Regardless of your company and industry, interacting with your audience while they are visiting your web pages can considerably increase your sales. Businesses of all sizes now can affordably and easily integrate online chats (and possibly instant messaging) on their site. These third party companies have come a long way and messaging platforms are now reliable, user-friendly, and affordable. These chats and messaging platforms are no longer just for social media companies, they can now be used on regular websites.
=1= Online chats:
Preferably, you would want to subscribe to a service like LiveChat. They are many others so shop wisely. If your budget allows it, you may ask your web programmer to develop one just for you. But, in most cases, we recommend using a company whose sole business is online chatting. This way they hold the responsibility of upgrading their program when a new browser version is launched, a new computer system is sold, etc. Adapting an online chat program to ever changing technology is a full time job so choose a third party.
Most web users know how an online chat room works like. There is a button to click or mouse over, or a pop-up indicating to the visitor that he/she can communicate live with a member of your team. If no one is available, there are typically two options:
The visitor is on queue for the next available agent or they may leave a message.
To make best use of this marketing tool you want to make sure that you have staff members that can properly respond to the chat and who are available most of the day. In some instances, you may contract with a call center who use chats instead of or in addition to regular phone call handling. This enables you to be “open” 24/7/365.
Either way, ask your web designer to customize the online chat code so that it blends nicely with your company’s branding and color scheme. This simply looks more professional and may give the impression to the visitors that you developed your own online chat room.
=2= Instant messaging:
Instant messaging also knows as IM is one of the most popular online tools and there is no sign of slowing its popularity. Think of Facebook Messenger. Over 900 million people use it every month (not every year… every month!). They have over 1 billion users, not bad. Not all websites can make use of IM. This is typically best suited for a membership website where you wish your members to communicate with each other. It can also be a good option for an online portal where your employees, clients, and/or vendors log on. A good IM would enable them to communicate them quickly and easily. Instant messaging is so much quicker than emailing. The draw back is that it is meant for quick chats, may have limits on the type of files you can attach, and required typically some sort of registration and login.
Just like online chats, IM can be contracted with another company which specializes in this tool or you can have a developer create that functionality for your company. When you hire someone to develop your very own IM, it becomes yours to keep and you can even sell it should you wish to.
If you still have questions about various ways to interact with your visitors online, feel free to contact our team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.