Look who was caught red-handed!
After working with the hospitality industry for a few years assisting hotels to combat the lies and deception promoted online by the large international Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s), it comes as no surprise that their treachery has now been discovered!
According to the Australian Federal Court, Trivago, the Netherlands-incorporated giant has been caught in its deception of promoting hotels that provided the most revenue to them through advertising. Trivago has been promoting itself on TV screens every night during the Australian tennis season, as being impartial, objective and a transparent hotel price comparison website. Instead it was announced to the world last night by all the major Australian news feeds and papers, that Trivago is actually a conniving, hypocritical, insincere trickster of the general public. The Guardian What a surprise!
For years hotels have struggled to compete against these massive OTA’s, who have been extorting 15 -20% of their earnings. It is difficult to compete with these giants who have bottomless pockets of marketing dollars. Hence our Chat2Concierge service has evolved to assist hotels and tourism to meet this challenge. When a visitor arrives on a client website, our team of professional engagement specialists are there to engage, promote the business by sharing specials, answering questions (pre-approved responses) and placing the buying and booking link directly in front of the visitor to click and buy in the moment they are looking to buy!
Dick Smith alerted everyone to the treachery carried out by the OTA’s 18 months ago when he explained in a video of how millions of dollars were being extorted from businesses into the pockets of huge international conglomerations. You can view this video at Dick Smith reveals OTA extortion
Trivago has been holding hotels for ransom, as Trivago’s contractual terms work under a “cost per click” (CPC) agreement, where hotels have to pay Trivago a fee, if a consumer clicks on the booking site’s offer through Trivago. The CPC was payable by the hotel whether the consumer made a booking or not! Trivago fined as ACCC wins case in federal court over misleading conduct
The company was also found guilty of providing false and misleading price comparisons as they compared a standard room rate with a luxury room at the same hotel, saying they were providing a cheaper price when they were just offering the normal priced standard room in comparison to a luxury suite.
Working with our hotel clients and conversing with their online visitors, we regularly receive questions regarding price comparison with OTA’s. Questions come in the form of:
“I was just on agoda.com or booking.com etc etc and they are offering $150 for the deluxe room, but on your website it is more expensive. So why should I book direct?”
We educate these visitors on the importance and benefits of booking direct on the hotel website. Benefits like no booking fees, no cancellation fees, easy to add to and amend booking, supporting the local economy and many hotels offer incentives for booking directly like upgrades, cheaper breakfast, vouchers to use in the hotel or a discount on the displayed price through free memberships.
Even yesterday, a visitor from the Agoda website arrived on our client’s hotel website and asked:
“Hey, Agoda are offering $30 breakfast – what is included?”
We reply along the lines:
“I am so sorry, we don’t know what Agoda offers, though we offer a $19 full buffet breakfast when you book direct with us!”
In this instance, the visitor replied with: “Great, I will book direct in that case.”
By encouraging direct bookings with hotels, our clients get to pay less commission to the OTA’s and keep more revenue in-house for spending in the local economy either through employment, refurbishing using local trades or even sponsoring the local footy club!
Now the deception of the OTA’s has been revealed publicly through the Australian courts, it is likely more and more visitors will now be visiting hotel websites directly to ask the question. It’s important for you to be there when this influx of visitor traffic arrives through this current news story and your vistior is looking to book! So be there in that moment your online guests can be guided around your website, have their questions answered, promotions shared and most importantly quick access to the direct hotel booking link.
We have 2 upcoming free live sessions online to share with you the results our hotels are seeing online with an increase in direct bookings. If you are interested in attending any of these four sessions just click on a link below and we look forward to meeting you online. We have a special offer in these sessions for January only and if you are in any of the fire affected areas in NSW, QLD or S.A. currently we are offering our services at no cost for 2 months.
With Trivago, the court is still out on the fine to be paid but it looks potentially in the realms of only $1 million, despite this extortion has been going on for years! Thoughts?
The hospitality and tourism industry are being extorted by two large American companies – in this video DickSmith explains how – he likens it to the 1950’s when the small family business had to pay protection money to crime gangs to prevent their business from being burnt down – but its legalised!
We love the passion Dick Smith tells this story and it’s still true – we still have that annoying woman on our TV every night in Australia telling everyone to book online and hand over millions of dollars to these 2 large millionaires in the United States. Chat2Concierge is assisting our hotels and tourism businesses to stand up against these 2 large online conglomerates.
Our team of online engagement specialists promote the business directly through the website to the visitor. We are introducing remarketing technology that will promote the business in the web browser after a website visit without the visitor being on the website. We are taking the fight to the OTA’s on behalf of our customers.
If more dollars are being kept within the business, the more likely they are to spend it within the local community, either through offering employment, undertaking activities requiring local tradespeople or even being more likely to donate to the local sporting clubs!
This is not only a challenge for Australian business as I have spoken to customers in New Zealand, Fiji , UK and the States who all share this struggle. As Dick Smith says “This is extreme greed capitalism at its best!” Always book direct and save our tourism industry.
