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Seizing the Moment: The Power of Capturing Buying Intent with Chat2

Seizing the Moment: The Power of Capturing Buying Intent with Chat2

In the dynamic realm of online commerce, the significance of capturing customers in a buying mindset cannot be overstated. Seconds matter, and businesses that can adeptly navigate customers through their websites during this crucial window often witness remarkable increases in sales. Chat2, the revolutionary chat solution, is redefining these seconds, transforming them from fleeting opportunities into lasting connections and conversions.

 

The Seconds that Make the Difference:

Research from Google indicates that 53% of mobile users will leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load. Similarly, a study by HubSpot found that 90% of customers consider an “immediate” response important when they have a customer service question. These statistics underscore the critical nature of timely engagement.

Chat2: Your Instant Connection:

Chat2 is not just a chat tool; it’s your instant connection to potential customers actively considering a purchase. With its real-time chat functionality, businesses can engage users the moment they land on their website, ensuring a personalised touchpoint precisely when it matters most.

Navigating the Customer Journey

According to Salesforce, 71% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good online customer service. Chat2 acts as a virtual guide, offering instant assistance, answering queries, and providing tailored recommendations. This navigational support ensures that customers find what they need swiftly, leading to a more satisfying and efficient buying experience.

 

Building Trust through Instant Support

Statistics from Zendesk reveal that 69% of customers attribute their good customer service experience to quick resolution of their problem. Chat2’s combination of AI and human support fosters a sense of trust and reliability. Customers feel reassured knowing that help is just a chat away, creating a positive perception of the brand and encouraging them to proceed with confidence.

The Results: Increased Sales and Customer Satisfaction

According to a study by Intercom, businesses that use live chat experience a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour. By leveraging Chat2 to capture customers in their buying mindset, businesses not only increase the likelihood of a sale but also enhance overall customer satisfaction. The seamless interaction, personalised guidance, and instant support contribute to a positive buying experience that customers remember.

 

Conclusion:

In a digital landscape where every second is a potential turning point, Chat2 emerges as a powerful ally for businesses looking to capture customers in a buying mindset. Those who understand the importance of acting swiftly, providing personalized guidance, and building trust in real-time are the ones who will lead the way in increasing sales and fostering long-term customer loyalty. Don’t miss the chance—seize the moment with Chat2! 💬✨ 

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Chat Blog

Converting Clicks to Customers: The Key Strategy for Boosting Conversions

Do you pour your heart and soul into your website, only to see visitors bounce without converting? You’re not alone. Many businesses invest heavily in their online presence, yet struggle to translate website traffic into actual sales. The reason? The changing landscape of customer behavior demands instant answers and immediate engagement. Today’s online shoppers expect an experience that mirrors the personal attention they’d receive in a brick-and-mortar store. Are you equipped to meet those expectations?
 

The Challenge of Modern Online Expectations

The lightning-fast pace of technology has fundamentally altered how consumers behave online. Gone are the days of waiting patiently for emails or phone calls. Now, immediate responses are the norm, not the exception. Studies show that over 70% of online shoppers expect a response within an hour, with almost 50% abandoning a purchase if they can’t find quick answers. This is driven by the psychology of “instant gratification” – we’re hardwired to seek information and resolve issues immediately. Failure to do so can erode trust and send potential customers straight to your competitors.

 

The Gap in Traditional Customer Service

Traditional customer service models simply can’t keep up with this demand. Let’s face it, most businesses operate within fixed hours. But what about the potential customer with a question at 10 PM? Or the one browsing your website on a Sunday afternoon? The reality is, a significant portion of enquiries occur outside of standard business hours. Statistics reveal that over 40% of customer interactions happen after 5 PM, creating a massive gap in service and a gaping hole in your sales funnel.

 

The Trust Factor in Online Purchases

Building trust is crucial in the digital age, where skepticism often reigns supreme. While chatbots have their place, many consumers remain wary of automated interactions. Studies show that over 70% of people prefer to interact with a real human when making a purchase online. Why? We crave that personal touch, the nuanced understanding, and the reassurance that comes with human connection. Generic, pre-programmed responses simply fall short.

 

The Limitations of Automated Responses

Chatbots often lack the ability to provide the personalised, empathetic interaction that customers crave. They struggle with complex questions, emotional cues, and the unexpected curveballs that real conversations throw their way. The dreaded “Are you human?” message is a clear indicator of our desire for genuine connection, not just scripted responses. Relying solely on automation leaves you vulnerable to missed opportunities and frustrated customers.

 

Introducing the 24/7 Chat2 Concierge Solution

Chat2 Concierge bridges the gap by offering real-time, human interaction to your website visitors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our unique service seamlessly integrates AI-assistance with human expertise, ensuring accurate, immediate answers that build trust and drive sales. Unlike chatbots, our highly trained concierge professionals can handle any query, address concerns, and guide visitors towards a purchase with genuine empathy and understanding.

 

Success Stories and Results

The results speak for themselves. Businesses across industries have seen conversion rates skyrocket after implementing Chat2 Concierge. We’ve helped companies achieve an impressive 80-90% conversion rate among engaged visitors, turning website browsers into loyal customers effortlessly. 

How It Works: Enhancing Your Website’s Conversion Rate

Integrating Chat2 Concierge is simple and efficient. Our team works closely with you to tailor the service to your specific needs. Friendly, knowledgeable concierge professionals engage visitors with a personalised welcome, answer their questions in real-time, and address any concerns they may have. They even guide visitors through the purchase process, ensuring a smooth and seamless experience.

Book Your Free Consultation

Ready to unlock the full potential of your website? Take the first step towards boosting conversions and turning browsers into buyers. Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with one of our team (Kellie or Karen) and discover how our personalised approach can revolutionise your customer experience and propel your business forward. There’s no risk, just the potential for explosive growth.

In conclusion, adapting to the ever-evolving expectations of online consumers is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity. Partner with Chat2 Concierge and watch your website transform from a digital storefront into a powerful sales engine that converts visitors into loyal customers, 24/7. Let’s unlock the full potential of your website together, starting today.

 

Book your free consultation now and join the ranks of businesses experiencing the Chat2 Concierge difference!

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Chat Blog

The Latest in Chat2 Innovations: Revolutionising Digital Customer Engagement

Introduction

In an era where digital interaction is paramount, Chat2 is leading the charge in revolutionizing customer service through innovative AI technology. Our commitment to integrating the latest advancements in AI ensures that businesses harness the power of cutting-edge technology for enhanced customer engagement.

 

AI Revolution in Customer Service:

2023 witnessed groundbreaking developments in AI, particularly in natural language processing and generative AI. Pioneers like OpenAI and Google have set new standards, making AI more efficient and widely applicable. Chat2’s services are at the forefront of these innovations, incorporating sophisticated AI capabilities, including our bespoke Large Language Model (LLM), to elevate live chat solutions.

Deep Dive into Human-Centric AI and Chat2 LLM:

At Chat2, we believe in the power of human connection, seamlessly integrated with AI efficiency. Our operators, supported by our innovative Chat2 LLM, ensure that every customer interaction is not only informed and efficient but also empathetic and personalised. This latest advancement in AI-driven customer service dynamically draws from each client’s website content. As your site evolves, Chat2 LLM adapts, offering real-time, accurate responses. This is especially beneficial for businesses with frequently changing content, like those hosting regular events. Our approach ensures that our operators are always up-to-date, providing accurate, timely, and relevant interactions with reduced manual effort.

 

Empowering the Frontline Team:

Utilising Chat2 shifts the focus of your team from repetitive tasks to strategic, value-added activities. This transformation leads to more robust business operations, system efficiencies, and an enhanced customer service experience.

 

Comprehensive Address of Skill Shortages and 24/7 Service:

In a landscape marked by skill shortages in customer service, Chat2’s round-the-clock availability is a game-changer. It ensures that businesses are always primed to engage with customers, offering detailed information about products and services and driving conversions at any time of the day.

Detailed Industry-Specific Applications and Financial Advantages:

 

Chat2’s versatility extends across multiple sectors. Industry-Specific Applications:

  • E-Commerce: Assists with product recommendations, order tracking, and managing returns.
  • Finance: Handles initial inquiries and qualifies leads for the relevant in-house team.
  • Healthcare: Facilitates appointment scheduling and provides information.
  • Tourism and Hospitality: Manages booking inquiries, informs about facilities and room features, and assists                              with tour itineraries.
  • Real Estate: Provides property information and emergency contacts for rentals.

 

Future Outlook and Conclusion:

As we continue to innovate, Chat2 is not just keeping pace with digital transformation; it’s leading it. Our commitment to evolving with emerging technologies ensures that your business stays ahead in customer service excellence. Join us as we redefine the landscape of digital customer engagement and set new standards in the industry.

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Chat Blog

Proactive Engagement with Chat2: A Data-Driven Approach to Delighting Website Visitors

Introduction

In the world of online business, engaging with website visitors in real-time is a game-changer. It’s about being there at the right moment, providing answers to questions, and guiding potential customers toward conversion. But what if you could take it a step further? What if you could engage with visitors before they even initiate a chat? This is where proactive engagement, powered by Chat2’s predictive analytics, comes into play. In this blog, we’ll explore how Chat2 uses proactive chat invitations and predictive analytics to captivate website visitors, along with some compelling statistics to back it up.
 
 
The Power of Proactive Engagement 

Proactive engagement is all about initiating conversations with website visitors before they make the first move. It’s about anticipating their needs and providing assistance at the right moment. Here’s why it matters:

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Proactive engagement demonstrates a commitment to customer service. It reduces the effort required from visitors to seek help, making their journey smoother.
  • Higher Conversion Rates: By proactively addressing questions or concerns, you increase the likelihood of visitors becoming customers. It’s an opportunity to guide them toward making a purchase or taking desired actions.
  • Reduced Abandonment: Proactive engagement can prevent visitors from leaving your website due to unanswered queries. It keeps them engaged and interested.
 

Chat2’s Proactive Engagement Approach

Chat2 leverages proactive engagement through two key components: proactive chat invitations and predictive analytics. Chat2 allows businesses to set up automated chat invitations that trigger based on visitor behavior. These invitations can be customised to offer assistance, share promotions, or guide visitors to relevant content. For example, if a visitor spends a certain amount of time on a product page, Chat2 can send a chat invitation with personalised product recommendations.

Our predictive analytics take proactive engagement to the next level. It uses data and algorithms to predict when a visitor is most likely to need assistance. By analysing factors like browsing behavior, time spent on pages, and past interactions, Chat2 can send proactive chat invitations at precisely the right moment.

 

The Impact of Proactive Engagement

Here are some statistics that highlight the impact of proactive engagement on customer satisfaction and business outcomes:

  • Increased Conversions: A study by Forrester Consulting found that proactive chat can increase conversion rates by up to 105%. Visitors who engage with proactive chat invitations are more likely to convert into customers.
  • Higher Customer Satisfaction: According to a report by eDigital Customer Service Benchmark, 73% of customers find proactive chat to be a satisfying customer service channel. It exceeds the satisfaction levels of email (61%) and phone (44%).
  • Reduced Cart Abandonment: Baymard Institute reports that the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is around 69.57%. Proactive engagement can significantly reduce this rate by addressing potential issues or questions before checkout.
 

How Chat2 Makes it Happen

Here’s how Chat2 combines proactive chat invitations and predictive analytics to engage with website visitors effectively:

  • Visitor Tracking: Chat2 tracks visitor behavior in real-time, collecting data on pages visited, time spent, and interactions.
  • Behavior-Based Triggers: Using predictive analytics, Chat2 identifies specific behaviors that indicate a visitor’s readiness for engagement, such as extended time on a pricing page.
  • Automated Invitations: Chat2’s platform sends out automated chat invitations with personalised messages and relevant offers based on predictive insights.
  • Agent Assistance: Proactive engagement is complemented by the presence of skilled support agents who can provide instant assistance and guidance.

Conclusion

Proactive engagement is not just a customer service strategy; it’s a data-driven approach to enhancing the customer experience and driving business growth. Chat2’s proactive chat invitations and predictive analytics put businesses in the perfect position to engage with website visitors at precisely the right moment. The statistics speak for themselves: increased conversions, higher customer satisfaction, and reduced cart abandonment rates. By harnessing the power of proactive engagement with Chat2, businesses can elevate their online presence and create meaningful connections with visitors that ultimately lead to success. Don’t wait for your customers to reach out—take the initiative and engage proactively with Chat2.

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Chat Blog

The Future of Customer Service: Navigating the AI vs. Human Landscape

The Power of Live Chat for Businesses

The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human involvement in customer service is far from a passing fad. It’s a dialogue gaining rapid significance in a world increasingly swayed by technological advancements. Just the other day, a conversation with a long-term client in the Hospitality Industry got me pondering on this vital issue. The client had attended a Trade Expo in Sydney and was proud to highlight the human-centric approach of his customer service, even when AI-driven solutions are becoming the norm.
So, let’s delve into this fascinating world of customer service, where technology and human touch are often seen as competitors rather than collaborators.
 

The Australian Perspective

In Australia, a country renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and personable people, the significance of human interaction, especially in customer service, cannot be overstated. Australians generally have reservations about purely automated customer service. For many, a chatbot at the end of a customer service line feels impersonal, almost as though the business couldn’t be bothered to engage on a human level.
 

 AI’s Growing Capabilities

Artificial Intelligence is not static. Each day brings advancements that make chatbots smarter, more intuitive, and increasingly sensitive to the nuances of human emotion. Even as skeptics discuss the limitations of AI, the technology is evolving to address these very concerns. AI can now understand context, interpret emotions, and even respond with wit and humour.
 

The Best of Both Worlds

Our Chat2 Concierge service exemplifies a balanced approach. It begins with a human touch, followed by AI stepping in where it excels—data analytics, repetitive tasks, and scalability. This hybrid model ensures that customers get personalized service without sacrificing the efficiencies that AI can offer. In this way, transitioning from a human-first to an AI-centric customer service becomes seamless and far less jarring for the customers.
 

Customization for International Clients

One size doesn’t fit all, especially when we’re talking about a global customer base. For example, our international clients have shown that certain cultures are more receptive to AI-based customer service. Such insights are invaluable, allowing us to customize our services according to regional preferences and expectations.

 

Final Thoughts and Your Input

The debate of AI versus human in customer service is a dynamic one, with both sides offering compelling arguments. However, as we look to the future, one thing is clear: the conversation is far from over. We need to continuously evaluate the place of technology and human touch in delivering a superior customer experience. As someone involved in this field, or even as a customer yourself, what are your thoughts? When you enquire about a service, do you prefer AI or the human touch? We’re keen to hear from you.
 
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Chat Blog

Connecting with the Next Generation

The Power of Live Chat for Businesses

In an era defined by swift technological advancements, businesses are racing to adapt and cater to the evolving preferences of their target audience. The younger generation, often referred to as Generation Z, holds immense purchasing power and is reshaping the landscape of consumer behaviour. To capture the attention and loyalty of this dynamic demographic, businesses are turning to innovative communication strategies. One such strategy that has gained prominence is live chat. Let’s delve into how live chat can effectively target the younger generation and the undeniable benefits it brings to businesses.


Understanding Generation Z: A Digital-Native Audience

Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, has grown up in the digital age, surrounded by smartphones, social media, and instant connectivity. This tech-savvy cohort values convenience, speed, and personalised experiences. They expect seamless interactions with brands and immediate responses to their queries. Traditional modes of communication are being swiftly replaced by digital channels that align with Gen Z’s fast-paced lifestyle.


The Rise of Live Chat: A Game-Changer for Gen Z Engagement

  1. Instant Gratification: Live chat caters to Gen Z’s demand for instant gratification. With real-time responses and the ability to multitask while seeking assistance, this communication tool aligns perfectly with their on-the-go mentality.
  1. Personalised Experiences: Gen Z craves personalised interactions. Live chat allows businesses to gather information about users in real-time, enabling them to tailor responses and recommendations according to individual preferences.
  1. Effortless Accessibility: Live chat is available 24/7, eradicating the limitations of traditional office hours. Gen Z can reach out for support or information whenever it suits them, enhancing the overall customer experience.
 

 

The Stats Speak: Why Live Chat is a Must-Have

A survey conducted by Kayako underscores its significance, revealing that an impressive 79% of customers express a preference for live chat owing to its rapid response capabilities, ultimately contributing to heightened levels of customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the impact of live chat on business outcomes is undeniable. Econsultancy’s findings highlight that businesses leveraging live chat witness a remarkable 48% increase in revenue per chat hour, accompanied by a substantial 40% rise in conversion rates. For Gen Z, who are known for their inclination toward online shopping, live chat steps in as a game-changer. By addressing concerns and queries in real-time, live chat has the potential to curtail the prevalent issue of cart abandonment, a crucial hurdle in maintaining a seamless shopping experience for this digitally native generation.

 

Businesses Reaping the Benefits

Live chat emerges as a potent tool that not only connects brands with Generation Z customers but also fuels remarkable growth. Enhanced Customer Support takes centre stage, granting businesses the power to offer instant and real-time assistance. This seamless guidance ensures that Gen Z customers navigate their inquiries swiftly and efficiently. Delving deeper, live chat generates a wealth of Data-Driven Insights. These interactions unveil valuable information about Gen Z’s preferences, pain points, and expectations. Armed with these insights, businesses can fine-tune their strategies to resonate with this discerning demographic. The impact doesn’t stop there – it extends to the bottom line with Increased Sales. Personalised recommendations and immediate responses facilitated through live chat create an environment where Gen Z customers are equipped to make informed purchasing decisions. This potent combination not only cultivates customer trust but also drives revenue growth for businesses that are keen on staying ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

 

Embracing the Future: Implementing Live Chat

Businesses that adopt live chat gain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining Gen Z customers. To effectively harness the power of live chat, businesses must:

  1. Prioritise Responsiveness: Swift response times are key. Gen Z’s attention span is fleeting, and a delayed response could lead to disengagement.

