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Live Chat: The Must-Have Business Tool In 20173 min read

Live Chat

Instant messaging has come an awfully long way since the days of MSN and AIM. Today, it’s most people’s go-to method of communicating, both in their personal and professional lives. Facebook’s two platforms, Messenger and WhatsApp, lead the charge with 900 million, and an eye-watering 1 billion active users every month respectively. That’s an awful lot of chatter!

With this new technology a new consumer attitude has emerged: instant gratification – the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment.

With live chat quickly becoming the must-have business tool, this article looks at why it should be treated as such a big deal, why you should be making time for it, how much you can expect to pay for it, and how it could still be useful even if you’re not looking to sell anything!

Why should I care about Live Chat?

Customers are no longer content sending off an email and waiting a couple of days for a response. They don’t have the time – they want an answer to their query there and then or they’ll simply go elsewhere. Why would anyone call and spend what feels like a lifetime listening to holding music? Surely the ability to chat with someone there and then isn’t too much to ask?

It’s taken a while, but businesses are now catering to this new behaviour by porting live chat functionality into their websites and utilising their social media accounts’ messaging apps. Right now, literally as I write this blog, I’m having a conversation with a potential new customer who’s messaging me from the east coast of America – 5am local time. What a time to be alive.

Joking aside, Live Chat offers a great way to fully take advantage of traffic that could generate a customer. This is particularly important if you are using PPC or Paid Social to help drive traffic to your website. Every visitor has an associated cost, and with 95% of users leaving websites without contacting you, the importance of this tool becomes pretty clear.

But what if I don’t have time to chat to customers in real time?

Time is precious – and for most business owners or customer service professionals – fairly limited. If you’re struggling to find the time to add live chat into your existing services you either need to look at better allocating your time, or simply outsourcing the service. External live chat specialists are all the rage in 2017 – and you’ll be amazed at how competitively priced they are!

Just how competitively priced is Live Chat?

Isn’t this just the golden question. Prices for live chat solutions can vary quite wildly, but the sheer growth of the market in recent years has resulted in a significant price drop to make live chat pricing fairly standard for any new technology. Right now you can get set up with a reasonable solution for around £15-£20 a month with most offering a 30-day free trial. If your website is hosted on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc there are free alternatives, although these could potentially be a little tricky to fully customise and harmonise with your analytics.

But I’m not trying to sell products online!

You don’t have to! Live chat isn’t just about selling, it’s about establishing a reliable connection with the users of your website, users who could very well end up becoming a customer at some point down the line. At this point it’s all about adding a convenient, human touch to the cold and robotic face that is your website.

Live chat is the must-have business tool in 2017. Even if you just consider adding it to your website for 30 days to see what all the fuss is about – do it! I bet you’ll generate conversations and potential leads before the end of your trial.

G2G… just wrapping up my chat with that potential new American customer. TTFN!

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