Many websites, including our own, make use of a ‘Live Chat’ feature. If you’re unfamiliar with Live Chat, it’s quite a useful website feature that helps visitors conveniently make contact with you.
The way it normally works, is that a visitor to your website clicks on the Live Chat button, types in their name and clicks on ‘Start Chat’. The Live Chat feature then informs the operator (or website owner) that a visitor is waiting to chat. Once the operator accepts to ‘take’ the chat, they are connected to the visitor and the on-line chat starts. The visitor types in and submits their question, and the operator responds accordingly.
It's quite easy to understand why a visitor may choose to communicate using Live Chat, instead of using the telephone. In a way, they can remain anonymous, and feel a little more in control when communicating. They also may just want the answer to a quick question, without being bombarded by a full-on sales pitch. Many visitors will also use Live Chat when they cannot use the telephone, for example, they are contacting you from their work place.
So, what do businesses get out of using Live Chat on their websites? Well, for a start, it opens up another channel of communication between you and potential customers. Visitors to your website may also feel more confident getting in touch with you, simply because there are ‘operators’ at hand on your website to assist them, if needs be.
Most of the Live Chat software available on the market will also provide you with extremely useful information about your website visitors. This includes how visitors found you i.e. Search Phrases they used with the search engines, or whether they directly typed in your domain name. Also, information on the city, country, IP address of each visitor, what pages of your website they are browsing, how long they have spent on your website. The list goes on!
Live Chat need not burden a business either. If there is no one around to assist with on-line chats the software allows you to disable the ‘button’ on your website, as and when you require. You can also set the software to disable the button if your keyboard has not been used for a set period of time.
And the cost? Well, it’s worthwhile shopping around to see which companies are offering the best deals with Live Chat software. Be prepared to pay from $20 upwards, per operator license per month.