  2. Train Support Agents: Equip support agents with the skills to provide personalised, concise, and relevant responses that resonate with Gen Z’s communication style.
  1. Optimise Mobile Compatibility: Gen Z heavily relies on mobile devices. Ensure that your live chat platform is mobile-friendly for seamless interaction.

The Ultimate Solution

With 8 years of diverse industry experience, our expert team of professionals deliver seamless, real-time support 24/7 via live chat on your website or social media. Common queries are quickly addressed, conversations are guided towards conversions, and the buying process is smooth, resulting in an impressive 80-90% conversion rate with rapid responses averaging just 19 seconds.ᅠ

Backed by AI technology, we combine human touch with efficiency to enhance your online customer service. Take your business to the next level by contacting us today for exceptional customer support. You can explore our services at Chat2 or schedule a free consultation here.

Conclusion

With the younger generation holding the reins of consumer trends, businesses must evolve their strategies to cater to their unique preferences. Live chat is not only a powerful tool for engaging Gen Z but also a gateway to boosting customer satisfaction, conversions, and overall business success. By embracing this dynamic communication channel, businesses can forge meaningful connections with the future’s dominant consumer base.

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Chat Blog

AI Wars Heat Up

As the AI wars continue to intensify, the progress being made in this arena is truly exciting. Who doesn’t use Chatgpt, or Google Bard or Bing Chat in their everyday work when having to undertake the simplest of tasks like writing an email, summarising a document, writing social media posts or analysing data? These large language models at the forefront of the technological revolution currently are making everyday tasks so much easier for all of us.  Do you have a preference as yet?  Out of the three above, I still feel that Chat GPT4 still is way ahead of the other big players for its accuracy, evaluation and content creation.

In this article, I will compare these language models as well as our very own Chat2 ai with a simple experiment, to see where we are ranking among these big players. While AI shows great promise, it’s important to acknowledge the need for human involvement and the limitations AI faces when the necessary information is unavailable.

Experiment Design:

In a fun experiment, we decided to test Chat2 AI against the likes of Google Bard, GPT3.5 and GPT4. The question sought advice on stacking an A4 bundle of 27 papers, a holy bible, 9 small marbles, and a big empty glass in a stable manner. Each AI model provided its own unique response, which we analyzed to determine their effectiveness.

AI Model Responses:

Google Bard:

Place the big empty glass on a flat surface.

Place the holy bible on top of the glass.

Place the 9 small marbles on top of the bible.

Place the 27 papers on top of the marbles.

Use a rubber band or tape to secure the papers together.

This stacking arrangement will be stable because the glass will provide a sturdy base, the bible will help to distribute the weight of the papers, and the marbles will help to prevent the papers from sliding around.

GPT 3.5:

To stack the items in a stable manner, you can follow these steps:

 1 Start with the big empty glass as the base. Place it on a flat surface to provide stability.

 2 Take the A4 bundle of 27 papers and place it on top of the glass, making sure it is centered and balanced. You can align the edges of the papers with the edges of the glass to distribute the weight evenly.

 3 Next, take the Holy Bible and position it on top of the paper bundle. You can align it with the edges of the paper or place it in the center, depending on your preference.

 4 Now, take the 9 small marbles and distribute them around the base. You can place them on top of the papers or the Bible, creating a circular pattern or spreading them evenly.

Make sure to arrange the marbles in a way that doesn’t cause the stack to become top-heavy or unbalanced. Distributing them evenly will help maintain stability.

Remember, stability is important to prevent the stack from toppling over. Take your time while arranging the items and adjust them as needed to ensure a secure and stable stack.

GPT 4:

Here’s a suggestion on how to stack these items in a stable manner:

1 Start with the Bible: The Bible is probably the most solid and heaviest object in your list. Place it on the bottom to give your stack a solid base.

2 Put the A4 bundle of papers on top of the Bible: Papers are light and flexible, making them more stable in the middle of the stack.

3 Position the 9 small marbles inside the big empty glass: This is to prevent them from rolling away and to add some weight to the glass.

4 Put the big glass (with the marbles inside) on top of the bundle of papers: The weight of the marbles will keep the glass steady, and the shape of the glass should allow it to balance on the papers.

Clearly GPT4 is smarter than Bard and GPT3.5.

Bing Chat: 

One way to stack these items in a stable manner could be to place the A4 bundle of 27 papers on the bottom, then place the Holy Bible on top of the papers. You could then put the 9 small marbles inside the big empty glass and place the glass on top of the Holy Bible. This should create a stable stack.

Chat2 AI:

To stack the papers in a stable manner, you can place them in a pile on a flat surface, such as a desk or table. The holy bible can be placed on top of the pile, and the marbles can be placed in the empty glass. To ensure stability, you can use a rubber band or an elastic band to secure the glass in place. 

The results are certainly exciting and we are in the running with these big names, as the Chat2 suggestion was focused on simplicity and practicality.

The Role of AI and Human Intervention:

It is crucial to recognize that AI, while making significant progress, still requires human involvement in certain scenarios. Businesses, especially in the tourism industry, often miss important answers to questions on their websites. AI can only provide answers if the necessary information has been programmed into it. We have started the testing creating Knowledge Bases for clients websites, so the AI generates all the links we need in a matter of seconds and can provide the answers to our template questions if the answer is available.  Though what we already know is that some crucial information  like check-in times and airport transfers are never found on a website, so there is still the requirement to seek out these responses to ensure they are accurate and relevant to the client. Some tasks still remain challenging for AI to address without human intervention.

AI as a Tool, Not a Creature:

As we move forward, it is important to view AI, including GPT-4 and similar systems, as tools rather than autonomous beings. It’s people who will be using these AI tools that will be become more effective at their jobs, though their jobs will not be taken by AI.  Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, states that “people have a significant degree of control over how AI is used. While AI excels at tasks, it is not a substitute for entire jobs.” He anticipates a significant impact on jobs but also believes that there will be new and improved job opportunities arising from this technological revolution.

At Chat2 we are certainly expecting that many of our Chat2 team will be upskilled and enhanced by the AI technology that we are currently incorporating into the backend of our software.

Acceptance in the Marketplace

In addition to the effectiveness of AI’s performance, its acceptance in the marketplace, especially in the realm of customer service, plays a crucial role. Currently, the public still exhibits hesitation when it comes to engaging with AI for assistance with questions, bookings, and sales. The human touch remains highly valued, and the majority of online conversations still begin with the question, “Are you a robot?” As a result, incorporating the human element into front-end customer service is essential for driving conversions. However, as AI continues to evolve, the connection between humans and AI will eventually become seamless. The public will no longer feel the need to ask if they are interacting with an AI, as the service they receive will be unparalleled.

Conclusion:

The AI wars are undoubtedly heating up, with Chat GPT, Google Bard, Bing Chat, and Chat2 AI competing for prominence. In our experiment comparing their responses to a stacking question, Chat GPT4 emerged as the leader, showcasing superior accuracy, evaluation, and content creation capabilities. However, the success of AI goes beyond its technical performance and lies in its acceptance in the marketplace, particularly in customer service. Currently, there remains a hesitancy among the public to fully embrace AI as they still prefer the human touch when seeking assistance with questions, bookings, and sales. The human element in front-end customer service continues to be essential for driving conversions. Nevertheless, as AI technology evolves and becomes more seamless, the line between human and AI interaction will blur, resulting in unparalleled service. It is important to acknowledge that while AI enhances tasks and efficiency, human intervention and expertise remain vital. Looking ahead, the future holds tremendous potential as AI shapes various industries, including customer service, and opens up new and improved job opportunities.

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Chat Blog

Six Months – Stop Work?

The recent suggestion of pausing AI development for six months has stirred up quite a debate. I believe that while the intentions behind this proposal may be good, it may not be the most practical solution for addressing the concerns surrounding AI development.

The term “AI” (artificial intelligence) is often debated. In my view, these technologies are not entirely artificial or intelligent, as they are ultimately created and monitored by humans. As Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, mentioned in an interview a couple of  years ago, human responsibility is crucial when it comes to AI development. 

I believe we must manage risks, just as we do in any industry with new developments. Therefore, I find it puzzling that some influential figures are suddenly advocating for a pause in AI development.

It makes me wonder if certain industry leaders are worried about being left behind, particularly when we haven’t seen significant contributions from Elon Musk or Steve Wozniak in the language model space. Imposing a six-month pause on large-scale players could inadvertently offer opportunities for smaller companies and even the underground industry to progress without the necessary safeguards in place.

Moreover, the concern that AI will lead to job displacement is valid. However, I believe it is not AI itself but rather the people using AI who are in a position to replace jobs. We should focus on upskilling our workforce and teaching them how to use these technologies to make their jobs easier and more efficient. The unknown in this equation is actually how many jobs will AI create?

In addition, I find it hard to envision how a pause in AI development could be regulated and monitored. The race to advance AI is well underway, and the coming decade promises groundbreaking breakthroughs. I think the real challenge lies in learning to use this technology effectively, as it is only as smart as the humans employing it. AI has the potential to enhance human intelligence by stimulating creativity and originality, but it cannot generate original ideas without human guidance and direction.

In conclusion, my personal opinion is that although a pause in AI development may seem like a sensible measure, it is crucial to consider the potential consequences and explore alternative methods to manage AI’s rapid growth. Human involvement and responsibility are paramount in ensuring that AI technology does not misdirect our future development. Instead of halting progress, I believe we should focus on fostering a collaborative, responsible approach to AI that maximizes its potential while minimizing the risks.

If you would like to read the letter that was released this week, then go to this link.  At the time of writing there were 1738 signatures to the letter that has made worldwide headlines this week

Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter

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Chat Blog

The Future of Sales is Online: How to Stay Ahead of the Curve and Thrive.

The future of sales lies in a rapidly changing digital landscape. Companies that don’t keep up with the latest trends in e-commerce and digital marketing will be left behind. To stay ahead of the competition and thrive, businesses must embrace innovative and creative strategies for online sales. 

 

This article will provide insight into how to stay ahead of the curve and make the most of the digital marketing and sales opportunities available. From understanding the customer’s journey to capitalizing on emerging technology, this article will help you understand the fundamentals of online sales and provide actionable steps to help you succeed. With the right strategies in place, your business can revolutionize the way it sells online and stay ahead of the competition.

Understanding the Customer's Journey

Before you can capitalize on any of the other strategies for online sales, it’s important to first understand the customer’s journey. Understanding the customer journey and where you can fit into the process will enable you to target your audience effectively and increase your conversion rates. 

 

The customer journey typically includes the following stages: 

 

  1. Awareness: At this stage, customers have identified a need or problem they want to solve, but they don’t know how to address it yet. They are often gathering information and doing research to determine what options are available and which option is best for them.

  2. Consideration: At this point, customers have identified a problem and want to solve it, but they don’t know how. They are gathering information about their options, researching different brands, and determining which solution is best for them. 

  3. Decision: At this stage, customers have decided on a brand and want to solve it, but they don’t know where to buy it. They are gathering information on where they can purchase the product they’ve decided on and determining which option is best for them.

  4. Experience: At this point, customers have decided on a brand and want to solve it, but they don’t know how. They are gathering information on how to use the product they’ve decided on and determining which option is best for them.

 

A live chat service can empower your business to capture these potential sales enquiries throughout this process if managed well.  Being in the online space, enables you to pro-actively engage with your customers in these very early stages of their journey.

 

Leveraging The Power Of Emerging Technology

Digital marketers and sales experts have predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning capabilities will have a significant impact on e-commerce in the future. By leveraging AI, businesses can automate many of their digital marketing strategies, which will increase their productivity and help them scale their operations.

 

Though when it comes to the customer experience with the business, customers are not as warm to the concept of AI.  In our live chat service, one of the first questions we still receive before any question is asked is:

 

Are You A Bot?

Easy one for us to answer in replying that we are real people and how can we help?  Of course we are heavily assisted by AI, but our service retains the warmth and friendliness of a human conversation for the time being.  The general public are not as welcoming of AI technology in comparison to businesses who are rushing towards it with open arms, and sometimes this is to their impediment if not managed well.

 

This year we have had the emergence of the GPT3 technology, which is one of the first language modelling systems using AI that is quite mind blowing, if you provide the right mix of parameters for it to consider.

 

GPT3 (short for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3”) defines itself as:

 

“ A state-of-the-art language generation model developed by OpenAI. It is trained on a massive amount of diverse text data and can generate human-like text on a wide range of topics. It can be used for a variety of natural language processing tasks such as language translation, summarization, text completion, and question answering.”

 

The sudden appearance of the technology to the level where it has a high level of fluency and coherence in the text generated, as well as its ability to perform well on a wide range of natural language processing tasks without the need for task-specific training data, has the Information Technology industry in a frenzied state of anticipation.

 

This type of technology is certainly going to speed up the process where Businesses can use AI to provide customers with more personalized and relevant experiences to increase their conversion rates, without them even knowing they are interacting with AI. 

 

In addition to AI, businesses should also keep an eye on how blockchain technology and augmented reality (AR) will impact e-commerce. Blockchain technology is expected to transform e-commerce by increasing data security, enabling better supply chain and inventory management, and providing an auditable digital ledger of transactions. AR will likely impact e-commerce by providing customers with an interactive and immersive shopping experience, which will allow them to visualize and explore products in the real world.

 

Optimising your Digital Platforms

To ensure your products and services are reaching your audience, you need to optimize your digital platforms. This includes optimizing your website and social media platforms to ensure they are driving sales and engaging your customers. 

 

To optimize your website, you’ll need to determine which website platform is best for you based on your business goals and objectives. If your business sells products, you’ll need to establish an e-commerce website that allows you to sell your products online. The website should be clean, simple, and easy to navigate, and it should provide a seamless and streamlined experience for customers to purchase your products. 

 

By having a live chat service in place, you will quickly receive feedback from your customers on any challenges they face while navigating your website or other digital platforms.  You will get to know within minutes, if links tools stop working on your website asyour customers will quickly let you know though a live chat service.  This has prevented many businesses from losing sales in times when their shopping cart has glitched or the booking platform has resulted in an error.  A live chat channel will immediately alert the Business of any urgent issue needing attention quickly and efficiently, if well managed.

 

While some businesses choose to build their own e-commerce websites from scratch, there are many e-commerce platforms available that allow you to create a professional-looking website with minimal effort and budget and are easily integrated with a live chat service.

 

To optimize your social media platforms, you’ll need to determine which social media platforms your target audience is using and determine how you can best engage with them on those platforms. Start by creating a social media strategy that outlines the purpose of each social media platform, how often you will post, and what you hope to achieve with each post.  You may also set up groups and pages where your customers can easily converse with one another about your products and services, with your own team also providing updates and information within these groups.  

 

Customers will see that you are easily available to be approached and to contact, which enhances the trust needed for long term customer relationships.  Maintaining the communication through social media platforms can also be challenging for businesses to maintain and respond effectively.  Though there are services available that can be set up with all the appropriate responses to ensure that customers can easily and readily communicate with your Business and receive fast, effective and knowledgeable responses.

Capitalizing on Data and Analysis

To truly capitalize on the opportunities provided by digital platforms, you need to be able to understand your data and use it to inform your future decisions. This includes understanding your website analytics, Google Analytics, and other data that will help you better understand your customers. 

 

Your website analytics will provide you with valuable information, such as where your visitors are coming from, how long they are staying on your site, what they are clicking on, and what pages they are abandoning. This information will help you understand your customers and better engage with them on the site. 

 

Google Analytics will provide you with business-related information, such as your website traffic and conversion rates. This information will help you understand your customers and better engage with them off the website.

Chat2 Concierge software and service integrates with the website and social media platforms with the ultimate goal of obtaining the online sale or booking from the website visitor while they are on the platform.  We also can answer a broad range of questions around the products and services, though ultimately guiding the conversation to a sale conversion. Businesses receive a monthly report that includes the number of chats over a 24/7 period, the most commonly asked questions by visitors, the number of visitors and returning visitors to the website and the conversion rate from chat.

 

Data like this can provide Businesses with a strong understanding of their customer base, particularly in relation to the most sought after products and services,  or potentially future products and services, the effectiveness of their digital platforms and the information they are sharing with customers and potential future opportunities of untapped markets.

 

Utlizing Automation

As you’ve likely gathered from the previous strategies, the online digital space can offer a number of automation opportunities that can help you save time and scale your operations. To start, you can use an e-commerce platform like Shopify to easily set up an online store and begin selling your products online. 

 

Additionally, you can use an email marketing software like Hootsuite or Zoho to set up automated email campaigns that will allow you to stay in touch with your customers on a regular basis. You can use this software to set up drip campaigns that send emails at certain stages of the customer journey or to send out product recommendations to your customers based on their purchasing history. 

 

And you can use live chat services to enhance your customers online experience. Providing your customers with fast and accurate answers to commonly asked questions and guiding them towards an online purchase or booking. This in turn saves your team wasted time on the phone and emails and only having to respond to those more genuine qualified enquiries that come through if the customer has not already purchased online.  Outsourcing your first tier of customer service with an AI assisted service like Chat2 will allow you to scale your business and save time and money, if it is set up and managed effectively.

Developing Effective Strategies for Online Sales

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of online digital strategies to attract sales, it’s time to apply them to your unique business and identify where you can improve. 

