The Online Marketing Corner

Written on: September 12, 2012 by Ben Gutkin

Q: What do you think of online chat? How does it work and is it a good idea?
A: If used correctly, Chat can play an integral role in helping you achieve your online marketing objectives.
We spend a good deal of money and effort trying to drive people to our website, but what is the goal? Leads! We want them to call us, send us an email, or fill out an online form. In web marketing, we call that a conversion.
Chat is appealing to web users because:
• It’s easy and quick.
• You won’t be put on hold.
• It doesn’t feel like it’s going to be “sales-y.”
• You don’t have to search the site to find what you’re looking for.
2 Ways to Employ Chat on Your Website
1. Install a chat widget on your website and software on your CSR’s computers. Once they are trained on how to use it, it’s fairly simple for them to answer your customers’ questions.
• Inexpensive.
• Your own CSRs are probably good at handling customer concerns and questions.
• Your chat is limited to office hours.
• It must be constantly manned to be effective.
• Your CSRs may not be any better at getting leads through chat than they are when they are on the phone.
2. Use a Chat-Lead service.
In this case you are outsourcing your chat to trained representatives whose sole objective is to get contact information from the user so that you can follow up with a sales call, or have them patched through for immediate assistance.
• You will be able to generate more legitimate leads from your website and you pay for the service by the lead… usually about $10-$16 each. ROI is easily measured!
• The service extends beyond your normal office hours so people feel their questions are being handled.
• There is no new burden on your office staff.
• There is an expense, so it should be considered in your marketing budget.
• Complex or business-specific questions cannot be immediately answered and the customer will generally require a call back.
If you’d like to learn more about how to generate more business from your website using chat, feel free to give me a call!