If you would like to know more we have several free live 10 minute live sessions coming up on Thursday 23rd Jan at 10am or Thursday 23rd Jan at 6pm (AEST) and Tuesday 28th Jan at 10.30am and 6.30pm – just click the times to register or reach out on chat and the team will share the links for you.
Aloe Blacc performed at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia with one of his hit songs “I Need a Dollar”! I had an amazing experience seeing Aloe Blacc perform in February this year, through a terribly dark time as my son was seriously ill in hospital with Ulcerative Colitis and he was potentially having to undergo life saving surgery. I had booked the tickets several months ago and Aloe was performing only 10 minutes from the hospital, so my husband and I decided to attend. It was such a great night, a real stress relief and Aloe’s performance will stay with me for a long time to come. I loved this line “A dollar is what I need” as that is also what we charge many of our clients – $1/hour!
Why Consider Live Chat?
At Chat2, we are serious about businesses being able to access and afford technology like Chat2. Businesses can virtually grow overnight when they employ a live chat channel. We are constantly asked “But How Can You Charge $1/hour?” There are four strategies we employ which are explained later in this post. We are serious about offering live chat so it is affordable with a great “return on investment” (ROI) for businesses. We provide businesses with a voice to stand out in the noisy online space.
Managing a business is tough, especially when it comes to standing out online! Your competition is only a click away so you need to make your business different. But “how” is the question? You may say I am already spending so much on a website, on social media advertising, on lead generation services and the internet has so many businesses in our industry, how can I differentiate myself – is there an easier way? We believe there is…..
To stand out online you need to be providing your customers with answers to what they are looking for fast and effectively. Online visitors no longer have the patience to wade through multiple pages on your website, if they don’t see what they are looking for in the first 60 seconds, they are more than likely to click away from your business. Online visitors are impatient and different to those who pick up the phone or send you an email, those customers have already committed to you. The online visitor is still in the early stages of the sales funnel, but with live chat you can move them through that funnel very quickly.
If you are there in the moment, when the online visitor is looking and preparing to buy and in that moment you reach out with a friendly “Hi – we are online – how can we help you today?” They ask a question and receive an answer immediately from a real person, who do you think they are more likely to buy from? From our experience we are finding that its “you”! You are standing out from your competition in that moment, you are answering their questions in the moment, there is no need for them to go anywhere else or seek out your competitor!
Chat2 also gives you the opportunity to capture new prospects/leads when they first start to investigate the products/services you are offering. So no longer will you have to engage the costly lead generator services that provide you leads that are mostly worthless or not relevant as the leads you get from Chat2 are direct from your own website – so very relevant. We know what it feels like paying out hundreds of dollars for worthless leads, so why not get your own website working for you? After all the investment you have poured into it, isn’t it time to get something back?
Why Businesses Fail with Live Chat
Many businesses fail with introducing chat for several reasons:
Constantly manning a chat with your own resources is tough and expensive, particularly if that employee is costing you $30/hour or more!
One of our manufacturing clients was using first year engineers as their first tier of technical service, costing them an absolute fortune. They also struggled with high staff turnover as these new recruits became bored answering the same technical questions over and over again. With low staff retention, the recruitment and training process would start all over again. Now that is an expensive exercise!
Of course we have many clients who manage chat well, as it has been set up effectively. They have a comprehensive and solid knowledge base (we help with this), they may roster people on chat or they have people constantly in front of a screen as a part of an admin role. But not all businesses are set up like this and can afford to have someone dedicated to a screen all day
It’s really important that you do answer chats immediately when they arrive as chatters just don’t wait around. They are seeking immediate answers. If they don’t get an answer at your website they will just find one that will provide them with immediate responses!
We solve this problem for businesses by setting up your chat effectively and answering chats for as little as $1/hour! How?
Why We Can Answer Chats For Only $1/hour!
We have a team of professional chat operators who answer chats for a wide variety of businesses. Due to our technology, efficiency, experience and structure we can offer this service at a seriously affordable rate for most businesses.
Here’s how we can charge $1/hour….
So with the assistance of AI technology, our operators can answer chats efficiently and provide the right answers consistently. We are experienced across a range of industries and can chat for more than one business at the same time with a single operator, which means we are saving you money.
The Chat2 team have been answering chats since 2016 and we are serious about keeping costs down for businesses and making live chat technology and service affordable and easy to implement.
If you want your business to Save Time, Save Money and generate more Sales, try out our Chat2 Concierge Service. It’s great value for money with an excellent return on investment.
Try out 100 hours of our service for only $50! That will have us answering chats for you for 2 weeks! You can sit back and relax and we will answer all online enquiries with a specific knowledge base crafted to your business; highly advanced software; and friendly, professional experienced chat operators.
Interested in giving it a go? It’s so easy! Find out more here!
And “A dollar is all you need!” for 1 hour of having a professional live chat team answer all your online enquiries in the moment your online visitors are ready to buy. So you won’t miss out on any more sales, leads or the opportunity to provide world class customer service online.