 

To start, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of your current online sales initiatives and identify areas where you can improve. You can do this by reviewing the data from your website, Google and Chat Analytics to identify areas for improvement. Additionally, you can hold brainstorming or ideation sessions with your marketing team or employees to identify areas for improvement. 

 

Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, you can implement new strategies to improve your digital sales. Start by improving your content marketing strategy by creating more engaging and relevant content that speaks directly to your visitors. You will learn alot from chat transcripts, observing how your customers ask their questions and the main topics they are interested in. At Chat2 we provide customers with access to the chat transcripts for quality assurance, continuous improvement and to identify possible opportunities for future sales. 

You can also improve your email marketing strategy by creating more personalized and relevant emails that speak directly to your customers. 

 

Finally, you can improve your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to rank higher in search engine results and increase organic traffic to your website. You can do this by creating more high-quality content and using the language and words your customers are using through channels like live chat, pursuing link building strategies to obtain more links, and leveraging paid search channels to drive more traffic to your website.

 

Embracing Creative and Innovative Strategies

Finally, you can truly revolutionize your online sales efforts by embracing creative and innovative strategies to truly stand out from the competition. Start by leveraging emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, and AR to provide better customer experiences, increase efficiency, and scale operations. 

 

You can also find ways to stand out with your content by creating content that resonates with your audience on a deeper level. You can also provide an intuitive customer experience by simplifying your website and focusing on customer satisfaction. You can truly revolutionize your digital sales efforts by experimenting with new strategies and exploring untapped markets and niches. For example, you can expand your offerings to provide additional products and services or explore new markets that you haven’t explored before. Doing so will help you stand out from the competition and attract new customers.

 

Also, if you are considering to offer a live chat service on your websites and social media to your customers, our Chat2 team can integrate a service smoothly and efficiently, avoiding any of the common pitfalls for a successful service setup.  It is also highly affordable. Our team has eight  years of knowledge operating in this space, which can be highly valuable to drive your business further.  Chat2 Concierge enables businesses to:

 

  • Obtain more direct sales and conversions online;
  • Enhance the online customer experience through fast accurate responses;
  • Stand out from the competition in the noisy online space;
  • Save time for their own teams;
  • Enhance SEO; and
  • Identifies new market opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about the trends online and how Chat2 Concierge provides a solution to the online service challenges businesses face everyday. Please click on this link to listen to our Information Session delivered by our Chat2 COO Karen Lloyd-Collins “  The Future of Sales is Online: How to Stay Ahead of the Curve and Thrive”.

 

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Chat Blog Industry Trends

5 Tips to Update Your Website and Drive Traffic

5 Tips to Update Your Website and Drive Traffic

Did you know that over 90% of users check the online business presence before connecting with a business?  This means that content and design of your company’s website plays an important role in attracting potential customers. A user-friendly website also works as a 24/7 advertisement for your business, which is why it is imperative that you keep it updated. You can easily freshen up your site by investing in new visuals, personalizing the experience, SEO optimization, stronger calls to action and better organization of content. If you want to drive more traffic to your website, we will explore five tips that will help when updating your website and to drive traffic.

At Chat2 Concierge, we are often talking to businesses about the best time to start a live chat service, before or after a website facelift?  You might think the answer is obvious and to wait.  Though you may not realize that the service we provide at Chat2 Concierge will significantly enhance the final website design before the website is actually updated.  How?  In several ways and not only do we assist in providing guidance and strategy to assist with the update, we also ensure your customer messaging stays relevant and up to date.

1. Initial Website Audit

We do the hard work for you. To ensure the effectiveness of a live chat service, it is essential to review the current website in great detail. The purpose of the audit is to extract the website content to form initial responses for chat conversations.  During this audit the following useful information for a website update is generally identified:

  • contradictory information across the website;
  • out of date information;
  • hidden content or content that is difficult to locate;
  • broken links;
  • missing information that is regularly sought for by customers; or
  • complexity in the sales process/checkout that could be simplified.

Even if some of the website information is out of date, you will be able to advise the team of this and easily correct it in the results from the review.  By having an experienced team review your website content and layout, any navigation issues or inaccurate content is easily identified and relayed to you for consideration in your website update. A complete new accurate content database is created, that your website developers can draw upon in the creation of the new website.

“We haven’t even started the chat service and it was so helpful having issues identified on our website that we hadn’t realised was disrupting the customer experience."

2. Make Your New Website A Personal Experience

Gone are the days where your website sits there to just display information for your customers to read, you can now have websites that are more far more personal, interactive and responsive. You can do this with bots, or knowledge base prompts, though from our current experience with the general public, the preference is to have a REAL person greeting your website visitor when they arrive on your website.  This is quite challenging for many businesses, which is why our affordable Chat2 Concierge service is so popular. Our experienced team are online 24/7, guiding your visitor to the information they are seeking. Yes a real person and in real time!

This is the icing on the cake for customer service.  So it doesn’t matter how terrible your current website is to navigate or that the information is not accurate, a website with a 24/7 concierge service can provide a memorable, personal experience for your customers ensuring information provided is accurate, on brand and on message at all times.  All this while you are going through the process of updating your website, which can potentially take several months. You could be increasing your conversion rate, leads and revenue now. We are doing this all the time for new clients awaiting a website update.

When you have the Chat2concierge service on your old, dilapidated website, your customer won’t even notice. If they are being assisted fast, effectively, getting the answers they are looking for, while receiving one on one attention, it will leave a memorable impression that will either convert them on the spot and give you the edge on your competition. Even if they don’t initially get the final answer, our live chat Concierge service gives you the opportunity to convert the lead to a sale. A lead you may have previously lost due to a poor performing website. So there is no better time than now, to start the Chat2concierge, live chat service.

If your site isn’t personalized now, then you are already missing out on a lot of traffic and sales that could be coming your way. Don’t wait for the website update, start interacting with your customers now through your current website as the information we gather on your behalf, can be used to enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) on your new website.

Revamp your SEO Strategy

Once the 24/7 service is live, the knowledge base responses will be further refined and you will become more aware of the common questions your customers are likely to ask and the words, phrases they use to ask these questions.  Key words your customers use in engaging with your website will be added into the knowledge base. The system learns during the first few months how your customers search and what key words they use in asking questions about your products and services.  You will then be able to integrate these phrases and keywords into your website content and enhance your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. 

If you have the most commonly used phrases and keywords used in your website content, then it is more likely that you will attract more of your ideal customer to your website. You can also include this key content into your website meta description.

Your meta description tells search engines like Google and Bing, what to display in the search results following your website title. 

For an effective meta description, ensure:

  • it has active, exciting language and is compelling for the visitor to click;

  • is between 60 and 160 words and makes sense;

  • the location and some of the keywords you want to rank for are included; and

  • content is unique.

Utilising the live chat service, prior to updating your website will provide you with a great insight into what your online visitors are asking about, identifying the most common questions and what is top of mind for your customers.  You then have the edge in creating and publishing unique, current, high quality, content your visitors are searching for.  High quality content gets the attention of search engines.

Using the words, language and phrases on your website that your online visitors use attracts the ideal customer! Chat2concierge assists in identifying these words in real time, as you have an open direct communication channel with your online visitors.  We help discover the current words and phrases and what is top of mind for your customers in the Now!

4. Invest in Strong Calls to Action

Calls to action are prompts that invite your website visitor to take the next step. What could be more compelling than a message that appears unexpectedly,  inviting your visitor to start a conversation with a real customer service person and engage with your business. You are initiating an early start to the customer relationship, giving you the edge over your competition, who are just a click away.

People are so busy these days that if they find a way to receive instant answers, rather than having to spend their time searching or reading pages on a website, they will always take the easy path.  Once you have your visitor engaged and they are receiving answers to their enquiries, you are well on your way to get the conversion.  The experience is helpful, memorable and guides them ultimately towards buying.

Even if your industry is not the kind that enables instant conversion online, you will be provided with qualified leads that you will be able to action and convert immediately.

A strong call to action like our Chat2 Concierge service not only enhances the effectiveness of your own team with being provided qualified leads and saving them time from “tyre kickers”, it also increases the revenue through a higher conversion rate online. All these advantages despite needing a website update can be obtained now. The chat service is drawing upon its own knowledge base of responses as approved by you in the early stages of set up, which are accurate, relevant and enticing visitors to convert.

5. Make It Easy To Navigate

When it comes to the design of your website, you not only have to consider how it looks but how it functions as well. The design and navigation of your site must be easy to use and intuitive. In other words, you must invest in a user-friendly website.

If your website is easy to navigate it will decrease the bounce rate. A high bounce rate is when visitors only stay on your site for a few seconds and then leave. If a user finds your site difficult to use, they will quickly click away to your competitor’s site. Whereas, an easy to use, engaging website will encourage people to stay on your site. This is because users will not have to put in a lot of effort in order to navigate through the content on your site.

A website that talks to you is a great way to guide your online visitors around.  Our Chat2 Concierge service basically takes your visitor by the hand and shares information they are looking for and guides them to where they need to buy or book.  It’s that easy! Websites with our Chat2 Concierge service are the easiest to navigate, even if your website is still waiting for its update. We have all the current information available within the chat service that is maintained.  So new responses are added and the information is kept up to date as a part of the Chat2concierge service.

Update Your Website Now!

A website update is a great way to improve your website’s performance. However, you can still provide a high level customer experience while the update is in progress.  Just adding some of the latest technology to your current website will allow you to create a more user-friendly experience immediately. Adding the highly affordable Chat2 Concierge service prior to a website update will give you the inside knowledge to ensure your new website upgrade is on point, accurate, provides the most sought after information up front, while still providing a world class customer experience to your customers.

The initial audit will highlight the missing information, you will create a more personalized customer experience on your current website, your customers will receive up to date information, you will receive insight to enhance your SEO strategy, your call to action will be strong and your website will be easier to navigate.  All this,  while your website update is in progress.  It’s a win / win for everyone!  The best time to start Chat2 Concierge service is NOW!

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Chat Blog Industry Trends

How to Attract More Sales and Enquiries Online: Tips to Monetise

The digital world gives businesses the opportunity to connect with customers in new and innovative ways. However, it also means there are more competitors fighting for visibility. This battle for attention has made monetizing online channels increasingly challenging.

According to statistics from Internet Live Stats , There are almost 2 billion websites on the world wide web and Google averages 40,000 searches every second, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches worldwide per year.  The online space is extremely busy and it’s difficult for businesses to stand out and have the edge over their competitors. 

The Covid19 pandemic has accelerated this growth online with the United States seeing a 10 year growth in online enquiries and Australia seeing a 5 year growth in online enquiries, all within a short span of 3 months in 2020 (Chat2).  In 2017, Nasdaq had forecasted that by 2040, 95% of purchases will be through eCommerce. The Pandemic has shortened this timeline, possibly by 10 years.  Hence, why its more important than ever before to start building your online presence.

By 2030, 95% of purchases will be through eCommerce due to the Pandemic.

Monetizing your website

The purpose of an online marketing strategy is to attract customers and drive traffic to your website, so you can control the conversation and the conversion to sale. In order to do this, you must first understand how to monetize your website. You have spent thousands of dollars poured into your website, so let’s get it working for you. 

Monetizing your website involves having features that keep your online visitor interested, staying longer on your website to explore and to ultimately buy in the moment they are motivated to buy.

Features include having:

55% of people will search online for reviews and recommendations before making a purchase, with 47% visiting the company website. (KPMG) So you need to ensure the visitor experience exceeds their expectations and is memorable so they return again and again. 

Websites that convert leads into sales

You want a return on your website investment, it should be generating sales for you. According to KPMG, 30% of consumers will return to preferred websites to buy. Here are some factors to consider to help increase your conversion rate.

– Key Words – Use the “key words” visitors use when searching for your product or service online. Make it clear as to exactly what they’ll receive before they make a purchase. If you offer a service, let visitors know what they can expect. If you are unsure of what these “key words” are, the Chat2 Concierge service can provide this insight to you.

– Arouse curiosity – Your website should arouse curiosity in customers. It should make them ask questions and want to know more. Outline the benefits to them if they purchase from you.

– Interactive – Online visitors are impatient, they want answers quite quickly to their questions. They don’t want to read a page of information to find the answer they are looking for. Provide for the opportunity on your website, to ask the question and obtain the answer instantly. Chat2 Concierge can provide this opportunity for your website customers easily and effectively

– What makes you unique – Every product or service has competition. If you want to stand out among the crowd, you must do something to make your company unique. This can be as simple as making your website interactive, so your visitors can easily be provided answers to their questions about your product and service. Chat2 Concierge easily answers your customers questions, but then uniquely guides your customer towards the ultimate goal – to Buy!

– Call to action – Your website should include a call to action that urges customers to purchase your products and services. Let them know how to take action and what to do next. All visitors who interact with Chat2 Concierge are guided towards taking action to buy the product or book the service. The service ensures your website is working hard to convert your visitors, achieving 80 -90 % conversion once working with a business for three months

Keep the user experience in mind

It is important to keep the user experience in mind when writing and designing your website. However, you also want to ensure your website is compelling enough to generate conversions, through content, ease of navigation and interactivity. If you fail to balance these aspects, you risk losing potential customers.

– Navigation – Visitors should be able to navigate your website easily. Poor navigation can cause visitors to leave your website without finding what they are looking for. Though Chat2 Concierge counteracts poor navigation on websites, as it acts like a concierge service, taking your customer by the hand and guiding them around your website, showing them the answers to the questions they are looking for.

– Length of content – Visitors will leave your website if your content is too lengthy. However, if your content is too short, it won’t provide visitors with enough information to make a buying decision. Though an interactivity feature, like Chat2 Concierge, can prevent you from this pitfall, as it can instantly provide answers to the questions your visitors need answers to, without relying on the length of content.

– Design of the website – The design of your website is another important factor when it comes to the user experience. If your website looks unprofessional, visitors will not trust your business. Adding interactivity features like Chat2 add significant credibility to your website, as real people are within reach for each and every conversation, making your business easily accessible day or night.

– Calls to action – Calls to action that are too strong or aggressive can cause visitors to leave your website. On the other hand, if you don’t urge customers to take action, they might leave without making a purchase. Chat2 Concierge establishes trust with your customers, slowly and gently if needed, or efficiently and effectively depending on the demands of the online visitor. By establishing trust through strong engagement, it becomes easy to stir your customer into action to buy!

Ask for the sale — directly

Did you know the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.89%? (Baymard Institute) You don’t want your customers falling into this category.

Once you get visitors to your website or any online channel for that matter, you should be asking them for the sale. How? Well that is easy, engage them in conversation and ask them if they have booked or bought as yet? If not, ask them why not? Well maybe not that straight forward, maybe more like:

“Do you have any questions about our products I can help with? Is there anything you would like to know a little more about?”

These open-ended questions assist the engagement and trust process, building the relationship with the client, building their confidence with you that they will want to buy from you, as you have been the most helpful and enhanced their customer experience.

Once they have had answers instantly provided about your products and services, then the conversation is guided towards the purchase. “For that product you are looking at, just click this link to purchase” or “to order that service, just click this link to book”. It’s so easy to convert!

Though you are now wondering how do you engage a website visitor into an actual conversation. Well, that is easy, initiate a well managed live chat service and get that million dollar website working for you!”

69.89% is the cart abandonment rate across all industries.

Is Live Chat Effective?

Have you tried live chat and found it failed miserably? Did you find it difficult to manage as online visitors were too demanding for instant answers? Were you missing too many great opportunities as enquiries came in at all hours of the night? Yes we know, we hear this from many of our clients who have tried to use live chat themselves, with their own staffing and resources.

There is a strategy to implement live chat effectively so it produces results and ensures your website converts. Live chat has to be set up effectively, with the correct timings, messaging and responses. This is what we have refined over the last seven years of working in this space for a variety of different industries from tourism and Hospitality, Real Estate, Health and Wellness, Food, Manufacturing, Finance, Retail, Trades and membership associations.

Today, a new client remarked that the Chat2 Concierge service has doubled the number of enquiries in just two months, compared to their previous live chat software. That is the exact result we are striving to achieve, we see this type of result regularly, as the Chat2 team has refined the setup and techniques to ensure a successful live chat service.

Live Chat is an extremely powerful website conversion tool if set up effectively. It adds extra credibility, trust and works in partnership with your website to ensure enquiries are converted into sales. Using live chat, you are keeping your website, visitors, on your website for longer, enhancing the search engine optimisation (SEO) benefit.

"Chat2 Concierge service has doubled the number of enquiries in just two months, compared to our previous live chat."
Tourism Operator
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Conclusion

The digital world has made it easier than ever to reach customers and potential clients. However, it’s important to remember that these individuals are looking for your business online. Getting their attention on your website is crucial to drive sales. A well-managed and implemented live chat service, with a few different techniques, can boost the number of enquiries and sales you receive online. Live Chat encourages curiosity, allows for interaction, makes your business unique enabling it to stand out in a noisy online crowd and can send a strong call to action. By following these expert tips, you can optimize your online presence and drive more sales and enquiries.

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Chat Blog Industry Trends

Customer Service Trends to Watch Out For In 2022!

Customer service is the focal point of any business. It is through customer service that businesses can either grow or decline in the market. A business can either become an industry leader or a laggard based on its customer service practices. Customer service is a point of difference to give your business the competitive edge.

In this article, you will discover trends in customer service that are worth keeping an eye on. These trends will have a significant impact on how businesses handle customer interactions and services into the future. And as you read on, you will also understand why these trends are important for your business and how you can implement them to give your customers an excellent experience from first contact to long-term loyalty.

