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Web development is such a vast and deep field. The sheer knowledge required to simply make a website functional can be staggering. Adding search engine optimization to that is often overwhelming. When you also consider customer interactions and satisfaction, it feels like an infinite pursuit. Maybe it is. That shouldn’t discourage you from working to build the best web presence possible for your business, and there is a reasonable shortcut that can get you there faster and at less cost than you might think. That shortcut comes in the form of 24/7 live chat support. Every website should have it. It is a more powerful tool than you realize, and its attainability will surprise you.
Having a live chat is vital to building a brand and generating customer satisfaction. It is by far the easiest and most reliable way to be reached by customers. The very nature of live chat lends it to be a favorite mode of interaction. When customers first stumble across your site, they have the opportunity to interact with you in a one-on-one format. Whereas phone interactions force them to stop what they’re doing to focus on the call, a chat conversation naturally folds into their browsing habits. As for email, it’s often too slow. Live chat hits that happy medium, and its universal appeal will enable you to engage with many more customers directly.
The idea that live chat is always available is one of its most important features. Every other form of communication has downtime, but live chat ensures that customers are getting what they need even at the most inconvenient moments. That said, it’s extremely difficult for small (and many media) businesses to keep the promise of 24/7 access. That’s why having it included in your IT service marketing package is so important. You’re getting a huge bonus without having to take on the expense of providing it directly.
Qualifying Prospects in Real Time
The idea of 24/7 access is more important than you realize. Sure, it will help you generate satisfaction for customers who need help late at night or on holidays, but the total picture is much bigger. Research done by Drift looked into how quickly prospects lose interest in a company after the first contact. The number they found is five minutes. Any prospect who navigates to your page is going to give you five minutes to impress them. A great website can help with that, but direct engagement is the superior method. Ulistic has found that chat support generates 35-percent more opportunities than static counterparts (like an FAQ page). Live chat can easily serve as the backbone of your MSP website services.
Improved Issue Tracking
Prospects are important, but you also need to satisfy customers who are already spending money on you. Live chat helps in this department too. Live chat isn’t just picking up the customers who need help outside of normal business hours. The truth is that most customers prefer live chat as the go-to resource for issue resolution. It makes sense when you really think about it.
First, the younger generations prefer chat messaging to phone calls and emails. This is as true for scheduling a dinner with friends as it is for getting tech support. That aside, live chat is a superior method. Customers get a real-time conversation, and they get everything in writing. This helps them feel more empowered, and it tends to yield better customer satisfaction.
When you acknowledge that many customers prefer to communicate with you this way, making it available will generate better issue tracking. You will get more data, and that enables you to strategize around common or trending issues to improve your entire business model.
It’s Still Uncommon
Here’s the final bombshell. Fewer than a third of companies utilize live chat. There are barriers that prevent it, but a lot of business operators are still undervaluing live chat. You have probably brushed it off many times in your own browsing, and that might lend you to think that everyone does. That skips the real point. If it is there when you have a burning question or pressing issue, you’re more likely to click that chat button than make a call or other inquiry. Because so many of your competitors don’t understand this, having your own live chat helps you stand out from the crowd. It provides an image of professionalism and being on the cutting edge, and that is something your MSP marketing is fighting to obtain.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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