Just go to chat2.com/100hrs-50off to ensure your business stands out today!
Karen delivers insight into the results from a Tourism client who has been working with Chat2 since 2017. She outlines their initial online challenges and how Chat2 saved time and provided great value to this client. She shares how many chats this client was initially receiving up to where they are now!
If you enjoy data, there are graphs presented around, growth, response time, peak hours, origin of chats and real time customer feedback!
Learn how this tour operator has grown their chat channel by 40% and how their conversion rate is now steadily above 90%!
We are faster than ever before!
How fast do you respond to your customers online? Within the hour, 1 day or 48 hours? I still receive email acknowledgements from well known companies advising they will get back to me in 3 days! Seriously – why would any of us want to do business with a company that will make their customer wait 3 days for a simple first response? In today’s online world – it’s very simple to find a competitor who is faster.
The Chat2 concierge team respond to online visitors for our clients within an average initial response time of 19 seconds! In the last 12 months our tech team have created a new Global Dashboard so our team can respond faster than ever before for our clients. I will explain how we do this later in the post. But firstly let’s understand why responding fast to your customers is so essential in today’s technological world for businesses.
1. As customers can access services, products and information in a matter of seconds, they no longer expect a fast response from companies, they are demanding it!
Fast Response = Meet Customer Expectations = Happy Returning Customers.
The CMO Council found that a fast response time was the most important attribute of good customer service.
2. A fast response makes your customer feel as if they are important to you and that your business cares about them. By responding quickly you are developing trust and rapport with your prospects which is essential for any business relationship.
3. If you don’t respond fast in one channel, the customer (if they haven’t given up) will try another channel to contact you, creating more work for you and your team.
4. Finally, responding quickly to your customers will grow your business. Customers will tend to go back to a business with who they received outstanding customer service. Isn’t that something we all want to do – GROW– especially with the challenge of noisy online space?
The Northridge Group’s “Customer Service Experience Report” found that 40% of our millenial generation wait 60 minutes before contacting you in another channel.
I actually think that is quite generous of that generation, Baby Boomers tend to be far more demanding – sorry Baby Boomers – I am sure its not all of you!
“What if you take too long to respond?”
Let me ask – what happens when a company takes too long to respond? What do you do?
More than likely you will seek out a competitor who will respond faster or if you are already a customer you are likely to stop doing business with that company.
According to smallbiztrends.com 89% of people surveyed in their Customer Experience Impact Report claimed they had started doing business with a competitor after poor customer service.
Poor response time certainly reflects poorly on how a Company delivers. It makes you wonder if this is how the company is going to attend to your requests – SLOWLY! We can no longer afford to be slow in responding to our customers, unless we prefer no customers.
“It’s Challenging for Businesses to Respond Fast”
Quick and Effective Responses to online customers is challenging for businesses. They may not have the staff, time or capacity to respond effectively to constant repetitive questions. Staff become overwhelmed and bored with the same repetitive task in having to respond quickly to the same questions, leading to poor customer service and high staff retention costs.
I was speaking to a Manufacturing company recently who employ first year Engineers to answer chats. Day in, day out, after a four year degree, these professionals are having to answer repetitive, basic technical questions fast to customers to provide a technical support service. What was being observed was a high staff turnover, high training costs, low job satisfaction and slow, poor customer service. This problem was easily rectified by the implementation of a live chat service with a solid knowledge base. The basic technical issues were able to be answered fast, effectively and at a much lower cost with a significant improvement in customer service and corporate image. Higher level technical issues were transferred to the first year Engineers who now had more complex problems to solve.
Responding fast to customers is a huge challenge for companies and at Chat2 we have solutions to solve the challenge!
Over the last 12 months, our Chat2 techie team have developed a multi-instance Global Dashboard for our operators. What this means is that we can link hundreds and hundreds of websites to one Dashboard. So our operators don’t need a Dashboard for each client, they are operating on one Dashboard where they are alerted to a new chat from any of the hundreds of businesses linked to the Global Dashboard.As shown in the image at the top of this post.
We have specialised teams of Chat operators for each industry who answer chats. After we set up the knowledge base for the client, the artificial intelligence (ai) built within the software can draw upon this knowledge base to answer chats (even technical chats) fast and knowledgeably.
The Global Dashboard has made our team faster than ever before! No longer do we require multiple screens and multiple windows open, we only need one screen and one browser window – with the Global Dashboard open. On this one screen multiple client websites are linked to the ONE Dashboard. So we are alerted in the same space of an incoming chat from a hotel client or real estate client or one of our retail clients, we don’t have to flick between several screens. This technology has made our Chat2 Concierge team faster, more effective and more efficient than ever before! It has also allowed us to take on many more clients without having to increase staffing numbers.
We also offer a wide range of other services from our hybrid chatbot/concierge service, personalisation, chatbots, CRM/ticket system integrations, real time feedback, digital user experience analytics, social media monitoring and engagement, predictive analysis, customer service/front office automation, self service automation, omni channel engagement, customer journey mapping and data analytics and management.