"96% of customers state that customer service is important in their choice of brand loyalty" (Forbes)

Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already revolutionizing many industries, including eCommerce and retail, healthcare, finance, and more. Now, it is also making inroads into customer service by bringing automated, AI-driven solutions that can improve the customer experience in many key areas. 

For instance, AI can help businesses analyze customer data to understand customer behavior across different touchpoints. This, in turn, can help businesses create targeted, personalized offers based on customer needs and preferences. Perceptions of AI are changing as businesses are now finding ways to add more human-like elements to AI, including natural language processing, visual recognition, and more. 

One of the very first questions our agents are asked by online customers are “Are you a bot?”. Our agents are certainly heavily assisted by AI, to enable them to be fast and effective, though we know the importance of still having real people behind the scenes.  We are still in a transitional stage to full automation, the public are still not quite ready for the complete transition to full AI, they are still looking for that personal human touch in their customer experience with a brand.

People are not ready to talk to a robot yet, they get quite frustrated if they don’t get a quick answer or just the fact they are talking to a chat bot, they still like a personal touch.

Uptake of Digital Technologies

After such a challenging year with the pandemic, online customer service has become an important priority. As customers have been isolated in their homes, they have turned to the online space to connect with brands in their purchasing decisions.  

We saw a 10 year growth in online enquiries in the United States in only 3 months in 2020 and a similar trend was seen in Australia, with 5 years growth in only 3 months.

https://chat2.com/the-simplest-way-to-double-your-online-conversion

Businesses need to be seen to be present and connected with their customers in the online space. They now want to improve their customer’s online journey by adopting different technologies to improve their customer experience by:

  • offering more channels
  • improving response times
  • automating business processes
  • switching to cloud-based solutions

We have recognised that businesses are now being pushed faster to offer more channels and improve their response times, with this significant growth of online enquiries. 

Our Chat2 Concierge service has adapted to offer integration with several channels including the website, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messages and Google Chat.  So all online conversations are directed through one platform.  The service is 24/7 and our AI assisted technology allows us to respond on average in 17 seconds across all clients, so customers feel their interactions are important to your brand.

The Rise of Customer-Centricity Culture

An important customer service trend that businesses must watch out for is the rise of customer-centricity culture. As customer expectations shift and become more demanding, customers are not just expecting good customer service, but excellent customer service. And businesses that can’t meet these rising expectations will either see their profits plummet or will be forced to shut down entirely. 

Customer-centricity culture is about meeting and exceeding these customer expectations by putting the customer at the center of everything you do. This includes understanding your customer base and their needs, developing relationships with customers, and delivering an exceptional experience at every touchpoint. 

There are many tools you can implement to find out what your customer is seeking when they are considering your brand.  Tools to consider include: or acquiring key word data which helps you understand how your customer describes your product or service. 

Undertake an analysis of the information obtained via all those tools to identify common trends, commonality and reoccurring themes.  You may also be able to Identify the common values that are important to your customer, they may be environmentally conscious, so sustainability practices may be important to them in their purchase decision. 

Businesses that implement customer-centricity culture will have an advantage in the marketplace because these companies are customer-focused. They are responsive to customer needs and expectations. And they are constantly looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction.

The surge of instant messaging

 

Communication has always been a key part of customer service. The rise of social media and the Internet created new ways to engage in conversations with your customers. Now, however, we are seeing a shift in customer communication. This shift is known as the rise of messaging. 

The growth of messaging apps and the decline of social media has led to brands shifting more of their communication efforts to messaging apps. And while these apps were primarily used for one-on-one communication, brands are now exploring ways to use them to reach out to a broader audience, including customers and prospective customers. 

 

The global Instant Messaging App market size is expected to grow at 9.3% during 2022-2028.

 

This shift in customer communication is important because it means businesses must find ways to engage with customers on the channels that are most popular with their audience. This includes social media, google chat, live chat, email communication and messaging apps. The challenge for business is how to manage all these channels.  

 

Messaging apps have surpassed social networks in popularity and usage. Messaging apps users statistics from the Business Insider Messaging Apps Report state that messaging apps now have 20% more active monthly users than social networks. While many businesses choose not to have a social-media presence, it’s more difficult to opt out of communication apps and platforms that everyone around them relies on. (kommandotech.com)

Our Chat2 Concierge service has grown with this demand and integrates all instant messaging platforms into one platform that is fully managed for your business.

Responsive Websites equal Happy Customers

Gone are the days where websites only provide information for the online visitor, they can now be interactive.  So there is a two way flow of information and communication between the visitor and the business.

 

 

Online consumers are very impatient nowadays and if they can not find the information they are looking for on one website, they quickly click to the next.  https://chat2.com/how-fast-is-fast-enough/

There are services now available that allow you to have a knowledgeable, professional Customer Service team online for your customers 24/7.  Providing instant gratification to customers answering those common repetitive questions, or providing reassurance around the business operations and cancellation/refund policies or just listening to the customer and providing a response so they feel your business values them as a customer through providing an exceptional level of customer service.

“If you exceed your customers expectations with your online customer service, they will keep coming back to you and referring you to others”

This is easily achieved through your website by introducing a service like Chat2 Concierge. The service integrates with many different website platforms including wordpress, wix, shopify and custom made websites.

Responsive Staffing Practices

Finally, businesses must respond to the changing tides of customer service with responsive staffing practices. In particular, businesses must implement new hiring practices that help them recruit and retain exceptional customer service representatives. Customers who reach out to businesses for help expect that their questions and complaints will be resolved quickly and effectively. 

If a customer reaches out to a company and their issue isn’t resolved after a few interactions, the customer is likely to become frustrated and leave the business for good. That’s why it’s important for businesses to hire the right people for their customer service team. Businesses must find ways to recruit and hire highly skilled and experienced customer service representatives who have the personality and skillset to deal with all types of customers. Customer service representatives must be flexible, empathetic, and knowledgeable.

 

The Chat2 Concierge team have been working as online customer service representatives for the last 7 years for a variety of industries from tourism and hospitality, real estate, health and wellness, retail, trade services, food delivery and many more.  The software used by the team has built in AI features that enables the team to be fast, knowledgeably, though still retaining some human element with every conversation. 

 

Staffing shortages are a serious issue across the world at the moment following the Covid19 pandemic.  Every new prospect we are talking to whether they are in the United States or Australia are saying the same thing, that they can’t get staff.  The Chat2 Concierge service is a solution to this issue, so if you would like a customer service team that are already trained in the practice of exceptional customer service, trial the team to determine if we are a good match for your business.

Summing up

 

The customer service landscape has rapidly changed and businesses must adapt their strategies to keep up with these changes. The uptake of digital technologies, the focus on your customer who is still look for some personalisation in customer service and the significant growth of instant messaging platforms are some of the strategies businesses need to consider in this challenging, changing post pandemic environment.

If you want your business to thrive, it is important to keep these trends in mind and work to implement them within your organization. By doing so, you can create an excellent customer experience that will bring in new customers and retain loyal customers for years to come.

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

How Live Chat Boosts Tourism!

Keen to retain more revenue within your business? Prefer to attract more direct bookings through your website?  Well you don’t have to look any further, we have 3 top tips showing you how you can save on paying exorbitant fees to third party agents and get more dollars through your door from your own website, google and social media!

 

Chat2 Concierge’s Top 3 Tips

As you are aware the first place people go when considering holidays, vacations and travel activities is to one of those large third-party booking agents like Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia etc. But what you might not realise is that many consumers start their research there, but then seek out the business website of the place they are considering staying, or the activity that looks appealing. They are searching you on Google and landing on your website and social media pages. This is providing you with an opportunity to directly engage with your potential guests when they land on any of these platforms and attract the  direct booking. But how you may ask? 

Did you know that Live Chat allows you to engage in the moment with your online guest when they are either:

1. Searching for you on Google;

2. Landing on your website; or

3. Visiting your social media pages.

Live Chat systems are now not only for your websites, but now integrate with all platforms your guests use, looking for more information about your products and services. Of course, not all Live chat systems can do this as well as offering a live team ready to engage your guests 24/7, so you need to do your research carefully.  You need ensure you set up live chat systems effectively to ensure success. 

At Chat2, our live chat service is not only on your website, but our service integrates with Google Chat, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages.  We ensure a successful setup and initially generate around 200 – 300 responses to upload into the system so the AI can assist our live operators to knowledgeably respond to your guests.  

Our Chat2 Concierge service captures your guest’s attention in the moment they arrive on your website or social media page or are searching in Google! The service provides a personal customer service experience, that will “wow” your online guests for a fraction of the cost of the hefty fees charged by the OTA’s, so they will want to stay on your site longer and will come back after booking for any further information they need saving you time.

The Chat2 Concierge service is regularly responding to comments,

“hey, I’ve just been on Agoda and they are offering this ……” or

“I’ve just been to booking.com and they are charging this….”

We are providing the opportunity to tourism and hospitality businesses to be able to respond to these comments and attract the direct booking by promoting their best offers in the moment they have their guest’s attention. 

Chat2 Tip 1 – Respond fast 24/7

Technology has changed the way consumers behave online. They are no longer patient to wade through pages of a website looking for an answer. They are far more demanding than they have ever been before. 53% will exit your website if they cannot find the answers they are looking for quickly.

Did you know that even if you ask a question outside of normal business hours or on the weekend, online consumers still expect the business to respond in the same amount of time as if it was during normal business hours? It’s a tough and challenging expectation to meet, though our 24/7 Chat2 Concierge service is meeting this expectation and enabling tourism businesses of all sizes to compete against the OTA’s.

Around 30 – 40% of enquiries are now received outside of normal trading business hours for our tourism and hospitality clientele.

The Chat2 Concierge service enables tourism and hospitality businesses to be available to their guests 24/7, providing answers quickly to questions they may have and guiding your guests towards an online booking. Our service is manned by real people who are there in the moment your online visitor arrives, obtaining trust, providing reassurance and ultimately obtaining the booking or lead (70 – 85% conversion rate).

Chat2 Tip 1 – Respond to your online guests fast and effectively,  so your visitor wants to stay and spend more time finding out what you offer. You can do this by introducing our Chat2 Concierge service that engages your guest 24/7, keeping them on your website while answering questions in the moment they are being asked and guiding your guest to book in the moment. 

Chat2 Tip 2 – Encourage your customers to book direct

You should make it simple for guests to navigate and book directly on your website. As soon as your customer arrives on your site, make sure you have an eye-catching direct booking button to take their attention.

The Chat2 Concierge service assists tourism and hospitality businesses to obtain the direct booking, by guiding the guests through to the booking button. Frequently, guests just need some reassurance that they are in the right place and be shown where to select dates, guest numbers and room/activity types. Then they may have some questions around the types of rooms and activities, which the Concierge team are well placed to answer and continue to encourage the guest towards a direct booking. We have several different techniques we utilise to obtain the conversion in the moment the guest is looking to book. 

It’s helpful to promote the benefits of booking direct by offering that little extra, enhancing terms and conditions or our team share the benefits to the guest on the importance of booking direct.

Chat 2 Tip 2 – Make it easy for the guest to navigate and book online, maybe offer that little extra to promote booking direct or ultimately provide an enhanced online customer experience utilising a service like Chat2 Concierge 24/7. 

Chat2 Tip 3 – Consistency and Reliability

Guests ask questions in such a variety of ways online, it is certainly very tricky for any chatbot to answer based on a limited range of pre-programmed questions and answers. It doesn’t matter what way the questions are asked, our Concierge service team are highly assisted with the artificial intelligence built into the Chat2 software, to ensure your guests will always receive a response that is on brand and on message, while being professional, warm and friendly that is adaptable to the request.

It’s important for potential guests to always receive knowledgeable and consistent answers, in line with the branding of your business. You will discover if you trial a service like Chat2 Concierge,  enhancing the online customer experience, your guests will return to your website again and again (boosting Search Engine Optimisation SEO as an add-on benefit).

When guests re-visit your website and notice you are still available to them 24/7, answering questions quickly and effectively, you will be gaining a higher degree of trust, hence an increase in obtaining the direct booking. Did you know that according to Forbes and Forrester Research 2021, that 66% of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do for them?

Chat2 Tip 3 – Ensure the online customer experience you provide to your online visitors is consistent and reliable and you will attain a competitive edge over your competitors while attracting the direct booking.

We know the service works!

Tourism Case Study

One of our tourism operators who has been utilising the chat2 Concierge service since 2017. They have seen their online enquiries grow from year to year, despite having to cease operations in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This operator was heavily reliant on the international back packer industry and after seeing significant growth in enquiries from 2017 – 2019, they had to cease their diving and cruise activities for a short time while Australia went into lock down.

The Chat2 Concierge service was not impacted by the COVID-19 event and operations and  continued normally. The service kept this tourism operator open with an online presence. When visitors arrived on the website, they were reassured that the business would restart activities once restrictions were eased. Visitors were invited to keep coming back by the Chat2 Concierge team and there were even some future bookings that were obtained for the following year.

Eventually this Cruise Operator resumed operations late in 2020, with only the domestic market. Though despite losing their international clientele, they received more online enquiries than ever before. May 2021 saw a 27.5% increase in the number of enquiries compared to May 2019, even without international guests. This is quite impressive growth, just by being there online consistently. Unfortunately lockdowns hit the southern states in July 2021 and the loss of confidence rocked the tourism industry once again. 

Now in 2022, the number of enquiries in January started above 2021 and has continued to surpass all previous years! This Tourism Operator has consistently and continually been online and is not reaping the benefits over its competitors by being so available to its guest, many internationally that are now returning, so it should only be onwards and upwards from here.

The Chat2 Concierge service empowered this tourism businesses to enhance their online customer experience to their online visitors 24/7, with a team of real people, who are providing visitors with fast and knowledgeable answers to their questions, but most importantly educating them on the benefits of booking direct, promoting the business, sharing the booking link and ultimately encouraging them to book direct in the moment. 

What’s in it for my business?

If you are keen to:

  • Attract more direct bookings at a much lower cost;
  • Save money;
  • Be available to guests 24/7;
  • Increase online enquiries and conversions; and
  • Improve Online Customer Experience for your guests through various platforms.

We recommend you enhance the online Customer Experience on your website, through Google and social media pages. You can trial your first month of Chat2 Concierge complimentary. Though there is a small upfront fee to create the specific knowledge base of responses customised to your business. The service makes it attractive to your guests to book directly in the moment they are looking to book, as they are receiving instant answers to questions, they learn of the benefits of booking direct and the service is consistent and reliable 24/7.

In May 2022, the Chat2 team are attending the Australian Tourism Exchange 2022 event, so if you are attending, Kellie and Karen would love for you to come and introduce yourself and say hi.  There will be a special opportunity for all attendees at the Event.  

Or we invite you to register  today or Book an online demo here to find out more .

 

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

New Ways to Connect with Customers!

In the digital world, customers are more connected than ever before. They expect to be able to buy just about anything from their phones — from entertainment to groceries.

Customers want businesses to be digital first, and physical stores second. Today’s shoppers are looking to companies like Apple, Amazon, Sephora and Starbucks, who are creating shopping experiences that are seamless, convenient and personalized. Businesses that want to stay competitive in today’s market need to understand how to best reach their customers in a digital world. Read on to learn about the rise of digital customer engagement, and how you can connect with your customers in a whole new way.

What is Digital Customer Engagement?

Digital Customer engagement is the act of building a relationship with your customers through digital means. It is the process of communicating with customers through digital channels, nurturing leads, enhancing customer service experience and keeping repeat customers.

Digital engagement allows businesses to keep their customers’ needs, wants, and desires top of mind. It enables personalization through data analysis and the ability to deliver targeted, highly relevant content. It encourages conversation and feedback through digital channels including live chat and social media channels and rewards repeat patronage through loyalty programs.

The way we communicate has changed: 75% of consumers now prefer to engage with a brand over private messaging channels versus traditional channels of phone and email. 

Recently a new digital entryway is on offer, that will enable your customers to connect with you in the moment they conduct a google search on mobile, through new Business Messages offered by Google (displayed in image below).

The Rise of Digital Customer Engagement

Customers have long been able to connect with businesses digitally through websites, online shopping, email and social media. Digital engagement, on the other hand, goes way beyond these traditional forms of customer communication. It is the process of creating a personal connection with customers through digital channels.

In 2021, retail e-commerce sales were approximately 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide and this figure is expected to grow by 50% over the next four years reaching about 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025 (Statista 2022).

 

“ The online digital space is essential for any business to connect with their customers in light of the current e-commerce growth.“

In recent years, customers have grown increasingly attached to their phones and we are seeing a surge in purchasing through mobile devices (m-commerce).   According to Statistica, m-commerce sales are forecasted to make up over 10% of all US retail sales, which is a growth of 7% since 2018.

 

In this new digital ecosystem, customers are looking for more than just a product menu and purchase option. They want brands to understand their needs, anticipate their needs, and satisfy their needs.

This is where digital customer engagement comes in. It can help businesses achieve a higher degree of customer intimacy by strengthening relationships with existing customers and earning the trust of potential customers through personalized experiences.

“Our Chat2 Concierge service is assisting businesses to successfully transition into the space of digital engagement. Our team are online 24/7 engaging with the online visitor to drive sales and provide customer support” advises Karen. “We have recently become a Google Partner with Business Messages, so your customers have another entry point via mobile to connect with your business directly when they google you, without leaving the google search page”. 

To find out more on this new method to connect with your customers via a google search click here.

The Benefits of Digital Customer Engagement

As we’ve seen, digital engagement has a wide range of benefits for businesses. To gain a better understanding of these advantages, let’s examine some of the major advantages of this marketing strategy.

 

Increased Customer Loyalty

One of the most significant advantages of digital customer engagement is increased customer loyalty. By using digital channels to keep customers informed, engaged, and happy, companies can create a sense of trust and familiarity that encourages customers to continue to shop with them.

