To Chat, or Not to Chat?: That is the Question
To paraphrase the famous statement, "To be, or not to be," uttered by Hamlet, a character in Shakespeare’s play of the same name, business and professional practice owners are faced with the question: "To chat, or not to chat." There are pros and cons and the only one who can make the ultimate decision is you. Even though most chat companies provide you a free trial period, in order to make that time effective and learn the most about whether chat is for you in the long-term, ask yourself some questions about what doing it right means to you and your unique business situation.
Doing it Right
Live chat means just that: A live person on the other end responding to questions or providing information to the user. When the live chat box drops down to begin a chat experience with a visitor to your website, it can either be a distracting nuisance driving the user away or a positive experience leading to a new client or satisfied current client. What does doing it right mean?
- Although you provide a script of answers to frequently asked questions to your live chat provider, make sure the chat provider knows how to ask leading questions to learn the user’s story. Why are they visiting and what are their needs? Your chat person needs to personalize the answer so it does not appear to be "canned."
- If the client or potential client asks questions the provider is unable to answer, depending on the service you have selected, the provider will either transfer the client immediately to you or offer to provide the information to the visitor within a certain period of time.
- If the chat provider has said information will be provided by a certain time, that commitment must be kept.
- Be sure you receive all transcripts of all calls and take the time to review them. They should be time-stamped and sent immediately following the chat to the in-house person responsible for follow-up. Your chat provider has no way of knowing if changes need to be made if you do not review the transcripts and let the provider know what you need to have done differently.
- If you are a medical professional, you want to be sure your provider is HIPAA compliant and that Personal Health Information (PHI) is protected.
- For legal offices, choose a provider who knows the need to keep chats private and confidential.
- If you are a contractor, you want to be sure your provider provides you only bona-fide leads.
More businesses are using live chat every day. Customers and clients are now expecting to find it available when they visit a website. When your website provides quick and personalized responses to visitor’s queries, they are satisfied and if they are not already clients, they become ones and tell others to visit. Live chat can change the way you do business and increase your client or customer base.