5 Surprising Ways Live Chat Can Boost Your Conversion Rate
Conversion rate optimization can feel like a never ending quest for perfection. The hard truth is: no matter how hard you work, your landing page will never be perfect!
Each potential customer comes to your page with slightly different motivations and questions. It would simply be impossible for you to design a landing page speaking directly to each and every customer.
The good news is, your landing page doesn't need to be perfect. The main purpose of a landing page is to convince people to take the first step toward purchasing your service or product.
Adding a chat window to your landing page might not be the first thing that comes to mind when looking for ways to boost your conversion rate. Yet, it is an excellent way to establish a first contact with potential customers and eventually boost sales.
Here are 5 ways live chat can boost your conversion rate:
1. People Trust People, Not Landing Pages
According to a study from Harris Interactive and McAfee, 90% of people where “jittery and concerned when shopping on new or unknown websites”. Almost half of them also admitted they abandoned a purchase because of fears about security.
Internet scammers are making it really hard for legitimate small businesses like ours to gain online customers’ trust.
When we first got started, we went through a lot of “how to build trust on your landing page” articles and all of them recommended featuring customer reviews. Nothing new here. The only problem was, we didn’t have enough people using our software to gather quality reviews.
Surprisingly, after digging a little deeper into studies about trust, I found out testimonials were not the most important trust factor. A survey from KoMarketing found that:
52% of people consider that “thorough contact or about information” is “very important” to build credibility, against 29% only for testimonials.
When used right, a chat window can both show customers you are easy to contact and help them put a human face on your company.
That’s actually where small companies win the trust game. Big corporations outsource their customer care and tend to have more of a faceless service. Small business owners, on the other hand, often take care of customer service themselves and not only do customers feel appreciated, but it also helps to build trust a lot faster.
2. Customers Often Have Simple Questions Your Landing Page Doesn't Answer
One of the biggest lessons I've learned after a year selling our software, is that, if visitors can’t find the answer to their questions right away, they’ll just leave and look somewhere else. Very few people actually take the time to fill in your contact form or give you a call for simple queries.
Live chat helps putting down some of the psychological barriers associated with contacting a company.
Let’s say that you have a question about delivery options, for example. It’s a simple, straightforward question that will probably take less than 5 minutes to answer.
Now, I don’t know about you, but it sounds kind of silly to me to go through all the trouble of calling the company just to ask that. There’s always email but you’ll still need to wait for the answer.
A chat window makes it easier for customers to ask simple questions because it doesn’t require a high level of engagement and it comes with the promise of an immediate answer.
In a recent study by Software Advice, businesses report that customers were more motivated to ask a question via live chat. Katie Meurin, marketing director of ZCO corporation explains that she “thinks people are intimidated to get on the phone with a sales rep and ask about pricing or process questions too early, because they don't want to get hard-sold when they are just fact-finding”.
3. Most Customers Won’t Ask For Help Until You Offer
Brick-and-mortar shop assistants know that better than anyone else. That’s why every store has employees going around asking shoppers if they need any help or if they are looking for anything in particular.
You can’t really do that online as you can’t physically see people browsing your website. That’s why customers who don’t like making the first move often end up leaving your website frustrated and empty handed.
We’ve actually noticed that even our users need a little push to report problems or ask questions.
We recently started to work on our onboarding process. Once the onboarding emails started sending, we started to receive emails from users with all sorts of questions.
It helped us identify new opportunities but also connect better with customers.
Live chat has the same effect on website visitors.
Instead of sending your users an email, you can decide to send an invitation to chat to visitors who spend a certain amount of time on your website.
Just keep in mind that it is not an aggressive lead generation tool like pop-ups windows, it is mainly a good way to tell your website visitors you are there to help. If they have a question, they will seize the opportunity and start a chat with you.
4. Qualify Leads On The Spot
When we think about conversion rate we often fail to see the big picture. It’s important to remember that you want people to end up buying your product. No matter what you are offering in exchange for your visitors’ email, your end goal is always to increase sales.
There are lots of ways to attract more qualified leads: adding a product video, only asking for the information you need in forms... No matter what, you’ll still need to have your leads go through a marketing automation or sales process to “qualify” them.
After chatting with website visitors it is really easy to tell if there’s any chance they’ll become paying customers or not.
I know we’ve had a lot of chats where we simply knew our solution would not be the best fit for the other person. It ended up saving us a lot of precious time we used working with people we knew would benefit from our product.
Live chat can be a powerful sales tool provided that you follow good practices:
- No sales pitch
- Read messages twice to make sure you understood correctly
- Follow-up on chat conversations with an email or call when relevant
5. Focus On Relationships, Not Transactions
People coming to your website won’t all be ready to buy.
That’s why companies now come up with alternatives for visitors to engage with them. Some visitors will sign-up for your newsletter, some will download your latest ebook. No matter how they choose to connect with you, they’ll all enter your marketing funnel and be slowly led toward purchasing your product.
Most companies now automate the marketing and sales process, leaving very little space for human interactions.
I like to say that they focus on transactions rather than relationships.
Don’t get me wrong, marketing automation is extremely useful but there will always be things we can’t automate. Relationship building is one of those things.
Sure, building relationships with customers is not easy. It takes time and a lot of efforts but it’s what sets successful companies apart.
In the startup world, experts talk about doing “things that don’t scale” in the beginning. This includes taking time to have one-on-one conversations with prospects and customers to find out what they expect from your product, what frustrates them, what they wish they could do.
Instead of trying to sell too early, always look at first interactions like the beginning of a long term relationship. Don’t expect a stranger to become your best friend after one conversation. Remember that you have to give before you take and this applies to business relationships.
Conversion rate optimization is not just a numbers’ game. It’s about getting to know your prospects, know what they are looking for and show them you are there to help.
Actions that are hard to measure or “don’t scale” are often the ones that make all the difference in business and that’s how live chat helps boost conversion rate.