Digital engagement also has the potential to reduce customer abandonment, or prevent customers deciding not to continue with a purchase or enquiry.  By providing a warm friendly touch point that is easily accessible, not only builds and strengthens the trust relationship but also enhances the customer experience with the brand, providing a competitive edge.

 

Increased Productivity Among Employees

When utilizing digital engagement channels, your business can easily qualify genuine enquiries from the not so genuine “tyre kickers”.  The digital technology, in many cases, enables the businesses to engage with several customers simultaneously, increasing staff productivity, saving time and also filtering those enquiries that are more genuine to buy. This also leads to decreased customer acquisition costs with this increase in efficiency.

This means your team can focus their efforts more on the genuine buyers and hence with more time available can deliver better service to customers and generate higher customer satisfaction.

There is also less time spent on initial enquiries through traditional channels of phone and email.  Customers will choose to communicate through the channel which is the easiest for them and nowadays that is in the digital realm, websites, social media or google searches.

 

Increased ROI

With higher customer engagement comes a higher ROI. Companies that leverage digital customer engagement can expect to see significant returns on their marketing investment.  If you make it easier for your customer to connect with you, and responses are fast, accurate and knowledgeable, you will also achieve higher customer satisfaction, alongside increased customer engagement resulting in an increase in revenue.

Research by Deloitte and Touche found that brands that focused on customers were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not.  

Increased customer loyalty, increased revenue, increased productivity, increased competitiveness and decreased customer acquisition costs (CAC) are just a few of the benefits that investment in digital customer engagement can provide.

How to Achieve Digital Customer Engagement

Digital customer engagement starts with an honest assessment of the state of your business. By looking closely at your customer engagement metrics, you can identify areas of weakness and determine where additional investment is needed to achieve true digital transformation.  

Is your business readily available to your customers outside of normal trading hours? Are your customers responded to in a timely manner? Do you need to look at more channels to ensure it’s easy for your customers to contact you? Google Business Messenger is certainly a new option now on the market to consider.

Next, you’ll want to identify the key players within your organization responsible for customer engagement. This includes your customer service team (internal and virtual), marketing department, business development team and anyone else who can help you create and deliver highly engaging experiences.

You’ll also want to look closely at your digital infrastructure. This includes your website, digital marketing strategy, and digital communications and channels you have available to your customers.

Bottom Line

Digital transformation can help boost both customer loyalty and ROI. By leveraging digital customer engagement strategies, you can create a more personalized experience for your customers, boost productivity among your employees, and enhance your overall customer service. Ensure you take advantage of new portals that are opening for customers to connect with you like live chat and Google Business Messages. Though they need to be implemented well to be successful.

With so much potential for growth in this area, it’s important for businesses to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to digital transformation.

Note: Chat2 has been working in the online customer engagement space for the last seven years and manages the initial online contact from customers for a wide variety of industries to drive sales, conversions and provide customer support.  We answer questions and guide online visitors towards a sale from your Website, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Message and now Google Messenger. The team are highly trained and experienced to ensure you are successful in implementing a customer focus engagement strategy.

 
Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends Why does your business need Chat?

How to become available 24/7? Customer Service Matters

Australia’s international borders were finally opened and businesses across Australia are again welcoming their international visitors with open arms. If your business has international customers it’s more important than ever before to be available to them 24/7. You will get the first early sales and bookings and have a competitive edge over your rivals. This can be challenging for any business, though it is easily done. Read on to find out how…..

According to research by Forrester, a company with an excellent customer service rating will have a net income up to 33% higher than those without a high rating

Being easily contactable 24/7, no matter what time day or night, 365 days a year is one of those factors that has a dramatic impact on your customers and provides for excellent customer service. Here are the best ways to enable your brand to be available 24/7 providing a high level of customer service,  to increase revenue and stand out from your competitors.

Why 24/7 customer service matters

If you’re not contactable 24/7, you could be missing out on significant opportunities of revenue. With a 24-hour customer service channel, you will attract more enquiries, establish trust sooner to build that customer relationship and close more sales at night and weekends, when customers are more likely to contact you after their work days. You are also providing a more convenient service to your customers, knowing they can contact your business at any time they want. There is an 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience.

The first time the Chat2 Concierge team took a major hotel chain live with chat at 6pm in the evening, they obtained a lead for a 400 person wedding (pre-Covid) and a 250 business conference, all within two hours! Just by being so available and in the space your customer is present and you can engage with them, allows you to capture opportunities like this for your industry.

Providing an excellent customer service experience is important for many reasons, but most importantly, it will ensure that your customers will stay loyal to your business. If your customer has any issue with their booking, product or service and you are easily contactable and they receive excellent customer service, they will remember the experience and feel confident to return. According to Experience Matters, 87% of customers would come back to make another purchase from a brand if their previous experience(s) were recorded as very good. If your customer service is fast, convenient, consistent, friendly, and always available, customers become loyal.

The second thing to remember is that it’s important to solve the problem quickly and efficiently so that the customer has what they need and leaves happy. Of course, this is not possible all the time, like at 2am in the morning, but if there is someone available to understand their query, clarify the issue and reassure them that someone will be contacting them within a certain timeframe, then the customer is happy. By providing a service like this, you will ensure the customer will come back to your company when they are looking to book or buy the same service or product again.

Did you know that 72% of people that have a positive customer experience will share their story with six or more people, that is attracting more sales at no extra cost!.

The importance of 24/7 contact

If your business provides a service or sells to international clientele, then it is more important than ever before to be available 24/7, especially in this technological era. This is particularly true for the Australian tourism and hotel industry who are looking to recover from two years without international visitors. They are now looking to make themselves easily available 24/7 to capture those first early bookings from the international market to boost revenues moving into 2022 after the Covid19 pandemic.

The first place international customers go to is the internet, so it’s important for all tourism and hospitality businesses to have a strong presence in this noisy space to perform well. This industry along with many online retail stores operate 24/7. Providing a higher level of customer service 24/7 over your competitors can provide a strong online web presence. Forbes states that 81% of companies view customer experience as a competitive differentiator.

International online visitors who receive a warm, friendly welcome with prompt and knowledgeable answers to questions through your website with a channel like live chat, will enjoy the customer experience, be reassured and feel confident to book with you, in the moment they are online and motivated to book.

With a high level of customer service 24/7, there are many studies to show that those companies that focus on their customers’ experience, receive  substantially higher revenue in comparison to their counterparts. According to Deloitte, a positive customer experience encounter can increase customer spending by up to 140%.

Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience. So it is worthwhile for companies to provide a high standard of customer service 24/7 to customers for this extra boost. 

3 Ways to Become Available 24/7

Here are 3 ways to make your business contactable 24/7 alongside providing excellent customer service.

1) Have live chat on your website – this shows customers you are available at any time of the day and it provides the quickest possible answer or solution to their query. You then have the opportunity to steer the conversation towards a sale. You can also chat with multiple customers at the same time, unlike the traditional methods of phone and email. By being able to chat with multiple customers simultaneously enables you to be more available to more customers. Though this can be a challenge for businesses to staff this channel effectively 24/7, which is why services like Chat2 Concierge can help.

2) Offer 24/7 phone support – this can be done through a rotating schedule so that there is always someone available to support customers, though this is normally best suited to larger businesses. This option is a little more expensive as it requires more staff than chat, especially in these times of low unemployment.

3) Make it easy for customers to contact you – ensure your contact details are easily found on your website, on the home page and contact us page.  Online visitors don’t like to fill out forms so ensure your email address is also available. Make it clear on the times and the channels of communication you offer and set expectations for response. Be prompt in replying when customers reach out, otherwise you will find your customer has moved on to your competitor who was accessible.

The eight benefits of being contactable 24/7

As consumers prefer to research their next purchase or holiday online after hours, when they have the time to sit down after their work day or on the week-ends, it makes sense for your business to be in the same space as your customers, at the same time. Here are eight benefits of having a customer service channel that is open all day, every day.

1) For those with international customers, like the Australian tourism industry or online retail, you’ll be able to provide a high level of customer service and support for guests from all around the world, no matter what time zone they are in. Your new guests will be impressed.

2) You will gain a higher level of trust from your customers. If they know that you are always available for service and support online, no matter what time of the day and night. This will move your customers more swiftly through your sales pipeline as the trust in the customer relationship forms faster. 

3) If you have a team that are available throughout the graveyard hours, there will be less pressure and overwhelm when your day team starts, they won’t have an overflowing email inbox to manage and numerous phone calls to return. Customer service has been provided throughout the night, so only those more genuine and qualified leads passed through from the night shift will be focused on, likely to result in a higher level of sales. 

4) By demonstrating to your customers that you are responding fast and effectively no matter what the time day or night, is likely to result in a stronger customer relationship with more returning customers who enjoy such a high quality of customer service .

5) By being contactable 24/7 gives you the edge over your competitors who are not easily reached outside office hours.

6) Customers will be less likely to leave negative reviews on your business online if they can instantly get in touch with you directly at any time to discuss issues that may arise with their order, booking or experience at your venue. It may not be resolved immediately, but they will feel better just having had the chance to vent to a real person.

7) You will be aware at the earliest moment possible if issues do arise with any customers or sales. You will then be able to put strategies in place to manage the situation and take action towards resolving the issue quickly and preventing any escalation.

8) Your brand image and promotion will become stronger when your customers see that you are available 24/7 providing a high standard of customer service, particularly as most people shop and book after normal business hours. They are more likely to recommend you to their friends, attracting more sales at no extra cost.

What does the future hold for 24/7 customer service?

Providing customer service 24/7 is a win-win for everyone. You love it, as it attracts greater opportunities, more sales and more revenue. Your customers love it as they are receiving a high standard of customer service when ordering, buying or just having a few questions about what you offer at any time of the day and night. 

In this technological age it is starting to become the expectation from customers that businesses should be available to assist whenever they want to interact with your brand. You may want to consider engaging professional online services, utilising a team of engagement professionals partnered with innovative software that allows your brand to be available 24/7, providing world class customer service. Just make sure they have the experience in your industry and the capability to have the right setup in preparing the online responses required to set you up for success.

 

Conclusion

Customers are more impatient than ever, as technology has changed the way people have access to information. Customers are no longer willing to wait until regular business hours to get in touch with you, they want answers to their questions in the moment they are looking to buy and book, which is why it’s starting to become essential for businesses to be contactable 24/7.

 

Author: Karen Lloyd-Collins COO Chat2

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ENDS: 16th March 2022

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

Artificial Intelligence: The Secret to Staff Shortages.

Artificial Intelligence: The Secret to Staff Shortages.

Artificial Intelligence has been rapidly developing and is already a part of many things you do on a daily basis. It is now playing a large role in solving one of the biggest issues businesses are currently facing operating in a pandemic environment: staffing shortages. Businesses are struggling with keeping their businesses operational worldwide due to low unemployment rates, staff either falling sick to Covid, or they are required to isolate from being a close contact.

This is affecting many industries worldwide from tourism and hospitality in Far North Australia to Fruit Sellers in Miami, U.S. Many of these businesses are having to close parts of their operations while they ride out the Pandemic until they can find the staff to undertake key operational roles.

In some areas of these businesses AI has a role to play to assist with staff shortages. Over the years there has been a notable increase in the need for people who can manage these technologies and implement it into businesses effectively, especially in these challenging times. Businesses are striving to retain some semblance of operation to keep themselves open while it riding the Pandemic wave.

AI can assist with staffing shortages either in the short or long term. While some feel that this will mean mass unemployment, others see it as an opportunity to become more efficient with their current employees. With the introduction of AI removing the more mundane time consuming tasks from employee responsibilities, this enables you to empower your employees with a strong knowledge of the business, to focus on developing the business further into areas of greater profitability.

What happens when many jobs become automated? How will we balance the progress of technology with the loss of human jobs? The future is uncertain, but one thing is certain: Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. Here’s what’s going on with AI right now and how it may affect your business.

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is a term that has been coined to describe machines completing tasks that were previously associated with human intelligence. It includes the ability of computers to process information and come up with solutions, as well as the ability of computers to learn from experience. 

Many industries are transitioning towards incorporating artificial intelligence into their daily operations with AI functions assisting humans to do current jobs faster and more effectively. Examples including manufacturing robots, automated financial investing, proactive healthcare and virtual travel booking agents.

The AI Revolution

Artificial Intelligence has been rapidly developing and will soon be a part of many things we do on a daily basis. It is already showing that is has the power to solve one of our biggest issues: staffing shortages. Even though we are still a fair way off from when a machine can learn from itself, we are in a transitioning stage where humans are assisting machines in the learning process.

For example, the customer service experience is now being heavily supported through AI. Particularly during the Pandemic many businesses have had to rely on placing more emphasis on the online customer service experience through their websites and social media. This has led to more communication occurring online between customers and businesses. This is a challenging area of managing the communication channels between online customers and business staff.

Most communication has traditionally been undertaken via email and phone calls. Both these channels are time consuming and slow to getting answers to customers as they are heavily reliant on staffing resources (difficult in these times) and availability of staff when the customer is online. Also these channels can only attend to one customer at a time.

40% of enquiries from customers are now received outside of normal business operating hours.

40% of enquiries from customers are now received outside of normal business operating hours. In the online world customers basically expect businesses to be available 24/7 and to respond as if they were always open, which is highly challenging for businesses. So managing the online customer service space can be quite difficult.

A strong emphasis was placed on chatbots about 3-4 years ago and this technology was trialled by many businesses to assist in being available 24/7 and providing service to multiple customers at the same time.

 Though it was soon discovered that customers rejected this technology, they found that their questions were not answered efficiently and they wasted much time going around in circles trying to obtain answers. This left the online customer frustrated and even turned them away from the brands they were trying to deal with. This phase of online ai customer service was damaging to the reputation of chatbots. So is there a role for AI in enhancing the online customer experience ? How can businesses deliver great customer service in times when they are struggling to find staff during a Pandemic?

The AI-powered workforce

One of the most exciting aspects of AI is that it can assist us in what we are doing now to be more effective, not necessarily taking over completely what we are doing. We are in a type of a transitioning stage where we can use AI to improve what we are doing now by doing it differently and more efficiently. 

For example, back to our online customer service challenge. There is now chat software in place with AI features that can assist the operators to respond to customers faster, with accurate answers and to chat with several customers at the same time across many different industries. If the software is set up correctly, it can suggest to the operators responses from interpreting what the customer is asking. 

 

The software allows the operator to be faster in responding to customers, more effective by providing correct answers in the shortest amount of time, responding to multiple customers efficiently at the same time, therefore promoting faster and easier conversions. The customer is happy as they are getting the answers they are looking for quickly and hence are more likely to book or buy from the brand with a higher level of online customer service.

 

Setting up systems like this now empower our customer service teams and enables for easier transition to full automation once the technology has reached its full potential. The business will have a much better understanding of their online customer, as they will discover first hand the information their customers are looking for and the most common questions asked. This data allows for an easier transition to full automation in coming years.

In this scenario, AI is assisting humans to manage and maintain a high level of customer service more effectively and efficiently online. But what about the other side? As more industries shift their business models to incorporate AI, there’s a notable increase in the need for personnel who can manage these technologies. With low unemployment rates, a pandemic and an ageing population, this can be difficult for businesses to even consider implementing online customer service systems.

A better future with AI in Customer Service

The team at Chat2 are working with businesses worldwide to assist in relieving the pressure of staff shortages, providing online customer service for many businesses to ensure customers receive a warm customer service experience online. Our team work with our unique Chat2 software, with its built-in AI features that assist the team heavily to answer questions across a fortitude of industries fast and knowledgeably. Our team at Chat2 are filling this gap for businesses who feel that its more important than ever before to be more available to customers online 24/7 and to provide a memorable customer service experience.

As the world is changing quickly with new challenges from technology and pandemics, Chat2 is assisting many businesses to manage their online customer service experience effectively utilising the skills and experience of our team who have been working with AI for the last 7 years. If our online team are bringing in the customers, this frees up our business managers to focus on what they do best and that is delivering their final product and service to ensure happy customers.

Conclusion

Although artificial intelligence seems like a futuristic concept to some, we have already begun incorporating it into everyday life. Artificial Intelligence has the potential to solve many of the world’s problems–including staffing shortages. There are many jobs that require problem-solving, object recognition, and pattern identification that AI is already capable of doing. Machines are getting smarter every day, and it’s unlikely they’ll stop developing.

If you’re in a field where your job can be done by an AI program, it’s only a matter of time before humans will be working more closely with machines to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of tasks. But machines can’t do everything on their own. When industries shift to AI-based technology, there is an increase in the need for people who can manage these technologies.

As businesses and organizations continue to grow and become more data-driven, the need for automation becomes more and more apparent. And that’s where artificial intelligence comes in. AI helps us to automate human tasks and decisions with the use of machine learning and deep learning algorithms. And not only does it help reduce staffing shortages, but it also helps us to think more creatively and improve our online customer experience.

Get started on the personalisation of your website and social media channels with our all-inclusive ADAPT Package.

Take advantage of the savings with 50% OFF + FREE Set-up. Our all-inclusive ADAPT 6-month Package is designed to boost sales and elevate your #online customer service. #GetStarted in 2022!

MORE Enquiries – EASY Conversion – SAVE Time – MORE Sales

💥 50% OFF for 6-months

💥 includes 200 chats per month

💥 FREE Set-up including Knowledge Base (save $199)

💬 Chat2 Software 💬 Concierge Service 24/7
💬 Website and Facebook integration
💬 Dedicated Account Manager
💬 ROI Reporting & Data

To learn more visit our ADAPT Page

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends Uncategorized

Is your brand ready for a new era of hybrid shoppers?

