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A Cost Effective Way to Capture Website Visitors Who Are On The Fence

By Erin  |  February 20, 2013  |   Business Website Tips | Website Improvement

live chat bubble

Generating an increasing amount of traffic to your website month after month typically requires a serious investment of some combination of hard work, smart strategy, money, time, content creation, outreach and continual learning and tweaking. And typically, the more competitive your industry, the bigger the challenge and investment.

No surprises there.

As smart business owners know, though, generating that traffic is only part of the battle.

Once a qualified prospective customer has been attracted to your website and officially becomes a website visitor, you're looking to convert him into a lead to prevent losing him forever.  

After all, what good is traffic if it doesn't generate leads and ultimately customers—and have a direct impact on your revenue?

Not much good.

While high quality, targeted content, visually highlighted calls to action, and captivating free offers (see one of ours for an example) have been shown to increase visitor-to-lead conversions, a simple, affordable tactic that's continuing to gain increasing traction on business websites is live chat.

Live chat blends in with our world

Times, they are a changin' have changed.

Love it or not, we live in a world where people prefer texting and ultra-quick conversations over calls, emails, and in-person meetings. Live chat allows you to take full advantage of this trend that's continuing to press forward, full steam ahead.

Fortunately, even the smallest of companies can invite increasing amounts of instant interaction quickly, affordably, and easily by implementing live chat.

And the concept is dead simple. When someone visits your site, he or she can contact you (or an associate) instantly and start a chat.

Questions aren't put off.
Potential objections are circumvented promptly.
Incorrect assumptions are stomped upon before they cause problems.  

Excellent.

Live chat offers your prospective customers instant gratification and removes known deterrents that have the potential to require just enough extra energy to keep your site visitors from asking a question or reaching out via phone or email.

Do-It-Yourself live chat options (yes, they all have funny names)

While we're sharing a few of the many live chat possibilities with you here today, we're not making any specific recommendations or endorsements. (No affiliate links here.) You'll need to determine which solution works best for your business's needs and workflow.

  • OggChat integrates directly with Google Talk and whichever instant messenger service you like. Useful features include live visitor monitoring (wow!), geo-ip tracking, live chat history, and customizable chat windows. Everything is routed through each operator's Google Talk account, meaning there's no need for software or training: whoever is manning the chat simply logs into their Gmail or IM account and starts chatting directly with potential clients. OggChat is both tablet and smart phone friendly.
  • Olark has made installation a breeze and provides a beautiful, intuitive interface. The Olark chat box is also fully customizable using different themes, colors, and multiple language strings.
  • JivoSite provides a wealth of useful features including a chat window that look like the friendly and oh-so-familiar to oh-so-many Facebook chat window. The chat window stays on top of the your website so it's always front and center—if that's what you'd prefer, of course. A convenient agent desktop app is available, and JivoSite also makes it free to call using a microphone and speaker through VoIP. Plus, for those who track their online marketing efforts (that’s you, right?), JivoSite integrates with Google Analytics.
  • Zopim offers a truly full-featured service that includes email chat transcripts and a smart offline mode (meaning you can choose exactly what happens and what visitors see when you're not around). Over 50,000 websites use Zopim, and many are big, big fans due to its automatic translation and its seamless integration with a variety of CRMs.

Free, free trials, or full service

As there's a good deal of healthy competition in the chat services industry, pricing is typically very sensible, with many companies offering basic service plans for free (usually with limited feature sets).

If you're unsure as to whether live chat would benefit your business, our advice is to choose one of these options:

  1. Take one of the Do-It-Yourself services listed above it for a spin using a free trial. (Most of the service providers offer 14 or 30 day free trials along with easy cancellation if the service isn't making a difference for your business.)
  2. Wait until next week, when we share with you an affordable, full-service solution that allows you to take care of your prospects and customers through instant chat via your website without you having to do anything.  Sound too good to be true? It's not.

While it’s not for everyone all the time (you’ll notice we don’t use it ourselves here at Followbright.com at the moment), millions of companies are finding live chat makes a difference when it comes to capturing visitors who're on the fence while browsing their sites. It's quite possible it could be a powerful conversation-starting and conversion-boosting tool for your website as well.

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