• June 23, 2017

Unfiltered Chat: Why More & More Businesses Are Using Live Chat to Drive Sales

Unfiltered Chat: Why More & More Businesses Are Using Live Chat to Drive Sales

Engaging with your users, potential users, customers, potential customers, etc, etc is critical to any company’s success. I’ve had a few recent chats (more published next week) about how companies are communicating and what tools they are using to do it.

Today, I focused on how businesses are using live chat to sell their products and communicate with potential customers. The chat was sparked by this blog post, so I got the author (Daniel Murphy from OnShape) on VA to continue the dialogue.

Check out our convo below and send me a chat invite if you’re looking to join the convo.


Alright Dan, thanks for hopping on. Let’s get right into it.
3:04 pm
I read your blog, it’s all about marketing, you seem to know what your talking about.
3:05 pm
One of your recent posts is about the value for businesses to use live chat and chatbots. Personally chatbots are frustrating as hell, so give me some more thoughts on this topic and why it’s valuable.
3:06 pm
So long as it seems like I know what I’m talking about, I must be at least half-way good at marketing, right? 😉
3:06 pm
Well live chat and chatbots are different. Live chat is usually with another human being on the other end of the conversation. Chatbots, I agree can be annoying because they aren’t smart enough yet. But it’s a promising technology to one day automate some of these conversations.
3:08 pm
I think live chat is valuable today because it’s a brand new conversation channel that so far, I’ve seen a lot of website visitors use as an alternative to digging for information on a website or calling the company directly.
3:09 pm
However, it takes a decent time investment right? You need to have it staffed 24/7
3:10 pm
Yes, it’s an investment. But no, you don’t have to have it staffed 24/7. Chat tools like Drift let you set office hours so live chat is available when your team is in the office.
3:12 pm
Makes sense. And what type of companies do you think benefit the most from having a live chat option? B2C, B2B? Does it matter?
3:13 pm
I’m not sure it does matter, but I’ve only tried it for B2B and I’ve only spoken to other B2B companies that have tried live chat. The mood is generally the same: this is promising, but how do we scale it? That’s where I believe AI and machine learning come into play. If companies like Drift and Intercom can build smart chatbots and their customers easily program them, there’s a huge opportunity for marketing teams to disrupt their competitors with a better lead qualifying.
3:18 pm
Better lead qualifying means a more efficient sales team which means huge growth potential.
3:19 pm
Agree 100%. So these live chats are all about lead to opportunity conversions then. Content marketing, social, whatever marketing stuffs the top of the funnel and then thee live chats could qualify the leads faster than individual outreach or a white paper could.
3:22 pm
I think scaling is an important thing to mention but I don’t think AI is remotely close yet. Or I don’t think the consumer is ready for it.
3:22 pm
I mean how brutal are the automated recordings from Comcast where it takes 30 minutes to get someone on the phone? Talking to computers, while scalable, is hurting those brands right now.
3:23 pm
I agree. That’s why I haven’t wasted too much time trying to setup chatbots with keyword logic. It’s just no there yet. But what is exciting is that live chat (with a human) is more appealing than phone or email (the two leading sales team communication channels) to our host prospects. And that’s not a huge surprise. Look at how we communicate in 2017. Facebook Messenger, Slack, WhatsApp. Look at how you and I are conversing now. VentureApp is a messaging tool for professionals. It’s convenient, easy to use and fast.
3:28 pm
Love that.
3:31 pm
Ok, so live chat is in right now. What else are you seeing as far as marketing trends right now? Is content marketing still king?
3:32 pm
Live chat is a hot topic in marketing. Probably the hottest topic, but I’m sure some would debate that. I also think new tools to convert traffic into contacts is an up and coming marketing “trend.” A good example is a tool like Privy.com, which helps marketing jazz up their website to get more contacts into their database with pop up banners, lead in banners, etc. I predict, as a result of that trend, we’ll see more progressive profiling marketing tools emerge in the next few years.
3:35 pm
I love Privy and know that it works but there has to be something better on the horizon than popups when it comes to conversions
3:38 pm
haha yes. The trick for them is going to be balancing great conversion rates with terrible UX. My web developer was not excited when I said we should try building out some of these banner. But there’s types of banners like the exit-intent banner which aren’t as intrusive. Marketer’s just have to remember: with great power comes great responsibility. Don’t piss off your website visitors by making them work too hard to get information they want or provide too much of their own information to receive subpar content.
3:42 pm
Mic drop
3:43 pm
3:44 pm
Alright Dan, thanks for chatting today man. Enjoyed the live chat about live chats.
3:44 pm
Me too, Greg. Thanks for chatting.
3:44 pm