Personalisation is the number one driver of Customer Experience or CX, and in 2022 how well you plan and execute your persona across all distribution channels to reach the new hybrid consumers, has become what matters most.

In the online space, achieving personalisation is not easy and can seem to evolve constantly. We have seen websites include photos of staff and contact us pages to generate a more personalised presence in the digital space, but results are largely attached to individual customers ability to navigate and find information for themselves. Websites acting as a digital brochure for after hours access, so to speak. We know that in a customer service equation, just handing potential customers a brochure, does not achieve ideal outcomes.

In our stores and offices, we have employees whose role is simply to greet and assist our visitors in person, via email and over the phone, because we recognise how vital a customer service presence is to our business success. Online chat saw our digital brands start evolving to achieve a more personalised interactive type of service, but the AI based automated responses often led to online visitor frustration.

The missing link is the personalisation of the digital service-scape.  Over the past decade we have seen shoppers choosing either traditional or online services depending upon generation, leading most of us to assume that an evolution between brick and mortar and the digital space would happen quite slowly accordingly.

“Digitalism has had several eras. In the first era of digitalism in the 1990s, we digitized information. The second era was in the mid-2000s, where we digitized social relations. Now, we are going into the third era of digital transformation, where we will be digitizing experiences.”

—Dr, Behice Ilhan, SENIOR TREND STRATEGIST & BRAND FUTURIST AT MINTEL

Gen X, Baby Boomers and older customer groups had been hesitant to commit to including online with their traditional tried and true methods. Fear of having a profile with linked credit details online is a large barrier of resistance for these generations.  Younger Gen X’s through to Millennials shop online and instore to meet their convenience needs, effectively surfing the best of both worlds. While the youngest generations and generations to come just assume everything is purchased online and will be 100% fluid in the digital space, only visiting in store to purchase if there is a reason such as a discovery moment benefit, with face-to-face consulting conducted through mobile devices and computers.

Digital evolution was attached to large industry players and government investment driving the change and the rate of adoption across consumers at a steady pace, matched to economic growth. Then in 2019 the world suddenly had to get online fast to continue to operate safely. The effect termed ‘The Quickening’ has seen the evolution timeline which had been predicted previously to be mainly determined by the generations, suddenly change because of this mass global learning. Schools and businesses along with government departments have effectively helped society adapt as quickly as possible to this transition. A better understanding of technology, reducing the fear factors has meant generations have largely changed their perspective around the safety of the online environment and through practise and regular use, our customers of many varied demographics have now evolved across the board, into hybrid shoppers.

Image: Meta 2021  

 

“Omnichannel is no longer just about having many different channels; it’s really about having an interconnected experience across all channels. Now, the shift is to offer the same products and quality online as in-store. Online web and app experiences are starting to merge with offline to offer the same selection, promotions and experience.”

—Methit Mukdasiri, HEAD OF INDUSTRY FOR RETAIL IN THAILAND AT META

 

Customers are not just looking for safety, simplicity, and ease of purchase, but also the psychological satisfaction of a human connection as they explore and discover. They want to deal with brands who show they care and have individual solutions to their specific needs and problems. Remembering it’s not what you do but how you do it that matters most. (KPMG)

But what does this mean for business? Well let’s think about how you yourself have changed the way that you purchase over these last couple of years.

Do you like to have the option to live chat with a person when you are researching purchases? Do you contact a company online now with an issue or question? Do you expect to receive an instant reply or to be able to source this information yourself at any time on your phone? Do you price check online before deciding to purchase? Find it easier to send presents for family direct to them by shopping online?

If you answered yes to any or all these questions, then you can also assume that your customers are behaving in similar ways too. We have all adjusted to an almost paperless environment because the ease of using the digital space and necessity due to the pandemic.

Did You Know?
  • 66% of shoppers surveyed across all markets conduct research online before going in-store- Meta
  • 84% of shoppers made a purchase in-store after finding or discovering the item on social media.- Meta
  • Businesses use both their website and social media channels 80% of the time to reach customers- Hubspot
  • 97% of global consumers say customer service is important in their choice of a brand- Customer Think
  • 40% of CEOs said their CIO or tech leader will be the key driver of business strategy—more than the CFO, COO, and CMO combined. – Deloittes

More than half of growing SMBs accelerated investments in sales and customer service technology over the past year. (SalesForce) Which is a trend that is predicted to continue rising, with an annual investment made by brands to continually improve connection through the transitions, to create a seamless digital online and in-store or office customer service experience that is designed to cater to the new era of hybrid shoppers.

 

Image: SalesForce 2021

As an alternative having online chat on your website and across social media platforms forms a foundational solution for your brands online personalisation. Your visitors are greeted as warmly online as they are in-store. ‘Chatters’ spend on average 60% more per transaction than ‘non-chatters’. (Invesp) There is also an 10.3% increase in overall customers satisfaction which can be directly attributed to online chat solutions offering personalisation online with over 20 chat operators to service client’s needs. (Comm100)

However, most businesses would struggle to offer this level of service 24 hours a day 7 days a week with only their internal staff and would require regular AI and automated response assistance.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, this can lead to less than ideal outcomes like higher expense, double handling of information and client frustration at automated responses. 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person during an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. (Source: Inc.)

An online concierge team of professionally trained online chat operators who are there in-the-moment can assist to create the seamless online and in-store outcomes desired.

Image: Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2021

 

The goal in 2022 for all businesses is to adapt with an emphasis on personalisation in the online space. Delivering an online customer experience that satisfies customers’ evolving expectations and integrates seamlessly into the in-store service delivery processes. Interactive discovery experiences in-store and online personalised customer experience alternative capabilities are the two new areas of primary focus for companies in Hybrid shopper planning and to achieve optimised customer experience results.

Access our FREE library collection of Customer Experience Results Reports for 2021 

Get started on the personalisation of your website and social media channels with our all-inclusive ADAPT Package.

Take advantage of the savings with 50% OFF + FREE Set-up. Our all-inclusive ADAPT 6-month Package is designed to boost sales and elevate your #online customer service. #GetStarted in 2022!

MORE Enquiries – EASY Conversion – SAVE Time – MORE Sales

💥 50% OFF for 6-months

💥 includes 200 chats per month

💥 FREE Set-up including Knowledge Base (save $199)

💬 Chat2 Software 💬 Concierge Service 24/7
💬 Website and Facebook integration
💬 Dedicated Account Manager
💬 ROI Reporting & Data

To learn more visit our ADAPT Page

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

Media Release- Chat2 Concierge extends COVID-19 Recovery Support Package

CHAT2 CONCIERGE EXTENDS COVID-19 RECOVERY SUPPORT PACKAGE TO ASSIST STRUGGLING TOURISM INDUSTRY DURING NATIONAL SCHOOL HOLIDAY LOCK DOWNS

Queensland-based technology company Chat2 is preparing to continue support to Tourism and Hospitality sectors, seeking online solutions to help reduce the impacts being felt by business, due to the nationwide labour shortages teamed with the recent influx of booking changes and re-scheduling as a result of the current lockdowns, occurring nationally over the domestic travel peak, school holiday season.

With opposition leader Anthony Albanese calling for the government to ‘step-up’ vaccination distribution last week, to aid in FNQ tourism industry stabilisation and the news of a new variant of COVID-19 making its way across the globe that may be impervious to current vaccines also having arrived on Australian shores, international borders remaining closed indefinitely, the extended lockdowns and continued uncertainty have meant for many, that the daily impacts to business have become impossible to predict.

The tourism and hospitality sectors continue to be the most heavily impacted by COVID-19. Borders closing and international trade impacts, with uncertainty creating current labour shortages which has in turn led to many seeking digital solutions in the hopes of better combatting these issues in the future.

‘We have a great website and thanks to the Team at Chat2 our website is now productive 24 hours a day and no opportunities to connect with our customers are missed.’- says Gregor Davie, General Manager at Artwork Spaces.

During 2020 the travel and tourism sector suffered global losses of nearly $4.5 trillion with its contribution to GDP plunging by a staggering 49.1 percent compared to 2019. 62 million jobs were lost in the sector last year while domestic visitor spending and international visitor spending fell by 45 percent and 69.4 percent, respectively according to Statista, April 2021.

The Australian Financial Review reported about the ‘crunch time on labour shortages’ caused by COVID-19 with restaurateur Neil Perry quoted as ‘wondering where he will find the staff needed’ for his new $4m eatery in Double Bay.

A recent survey conducted by the Australian Hotels Association revealed that nearly three in every four businesses were suffering due to a shortage in skilled workers.

Operators are finding it increasingly difficult to offer permanent positions with the fluctuations in trade, a lack of applicants and the low levels of suitably qualified applicants across all sectors reported to be the major contributors to the current labour shortage issue.

Wayne Harrison of Australian Immigration Visas said,

“Tourism & Hospitality operators welcomed the news that he Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs MP Alex Hawke recently released ‘Supporting Australia’s COVID recovery through Skilled Migration’ and announced the inclusion of a range of skilled occupations on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). The addition of 22 occupations brings the PMSOL to 41 in total, in particular Chef (351311) has been added.”

Karen Lloyd-Collins Chief Operating Officer of Chat2 advises that a different approach is essential to servicing and growing online visitation with the challenges faced by COVID-19.

“Online customers are getting used to obtaining information fast at a time that is convenient for them, which is a real challenge for businesses trying to efficiently manage their labour availability and costs and this is where we offer an effective alternative.”

The extension through to the end of August 2021 of the Chat2 Concierge Tourism Recovery Package will mean Chat2 can continue to enable businesses to quickly trial the service with implementation taking only five days.

A six-month package is offered that includes fifty percent off initial set-up, with the first two months for free and an additional discount of nearly 40% with staged payments rising incrementally each month to $199 in month six.

Chat2 provides live chat on a business’ website with a difference. The concierge service is staffed by a team of real people who are customer engagement professionals that use their custom-designed software and a knowledge base to answer many of the common enquiries website visitors have and guide them to book or buy online. Some of the key benefits tourism businesses experience include an increase in direct bookings and website traffic, as well as a decrease in the number of hours their staff spend answering questions on the phone or email. Karen explains,

“Using our custom-developed, AI-based software, our team can provide customer service online via a business’ website and Facebook Messenger, 24 hours a day, at a fraction of the cost of a business staffing it themselves.”

“We are incredibly grateful to the Queensland Government and Tourism and Events Queensland for their past support. We are confident our service will continue to benefit tourism operators beyond just our region in the short and long term with their increased domestic customers and once international tourism travel becomes possible again.” says Karen.

“Chat2 Concierge is converting 80-90% of our online conversations and with the team providing 24-hour service we are attracting more domestic and international direct bookings”- says Alan Wallish, Passions of Paradise.

“It’s important to note that it is not a chat bot at all – they are real people trained in every aspect of our product. The conversion rate of chat enquiries to bookings is phenomenal – in fact, way exceeded what we expected. Data is provided monthly on conversion rates and Chat2 are proactive in keeping themselves up to date with your product”- says Graeme Smith, Bay of Many Coves Resort, NZ.

Due to the recent lock downs across Australia during the national school holidays and considering the global labour shortage issues being faced, we have extended our Tourism Recovery Package, beyond our previous state government funding, to the end of August 2021. We understand how challenging the issues currently faced by all businesses are and that domestic school holidays are a key time for Tourism and Hospitality operators and would like to continue assisting the industry to increase online engagement through this time.

For those business who are interested in increasing their online presence and direct bookings or those facing challenges being available 24/7 with restricted staff in place due to COVID-19, we invite you to take advantage of the extended offer.

A free online information session for interested tourism and hospitality operators is also scheduled for Friday 13 August at 10:30am (AEST) or by request.

Chat2 Tourism Recovery Package Extension Promotional Flyer PDF 

What’s in it for my business?

If you are keen to:

  • Attract more direct bookings at a much lower cost
  • Save money
  • Be available to guests 24/7
  • Increase online enquiries and conversions and
  • Improve Online Customer Experience for your guests

We recommend you enhance the online Customer Experience on your website and social media pages to make it more;

Attractive to your guests – timely, knowledgeable answers to questions in the moment

 Encouraging to your guests – so they book in the moment they are motivated to buy and

 Consistent and Reliable – your visitors know what to expect

Don’t Miss Out!

We invite you to trial NOW and take advantage of the extended Tourism Recovery Package* until the end of August designed for Tourism and Hospitality businesses. You can start immediately by finding out more here chat2.com/tourism/

Or

Alternatively, to find out more we have special information session for Tourism and Hospitality with updated consumer data and more info about the extended offer on Friday, 13th August at 10:30am. Just go to this link to book a spot.

*There is a one-off setup fee of $99, currently offered at 1/2 price.

Click on the picture below to visit our website to register for the Extended Offer Information Session-

 

The Recovery Offer includes:

  • 24/7 coverage – 365 days
  • Chat2 Software and upgrades
  • Full setup of the software
  • Knowledge Base* creation and updates
  • Up to 200 chats a month

Package Pricing:

  • Month 1 – FREE
  • Month 2 – FREE
  • Month 3 – $49 (75% off)
  • Month 4 – $99 (50% off)
  • Month 5 – $149 (25% off)
  • Month 6 – $199

*Knowledge Base creation attracts a one off set up fee normally $199, for the Tourism Recovery package this is 1/2 price for only $99 until 31st August 2021. 

Tourism Recovery Special 6-month Package offers a total discount of 58% and includes- 50% off set-up + 2mth FREE Trial + additional nearly 40% discount!

Offer only available to 31 August 2021. You MUST be a Tourism or Hospitality businesses to redeem.

 

 
Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

How to attract MORE Direct Bookings in Tourism and Hospitality Online: 3 Top Tips!

Keen to retain more revenue within your business? Are you weary of having to pay the Online Travel Agencies up to a 1/3 of your revenue to get bookings? Well you don’t have to look any further, we have 3 top tips showing you how you can save on paying exorbitant fees to third party agents and get more dollars through your door from your own website!

Chat2 Concierge’s Top 3 Tips

As you are aware the first place people go when considering holidays, vacations and travel activities is to one of those large third-party booking agents like Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia etc. But what you might not realise is that many consumers start their research there, but then seek out the business website of the place they are considering staying, or the activity that looks appealing. They are landing on your website and social media pages, so it is essential you are able to keep them there, for as long as possible to attract the direct booking. You want to stop them from going back to the third-party website to book! But how you may ask? It’s pretty tough competing against the Online Travel Agency (OTA) giants, particularly as their booking engine may be very slick, their site is easy to navigate and now many even have real people there to answer any questions!

Well, a system has been created for anyone that can do all that and more. A service that captures your guest’s attention in the moment they arrive on your website or social media page! It provides a personal customer service experience, that will “wow” your online guests for a fraction of the cost of the hefty fees charged by the OTA’s, so they will want to stay on your site longer and will come back after booking for any further information they need saving you time.

The Chat2 Concierge service is regularly responding to comments,

“hey, I’ve just been on Agoda and they are offering this ……” or

“I’ve just been to booking.com and they are charging this….”

We are providing the opportunity to tourism and hospitality businesses to be able to respond to these comments and attract the direct booking by promoting their best offers in the moment they have their guest’s attention. Our Tourism Recovery Package ends soon…don’t miss out on 2 months free and 50% off set-up. 

Chat2 Tip 1 – Make your website more attractive

Technology has changed the way consumers behave online. They are no longer patient to wade through pages of a website looking for an answer. They are far more demanding than they have ever been before. 53% will exit your website if they cannot find the answers they are looking for quickly.

Did you know that even if you ask a question outside of normal business hours or on the weekend, online consumers still expect the business to respond in the same amount of time as if it was during normal business hours? It’s a tough and challenging expectation to meet, though our Chat2 Concierge service is meeting this expectation and enabling tourism businesses of all sizes to compete against the OTA’s.

The Chat2 Concierge service enables tourism businesses to be available to their guests 24/7, providing answers quickly to questions they may have. Our service is manned by real people who are there in the moment your online visitor arrives, obtaining trust and most commonly in this environment, providing reassurance around any health and cancellation concerns.

Chat2 Tip 1 – make your website attractive so your visitor wants to stay and spend some time finding out a bit more about what you offer. And don’t forget our Chat2 Concierge service enables you to do this 24/7 by answering questions in the moment they are being asked and when your guest is motivated to book. 

Chat2 Tip 2 – Encourage your customers to book direct

You should make it simple for guests to navigate and book directly on your website. As soon as your customer arrives on your site, make sure you have an eye-catching direct booking button to take their attention.

The Chat2 Concierge service assists tourism and hospitality businesses to obtain the direct booking, by guiding the guests through to the booking button. Frequently, guests just need some reassurance that they are in the right place and be shown where to select dates, guest numbers and room/activity types. Then they may have some questions around the types of rooms and activities, which the Concierge team are well placed to answer and continue to encourage the guest towards a direct booking. We have several different techniques we utilise to obtain the conversion in the moment the guest is looking to book.

Chat 2 Tip 2 – Make it easy for the guest to navigate and book online, with an enhanced customer experience utilising a service like Chat2 Concierge. 

Chat2 Tip 3 – Consistency and Reliability

Guests ask questions in such a variety of ways online, it is certainly very tricky for any chatbot to answer based on a limited range of pre-programmed questions and answers. It doesn’t matter what way the questions are asked, our Concierge service is set up so that our team are heavily assisted with artificial intelligence built into the Chat2 software to ensure your guests will always receive a warm, friendly, human response that is adaptable to request, consistent and is on brand and on message.

