free trial today of Chat2 at www.chat2.com. If you email and mention you heard about us on linkedin, you receive 2 months trial at no cost. Our christmas present to you.

Happy holidays.

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Chat Blog The power of social media

The power of social media

Adele shared in the news this week “that she didn’t realise the power of social media”.

We all know in this space how true that is. It is the way people are connecting and getting their news, what’s on, what’s happening, what’s new, whose who…………….. We all want to be in the know and technology is handing information to us in a blink of an eye.

Dog Social Media 400x400

Social media is an essential and significant tool and communicating through online mediums has to be embraced.

Adele commented on 60 minutes that

“you can’t be old school in a world where social media is in charge of pretty much the world.”

 Even this week we installed Chat2 for a large travel industry client through exposure on social media. It’s about sharing information online, connecting and having a regular every day conversation online with your customers.

Websites are one way but by adding Chat2 software you open your website to a two way portal just like social media. So not only can website visitors view your business on the website, you can talk to your website visitors while they visit. I will explore this further in my next blog.

 Join the team – tryout Chat2 software at www.chat2.com

Like our facebook page

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and we will like your face page too!

 

Communicate online with your customers today – don’t be left behind……………….

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Chat Blog Connect with customers online now - or be left behind! Why we need Chat

Connect with customers online now – or be left behind!

Is your email clogged with spam? Do you miss important customer emails due to the inbox clutter?

chat2-con

More and more businesses are turning towards Chat2 software to talk to their customers online in a real life conversation.

 

With the popularity of SMS, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp – the decision makes sense. To move forward in this age of technology, it should be a no brainer for businesses to see they need to talk to their customers in the online medium. Businesses need to be innovative and install chat2 software to stay ahead in their industry and connect with customers.

Customers can engage in a real time conversation through Chat2.

chat2-back

The U.S. are leading the way with 70% of businesses using chat software to talk to their customers and reporting great results. The uptake in the UK, Europe and Australian has been much slower – it doesn’t make sense as to why? Customers are demanding better service and businesses need to keep up with this demand.

 “Live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.“

 (eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark – 2,000 consumers surveyed)

If businesses don’t connect online with customers – they will be left behind in their industry. Chat software is the future of client interaction. Sending and receiving text messages is the most prevalent form of communication in the population under 50 years of age. Chat software is the text message medium for business to connect with customers. It makes sense to embrace this technology.

 Businesses need to stay in touch with customers, they need to know how customers prefer to connect. If you install the latest, most popular messaging and communication technique, your business will stay relevant and grow!

You or your customers can connect through computers or any mobile device from anywhere and at any time around the globe. How great is that for your business?

Chat is immediate, you are connecting with your customers in the here and now, there is no risk the message won’t get through as you know it has been received, read, understood and actioned. Isn’t that what you want from your customers!

In the digital age – Chat2 is the closet you will get to having a real life conversation with your clients – its like having a virtual open door to your business.

You may not see each other but you can talk in real time.

 To all my linkedin contacts install a free trial of Chat2 for 2 months by registering your website at www.chat2.com and you will be on your way to connect with more customers, grow your business and be ahead of your competitors. If you do install from this post please send me a message as I would like to be in close contact to receive your feedback on how we can improve our product.

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Chat Blog Why does your business need Chat?

Why does your business need Chat?

Do you know how many visitors visit your website each day and can’t find what they are looking for, so leave. 68.53% of customers abandon the checkout process due to unclear information, not sure if they have purchased correctly or shipping is confusing (Banyard Institute 2015).

 

 

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What if you can reach out to those customers and ask if you can assist them – right then and there – brilliant!

 

Chat2 software will allow you to contact these customers while they are hesitating at checkout or stuck on the same page.

 

Send them a chat message and a live chat pops up on the web page they are viewing. “Can I help – you seem stuck on this page?”

 

Your website is like another door to your business, be welcoming and friendly. Use Chat2 software and you will be amazed at the results and increase in sale conversion.

 

Customers in this modern age are demanding quick, informative and efficient service, if they don’t get it – they go elsewhere. Install Chat2 software and be that innovative business where customers love the great service, so keep coming back.

 

Install and trial Chat2 for free at www.chat2.com and watch business boom!

 

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