A website chat app can take on quite a few forms. However, its intention is always to provide a free chatting mechanism that allows your website visitors to interact with your team.
It’s built on a central instant messaging functionality, making it that much more efficient for engaging today’s audiences. More diverse apps allow you to engage clients where they are comfortable. It’s not always a WordPress chat plugin, for example.
While you could use a traditional WhatsApp WordPress plugin or an Instagram messenger plugin, it could also be a Shopify chat plugin. These integrations contribute to the level of inclusion you can get out of these platforms.
Since the chat app’s operational style is more convenient and less traditional, you find that it can be the key to shortening your sales funnel and generating greater interactions with your customers.
Of course, you can still supplement it with other digital conversion channels including pop ups, contact forms, and email. These are all still relevant, but today’s focus is on using a chat app to drive improved engagement in your sales funnel.
When you think of what a chat plugin for a website typically looks like and does, you’re likely imagining it being a throwaway support tool. By the time you are finished reading, you should have a much better appreciation for a chat app’s diversity and relevance to you.
Convert visitors with a well-designed chat app
To make this one make sense, let’s go ahead and compare the traditional sales funnel to what it may look like with a chat app in the mix.
Here, we’ll start with where we are coming from. There’s the prospecting phase, the lead phase, the marketing qualified lead (MQL) phase, the sales qualified lead (SQL) phase, the opportunity phase, after which there is there confirmed customer phase.
Someone would have to successfully get through all six before they would present business value to you. The problem with traditional means is that they don’t give you the kind of instant and targeted workflow that you can get with a chat app That attribute is enough to help or hurt your chances.
Why is this? Let’s imagine that email is your contact method, for example. To simplify it even more, let’s imagine you run a business where your team drives around and services business vehicle fleets. The benefit to clients is that you charge a lot less than the official vehicle dealers would for a similar quality service.
Now, your marketing and sales teams are likely interested in putting your services out there and securing business clients. Let’s say a business with a fleet of 20 vehicles visited your site, requested some information, and is now awaiting your feedback.
There’s likely going to be a period in which no engagement takes place. So, that lead would be sitting there waiting on response until someone gets around to sending that initial engagement email. That is all it takes to lose that prospect before even getting to qualify it as a lead.
Let’s look at it from a personal standpoint. If you are interested in purchasing a service, you may be inclined to check out a few different vendors. Maybe you have your heart set on one, but you want to see what the prospects are like. If you reach out to the desired one and no one reaches out to you for a couple of days, what do you think is going to happen?
It’s very likely that you are going to go with one of the more responsive alternatives, simply because the behavior demonstrated by the one you reached out to first implies a disinterest in your business. If the team is treating you that way when they should be putting their best foot forward, how bad is it going to get when you buy into their business?
On the contrary, that could realistically be the best provider of the lot, but the lack of engagement was enough to get you to not even think about giving a chance.
This kind of real-time interaction is what the traditional sales funnel is missing, which is why it is not as effective as what a chat plugin for your website can give you.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the chat sales funnel and see how the difference plays out. Here, you would probably have a pre-chat form that a visitor to your site fills out, providing you with useful insights to direct their needs to the relevant party. For example, with a few short responses, you could ascertain the relevant department, the service desired, any areas of ambiguity, etc.
Just with that information alone, you can almost immediately create relevant engagement. The keyword there is “relevant.” Since you’ve collected this information from the chat plugin for your website, you eliminate the process of having to scope how to handle the customer from the foundational level.
You get to bring in relevant parties from your sales team or any other department that may be applicable. None of this means that you are immediately going to close the sale because you have adopted the live chat sales funnel. Yes, you have effectively combined the first four elements of the traditional sales funnel into one quick action, but there is still work to be done.
Now, it’s time to talk about how to get to the finish line after you’ve given yourself such a head start.
How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel with a Chat Plugin
Alright, so you know how to cut down the level of tediousness involved in the sales funnel. That’s great, but you still need to handle the said funnel effectively to achieve the desired result.
When done well, you achieve a high level of communicative efficiency. Sometimes, your team isn’t overwhelmed because you are understaffed. Sometimes, the real problem is that the capabilities and roles you have are not being used effectively.
In the car servicing example above, if you have two sales associates and five office-based part experts, why should the sales associates be the ones tied up with taking all the customer queries about parts? That’s how you should think about this as we proceed through the section.