It’s important for potential guests to always receive knowledgeable and consistent answers, in line with the branding of the business. You will discover if you trial a service like Chat2 Concierge to enhance the online customer experience, your guests will return to your website again and again (boosting Search Engine Optimisation SEO as a side benefit).

When guests re-visit your website and notice you are still available to them 24/7, answering questions quickly and effectively, you will be gaining a higher degree of trust, hence an increase in the probability of obtaining the direct booking. Did you know that according to Forbes and Forrester Research 2021, that 66% of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do for them?

Chat2 Tip 3 – Ensure the online customer experience you provide to your online visitors is consistent and reliable and you will attain a competitive edge over your competitors and attract the direct booking.

We know the service works!

Tourism Case Study

One of our tourism operators who has been utilising the chat2 Concierge service for the last 5 years, has seen their online enquiries grow from year to year, despite having to cease operations in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This operator was heavily reliant on the international back packer industry and after seeing significant growth in enquiries from 2017 – 2019, they had to cease their diving and cruise activities for a short time while the country went into lock down.

The Chat2 Concierge service was not impacted by the COVID-19 event and operations continued normally, the service kept this tourism operator open with an online presence. When visitors arrived on the website, they were reassured that the operator would restart activities once the restrictions were eased. Visitors were invited to keep coming back by the Chat2 Concierge team and there were even some future bookings that were obtained for the following year.

Eventually this Cruise Operator resumed operations late in 2020, with only the domestic market. Though despite losing their international clientele, they are now receiving more online enquiries than ever before. May 2021 has seen a 27.5% increase in the number of enquiries compared to May 2019, even without international guests. This is quite impressive growth, just by being there online consistently.

 

The Chat2 Concierge service empowered this tourism businesses to enhance their online customer experience to their online visitors 24/7, with a team of real people, who are providing visitors with fast and knowledgeable answers to their questions, but most importantly educating them on the benefits of booking direct, promoting the business, sharing the booking link and ultimately encouraging them to book direct in the moment. 

What’s in it for my business?

If you are keen to:

  • Attract more direct bookings at a much lower cost
  • Save money
  • Be available to guests 24/7
  • Increase online enquiries and conversions and
  • Improve Online Customer Experience for your guests

We recommend you enhance the online Customer Experience on your website and social media pages to make it more;

Attractive to your guests – timely, knowledgeable answers to questions in the moment

 Encouraging to your guests – so they book in the moment they are motivated to buy and

 Consistent and Reliable – your visitors know what to expect

Don’t Miss Out!

We invite you to trial NOW as currently there is a 2 month free offer* until the end of June for Tourism and Hospitality businesses. You can start immediately by finding out more here chat2.com/tourism/

Or

Alternatively, to find out more we have an information session for Tourism and Hospitality on Friday, 25th June at 10am. Just go to this link to book a spot.

*There is a one-off setup fee of $99, currently offered at 1/2 price.

 

Book an online demo here to find out more today or register to join us for our upcoming information sessions.

 

Businesses need to act quickly to cash in on this unprecedented online consumer behaviour!

 

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

The Simplest Way to Double Your Online Conversions

Have you invested thousands of dollars in your website? Would you like to convert more of your website visitors into actual paying customers? We can show you how! More than ever before consumers are going online to buy, particularly in the face of a global pandemic. It’s much safer to shop and buy online.

Across the world more purchases and enquiries are being made online.  There has been a massive spike in this behaviour.  This means that online traffic has grown exponentially, and your business needs to take advantage of this change in behaviour. It’s free traffic to your website.  But once visitors land on your website, how do you engage with them and stop them from bouncing off to your competitor?

 

Why are more consumers shopping online?

Firstly, it is safer to shop online. With the global pandemic, there is no need to go out into the public and risk your chances of being exposed to the Covid19 virus. It’s much safer to shop from your lounge room couch. This is what has driven this sudden surge in online traffic.

Secondly, it’s easier to compare prices with websites such as Amazon or Ebay. It’s much easier to compare products to see which one is better value for money. Amazon can even suggest other products that you may want to buy.

Thirdly, it is also cheaper and less time consuming as there is no need to travel anywhere as purchasing can be done from home.

A study done by the Bank of America in 2020, labelled the growth of this online traffic as “The Quickening”. In the United States, they saw a 10-year growth in online activity in just 3 months. A similar trend was also seen in Australia with 5 years of online growth[1].

Businesses like yours need to take note of this change in behaviour online and reap the rewards of website traffic growth.

Why would a customer want to shop from your website?

 

Why you need to take advantage of this change in behaviour

This massive growth in website traffic is unprecedented and no one knows how long this period of intense online activity is going to stay around. So it’s important to take advantage of this change now.

Bounced visitors are very costly. These are the website visitors that land on your website, take a quick look, can’t find what they are looking for and bounce off to your competitor.  If you are spending significant dollars in getting them to your website in the first place, then you are potentially wasting your investment.

The goal is to provide an effective engaging website so that when your visitor lands there, they stay, look around and engage.  The longer they stay on your site, the more likely they are to convert. So how do you engage with your website visitor and keep them on your website for longer?

 

How to engage with visitors to your website

These three simple steps will help you convert more visitors to paying customers:

  1. Interactive and Personal Websites
  2. Easy Website Navigation
  3. Memorable Customer Experience

 

Interactive and Personal Websites

You need to make your website more interactive and personal, not just with bells and whistles, but with real humans who can explain your products and services in ways that will engage them. Today’s digital savvy consumers want more and more information, transparency and reassurance. They want to find out more about a product before they buy it.

Our Chat2 Concierge service enables businesses to do this 24/7 with a team of real people online when your website visitor arrives on your website.  The team answer many of those simple, common, repetitive questions initially to gain trust but ultimately to convert your visitor the moment they are motivated to buy. We set up specific responses for your business that the team can draw upon, heavily assisted with the artificial intelligence (ai) built into the Chat2 software.

We do this for a fraction of the cost you spend on advertising and many times we are protecting your advertising investment.

If we don’t convert your visitor in the moment, they are online, it’s easy for us to obtain contact details for you to add to your future marketing strategies.

 

Easy Website Navigation

Ensure your website is easy to navigate for users.  Do you know what information is most commonly searched for when visitors arrive on your website? It’s important to have this information front and center on your website, so it’s easy for visitors to find. Our Chat2 Concierge service can easily identify this information to you.

The online visitor is exceptionally impatient nowadays and is no longer willing to wade through pages and pages of a website.  They want to find their answers quickly and efficiently, normally if this cannot be done in sixty seconds, they quickly bounce off the website. The Chat2 Concierge service does capture the attention of these visitors. It does this by inviting them to engage just before they leave the website.

You also get a great insight into the language and words that your online visitors use with our Chat2 Concierge service. You get to know firsthand the words and phrases used so you can incorporate them into your website content to attract more organic visitors to your website.

 

Memorable Customer Experience

Once a visitor arrives on your website, you need to gain their trust by providing them with a memorable online customer experience.  Contact Us forms on websites are no longer as successful as they once were, as many consumers are tentative to provide any personal details up front.  Also, it’s not normal acceptable human behaviour. 

When you walk into a shop you don’t immediately hand over your contact details before you get to ask a few questions.  Online customer service should be no different.

Many companies that attempt to use an online communication channel like live chat, set it up so the visitor is required to enter their name and contact details before they even ask a question.  This does not work and blocks about 50% of the engagement for your business.

Our Chat2 Concierge service engages your website visitor with a real human conversation, one that is warm and friendly and adapts easily to the tone of the visitor. We are able to engage your visitor easily and convert them in the moment they are motivated to buy. This can be direct through your website or obtaining contact details and handing over a very warm lead for you to do what you do best. Some clients have reported to us an increase of 20 – 40% in conversion utilising an online customer experience service like Chat2 Concierge. We focus on providing a warm welcome and memorable customer experience.

Conclusion

Even the smallest changes to your website can turn around your business. Having a personal and interactive website allows you to stand out in a very noisy space.  For maximum traffic, make sure you’ve done everything you can to optimize your site, such as having solid, user-friendly navigation. And lastly, make your customer experience memorable so that they want to come back again and again. Remember that good website design should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Always keep in mind that the first impression is the most important one!

Join one of upcoming information sessions to learn how Chat2 can help you to double your website conversions is 2021!

To register go to https://chat2.com/info-sessions/

Businesses need to act quickly to cash in on this unprecedented online consumer behaviour!
 

Book an online demo here to find out more today or register to join us for our upcoming information sessions.

 


[1] Shawspring Research 2020

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

Real Estates – soaring high with online opportunities

Are you missing opportunities and enquiries online? The property market is currently booming and real estates and property agents are being overwhelmed with enquiries, many are concerned they are missing opportunities online.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started the amount of people who are choosing online to purchase is increasing daily, in 3 months alone in 2020, the U.S. saw a 10 year growth in online enquiries and Australia saw a 5 year growth in the number of enquiries (Shawspring research). The property market has always been suited to the online space and these businesses are now seeing more activity than ever before.  Though many are not adequately resourced to cope with the number of enquiries, or to be able to respond in the moment the prospect has a couple of questions.

 

Are you missing out on the opportunities online?  Do you feel that there is uncapped potential in the opportunity that is available in the online space? Are you finding it challenging to respond fast enough to an enquiry, as in when you get back to the customer they have already moved on and bought elsewhere?  The current market is very fast paced and buyers and sellers are moving at breakneck speed, this is proving a challenge to many real estate companies.

 

In property, a significant portion of buyers/sellers are making enquiries outside of normal business hours, this is the best time for them to investigate and research buying options, as it’s outside their own working hours.  Buyers are also expecting Property Agents to respond in the same time frame as if they made the enquiry during normal hours- Forbes.  This has become a significant challenge for many Real Estates and it is one Chat2 addresses for its many real estate clients across the world.

 

The sales process starts online, it is the first place most people go to look and see what’s available.  It’s in this very early stage that Chat2 captures the online visitor’s attention and warms/nurtures the visitor to become a solid prospect/buyer/seller for the Property business.

 

 

“Give online visitors a customer experience they won’t forget and they are more likely to choose you, remain loyal and refer you to friends and colleagues” 

-Karen Lloyd-Collins (COO Chat2)

 

 

HOW

Chat2 assists Property businesses to engage, nurture and answer enquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week direct through your business website.  We have a team of professionally trained real estate specialists online 24/7, who are there in the moment your online visitor has a couple of questions.  We engage with them using our unique and innovative Chat2 software partnered with your website.  We know that property businesses invest thousands of dollars into their websites with the feeling of very little return.  The Chat2 team has been working in the real estate industry for the last 6 years and will actively get your website working for you as we make it live and engaging!

 

WHY

 

You might say that prospects rarely arrive on my website, they tend to stick with the big real estate directories.  That is actually not quite true.  Sure they may start on those directories, but we have noticed that many like to visit the real estate’s website to look at possibly more photos of the property or attain further information and that is where the Chat2 team capture their attention. Also many of these large directories will sometimes have an automated bot and the general public are still not quite widely accepting of this automated feature as yet.  91% still expect to speak to a real person online when making an enquiry- Statista. So engaging the Chat2 concierge service gives you a strong competitive advantage over these large directories, as we are real people.

 

What kind of queries will you receive through the live chat Chat2 channel?  Just yesterday across a variety of clients we were asked:

 

“I am looking to buy an investment property in the Southern suburbs. Can you help?”

“I am trying to get accurate valuations on my 4 properties in W.A.?”

“Would you have any acreage properties coming up in the next few weeks?”

“Where can I download an application form?”

 

 

Also do you know what is absolutely ideal about this particular live channel?  Property owners who are international and can not get back to tend to their properties due to travel restrictions, need MORE assistance.  If you are readily available 24/7, guess who they will choose to sell or look after their property? YOU!

 

Many online buyers are also hesitant to hand over any personal information on a chat channel as they don’t want to be hounded by real estate agents or spammed with email.  Our Chat2 Concierge service provides a safe, guided and free space where prospects can ask questions without having to provide personal details initially.  As we are a real human friendly team, we start with a normal warm personable conversation to obtain engagement and build trust in the first instance.  We ask open ended questions to find out what your visitor is actually looking for, we provide answers to common questions, guide visitors around the websites and then naturally this leads to obtaining contact details to pass to our clients, to do what they do best and convert the lead! You will be surprised how easy online leads management becomes with our online assistance.

 

Some of our Real Estate Clients do try to manage the live chat channel themselves initially, but struggle with being there, in the moment, their visitor wants to make an enquiry, so they often miss significant opportunities. Some of our clients try to staff the channel during the business hours only leaving the after hours to the Chat2 team.  But Property businesses tend to have just one person in reception and if they are attending to phone calls or a customer at the counter then the online opportunity is once again missed.

 

 

“Nearly 78% of prospective home buyers stick with the agent who answers them first.” 

-The Real Estate Trainer

 

 

Just recently we have taken over the management of the chat channel for a client in Brisbane, Australia and look at the difference we are already making in the data below. We took over in the last week of April 2021, and already doubled the number of enquiries in just that one week alone, we expect big things ahead. 

 

 

We offer a month to month (no subscription) and we do offer your first month free. So if you are interested in capturing the online opportunity that is on offer in the current economic climate, to attract more sales, leads and enquiries direct through your website than we invite you to register for a free demo.

 

To register your interest go to register for a free demo

 

Book an online demo here to find out more today.

Businesses need to act quickly to cash in on this unprecedented online consumer behaviour!

 

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

2021 – Year of Online Opportunity

 
The future has been pulled forward – now every business is an online business

Consumer behaviour in 2020 changed dramatically, which was hardly unexpected as COVID spread worldwide. 75% of consumers have changed the way they purchase.

 

Source McKinsey

 

In June 2020 Deloitte surveyed 10,000 US online adults and found and 65% of these consumers state they will maintain online digital behind buying behaviour, post-crisis. 42% said they would not return to shopping in stores once stay-at-home-restrictions are lifted.  

The change in behaviour drove an unprecedented acceleration in the digital environment. The United States  experienced 10 years of e-commerce growth in three months and Australia five years in three months.

 

Sources: Shaw Spring Research, Bank of America, U.S. Department of Commerce. KPMG COVID-19: Retail’s survival and revival.

 

 

Chat2 has been operating in the online customer service space for the last six years and we have been observing the escalating trend of consumers taking more of their purchasing activity online due to improvements in technology. 

Now with the ‘quickening’ the changes we had observed gradually have hit warp-speed.

As respected global researcher McKinsey said;

“If you’re feeling whiplash, it might be the ten years forward we just jumped in 90 days’ time.” 

Digitalization, online ordering, remote delivery and remote working have become the new norm. Businesses need to recognize the changing online environment as exceptionally significant, and take action now to take advantage of the exceptional opportunity this presents online or be left behind. In this new online environment businesses need to look at new ways to reach customers. Why?

If they do, they will be able to take advantage of this unprecedented online behaviour and move ahead of the crowd in this very busy and noisy space. 

Brands need to act now and launch themselves head on escalating their digital capabilities, looking at how they reach their customers, communicate with customers throughout the sales journey during the decision-making through to final purchase and after sales. 

Those brands that are now winning are being more creative, more authentic, seeking help from the online experts, and implementing digital capability fast.

Consumers are demanding businesses to provide a first-class e-commerce experience with seamless digital service. 

Now some brands have turned to AI (artificial technology) to attain their goal, though this strategy needs to be carefully managed to be successful. From our experience online, consumers do not want to engage 100% with AI alone, they demand human interaction and assistance by a real person. 

98% of people try and bypass IVR (interactive voice response systems) in order to get to a human agent. The top three terms used are “representative”, “customer service”, and “live person”. Hubspot 2018 Customer Service Expectations 

Particularly in this time of crisis, we are interacting with online visitors every hour of every day who are demanding more reassurance in that it is safe to buy (e.g. checking refund and cancellation policies) and that it’s safe to visit (i.e. what hygiene practices are in place). 

Traditional brand loyalties can no longer be taken for granted as 36% of consumers are trying out new brands, as the business they previously used has not kept pace with new  consumer demands for availability, instantaneous service and seamless digital engagement. 

Millennials and Gen Z have been the widest adopters of contactless activities. Gen Z (1996 to 2012) are on their mobiles on average six hours a day researching before they shop (Reuters Institute and Flamingo Group).

As consumers are now spending more time online during their buying journey, this has created the demand for businesses to become more available online. Consumers demand businesses to respond in the same timeframe out of hours or on the weekend as they would during normal business hours.

 

Australia Post Consumer Survey, Jan- April 2020 and Chat2 clients

 

This has placed a huge stress on businesses [especially smaller ones] who need to offer longer operating hours to meet this demand.

In this “new normal” digital environment, businesses need to include a clear digital route to market and integrate customer contact into their capability. 

We have seen that the early adopters of a digital strategy have been able to provide effective customer service and enhanced operation, with an increase or maintenance of sales during the COVID-19 event. This is a clear advantage over their competitors.

The profound impact of this pandemic requires businesses to reevaluate how they do business and communicate with their customers. Businesses have to modernize their core operations which is uncomfortable for many, moving away from how they have always done business. 

Bold moves are needed to build and maintain resilience to survive. The most important move to consider is the enhancement of digital communication and being online in the space where and when your consumers. 

Chat2 has been assisting businesses worldwide from large corporations through to the single business operator. We help businesses stand out from the crowd in this noisy online space, by providing a 24/7 online presence with a team of “real people” providing reassurance, responses to questions, guiding online sales, sharing promotions or obtaining leads. 

As we have been working in this online space for six years and noticed the escalation in behaviour changed to the COVID-19 crisis, we are able to provide the guidance and assistance necessary to businesses to enhance their online digital capability and service to customers immediately. 