Keen to test the expertise of our Chat2 Concierge team? Ready to impress your customers with immediate, knowledgeable and friendly responses? Ready to attract more customers online? Ready to grow your business?
Trial the Chat2 Concierge team – you will love our service!
For a short time only we are offering a package deal of 30 days free software trial and 50 hours concierge for 1/2 price. Check out our Offer
Written by Karen Lloyd-Collins (COO – Chat2)
A frantic message was received by the Chat2 team on the morning of 12th October, 2018:
“We have just been evacuated so we can not answer the phones. If needed, please advise online visitors that the office has shut down due to an electrical fault and please assist them as best you can…”
Our clients rely on us to ease their worry when the unforeseen happens. At Chat2 – this is a normal part of our everyday business; there is always some drama at the front end of business for our property clients, though we are there online to answer any question that may come our way from prospects or current customers.
The Real Estate industry has changed significantly over the last decade in the way a connection is made with homebuyers. Previously you met many of your prospects at a Sunday home open with a warm handshake or at the agency where you could engage your buyer with expertise and warm charm. Though nowadays, the start of the home buying journey is different – it is online and it is essential real estates are there online to greet their potential buyer.
Have you considered live chat or a combination of live chat and chatbots? There are many property agents utilising this channel including realestate.com.au, so it’s time to evaluate and seriously consider an online chat channel as a new way to connect with clients. With live chat you are likely to pick up more online enquiries and relieve the pressure on your reception team.
Homebuyers have access to property listings, photos, historical sale prices, schools in the area and can even take a Google virtual walk down the street they are considering, at the click of a mouse. Previously this information was inaccessible to a homebuyer unless they met with you as an agent, but now it is delivered immediately to the homebuyer online. So if you are there, in the moment, when homebuyers are online (often after hours), you are more likely to engage and assist these prospects while they are in the research and investigation stage. This is a game changer for your property business and can put you ahead in the industry. You are providing prospects with instant responses to questions, which is what is expected in today’s age of technology.
“Online customers no longer expect fast responses, they are demanding them!” COO – Karen Lloyd-Collins – Chat2
The Real Estate Trainer (a popular online resource for real estate agents) advises agents to respond within 5 minutes to an online client, after this time your chance of securing a new client drops significantly. At Chat2, we believe you have to be faster and respond within 2 minutes for online enquiries, our average response time across our real estate clients is currently 18 seconds.
“We no longer measure response time in days or hours, we measure in seconds.” COO – Karen Lloyd-Collins – Chat2
The Real Estate Trainer advises that nearly 78% of prospective homebuyers stick with the agent who answers them first.
At Chat2 we have seen great success using live chat for property managers, it is making daily operations so much easier as you chat with multiple lessee’s at the same time and answer the same questions quickly assisted with ai (artificial intelligence).
Last month we received this chat on a Saturday afternoon after the business was closed.
“Help there is a large ferocious dog in my backyard – my phone is locked in the car – I have secured all the doors and I feel like a prisoner in my own home!”
Yes. A real situation our team easily managed. The Chat2 team were able to assess the situation, reassure the tenant and calm them down, our client was alerted directly and sought assistance for the tenant, all the while, the chat2 team were online chatting with the tenant. Yes, we do go above and beyond for our clientele! Sure these are odd situations, but they happen.
Generally many of the questions received in chat are “How do I apply for a property?” “When is the next open home for …?” “What 2 bedroom properties do you have for sale or rent?” “I have a leak – can I have a maintenance form?”
To see a sample of FAQ’s and responses we provide daily for our real estate clients, visit www.chat2.com/2/real-estate.
The main benefits of live chat for the real estate industry is:
• Providing immediate and fast responses which is expected from clients researching property online.
• Answering questions from multiple clients/lessees at the same time, so no longer just one to one with email and phone.
• Saves time in not having to reply to an inundation of “contact requests” via email or phone.
• Answering the constant barrage of frequent questions with knowledgeable and consistent responses “on brand” and “on message” with the ai built into chat software.
• Providing a friendly online welcome with guidance and information for prospective homebuyers, landlords and current customers.
• Generating more qualified leads and enquiries by being available in real time online.
At Chat2 we have worked with many Australian real estate and property management teams for the last 2 years, providing the tools, insight and techniques to use the live chat channel. We assist real estates to engage and convert online customers. We offer a professional real estate chat team to answer enquiries for real estates 24/7 with real people or accompanied by chatbots.
If you are interested in a free trial of Chat2 Software and Chat2 Concierge Service, go to www.chat2.com and mention this blog in a live chat with one of our team. Of course, if you prefer email we are available at email@example.com.
Chat2 Concierge is a professional team of real chat operators who extend a warm, friendly greeting to your online visitors at the time they visit your website at any hour of the day. The team are fully trained in aspects of sales, conflict resolution, sympathy, customer mood enhancement, loyalty building and brand values. You can rely on the team to answer chats outside of business hours, when you are unavailable or as a back-up service if you are unable to answer chats within 90 seconds. We are a team of professional real people who care about your business delivering “on brand” messages consistently and seek to deliver world class customer service exceeding your customer and your own expectations.
