How to interact with your website visitors like a pro…

A Chat feature on your website can increase engagement particularly at that vital point when visitors are about to place an order or take further action. It also makes your business appear sophisticated, professional and well-established. You might have thought that having a Chat feature for website visitors is only for brands with big budgets and thousands of visitors. Not so. There are a number of Chat applications that can be very easily linked to your website, and the prices ranges from free through modest, to the sort of money that those big brands are indeed spending. There are various levels, from simple visitor chat to sophisticated multi-agent support and analytics.

We are trialling Zendesk Chat because it has a free option, although that is well hidden on their website. Here’s how it works.

  1. Sign up – the Free Trial is actually for the Professional version but you can downgrade after the trial.
  2. You are provided with a piece of code which you have to add to your web site. If you know how to do that, great, if not do what we did and ask your web support people to do it. It takes about 9 seconds to set up if you know what you are doing with the editor.
  3. You are good to go. This is the chat on the Ascent Learning page (yes, I’m talking to myself).
  4. Here’s the other end of the chat, at the desktop agent app which runs in a browser. You don’t have to man this full-time because visitors can leave messages but it can run in background while you are at your desk. It will alert you to repeat visitors if they have chatted before, and also show live visitor traffic.
  5. Here’s the bit I really like, the agent end on a mobile device. If you only have occasional visitors chatting, which covers most smaller businesses, then the mobile app is ideal. You have the app running in background and you can set yourself to be Available, Invisible or Away. You can set various alerts to bleep you when you have visitors and when a chat has started. This means you can be waiting for a train, and helping someone place an order on your website at the same time.

There are other Chat and Support apps available so it is worth shopping around to see which is best for you. There is a good review article comparing 10 different support and chat apps here (for clarification, the product Zopim mentioned was acquired by Zendesk).

P.S. While I was updating this Field Note my Zendesk Chat was telling me I had new activity on the site. Nothing is missed!

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