4 Steps To Increase Sales With Live Chat And Messaging
Do you feel like you could have gotten more out of your website and digital marketing last year?
Then I urge you to read on.
Because I think you’re right.
I think your current sales system is broken.
What’s the good part?
I’m about to show you how to fix it…
With live chat and messaging.
If you’re interested in dramatically improving your sales and marketing in 2017…
Let’s get into it!
Note: Reading time for this article is between 8 and 12 minutes
(Click on any of the items to jump to a specific part)
- How sales has changed
- How messaging fixes your broken sales system
- How to implement this in your business
- Conclusion: How to take action?
How the mobile revolution has changed sales (and why you’re losing business because of it)
Let me explain:
The amount of attention people give to their smartphones has exploded.
This has caused significant changes in consumer behavior.
Changes that a lot of sales and marketing people didn’t notice while in their car or behind their desks…
What has changed?
Remember that “mobile revolution” that people were talking about the last couple of years?
Well, that isn’t happening anymore.
It’s happened, OK?
Today, more people use smartphones than pc’s to find information online.
And people spend more time and attention on their phones than on their computers.
(Before you point to your analytics and show off that the majority of your traffic is desktop traffic… let me say:
“Having more desktop traffic on your site today just means you haven’t caught up with the times and are not reaching people on the device they pay the most attention to: their smartphone. You can use mobile ads, social media and content marketing to fix that.”)
Think about the way you communicate with your friends and family (hint: we message and chat)
We talk to our friends and family all day using messaging apps like:
- Facebook Messenger
Even complete work-teams are now off email because they use Slack, a messaging app for teams.
These messaging apps are so popular because they make it possible to have direct, real-time conversations.ComScore statistics show: Messaging apps are now MORE popular than social media apps themselves. Click To Tweet
And yet your business is still using forms, phone and email…
People go around their day chatting and messaging with friends, family and co-workers to connect and to get what they need to continue their day.
But when it comes to your business?
They have to fill in a form or send an email and hope that they will hear back from you.
This is where your sales system is broken.
And this is where you are losing leads and sales.
People don’t just go to your site, look around and decide to give you their personal information or buy from you.
It happens, sure!
But it’s not your site that sells.
It’s the trust, clarity and confidence that your site gives visitors that sells.
Trust, clarity and confidence make your website sell. Live chat can help with that. Click To Tweet
Forms don’t create trust but 1 on 1 conversations do (that’s what messaging does!)
Sales people know this.
That’s why so many sales people want phone numbers!
They understand that the magic lies in 1 on 1 conversations.
1 On 1 conversations are how you create trust, clarity and give people confidence to buy from you, give you their phone number or schedule an appointment.
Those three pillars: trust, clarity and confidence are exactly what you can improve with messaging and live-chat on your website.
Your website visitors want to talk to you…
They’re actual humans!
They have questions and doubts…
They’re looking for a custom solution to their very specific needs and situations.
It’s inevitable that some questions and doubts will pop up before people decide you have the perfect fit for their problem.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as them needing to know your opening hours or a question about whether you have real estate properties in a specific neighbourhood.
And sometimes it’s a complex question that needs a lot of listening and attention.
You can leave people to themselves and hope they will scour your website to find the answers they’re looking for…
You can help them and create a butter-smooth website and sales experience where you genuinely help the visitor and answer their questions.
That way, you create trust and a personal connection with them which gives them the confidence to buy, schedule a call or a meeting with you.
Create a butter-smooth website experience by talking to your site-visitors on live chat Click To Tweet
Initiate conversations (don’t just sit there)
Helping people is not just about being available when questions arise.
You get to be pro-active with this.
Again, good sales people already have a knack for this.
You know what I mean?
They know exactly when to jump in and ask the right question that makes that client tick.
When your visitor is on your site, you can jump in at specific moments where you think you can help them.
Let’s imagine you happen to be selling homes…
Now, imagine someone visiting your website and looking at your real estate listings…
What if you could jump in and spark a conversation with that person by saying something like: “Hi there, I’m John. Any questions about our homes in *your city*? I can help you out.”
Coming up with an initial message to show to YOUR visitors is an art but you can already imagine…
We know that people are hesitant to tell you what’s on their mind.
But when YOU give them permission, they talk.
Conversations on your social channels (WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook)
I bet you know social media is important by now.
Even for your industry.
You might still not have a social media machine that’s creating a raving fanbase (it’s tough!)
But I bet your company is already investing in social…
Then seriously consider experimenting with the messaging apps from Facebook and WhatsApp for your business.
Back to the example of a real estate company:
When you post pictures of your newest real estate listings on Facebook, make it clear that people can message you (on Facebook).
Also, advertise on Facebook to reach the people you want.
(It’s even possible to create “Messenger Ads“, specifically to spark new conversations)
Don’t just post the pictures, hope people will look through them and will leave the Facebook app to go to your site and get in touch with you.
It’s a little arrogant to think people will do that much trouble for you.
(Yes, people on the internet are lazy)
We come to Facebook because well… we wanted to go to Facebook.
Be there for people, when and how they want.