To engage our service its very simple – go to chat2.com/concierge-agents and scroll down and click GET STARTED. This will notify us to contact you and learn what you would like to achieve with Chat2 Concierge.
Firstly, you will need a live chat software installed on your website, it can be Chat2 software or another software. If you only have a Facebook page, we can link Chat2 software to Facebook, so you will receive more chats as well as accessing the ai features for Facebook. This means we can quickly and easily access the knowledge base created for your business to respond fast and effectively to your online customers.
To install Chat2 software, this is as simple as going to www.chat2.com and entering your website address for a 30 day free trial. After completing a simple form to obtain your contact details, you will be presented with a 3 options to install, either “Do It Yourself” where the code will be presented on screen with instructions to install, or get your website manager to copy and paste code or the Chat2 team can do it for you. A short video on how to install is found at chat2.com/learn/easy-site-setup/. If you have a wordpress website a plugin for Chat2 is available at wordpress.org/plugins/chat2/.
To start the Chat2 Concierge service, we need to become familiar with your business. We achieve this in several ways:
1. A simple online Concierge form is completed by your business providing some of the key details about your business including what you hope to achieve by using the Chat2 Concierge service. This information introduces us to your business and is quick and easy to complete online.
2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) are created with responses– you are welcome to create FAQ’s or the Chat2 team are highly experienced in reviewing websites and creating the FAQ’s for you, as they know the questions that are likely to be asked.
3. The FAQ’s are approved by your business and they are uploaded into the live chat software. This is the knowledge base that is created for your business that all chat operators will draw upon to answer chats. With Chat2 software, the team only have to type a few letters of a possible topic and several responses are suggested to them from the knowledge base. This feature allows the Chat2 team to be fast, knowledgeable and effective in their replies to online customers.
4. Live Chat software is set up with automatic prompts to chats, auto responses and operator profiles. Timings of when a visitor is prompted to chat are entered specific for the industry. If the business is also using their own team, we ensure all operators have an image and the user profile is set up effectively.
5. Ready, Set Go – the Chat2 Concierge team will open the virtual door to your website and encourage online visitors to engage in chat.
Chats are audited for efficiency, effectiveness and quality. During the initial weeks of the service, the knowledge base is refined and polished. If there are questions that the team have not been able to answer, the contact details are obtained for the business to contact or the chat can be transferred to the business. For basic or constant questions that are asked and the answer is not available, the Chat2 team will follow these up with the business confirming appropriate replies and these are added to the knowledge base.
For efficiency and effectiveness, we encourage businesses to integrate their Facebook page with Chat2 software. So all online messages received by the business are answered on the one platform and answered efficiently and effectively with a consistent approach, style and message.
A login to the chat software is available for the business to have access to all chat content and reports. Data is provided in table and graphical formats displaying quantity of chats, peak chat times, visitor or invitation initiated chats, country of chat, response times, quantity of messages by department or operator, chat ratings and much more.
Chats can be exported into a working business file for interpretation and analysis including .csv or excel files. Customised monthly reports are available for your business analysing the data for you.
If you are seeking a stronger online professional presence that keeps your business ahead in the noisy online space, then Chat2 Concierge is the solution for you.
Speaking with one of our clients in the printing industry just before Christmas and his comments on the Chat2 Concierge service were:
“Work is still coming in for our business during the quiet time of the year. Many of our competitors are struggling to get work at the moment. By being online consistently, the Chat2 Concierge team has given us a competitive edge. Our clients love receiving immediate responses to their questions, even if the question is not completely answered. They appreciate just having someone who is there and who can respond to them with immediacy, sometimes it can be as simple as taking a message. Chat2 concierge saves my team so much time, as Chat2 easily answer the constant barrage of the same questions we receive over and over again online. When a job is sent through we already know what the client wants, what date they need it by – it’s a strong qualified genuine lead for us. Having the Chat2 Concierge team online to answer these questions gives us peace of mind and allows us to excel in our industry.” Matthew – Printing and Signage
Can you recall the last time you had a new person start in your workplace? Was it something you were dreading? Were you thinking,
“Oh my, I have a new person starting… My whole week is going to be taken up with training.”
I know. I’ve been there many times in the past. Well I want to show you a system where, not only will your staff be delivering world class online service, it’s a system that will train any new staff quickly and efficiently… as well as removing the dread you may feel when a new person starts.
The system I am referring to is an onboarding process we implement at Chat2 when a new client chooses our Concierge Service. What we do is create a knowledge base around their business so we can answer the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from their customers.
So why is a knowledge base important?
Firstly, and as mentioned above, a well-constructed, well-researched knowledge base saves you time during the training process.
Secondly. A quality knowledge base shows consistency of message and brand. It’s important to ensure that everyone who represents your business is saying the same thing to each and every customer each and every time.
