How many times have you seen a “click to chat” button on a webpage?
How about those robotic-sounding messages that pop-out of a webpage you are viewing? You may think that you are about to have an instant conversation with someone but if you choose to chat, you are presented with something like: “please hold while we connect you to an operator” (leaving you waiting for what can often be several minutes, which is like days in Internet time).
This is Live Chat, a technology that was started by LivePerson in 1998 and that hasn’t changed much since its creation. Live Chat is a great tool for customer service, but it falls short for sales or increasing conversion.
After working with and interviewing countless sales representatives, we have identified 10 reasons why live chat is not enough for sales. Here is a preview of 3 of those reasons:
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1. Efficiency not effectiveness
Live chat providers such as LivePerson or BoldChat, have built complex platforms that are designed for operators to handle multiple customer inquiries at once in order to maximize their time. A “one-to-many” approach.
Try this experiment, go to a mall or shop and ask a salesperson how many people they can engage with and sell to at the same time. Then ask them what would happen if they were able to line up customers next to each other but split up their time speaking with each of them. By now you get the point, sales are more effective as one-to-one experiences and not one-to-many.
2. Less interactive
Live chat is meant to sit in the background of the browsing experience. It was only designed to come into the foreground of the experience when a visitor sends or receives a message. The chat interaction is intended to be a low-touch, efficient communication method between the visitor and the operator.
Today’s Internet browser displays everything from full-length movies to robust CRM applications. It’s getting harder to imagine that a chat box that hasn’t changed much since 1998 is engaging enough to sell products to the modern consumer. Today’s consumer wants to engage with content… and that content should be customized, dynamic, visual and instant.
3. Lower value inquires
Live chat today is built from the ground up for customer service. It is designed to be like a 24h hot line that can help customers with questions such as “Do you have this in green?”, “My shopping cart is not working”, “Can I get free shipping?”.
Imagine you are a watch salesman working at a high-end jeweler. Would you rather speak with: a) the college student visiting the shop for the first time and asking ingenuous questions about the new Rolexes or b) the quiet connoisseur in the corner of the shop examining a $50k Patek Philippe? It is important to help the college student because we want to create a positive experience for all visitors but the highest value would come from the connoisseur. Chat doesn’t let you choose.