If you would like to find out more on how we do this, go to chat2.com where you will find short videos explaining what we do, you can book for a free demo with one of our consultants to give your business immediate digital capability and connection with your customers.

Businesses need to double down on digital in the ‘new normal’ and test new methods of customer engagement (yes we offer a free trial) especially in these times of unprecedented online traffic. 

We can escalate your digital consumer connection to enhance your personalisation of messages, provide real assurance, attract/convert more sales, assist with customer issues, obtain more leads, accelerate loyalty, enhance customer experience and communicate proactively with customers 24/7 for a fraction of the cost if you were to do it yourself. 

Book an online demo here to find out more today or register to join us for our first information session of the year “2021 – Year of Online Opportunity”.

Businesses need to act quickly to cash in on this unprecedented online consumer behaviour.

 

Categories
Chat Blog

How to be more ‘OPEN’​ for business this Holiday Season

With the Festive season upon us and staff winding down for the school holidays with plans for local vacations and staycations, our team are ramping up the for holidays!

2020 has been such a challenging year for many businesses and we are lending a helping hand to those who are struggling to remain open this Christmas. So if you are keen to remain open especially in the online space where the amount of visitor traffic has increased substantially over these last few months – then read on…. as we can help!

With the significant increase in online traffic, some businesses are struggling to keep apace to respond in a timely manner to the number of enquiries they are now receiving. We are helping many businesses to respond to their customers in the moment they arrive online, on their website or Facebook page, with a team of real people, professionally trained in your industry. We have been working in the online space for the last 6 years and we know the commonly asked questions and how to gain the trust of the online visitor to either encourage them to book directly in the moment they are motivated to buy or at least to get their contact details for your team to follow up and convert.

How do we know what to say? As a part of our Chat2 Concierge service, we create a knowledge base specific for your business. Apart from having the responses to questions that we see all the time, we also review your website to add those that are also likely to get asked. Your staff can review and add to this knowledge base before they go on holidays!

Once the knowledge base is approved, it is uploaded into our software where our team utilising the AI interface can draw upon the knowledge base to answer questions fast (on average 19 seconds), we personalise and edit the responses to ensure they are relevant for the questions being asked, we hold a genuine warm friendly conversation online with your customers (yes, don’t expect every chat to be done and dusted in 2 minutes, that doesn’t work on this channel), we obtain trust to either get the customer to buy in the moment or we obtain the contact details for you to follow up as well as adding to your own database.

We can answer general enquiries, or even some specifics depending on the quality of the knowledge base, we can take bookings, make bookings online, we can even respond to clients on emails as an additional service during the holiday season to encourage more sales and ease the burden of your own staff upon returning to work. Our aim is to promote and encourage purchases in the moment the customer is online. Or we obtain quality and genuine leads to push through to your skeleton staff to easily finalise the sale as we have done most of the qualification work.

Just by being there in the moment, consistent and responding fast, you are more likely to attract more enquiries than ever before. To keep your business growing and sales coming through during the festive season while most of your team are taking a well-earned break.

We are already saving our clients so much cost in ongoing labour costs just by being there and able to easily manage and answer online enquiries around those constant and repetitive questions knowledgeably. This infographic shows these savings for five of our clients.

As we are answering conversations for others in your industry and our operators can be managing up to 8 -9 conversations simultaneously we are able to take advantage of economies of scale and offer this service at an exceptional cost.

You can use our service just for the festive season (there is no contract) or you can choose to use us just for outside of business hours or of course every month 24/7, it’s your choice! Only until the end of November – you can accept an offer to start in December for only $30 for the first month. The knowledge base creation is normally $199 to create, though we will also include this and our Google Analytics integration for 12 months (normally a monthly fee) though this special ends Sunday midnight.

This offer will be available at this link for the next 3 days for Black Friday sales – just go to https://chat2.com/cash_in_online_this_christmas/
Categories
Chat Blog

Media Release – Chat2 Triples Clients Assisting Tourism Businesses Bounce Back

Queensland-based technology company Chat2, is preparing for the second wave of Queensland tourism and hospitality businesses seeking their Concierge service to help with an influx of online customer enquiries and to facilitate direct website bookings, after news that the Queensland borders will open to New South Wales and Victoria on 1 December.

Chat2 has been operating for five years with clients in a range of industries worldwide. However, client numbers have nearly tripled in the last 12 months thanks in part to the support of the Queensland State Department of Development, Tourism and Innovation.

As a successful recipient of the Advance Queensland’s Ignite program, Chat2 has been able to provide their Concierge service to Queensland tourism and hospitality businesses at a significantly reduced cost for a six month trial period, with the first two months free and staged payments rising incrementally each month to $199 in month six.

Chat2 provides live chat on a business’ website with a difference. Their Concierge service is staffed by a team of real people who are customer engagement professionals that use their custom-designed software and a knowledge base to answer many of the common enquiries website visitors have and guide them to book or buy online.

Chat2 Chief Operating Officer, Karen Lloyd-Collins says that some of the key benefits tourism businesses experience include an increase in direct bookings and website traffic, as well as a decrease in the number of hours their staff spend answering questions on the phone or email.

Karen explains, “Using our custom-developed, AI-based software, our team can provide customer service online via a business’ website and Facebook Messenger, 24 hours a day, at a fraction of the cost of a business staffing it themselves.”

“One of our Queensland tourism clients who joined us in September saved nearly 90 hours, or almost 12 days, in equivalent staff labour in October alone. With our Concierge team engaging their online visitors and answering common questions, time is freed up for the business’ staff so they can focus on other important areas.”

Pinnacle Tourism Marketing who offer representative and consultative services for the tourism industry, has appreciated the initiative that has enabled some of their clients to try out the service.

Mike Webley, Business Development Executive for Pinnacle says that “Our clients have welcomed the opportunity to trial Concierge. For many tourism and hospitality operators, this type of service is new to them. To be able to see how it works and experience the benefits for their business for free and without a lock-in contract, has been of great assistance to them during these uncertain times.”

“While it is still early days for our clients, the monthly reports we have seen so far have been very encouraging and are certainly delivering the promised benefits,” Mike says.

“Implementation of Concierge takes only five days from sign up to go-live. That means we can be assisting tourism businesses dealing with their influx of enquiries by the start of December. And because we have a team of people, we can manage the peaks and troughs of demand without an operator having to worry about quickly recruiting and training staff,” explains Karen.

“We are very grateful to the Queensland Government and also Tourism and Events Queensland for their support. We are confident our service will benefit tourism operators in the region in the short and long term as international travel becomes possible once again.”

Free online information sessions for interested tourism and hospitality operators are scheduled for Thursday 3 December at 10am (AEST) or by request. See chat2.com.au/tourism

27 November 2020

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

Was This Customer Right? You Be the Judge

The (shortened) news article below has created some debate online (what?!? that never happens!) and illustrates the growing chasm between customer expectations and behaviour, and the challenges businesses are faced with trying to meet them. 


People are online researching and shopping when it is convenient for them, which is often not during what is historically considered normal business hours.

We compared an Australia Post 2020 Consumer Survey, which analysed what time over 12,000 respondents shopped online, with data from the same period from our own Australian clients.

Although Chat2 Concierge clients’ customers displayed a similar pattern to the Australia Post data, there was an even larger number of people online from 10pm to 9am.

However, both show that approximately half of total customers were shopping online between 5pm to 9am. 

 

Which makes sense doesn’t it? Most people are working (either paid or unpaid) during normal business hours. The only time they have to research and shop online is often once the rest of their household is at rest.

We all know that attracting, serving and keeping customers happy are key to the survival of any business.  But are customers placing unrealistic expectations on businesses?

Or despite these expectations are businesses seriously impacting their profitability and longevity by effectively ignoring customers outside of their business hours?

While it appears (at the time of publishing) from a poll run by the news publication, there is a fairly even split of for and against, some of the comments below from Australian business owners and managers are interesting…






 

All of these commenters accept that receiving enquiries 24/7 is a fact of doing business in 2020, but there is a disparity in whether they think it is fair, or understandable due to different timezones and working lives, and how to manage it.

Some say they expect and welcome enquiries 24/7 because they understand that their customers have lifestyles different to their own and shouldn’t be forced to shop to their hours. Through to the other end of the spectrum where they say that customers wanting service outside of 9-5 (in the business’s timezone) are ‘selfish’ and ‘entitled’.

It would be interesting to see how these commentators’ businesses fare a few years from now…

Whether you agree or disagree, this type of customer service chasm will not be going away. 

However, there is a very simple, cost-effective way of keeping both parties happy, and therefore growing the tradesperson’s business.

By having Chat2 Concierge on the tradesperson’s website our team would have received the enquiry and responded to the potential customer’s enquiry in under 20 seconds – 24 hours a day.

By:

  • acknowledging the customer’s enquiry
  • engaging them to obtain as many details as possible
  • setting an expectation of when the business would be able to respond to them with a quote
  • then securing and passing on the qualified lead’s details

The tradesman would have slept through the night, rest-assured knowing that the business was still engaging potential customers and preventing them from bouncing to a competitor.

Instead, he responded angrily in the heat of the moment, causing the matter to be publicised on social media (200,000 engagements and counting) and leaving both parties dissatisfied.

We can guarantee that this businessperson certainly did lose that customer and who knows how many else?

Start your Chat2 Concierge trial now.

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

Tips for Maximising Online Revenue and Engagement at Christmas

Technology changes and the COVID pandemic have driven dramatic increases in online traffic.

Even if you don’t sell products or services online, we know that your customers will certainly be researching you online – and your competitors.

In June 2020 Deloitte surveyed US online adults and found:

In Australia, according to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index, online retail sales as at June 2020 accounted for 10.7% of total retail, up from 9% at the same time last year. This is reflected in the 53% average increase in Australia Post domestic parcel quantities for the months April to August 2020.

There has also been a 233% increase in Live Chats in the Consumer Products & Services industry compared to pre-COVID.

via GIPHY

While this may seem like a very welcome silver-lining to the COVID pandemic this sudden surge in online activity can actually be detrimental to your business if you aren’t prepared – particularly in the area of customer service.

In a survey of 10,000 consumers who had a bad customer service experience with a retailer…

But if you get customer service right the Harvard Business Review found that customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.

So in summary…

We know that Live Chat is the preferred method of communication for Millennials and has the highest satisfaction rate of all communication channels.

But that 53% of customers are likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question.

Therefore it is critical that you prepare now and prepare well for the flood of online traffic that comes with the Christmas period.

Here are some tips that we provide to our Chat2 clients to drive better customer engagement and increased sales – 365 days of the year:

  • Update your Knowledge Base with common questions about special hours or closures, shipping timeframes, and returns – use this to update your website FAQs for SEO benefits.
  • Make sure your returns and shipping policies are clear and not too onerous.
  • Use an auto-responder to re-direct people who communicate with you by email and phone to Chat2 us on your website or Facebook Messenger (we do both!) for instantaneous service. Make sure the contact page of your website also invites visitors to chat.
  • Consider creating promotions, then tell us so we can share them with your online visitors and convert their visit into a sale.

Shopify asked over 50 online businesses to rank the effectiveness of 15 different holiday offers, deals, and discounts. The results were pretty clear cut as shown below.

To learn more about Maximising Online Revenue this Christmas, join Karen Lloyd-Collins, Chat2 COO, for a special 30-minute information session.

We use real, current data and examples from a range of industries to show you how Chat2 can drive your online sales and expand your sales funnel by generating more enquiries. Register here.

Or get started now with our amazing trial offer of 700 hours for just $30!

Categories
Chat Blog How Fast is Fast Enough? Industry Trends

Customers Want Your Business Now!

How people engage online has dramatically changed due to technology, and further magnified by the events of 2020.

Do you remember Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory?

via GIPHY

One of the most dramatic shifts has been the immediacy of service demanded by customers.

According to a report by Hubspot 90% of customers rate an immediate response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. 60% of customers define immediate as 10 minutes or less!

With Chat2 Concierge you have the benefit of our service specialists assisting your online customers 24/7.

In fact our average response time is 15 seconds or less! 

Our clients are now redirecting traffic from their other channels such as email, telephone and contact forms back to their website to be assisted by our team.

Not only will your customers be happier and more loyal, but the amount of enquiries you and your staff have to respond to is also significantly reduced.

Chat2 Us now about we can maximise your online revenue and engagement.

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

Media Release – COVID19 crisis we can help

 

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

Chief Operating Officer Karen Lloyd-Collins states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to know more about this offer, email Chat2 at support@chat2.com or to register go to

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

A technological solution for the economic crisis facing the tourism industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

Tourism – Strength to Strength

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

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

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

Get a free demo here.

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

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Chat Blog Uncategorized

No more direct bookings for Trivago?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We reply along the lines:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

How to drive more direct sales to local business!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chat Blog Uncategorized

Why You Only Pay $1/hour!

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

Why Consider Live Chat?

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

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

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

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

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

Why Businesses Fail with Live Chat

Many businesses fail with introducing chat for several reasons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how we can charge $1/hour….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Tourism

Live Chat for Tour Operators

 

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Software Updates

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

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

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

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

Fast Response = Meet Customer Expectations = Happy Returning Customers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What if you take too long to respond?”

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

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

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

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

“It’s Challenging for Businesses to Respond Fast” 

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

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

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

“Solutions” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Real Estate

Real Estate & Live Chat – The Perfect Combination!

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog How To How To

Chat2 Concierge – How To Get Started

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog How To How To

4 Easy Steps to Create a Knowledge Base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

So why is a knowledge base important?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

So where do you start?

 

  • Let’s brainstorm!  

 

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

  1. Group the common themes

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

  1. Review.  Combine. Expand.

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

 

  1. Expand some more…

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

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

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

 

“But my website already provides all this information.”

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Live Chat - Tips and Tricks

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip 1 – Chat Window needs to be anonymous

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

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

Make your Chat window non-threatening.

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

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

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

Tip 2 – Warm and Friendly Chat Invitations

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

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

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

Or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip 3 – Present an Inviting Chat Window

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

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

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

Tip 4 – Log in Everyday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip 5 – First Chat Message

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

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

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

Or

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

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

Tip 6 – How to Build Trust and Engage

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends

4 Common Reasons Why Business Resists Live Chat

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

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

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

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

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

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

The response we receive from the business is commonly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reason One

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

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

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

Reason Two

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

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

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

Brenda – FNQ Apartments

Reason Three

“My website provides enough information to customers”

Or

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

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

Reason Four

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

Or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Industry Trends Live Chat - Tips and Tricks

Does Live Chat Really Work?

Written By:  Karen Lloyd-Collins CEO Chat2

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

“Does Live Chat Really Work?”

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

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

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

“My website provides enough information to customers; or

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

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

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

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

 

What do Customers think of Chat?

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

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

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

I would commonly hear answers like:

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

Now 3 years later – I hear:

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

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

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

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

Ref: https://econsultancy.com/consumers-prefer-live-chat-for-customer-service-stats/

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

“Chat Converts Browsers to Buyers”

This has been our experience at Chat2.  

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

Other clients like The Energy Hub Australia have commented:

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

Salary Packaging Australia advised that:

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

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

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

 

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

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO – Chat2

 

Who is the Chat Customer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So far we have shown:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start today

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

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

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

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

How Fast is Fast Enough?

 

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

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

How – you may ask?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Why is Speed so Important in Customer Service?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shep Hyken

Customer Service Expert & New York Times Bestselling Author

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

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

Email Response Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So is there any difference for social media response times?

Social Media Response Time

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

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

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

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

It appears they are!

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

So is it any different for phone response times?

Phone Response Time

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

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

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

So What About Live Chat Software?

 

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

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

So how fast is the response time in chat?

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

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

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

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO Chat2

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

How to Implement Chat Effectively

What is meant by effective implementation of Chat?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO Chat2

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

Facebook and Chat Software – New Directions for Business

 

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

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

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

How will the recent Facebook changes affect businesses?

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

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

How can Business promote through Facebook?

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

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

Businesses can consider an Alternative

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

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

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

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

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

How Can Businesses Get Website Browsers into Messenger or Chat?

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

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

How does Instant Messaging Apps Grow a Business?

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

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

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

 

How can Chatbots help business growth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Chat Blog Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

“Hi – how is your day going?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Chat Software?

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

You may now be thinking: 

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

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

Well, let’s explore those questions!

Why Every Business Needs Live Chat?

1. It’s Cheaper

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

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

2. More Sales and Conversions with higher order value

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

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

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

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

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

3. Grow your Lead and Client database

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

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

4. Get to Know your Customers

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

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

5. Improve Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

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

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

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

6. Consumers are demanding immediate information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jay: Well – I am sure they were surprised.

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

Jay: You are kidding?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jay: That sounds very cheap.

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

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

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

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

Jay: So your team must be pretty fast typists?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karen: My pleasure Jay.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t wait any longer………………

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

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

We love seeing our clients businesses grow online with Chat2!

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Chat Blog Why does your business need Chat?

Increase sales online with live chat

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Who loves solar?

 

 

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

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

Chat2: Hi, be with you in a moment.

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

Visitor: 15km out of Innisfail

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

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

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

Visitors: Thanks – its 04xxxxxxxx

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

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

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

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How to generate more online sales in 2017!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Media Release

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live chat software – customization – training – chat concierge

Media Release: 21st June 2016

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Answering Chats – Inhouse or Outsource?

woman on chat2

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

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

In- House

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

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

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

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

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

Out-Source

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

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

Successful Live Chats!

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

The Choice!

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

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

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Do you ignore your online customers?

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

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

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

Price War within the Chat Industry

Early in 2016, some of