Don’t force them into your way of doing business.Don't force people into your way of doing business. Be where they are. Click To Tweet
Same goes for WhatsApp.
I promise you:
People spend more time on WhatsApp than on their “phone” or “contacts” app to call people.
You want to be present at the apps and channels where people are spending their time and attention.
What happens when you deny this trend
It’s very simple…
Sales go down. People leave. And go to your competitor.
If you’re not available at the places where your potential customers are…
(On your social media and live when visiting your site)
And you don’t help clear peoples doubts…
You don’t create enough trust, clarity and confidence…
People don’t feel secure about your business…
Then it’s an easy choice.People are always just one-click away from your competitors. Click To Tweet
The internet has given us the freedom to window shop and jump to your competitor’s site whenever we want.
And if your competitor IS helping people while they are browsing their site, answering their questions and helping them feel secure in their purchase…
They will win.
But the good news is:
How to implement this in your organisation
If you’re seeing the potential of this, you might wonder:
“How is this gonna work in my business?”
I’ve got you covered.
Well… Not a 100%.
Because I’d need to really get to know your business, first.
But what I can do is give you some best practices and general guidelines for how to implement this in your organisation.
I mean, I wouldn’t want you to hire a digital marketing consultant to help you with the specifics of your marketing, right?! 😉
Create a new “customer success” job OR have your marketing and sales team do it
You will need people for this.
To handle this best, there’s a couple of options of which I’ll discuss the two most common:
- The existing sales and marketing people take on live chat and messaging
- A new job is created (commonly called “customer success manager”) whose sole job it is to manage live chat and messaging (and phone and email too, while you’re at it) and route specific questions to the right people in the organisation
Both options are fine if you make sure you know which one gets you happier customers and more sales.
Which one makes sense for your business depends on so many variables, I won’t go into all of that right here.
That’s what your team can figure out with the help of your digital consultant/agency.
I do believe that all sales and marketing team members should at least commit to handling chat and messaging for a day to feel what it’s like.
You don’t just get to put an intern on live chat and have them call you every time they have a lead for you.
You’ve gotta respect your visitors.
The power of live chat lies in the ability to talk to the right person in real-time.You don't just get to put an intern on live chat, I'm sorry. Click To Tweet
If you are thinking: “But I don’t have time to do this!”
Ask yourself: “Why do I not have time to close more sales and get more leads?….
What is using up my time that keeps me from talking to potential leads and clients that are sure to bring more sales?”
I believe there is absolutely no reason not to reply to visitor’s questions who are on your site.You have no time for live chat? What's more important than new leads? Click To Tweet
If your organisation chooses to put one specific person on chat and messaging…
Please make sure it’s someone very experienced with your product, service and business.
And make sure he/she gets responsibility and decision-making power to help clients in the chat.
No one wants to talk to someone who will only delay the process because he/she needs to get answers and approval for every little thing visitors ask.
That’s just creating one more barrier…
Now pick the software and messaging platforms (my favorite is Drift)
Lastly, it’s time for the “what” part.
What software and work systems do you need to implement for all of this?
You will need:
- Live chat software (I suggest Drift, Intercom or Zendesk)
- Social management tools (Messenger, WhatsApp or paid tools)
Live chat software for your website
A great starting point for a lot of you who are new to live chat is Drift ($0-$500 a month).
A very user-friendly and powerful live chat tool.
It can also integrate with your existing CRM system so conversations get synced to SalesForce for example.
It even offers an Artificial Intelligence chatbot that you can use for your own website.
Technically speaking, set-up and customisation of the live chat is super easy.
But the tactics of using conversation triggers, tone of voice and pop-ups?
To figure out and optimise those specifics is also a job for your marketing team and agency/consultant.
Let’s move on how to manage live conversations with Drift.
Drift has a desktop dashboard where you can manage your conversations on pc or laptop.
You can also manage live chat on your phone.
Other live chat software that might be interesting are:
What you need to manage and monitor social conversations
As for social messaging apps…
You can start by using the native apps like Facebooks Messenger and Whatsapp apps.
Make sure you have a Facebook Business account for your page, first.
And you can use the web version of WhatsApp to manage conversations on your pc or laptop.
If you want to manage multiple social conversations in one place you might want to check out some paid social media management tools like:
- AgoraPulse ($39-$299 a month)
- SproutSocial ($59-$1500 a month)
- Hootsuite ($9-$99 a month)
- Sendible ($50-$499 a month)
A tool I know that includes WhatsApp management is Swat.io (€250 a month and up). I’m pretty sure they’re based in Austria.
Conclusion: There you have it. Now it’s up to you to take action
If you made it all the way down here, I applaud you.
You’re dedicated to improving your marketing and I can appreciate that.
The only thing that matters now is whether or not you’ll take action on what you just learned.
You might not make the decisions in your company but you can at least send this article to whoever does (and tell them to seriously pay attention to this).
Just click in the box below to copy the url and share it (tap it if you’re on your phone):
If you’re reading this and you are the decision maker in your company…
Let me know if this sparked any action in you by dropping a comment below or hitting me up in the live chat which lives on the bottom right, here on this blog.
Thank you for giving me your attention.