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 everyday 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 weary 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

 

We have a special offer currently with our Chat2 Concierge service if you are keen to start straight away in August.  We are providing a 100 hour trial (over the peak hours for Chat). This trial covers 2 weeks and its 100 hours of service for only $50! You can’t get better value at 50 cents an hour to make more sales!!

The link below takes you to a couple of  simple online forms and we will have your business up and running with Chat2 in no time. There is no obligation to continue after the trial – you receive a free report on the Chat activity and you decide on the hours from $1/hour if you decide to continue with us.

Our experienced, professional Chat2 team trained in sales, conflict resolution, sympathy, customer mood enhancement, loyalty building and brand values are ready to answer chats for your business with a special ½ price offer of 100 hours service for only $50.  This also includes a free 30 day trial of the software, free chat setup and creation of FAQ’s. Want to know more?

 

Chat with us at www.chat2.com for a free consultation

 

or

 

Let’s get started and click the link below.

 

100 Hours of Chat2 Concierge for only $50

 

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

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 may be 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 implement 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

May 2018

 

 

Salesperson / Accounts Manager Required (Brisbane/GoldCoast area)

Sales Representative – Chat2 – chat software and service

Brisbane /Gold Coast area

Interested in joining a progressive, growing Australian company on the brink of technology and innovation?

  • Sell a product that sells easily and businesses love!
  • Supported by progressive, growing team on the brink of technology and innovation!
  • Great potential for earning loads of $$ with trailing commission.

Chat2 connects businesses to all their customers online. It opens a virtual door to any business via their website or Facebook page. It’s opening a virtual door to a business that has never been opened before! Customers can visit a website and chat with staff to obtain quick and easy answers to their questions. We give businesses that extra edge in delivering great customer service online!

Chat2 is an Australian owned company providing Chat2 software, Chat2 concierge service (yes we can answer chats for businesses with real people), design and development of chatbots, integrations to other software with Chat2 and training. You don’t need to be technical, but having a love and passion for texting, technology and innovation is a must!

This opportunity is to sell the Chat2 products to businesses across the globe. Leads will be provided but you are also able to research your own leads as well. There is abundant territory, uncapped commission, trailing commission, short sales cycle, opportunity for extra commission with add on items and a great supportive team.

It is desirable that you have sales experience, you have a working knowledge of the various instant messaging platforms we all use daily, you are a great communicator via phone, email and in person, you are self driven and results focused, you know how to nuture leads, you possess strong computer skills with good working knowledge of email, google suite and skype. You are required to have access to a mobile phone and computer.

This person must be a resident of Queensland, preferably in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast. It is an autonomous position, so you can work from anywhere in this area.

For the right person, a base salary is offered plus commission. The hours are flexible and to be negotiated, though you need to work at least 20 hours a week primarily during business hours.

If you think you have the right attitude, passion and skills for this opportunity, we would love to hear from you. Please go to https://goo.gl/forms/F3dNqr5WUXBZI5Hh2 to apply for this position.

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!

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 business 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 business.

It’s so easy for a business to reach out online while they 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 have 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 by 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 sale conversions by 20%. The Energy Hub Australia have 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 is 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 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 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 that 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 are very fast and are achieving high conversions rates within chats, ranging from 70 – 90%.

Chat2 offer 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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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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!

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.

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

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.

Media Release

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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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

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

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

 

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.

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.

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?

Work from anywhere – anytime

laptopUSE_hamock

 

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.

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……………….

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.

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).

 

 

Yoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Know of a friend who would love Chat2 – Share the love and the blog