Why You Only Pay $1/hour!

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

Why Consider Live Chat?

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

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

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

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

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

Why Businesses Fail with Live Chat

Many businesses fail with introducing chat for several reasons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how we can charge $1/hour….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live Chat for Tour Operators

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

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

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

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

We are faster than ever before!

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

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

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

Fast Response = Meet Customer Expectations = Happy Returning Customers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What if you take too long to respond?”

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

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

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

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

“It’s Challenging for Businesses to Respond Fast” 

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

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

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

“Solutions” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Karen Lloyd-Collins (COO – Chat2)

Real Estate & Live Chat – The Perfect Combination!

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chat2 Concierge – How To Get Started

 

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

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

 

4 Easy Steps to Create a Knowledge Base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

So why is a knowledge base important?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

So where do you start?

 

  • Let’s brainstorm!  

 

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

  1. Group the common themes

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

  1. Review.  Combine. Expand.

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

 

  1. Expand some more…

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

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

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

 

“But my website already provides all this information.”

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Common Reasons Why Business Resists Live Chat

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

The response we receive from the business is commonly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Reason One

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

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

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

 

Reason Two

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

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

 

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

Brenda – FNQ Apartments

 

Reason Three

“My website provides enough information to customers”

Or

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

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

 

Reason Four

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

Or

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

or

 

Let’s get started and click the link below.

 

100 Hours of Chat2 Concierge for only $50

 

Does Live Chat Really Work?

Written By:  Karen Lloyd-Collins CEO Chat2

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

“Does Live Chat Really Work?”

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

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

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

“My website provides enough information to customers; or

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

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

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

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

 

What do Customers think of Chat?

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

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

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

I would commonly hear answers like:

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

Now 3 years later – I hear:

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Chat Converts Browsers to Buyers”

This has been our experience at Chat2.  

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

Other clients like The Energy Hub Australia have commented:

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

Salary Packaging Australia advised that:

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

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

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

 

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

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO – Chat2

 

Who is the Chat Customer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So far we have shown:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start today

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

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

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

How Fast is Fast Enough?

 

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

 

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

 

How – you may ask?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

So Why is Speed so Important in Customer Service?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Shep Hyken

Customer Service Expert & New York Times Bestselling Author

 

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

 

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

Email Response Time

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

So is there any difference for social media response times?

 

Social Media Response Time

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

It appears they are!

 

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

 

So is it any different for phone response times?

 

Phone Response Time

 

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

 

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

 

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

So What About Live Chat Software?

 

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

 

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

 

So how fast is the response time in chat?

 

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

 

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

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

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO Chat2

 

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

 

How to Implement Chat Effectively

 

What is meant by effective implementation of Chat?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO Chat2

 

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

 

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

 

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

May 2018

 

 

Facebook and Chat Software – New Directions for Business

 

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

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

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

How will the recent Facebook changes affect businesses?

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

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

How can Business promote through Facebook?

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

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

Businesses can consider an Alternative

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

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

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

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

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

How Can Businesses Get Website Browsers into Messenger or Chat?

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

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

How does Instant Messaging Apps Grow a Business?

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

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

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

 

How can Chatbots help business growth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

woman-work-computer-happy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t wait any longer………………

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

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

We love seeing our clients businesses grow online with Chat2!