How Are You Engaging With Consumers on Your Website?
Let’s play a game where you guess what generation I am classified from clues that I give you. First clue is that I am in bed every night at 8:30pm. Second clue is that I don’t have a TikTok account. Third clue is that I have seen Engelbert Humperdinck live in concert…twice. From those three stats, you might say I would be considered a Baby Boomer, so I’m anywhere from late 50’s to early 70’s. Believe it or not, even though I am an old soul, technically I am a millennial. For the most part, I don’t have the “normal” qualities of a millennial and I act more like a Baby Boomer, however, when it comes to certain things, I certainly am a millennial!
One of the times I am is when it comes to dealing with or interacting with a business. If I want more information on something or even if it’s something customer service related, I want to find the way to interact with them the least; I don’t want to pick up the phone or go to their location. I would much rather go to the website, their Facebook page, text with them, or utilize a Live Chat feature they might have on their website. Live Chat is a great tool for businesses to incorporate into their website because it allows for consumers to interact with a business the way that they want to. Me, being a millennial, would much rather go to a website and use Live Chat to speak with someone and give up my contact information. My parents on the other hand, they are “old school” and feel more comfortable going to a physical location or picking up the phone and speaking with someone. Here is an example of how Amazon is a business that offers various ways for their consumers to interact with their team by having the Live Chat feature, or requesting a phone call:
Having a Live Chat agent on a website is the difference between brands talking at consumers, which is all a traditional website can do, and talking with their consumers. Live Chat is staffed by live humans who are trained agents that have knowledge about the business from their website, and through a series of questions that the business will answer. The other upside to having a Live Chat agent is that it allows for a business to have representation 24/7/365, without paying an employee to be available 24/7/365. With over 50% of consumers saying that a business needs to be available 24/7, Live Chat is a great tool to make that a possibility. Also, by having representation around the clock, this allows for leads to be captured, even when a business isn’t open. If it is late at night and I am just getting around to check out a product or service and I go to a website that has Live Chat and can give them my contact information for them to follow up with me, that is something that I can check off my to-do list, and there is nothing more satisfying to a millennial than crossing off something on their to-do list!
Another reason to consider adding a Live Chat feature to a website is because of the increasing amount of information that someone can receive from a Google Business Profile. This can act almost like a full screen sized mobile ad because it lists the address, hours, phone number, if that business accepts appointments, reviews, service options, updates, directions, menu (if applicable), and more about that business. Because of this, searchers are getting the information they are looking for without even going to the website, resulting in a “zero click search”. Live Chat can integrate with a Google Business Profile so the chat option can appear in Google Maps on a mobile device, and also in Google Search on a mobile device. Sixty five percent of Google searches do NOT result in a click to a website, so even if potential customers don’t visit the website of that business, they can still interact with that company, because of Live Chat.
When it comes to digital advertising, Live Chat isn’t exactly considered a marketing tool, but more of a lead generation tool. The main goal of the live chat agent is to gather four key pieces of information:
The visitors name
The visitors contact information (a phone number or email address)
What that visitor is looking for is something that business offers
The geographic location of that visitor
If the chat agent gathers that information, that is considered a sales lead and the business can then follow up with that lead. Live Chat is also a great way to demonstrate a return on investment because you’re able to the trail that consumers are engaging in. We can show how many people saw an ad, clicked on it, went to the landing page, and then initiated a chat with the Live Chat agent. From there, the business receives the transcript of the chat that look place and can follow up with that person and convert them into a customer. This is a great tool that shows the sales journey from someone seeing an ad because of a targeted campaign, to become a customer.
Now for certain types of businesses, it might make more sense to have a Virtual Assistant type Live Chat on their site, instead of a Live Chat agent. Virtual Assistant is for simple conversions like signing up for a newsletter, collecting emails, or asking for more info, without paying per sales leads that comes through.
Virtual Assistant is an automated bot, so it is not staffed by a live agent, and instead of paying $10 per lead fee, the business pays a flat fee per month. If a business isn’t trying to obtain leads but instead are trying to get more email addresses, or newsletter sign ups, subscriptions, etc., having the Virtual Assistant is the more cost-effective route. Keep in mind Virtual Assistant does not currently integrate with a Google Business Profile or have the ability to do SMS text messaging, like the Live Chat agent.
With this option, the website visitor is presented with up to four options to choose from. After the visitor clicks one of the options the Virtual Assistant can ask for name, email, phone number, and offer a link to a page of the website.
Here are some example bot options for when the Virtual Assistant asks, “What can I help you with?” to visitors:
As consumers, one thing that we have come to expect when dealing with a business is good customer service, no matter where we go. When helping businesses come up with ideas for their ads, one of the top things I always hear when I ask “what sets you apart from your competitors?” is that they have excellent customer service. That isn’t something that sets you apart from your competitors because that is something that is expected everywhere, but customer service has become a broad term. Does it mean adding a personal touch, responding quickly to questions, not being on hold for long, or maybe offering a discount? To me, the wanna be Baby Boomin’ Millennial, it means all of those, but something else I really enjoy, is being able to interact with a business the way I want to, when I want to.
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