Thirdly. An up-to-date collection of pertinent FAQs ensures your staff are delivering faster, and more efficient, service. They know the answers to the questions and are drivers of world class customer service.
Finally, having an ‘en pointe’ knowledge base will identify information gaps that your customers may experience on your website. If customers are asking questions and there is no answer readily available it needs to be added to the knowledge base. These gaps in knowledge may even identify opportunities for new products and services, or alert your business to provide and promote information more effectively online.
Now most businesses have FAQs already set up on their website… But let’s be honest. Who actually clicks the FAQs and, really, who reviews them one by one looking for answers? Not many people is my guess. My experience with live chat has shown me that people want answers fast. They don’t have time to read pages and pages online, hoping to find the answer they’re looking for. By setting up a solid knowledge base for your business you’ll be able to help them find quick answers to their questions.
So where do you start?
Get your staff together for a 20 – 30 minutes brainstorming session. Ask them to come prepared with 3 – 5 questions that they’re asked all the time on the phone or by email from your customers. Even if you already have FAQs somewhere in your business or on your website still do this exercise and start fresh. Write these up on a whiteboard so everyone can see them. You’ll start to see common threads and themes emerging.
Now colour code or group them in some way so as to create a common theme. Let’s use the hotel/resort industry as an example as it’s very topical right now. Hotels and resorts are trying to encourage more direct bookings through their websites rather than through the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) who charge exorbitant fees. Working with us is providing a great opportunity to attract more direct bookings…. But I’ll talk about that later…
So for the hotel industry, the evolving themes could look something like:
On a personal level, when I’m travelling with my family and researching hotels, I’ll be asking questions about adjoining rooms, good wifi, restaurants close by, views from the room… to name a few, and as you can see these specific questions are easily grouped under the above topics.
If you already have a list of FAQs, now’s the time to review them with your team and add any FAQs you may have missed into the burgeoning topics list. Doing this as a team will initiate even more FAQs as new topics are raised and discussed.
Now’s the time to open your website and discuss each of the menu headings with your team and try to view your website fresh eyes. You’re likely to identify more FAQs. Don’t forget to add questions like “What is your phone number?” and “Where are you located?”. I know they’re in front of the customer on the website, but you’ll be amazed by how many times we‘re asked those questions!
You’ve now created the knowledge base for your business. It’s time to put it to work!
There are four main channels customers use to connect with you. Phone, email, social media and live chat. Your new FAQs will be a resource document for your staff to search and answer questions for the first two channels. It should be available electronically as the Go-To resource…Now you may be thinking,
“But my website already provides all this information.”
Well mostly, but some information may be quite hidden, requiring your visitors to click through several menu items to obtain this information. Can I just say that today’s online customer is much less likely to do this. We’re all now so time poor and, like you, your customers want a quick response to a question as I’ve outlined in my article “How Fast is Fast Enough”.
Keep in mind that your website only provides some of this information as there are some answers that are just not relevant to place on your website. So going back to our hotel example, questions like,
“How do I get a receipt after my stay?”
“I left my phone charger in the room, can I get that sent to me?”
“I have a 4WD is there any secure undercover parking for a large vehicle?”
So more specific questions for more specific instances where your staff still need to know how to answer. These all form a part of your knowledge base as well.
How does the knowledge base work for the live chat and social media channels?
With Chat2 software, the knowledge base is uploaded into the chat software and because Chat2 integrates with social media, you can answer questions from customers on your website and on your Facebook page from the chat dashboard.
So with hotels, one of the most frequent questions we get is,
“How do I get to the hotel from the airport?”
It’s as simple as typing the first few letters of the main subject like “airport” or “transport” or “transfer” and the artificial intelligence built into the chat software will suggest the appropriate response direct from your knowledge base. That’s how easy it is! There is no searching as the chat software does that for you and provides a list of responses that may be suitable. Your staff choose a response that can be edited prior to being sent in real time to the customer.
Your staff have just excelled in providing a quick, knowledgeable, relevant answer to the customer waiting in real time. There has been no need to seek out the answer from an alternative resource, they haven’t had to ask a colleague or better yet, haven’t had to come and ask you. It’s a win/win all round! Your customer has received their instant answer; your staff have found the answer to provide easily and simply; and no one has taken up your time in teaching where, how and what is the answer to this question!
If your new employee can initially spend time on live chat to answer customer questions directly, and online with the artificial intelligence within the Chat2 software, it’s a quick way for them to learn the business as all the answers are presented for them. They will be able to review the history of chats to learn from what customers have asked previously and how they have been answered. Chat2 software is an incredible training tool for all new starters to your business.
Now as to why our hotel clients believe Chat2 gives them the advantage over those monstrous OTAs who charge horrendous fees and take a large portion of their revenue? It’s simple really… when a customer checks out the hotel website from the OTA, they are greeted by a warm, friendly helpful service through live chat. This is a service they don’t receive from an OTA, so the hotel can get the upper hand by extending this professional, warm online customer service and provide the instant answers being sought by their customers. The hotel has the opportunity to promote the hotel through this engagement and, more often than not, obtain the direct booking.
