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How can you use live chat to increase your website conversion rate?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

An agent chatting with a customer.  This type of interaction can increase your website conversion rate.
Having live chat on your website is a good way to add a human touch and increase your website's conversion rate.

Summary: Customers that use live chat on a website can have conversion rates double website visitors that do not use live chat. Chat improves your conversion rate by building a human relationship with the customer. It is most appropriate for mid-sized to large companies, because it requires an employee always be available to chat online. Consider integrating live chat on your website so that customers can speak directly with one of your sales representatives when they have questions or want more information.

This article, by David Kain of Kain Automotive, points out that chat is an excellent way of improving a website's conversion rate.

Francis Bilodeau, Web Project Manager for Drummond Designs, says "chat helps our company double conversion rates over visitors who don't chat."

What makes chat so effective for generating website sales?
  1. The internet is a very impersonal medium. Human contact builds a human relationship.
  2. Many customers are more apt to chat online than they are to call your phone number or send an email.
  3. Chat protects the customer's privacy. For example, sending an email opens the customer up to annoying return mails (e.g. spam) from the company she has contacted. Calling might reveal her phone number on caller id.
In my personal experience, which agrees with companies such as Drummond Designs, I am far more likely to use a company's chat option than to call or email. I have used chat a number of times to gather information about a company, but I have called or emailed rarely.

So what chat solutions are there? Talisma is one I've seen large companies such as Microsoft use. LivePerson is another. However, honestly, helping you choose a solution isn't my area of expertise. I'd recommend searching Google for "chat solutions". You'll get plenty of results you can research further.

Chat is not for all companies. The biggest problem you're probably going to run into, if you're a small company like mine, is who can be available to answer customer chat inquiries? That's where we each must take time to learn more about chat, look at the costs versus benefits for our business, and make a decision about how to move forward.

In conclusion, if you sell a product or service online, strongly consider putting live chat on your website. Start small, and as you see improvement, grow it out. If you thoroughly plan your approach, you will see that live chat can help you increase your overall website conversion rate!

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