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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jay: Well – I am sure they were surprised.

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

Jay: You are kidding?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jay: That sounds very cheap.

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

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

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

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

Jay: So your team must be pretty fast typists?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karen: My pleasure Jay.

Chat wins more customers online……here’s how

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

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

“Hi……can I help you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t wait any longer………………

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

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

We love seeing our clients businesses grow online with Chat2!

Increase sales online with live chat

 

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

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

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

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

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

Who loves solar?

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

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

Chat2: Hi, be with you in a moment.

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

Visitor: 15km out of Innisfail

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

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

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

Visitors: Thanks – its 04xxxxxxxx

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

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

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

How to generate more online sales in 2017!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Release

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live chat software – customization – training – chat concierge

Media Release: 21st June 2016

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Answering Chats – Inhouse or Outsource?

woman on chat2

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

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

In- House

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

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

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

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

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

Out-Source

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

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

Successful Live Chats!

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

The Choice!

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

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

Do you ignore your online customers?

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 11.15.35 AM

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

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

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

Price War within the Chat Industry

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

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

Growth of Chat usage

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

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

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

Conversation and Conversions

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

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

Chat2 your customers

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

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

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

Blowing Up Customer Service

Blowing up Customer Service!

 

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

More customers prefer Chat2 as a communication channel

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

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

Chat2 improves customer service and loyalty

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Who will operate Chat2

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

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

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

 

Chat2 can be online and self-managed

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

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

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

 

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

Larry Prusak

 

Chats can be answered from Anywhere at Anytime

 

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

 

Technology is changing the face of customer service

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

 

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

 

Visit www.chat2.com to trial today.

 

Be Innovative and grab the opportunity!

 

Karen Lloyd-Collins

CEO

Chat2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mel on NQ site

Welcoming and Friendly

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

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

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

Short, simple welcoming messages are best. For example:

“Hi- hope you are having a great day”

“Hi, hope your feeling great today”

“Thanks for the chat – how are you?”

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

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

“I am sorry to hear that”

“Sorry to hear you are having that experience”

“I am sure we can fix that for you”

“ Let me try and help you”

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

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

Prompt and Efficient

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

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

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

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

“Just a sec – I need to check stock”

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

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

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

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

“Sorry to keep you waiting”; or

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

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

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

 

Knowledge of Business Service/Product

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Karen Lloyd-Collins

CEO

Chat2

 

Are you worried about security of a shopping website

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

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

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

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

Would your Customers Use Live Chat?

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

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

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

How to meet customers  online

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

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

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

Who are these customers using chat?

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

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

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

 

Source: www.softwareadvice.com/resources

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

Do older customers use Chat?

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

Older People

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Chat2 provides a written record accessible by the customer;

*Customers can multi-task while chatting;

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

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

Who will use Chat in 2025?

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

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

Customer Service – Can our expectations drop any lower?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work from anywhere – anytime

laptopUSE_hamock

 

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

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

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

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

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

Happy holidays.