At Chat2, we help businesses stand out in the noisy online space so they can compete against their giant competitors.
We provide a point of difference. Particularly for our hotel clients, the Chat2 Concierge Team melds into an extension of the frontline reservations team.
With our Concierge service we create and set up the knowledge base for you. We do this initially through an online form and the Chat2 team then intensely review the business website creating the FAQs. We also have the knowledge and experience of knowing what online customers ask for your industry, and ensure all questions are covered. We generally start with 60 – 70 FAQs for a new client and as we progress and answer chats, we discover new FAQs so consistently update the knowledge base for the business. We ensure that your online customers only receive the latest and most relevant information from your business. We highly value the brand and message of our clients and ensure it is promoted and consistently maintained online. If you would like a knowledge base created for you please come and chat with the team at www.chat2.com.
Or we can assist to get you started. In our shop we offer templates of FAQ’s for several industries, so just go to www.chat2.com/shop and scroll down to the FAQ’s. If your industry is not there, we can customise a template for you or specifically generate a knowledge base for your business.
A strong, solid knowledge base used in conjunction with live chat can put your business ahead of the noisy online crowd in your industry. Your staff will have instant access to answers asked in real time by your customers online. Your new staff are easily trained. Your business is delivering a consistent message on brand over and over again no matter who they speak with… and you can spend less time on training directly and more time on the pertinent issues for the business.
We chat with businesses around the world everyday to start a relationship, to provide insight to the world of live chat, sharing our experiences with Chat2 and how it is changing the way businesses are communicating with their customers online. So many businesses are still hesitant to try live chat and even when they do – it doesn’t work well! Why?
For several reasons which will be explored here. It may be they haven’t created the knowledge base for a successful start in chat or they haven’t correctly set up the chat or they just haven’t been able to get online to answer chats or are too slow to answer chats. That’s why when we introduce a client to Chat2 – we are holding their hand all the way – it doesn’t take long to get going if you know what to do and what not to do!
Even this week we had a new client start with us in the Tourism industry trialing our Chat2 concierge service. We created over 100 Frequently asked questions to get them started and we were off and running with 32 chats in the first day with a 82% conversion rate by the Chat2 support team. A great result for the first day of a trial.
So why are so many businesses failing when they try the live chat channel? It is certainly a channel that has to be taken seriously by businesses – check out our blogs Does Live Chat really work? and How Fast is Fast Enough?
When implementing live chat – it needs to be done right or yes it can be an epic failure with receiving little to no chats, wasting staff time taking too much time in a chat or worse not replying or missing chats when visitors come online. Challenges like these are easily overcome and this post will set up you with some tips to success in implementing live chat.
We see incredible results with our clients everyday. Results like more online enquiries, an increase in conversion rates and sales, providing world class customer support with fast and effective responses which in turn enhances customer loyalty and reduces the bounce rate to the website. All this is achieved through the effective implementation of live chat. Here are 10 tips on how to set up and implement live chat for success.
One of the first tips on how to increase sales and conversions is to get the visitor to enter a chat. This depends largely on how you present your Chat invite and it is this area where many companies fall over before they have even started.
Firstly we need to get the customer into a chat. Many businesses feel that the way to do this is to present a chat window asking for the customer name and contact details. So can I ask you if you rocked up at a shop and even before you are greeted by the sales person you are asked for your name and phone number. Hmmm – I know I would be turning tail in the other direction! A business has to earn your trust and respect before you feel comfortable with handing over personal details. So don’t set up your chat window where a visitor has to hand over their personal details before chatting – it turns many online visitors away and tends to not engage them into a chat.
Allow a visitor to start asking questions straight away without having to divulge who they are. You will need to obtain their trust and then you can ask for their contact details. Techniques like building trust, how to engage in a chat and how to ask for contact details are covered later in this blog.
Chat needs to appear non-threatening and welcoming to the online visitor so they feel they want to ask a question. The point is to obtain engagement and get the visitor to enter chat. You are providing a communication channel that is non threatening and the opportunity to ask questions anonymously.
This technique works particularly well for businesses in the areas of cosmetic enhancements, law or even selling cars. Customers feel comfortable about asking those first initial questions about how to obtain a lip enhancement, or start divorce proceedings or do you have a mercedes available? Questions that can be asked without any threat of commitment. Some of the biggest sales we have seen have been made by starting a chat in this manner. So ensure you provide the opportunity for your visitors to ask questions anonymously and confidentially.
When a visitor arrives on your website your goal is to get them to interact with you through your website, you want them to ask you questions. The majority of visitors will generally not initiate a chat which is why it is important that you invite them into a chat or just let them know that you are there if they need any help. “Warm and friendly” is the key and you should test what chat invitations work better than others for your customer base and tailor them specifically to your business.
So you could keep it simple – remember warm and friendly and not too robotic – so something like:
“Hi – we are online to help – we love questions – just ask!”
“We are here to make your visit fast and easy – ask us anything!”
