It seems that every day, the business world is moving faster and faster. People want their questions answered, and they want it NOW. And with the COVID-19 pandemic turning the world upside down last year, digitally connecting became even more important.
In fact, in response to the pandemic, the digital communication channel that many companies began using to connect was overwhelminginly live chat, coming in at 54 percent for increased use and 35 percent first time.
Live chat functionality on websites has come a long way since it first hit the scene. No longer do visitors have to sit there for 20 minutes or more and wait for a response that just says to call instead. Nowadays, the live chat function is becoming more and more popular. There is no doubt that a faster response equates to more leads. So, exactly how do you go about having the “perfect” live chat function on your website and what can you gain from providing this feature? We’re covering everything you need to know about live chat below.
Everything You Need to Know About Live Chat
1. Live Chat Benefits
Even though most websites may have an FAQ page, a contact form and numerous other ways to answer questions your visitors may have, there may be other times that they can’t quite find the answer to what they are looking for. If your website can’t answer their questions, especially in a timely manner, then you may be losing a potential client to a competitor that does have what they want.
If you were to have a live chat feature as a part of your website, then you or members of your team could quickly and easily answer anything your website may not cover in real-time. In addition to answering questions quickly and efficiently, having this feature adds a “personal touch,” which is so important when you are trying to turn leads into customers and hopefully engage in a long-term relationship.
Online chat increases the conversions of both existing customers and prospects doing their research, resulting in more customers and new relationships. Live chat is particularly effective for high-value financial services since the shoppers are generally seeking more information.
In today’s digital world it’s likely that when you pick up the phone to call a company to ask a question, more often than not, you are going to speak with a robot. Or you’ll have to wait on hold for an extended period of time to actually speak with a human.
But what if you were able to not have to visit in person or pick up a phone, but could instead simply send a quick message without waiting for longer than a minute? Now that would make you more likely to work with that company versus the other who makes getting in touch more difficult, right?
Another great reason to consider incorporating a live chat feature on your website is the ability to multi-task while you are waiting for your response. While chatting, your visitors can continue to search your site to see what else you have to offer, which is much harder to do via phone.
Green Mountain Planning uses Drift on its website to easily chat and connect with visitors that may have questions. CEO and Lead Financial Planner, Nestor Vargas, CFP®, pops up in the corner asking, “Can I help you find the answer to a specific question?”
2. Live Chat Integration Factors to Consider
There are many ways that the live chat feature can make life easier on an advisor and not just the visitor. Before going any further it’s important to first consider a number of factors:
1. Starting a conversation
Many people may go to check out a website just to start casually browsing and “shopping” around, but with the live chat feature, you can turn a casual browser into a much more solidified lead by making the site seem personal, professional and answering their questions quickly.
2. Information gathering
With live chat you will often times have the ability to monitor visitor behavior with built-in features, that can show things such as what pages your visitors are viewing, where they are located, how many times they have been to the website, how long they have been browsing and other information to help further quality or dis-qualify them as a lead.
This is an important part of being able to run a live chat feature since obviously you or your team will need to be available to chat back with your site. Generally though, if a company has somebody that can answer the phone, then it’s sufficient to task them with managing your site’s live chat. However, one of the nice features of newer live chat widgets is the ability to customize automated responses based on commonly asked questions. This allows you to run your firm without having to actually respond to chats yourself.
4. Integration with other tools (i.e. CRMs, email marketing, analytics, etc.)
When you have this feature as a part of your website, you can also use it to help with CRM and email marketing. To help with customer relationship management, you can leverage customer data, transactions and engagement for business opportunities based on the data and information that you can gather by chatting with potential customers. Based on the information that is gathered and depending on how the leads seem, you can follow up using email marketing campaigns which can hopefully generate leads.
3. Top Live Chat Widgets for Advisors
Once you have made your decision to add the live chat tool onto your website the next question is: which one should you use? Our favorites for advisors include Live Chat, Drift, Sumo Chat and LiveAgent and here’s why:
We’re crushin’ on this widget because of the clean and easy-to-use applications. It is easy to pick up and you won’t be stumbling around trying to find how to use the feature, but rather can start using it quickly after it is installed.
- Chat with site visitors on your desktop while in the office and on mobile when you’re on the go
- White labeling option to customize the look of your chatbot
- Reports and analytics
- Integrates with Google Analytics, Facebook, Mailchimp, Dropbox, and join.me
Things to know:
- Tiered pricing starting at $16 per month per user
- Free 30-day trial
Drift uses bots, which basically serve as your website’s personal assistant. According to Drift, LeadBot qualifies your site visitors, identifies which sales rep they should speak with and then books a meeting, and there are no forms required.
- Calendar integration for immediate appointment booking
- Drift Bots can search your help center for answers to questions asked and send them in real-time
Things to know:
- Tiered pricing with a free version that includes one seat and 100 active contacts
3. Sumo Chat
If you currently use Sumo’s pop-up tool to collect emails then their recently launched chat widget may be just for you.
- Gather statistics about interactions with your visitors such as response time, messages per chat, chat duration, visitors, chats, email addresses, and heat map
- Customizations for your Sumo Chat widget include a photo, display name, chat color, and chat bubble color
- Setup auto response messages when available, when away, and when a valid email is received
Things to know:
- Currently only available to current Sumo users on the small business, eCommerce, and teams plans
- Only one user can interact with visitors at a time
With this tool, you can support your website visitors with personalized chat invitations based on CRM insights, behavior tracking, and much more. What’s even better is that you can easily customize each chat button and widget while deploying it on multiple websites in seconds.
- Incredibly fast live chat
- Built-in call center software
- Answer your social media followers directly from LiveAgent
- Designated query tracking for customers
Things to know:
- They offer a free account with limited features and tiered pricing starts at $15 per month per agent
4. How to Setup a Live Chat Widget on Your Twenty Over Ten Website
Integrating a live chat widget on your website certainly involves some code knowledge for proper function. Of course, every widget is going to differ in how they’re set up so it’s best to ask your live chat provider for instructions on how to install. The majority of live chat widgets can be pasted directly into the Footer Code Inject of your Twenty Over Ten website. Twenty Over Ten customers who need additional assistance in adding your live chat widgets to their website please submit a ticket here.
We are living in a fast-paced society and people want answers as soon as possible. Integrating live chat is a great way to do this. There are many options for doing this, and we hope that the examples above serve as inspiration if you decide to include this useful tool on your own advisor website.
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About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.