1. Direct Your Customers to the Right Person
Quite a bit was said earlier about ensuring that visitors are being directed to the right department. The importance mostly goes without saying, since you can infer the increased operational efficiency.
Why spend time trying to scope something that persons A and B don’t know when you could speak to person C who has the answer and be on your way? If nothing else, it helps you to clear up any ambiguity you may have while allowing you to make more optimal decisions.
As you consider what you can get with your messenger WordPress plugin, for example, take a moment to think about how you would respond if you were on the customer’s side.
There is a staff element to it too. Imagine not having frontline operators tied up for obscene amounts of time trying to figure out where to route a potential client because of a lack of expertise.
Beyond improving the lead qualification process, you can create better staff morale and higher productivity from the said frontline team members since they get to focus their efforts more precisely and avoid these kinds of draining conversations.
2. You Can Address Concerns Anytime
Being able to meet this need is achievable in multiple ways with this right chat widget in your arsenal. First, there is the matter of being able to engage your customers where they are, whether they’re using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, Viber, or any other messaging channels. Sometimes, the interactions that can translate to business for you happen at the most random times.
When a potential client can reach out on a known platform, it increases the likelihood and willingness to ask the required questions. If you stand in a position where you are always ready for these conversations, then you are setting yourself up for success.
Another potential option is to take advantage of canned responses. This involves using certain predefined cues and clues to handle engagements effectively without having to treat them as if they are new. Doing so even allows the less experienced team members to at least open the communication chain and prevent the creation of a disinterested experience
For a chat app to properly optimize your sales funnel, it needs to integrate into your workflow and not the other way around. There is no need for you to discount the idea of continuous engagement if that is the strategy that works for you. Instead, your chat button should stand on a platform that supports your intended workflow.
3. Assess Heatmaps and Place Your Chat Button Correctly
Visual representation is essential in sales on marketing. Instead of using numbers or spreadsheets, heatmaps use color shading to graphically display financial data, product use, or other sales metrics.
Beyond showing you what your current sales look like or how your engagement attempts are working, you also get to visualize potential opportunities that allow you to tweak your sales funnel process.
Maybe you can adjust your offerings to appeal to certain geographical locations more. Additionally, you also get to see a bit of what you are doing wrong. From a compound perspective, you may not be feeling the negative effects just yet, but channeling resources less wastefully could make for even greater performance.
4. Create Automated Chat App Greetings
When you hear about the improvements that live chat incorporation can bring to your sales funnel, you may be inclined to view it from a purely human perspective. In other words, you might imagine that after a site visitor fills your pre-check form, the person is then routed to a human being.
That may not necessarily be the case. Conversation openers can be handled by an automated system. Apart from giving your visitors a warm greeting, it could communicate that a relevant human is being located based on the information entered.
Alternatively, it could provide automated responses as covered below.
5. Utilize Automated Responses
This point follows the previous one and Upwork demonstrates it masterfully. Its freelancers must complete a visual verification process at certain intervals. This involves initiating a chat with an agent and answering a couple of questions on a video call. Most of these calls take less than a minute to complete.
Still, freelancers are not immediately connected to agents. Instead, the chat begins with an automated system.
The freelancers communicate that they’d like to complete a video verification. Following this, the system asks the freelancer to verify the presence of a camera, microphone, and internet quality that can handle the video call.
Upon confirmation, a transfer is made to one of the agents to complete the call. Without confirmation, the system communicates that the call cannot be facilitated and the chat ends.
You’d be surprised to know how much a “chatbot” can handle on your behalf.
6. More Chances of Understanding Your Customer
This aligns with one of the limitations expressed with the traditional sales funnel and the way it puts the team in a position where it must profile customers from scratch. Using the live chat funnel allows for a much better starting level of understanding.
With the additional tools and backend insights provided by a comprehensive chat service provider, you can build on these basic details even further, allowing you to have a targeted conversation that feels unique on the customer’s end.
How Can You Maximize Conversions with Your Chat Widget?
Time and efficiency are the two biggest additions that a chat widget can bring to help with increased conversions. That lull in communication that accounts for so many lost opportunities is all but eliminated.
Engagement is more immediate, putting you in the best possible solution to capitalize. Of course, you want to ensure that the live chat option is available from all site pages that are most likely to yield conversions.
How to Get Started with Your Chat App
So, you’ve learned quite a bit about improving the sales funnel and what a comprehensive chat platform can do for you where improving conversions is concerned. The only question now is where do you turn to get all of this?