Or you could even have a bit of fun, so if you sell fishing tackle, then you could say:
“Hey, I am giving up a day of fishing to be here – so please ask a question!”
You are the one who knows your clientele best so what would they respond to?
One of our hotel clients recently made some changes to their website which prevented their chat invitation to pop up. This client uses our Chat2 concierge service so we noticed that their chat activity had dropped by 80% in the month. This was highly unusual. So we contacted the client and discovered they had made some changes to their website which had reduced their chat activity, the following month chat activity was back to normal. Can you tell from the graph below what month they made those changes?
This is how significant chat invitations are – so they need to be set up correctly and regularly monitored. Chat invitations greatly increase the engagement rate as shown by this experience and also prevents your visitor bouncing to the next website.
Now you may ask – how long should I wait before I invite them into chat? I will share the best timing in a later tip.
How many times have you seen a chat window with no image of the operator, no name, a cartoon character or sometimes the grey ghostly looking outline of a head and shoulders? Well it is certainly not an inviting window and does not encourage people to enter chat. You need to ensure the first name and an image of your operator is in the window. A friendly and smiling face is important to engage with your online visitor. This image will increase the probability of a visitor entering into a chat if they can see who they are going to be chatting with.
When I have advised companies to do this – some say “ oh no – I don’t take a good photo or I am too shy or no I am concerned about my privacy”. We are all our own worst critic. If you really don’t want your own photo presented then you need to find a photo of a person to use, friendly and smiling. Don’t use a cartoon avatar – they can appear a little creepy!
If you are serious about trying out live chat – your chat window needs to be presented warm and inviting, non threatening – so your first name and image will go a long way to increase engagement.
In the first couple of weeks we like to check in with our new clients to ensure they have everything set up correctly. We undertake a chat audit and provide advice on setup, engagement, getting online, canned messages and chat techniques. For clients using our concierge service, setup is complimentary and we implement the best techniques to obtain results for our clients on chat.
With clients who are managing the chat themselves, more often than not we hear, “I keep forgetting to log in.” You need to login every day or chat will not work for your business. If you are inconsistent with logging into your chat dashboard, then your online visitors are likely to go elsewhere as you are not providing consistent online service they seek. So they don’t know when you will be there or not. There are peak periods for chat activity throughout the week, so if you are online during those periods and advertise those periods on your website, you are more likely to pick up the majority of the online enquiries, providing your customers with the immediacy of service that is now being demanded online.
Another technique to ensure your chat is online everyday is to nominate key personnel within your business on a roster. It’s best this staff are always in front of a computer or answering a phone. Yes you can talk on the phone and chat at the same time! It’s so much easier talking to multiple customers on chat then it is on the phone.
Also set up your homepage on your website browser (we find Chrome the most stable) to be the Chat dashboard and select your browser to appear upon startup of your computer each day. This will remind you to login to your dashboard.
If you would like to answer chats while you are on the run, then download the mobile app so you can answer chats on your mobile device as they come through.
Now if you find it just too exhausting to remember to login every day – you always have the very affordable Chat2 concierge service that can answer chats for you at any hour of the day or week-end.
Ok – so your chat window is now warm and inviting – the next thing is ensuring your chat operators are warm and inviting too. Chatting is certainly a technique to be mastered. With online chat, you can not rely on body language, tone of voice or any other behavioural indicator to provide signs on how best to communicate with the chat visitor. It is the art of text messaging but in a professional friendly capacity. Your choice of words and punctuation are of paramount importance.
Firstly, your operator needs to introduce themselves, they need to provide a first name to your chat visitor and welcome them into the chat. It doesn’t matter if the operator’s name is showing in the screen, they should greet their visitor with their name in their first message. Something like:
“Hi – this is Dan – how are you today?”
“Hi this is Lucy – thanks for that question, let me find that answer for you.”
The biggest DO NOT – is to immediately provide the answer to what your chat visitor is asking in the first message to the visitor. If you do this, what tends to happen is the visitor controls the conversation and if they are stressed or upset about something it is very easy for the conversation to go wayward. It also tends to be quite an abrupt direct conversation, lacking any warm customer service, as we are missing all those conversational aspects I mentioned earlier. So we need to create this warmth with our language at the start of the chat and steering the path of the conversation. Starting with a natural, friendly courteous greeting can go a long way to set the direction for the chat. Try it, you will be surprised on how much better engagement you will get into a chat.
Once your chat visitor has been greeted – the second stage of any chat is to build trust and engagement with your chat visitor – you want to engage them into conversation while also answering their questions. There are several techniques to do this……..
Complete the form below to keep reading the top 10 tips to introducing chat for your business..
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.
“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!
“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
“My website provides enough information to customers”
“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!”
“Oh – my website needs to be updated so live chat wouldn’t work for us”
“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
Let’s get started and click the link below.
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.
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:
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!
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
Interested in joining a progressive, growing Australian company on the brink of technology and innovation?
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 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.
The eight (8) major changes affecting businesses on the Facebook platform include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.