Remember how much fun instant messaging was?!
As digital marketers/advertisers, we’re always looking for better ways to get in touch with our prospective customers. Most of us rely on lead gen forms or even phone calls, but very few have tapped into the power of chat for lead generation.
You’ve definitely seen them before. Those pesky chat boxes that pop-up and seem very “robotish” are found here and there, but the crazy thing is, they’re all doing it the wrong way!
So before I get too carried away, allow me to explain the 5 reasons for why you need a chat for lead generation. All that, and some sweet examples of how it’s improved conversion rates for some of our clients.
Reason #1 – Forms and Phone Numbers Are Scary! Chatting is Less Threatening
The Issue with Contact Forms…
For some of us, filling out a form on a website is like marrying someone we just met: it’s just one of those things we avoid at all costs.
Okay, so that may be a bit overdramatic, but the point is that some people really don’t like to give out their contact info online.
When you really stop to think about it, the thought of submitting your personal info, then waiting for a call or email back from some mystery person you’ve never met can be downright scary!
The Trouble with Phone Numbers…
There is a word for people who fear the phone—it’s called telephonophobia. No really! While it’s not really a fear of phones, but rather making and receiving calls, this phobia rings true for some people. See for yourself in this highly scientific video:
Some people will do whatever they can to avoid talking on the phone, even if it means not getting the information they need. They just want an answer to their solution with no human interaction if possible.
In college, I had a roommate who was interested in a job at a local supermarket. I advised her to seek out the hiring manager to introduce herself in person, and suggested she call the store to see what hours the manager would be in.
She was so uncomfortable with making even a quick call that she chose to walk 20 minutes to the store (each way) just to see if the manager happened to be there. I was shocked! How could an adult be so avoidant of the phone?? But it’s true: some people simply do. not. like. the phone.
The bottom line is, a chat for lead generation can be a great way to give those form-haters and ‘telephonophobes’ a way to contact you that they feel good about, anonymously.
Reason #2 – Live Chat Gives Visitors a VERY Quick Way To Get Answers – In Real Time.
Many website visitors suffer from a debilitating disease called impatience. They simply don’t want to wait for ANYTHING, let alone to get a question answered. They want answers fast, and they want them now.
According to a BoldChat.com report, “Time is a key factor to chat fans. Of those who prefer live chat, 79% said they did so because they get their questions answered quickly and 46% agreed it was the most efficient communication method.”
Most of the time, visitors that want to have an extended conversation will just pick up the phone (as long as they don’t have telephonophobia!). But what if they just have a simple question? What if they fear that long robotic answering machine? What if they fear that sleezy sales man?
Sometimes, all a visitor wants to know is one piece of information to help them quickly evaluate whether it makes sense to continue the conversation or shop elsewhere.
To them, it’s not worth filling out a form that’s longer than their question, especially if they have to wait for the answer. Nor does it make sense to spend more time searching for your purse to find your cell phone and punch in the number, than it takes to actually have a 10-second call.
The problem this presents for business owners is that some people, rather than filling out a form or dialing the phone, will just leave your site and move on to the next.
But! If a friendly chat operator is ready to answer a visitor’s question on the spot, you might just become their new superhero and save the day!… or at least save a potential customer 🙂
Reason #3 – Chatting Gets More Specific Info About Your Visitors And Can Help Improve Your Business
While lead-generating forms can work, they are limited.
With a set number and type of fields, they don’t allow you to ask questions that are tailored to the visitor’s interests and needs without additional follow up later. In some cases, this is fine, but when time is of the essence, being able to do the ‘follow-up’ with a potential client right then and there can be preferable and often more successful.
Chatting in real time allows you to ask very specific questions that help you quickly assess a visitors needs and make recommendations on the spot.
A chat for lead generation also allows you to gather information that can improve your business. Some chat clients, such as Olark, offer the capability to link up with Google Analytics. This gives you, as the business owner, the chance to learn more about how your customers and chat operators interact, which can give you excellent feedback for your site.
Reason #4 – Interacting Via Chat Can Act as a Way To Qualify Your Leads
Something most companies who use lead-generation to bring in new business run into is the issue of qualifying leads. Hopefully, however you are driving visitors to your website has a good handle on this, but even the best marketers won’t be able to ensure every single lead they send you is qualified.
A great blog post from thechatshop.com explains the need to qualify leads early on:
“Being able to qualify leads in real time, right at the beginning of the sales funnel, is the most efficient form of lead qualification. Not only can resources be wasted on unqualified leads but they can also be wasted on making lead qualification a long and laborious process. Many companies leave lead qualifying down to their sales teams, meaning that they have to spend pointless hours calling leads which aren’t ready to begin business with their company.
…Qualifying sales leads should be done by your marketing team, or even better, should be done in real time whilst potential leads are on your website.”
Thus, online chat can help you feel out the interest level of a visitor, and qualify whether it’s a lead that should even be passed on to your sales team at all, saving you precious time and unnecessary expense, while still allowing yourself ample time to balance stacks of dollars on your head.
Reason #5 – Best Of All, Chat For Lead Generation Increases Conversion Rates!
I’m going to assume that anyone reading this post–and anyone who runs a business, for that matter–is pretty interested in increasing their conversion rate. Well, I’m here to tell you that adding live chat to your website can do just that.
In a statistical analysis done in 2012, BoldChat found that:
And here’s another crazy stat to Tweet: “Chatters who engage via proactive invitation are 8x more likely to convert than visitors who don’t chat. Up from 6.3x in 2009.”
Those numbers speak for themselves. Chat for lead generation increases the likelihood of conversion. Boom. There you have it.
So what the heck are you waiting for? Quit reading this blog post and get chat added to your site!
Or, chat Disruptive right here on our site. We heart chat, awesome landing pages, and kick-butt pay-per-click campaigns. If you love these things too, and need some help with yours, we’d love to hear from you. Chat us right now! 🙂
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