The days of a website performing as a shop window are over. At the very least a website needs to be a showroom with interactive examples of services, past work and testimonials. The visitor needs to leave with a real sense of what you can do.

But what really takes a brand’s website to the next level is by turning it into a responsive extension of its office. That means being ready to talk to people when they visit – just as you would in your workplace. This is where live chat facilities can work wonders in creating enquiries you’d otherwise miss.

The value of being ready to talk

In fact, businesses could be missing a vital trick by not installing a live chat facility on their websites. That small box which sits in the corner of the website is transforming the way many companies that use it gather new business at the exact point people are interested.

Recent Moneypenny data shows that 47% of its clients’ live chats were high quality new business enquiries – warm, high quality leads they might not have received had they not been using the service. And garnered with no effort from the business itself as the chats themselves had been outsourced.

It might seem like a big step for a lot of businesses, particularly smaller enterprises. We often hear queries from businesses that are keen to use it and see the benefit in speaking to customers via the medium, but don’t want to lose control of their ‘personal business voice’. But as each lead – and potential new customer – is precious, offering an easy way for them to get or request more information is a no-brainer.

Being available exactly when customers want it

According to a study by Forrester Research, 44% of website visitors appreciate having their questions answered instantly while they browse. It helps them to make informed decisions without leaving the website to call for information or wait for hours or days for their email to be responded to.

The study also shows that 38% of visitors are more likely to commit to a buying decision after a web chat session. When you compare the web chat session with the traditional methods of getting more information from a company, it’s easy to see why it appeals to customers.

A website visitor can have a real-time conversation with an informed assistant at their convenience, leaving them to multi-task. They could be cooking dinner or finishing jobs at work while in the middle of a web chat session with no pressure to hurry their conversation.

By Jess Edwards, Commercial Channel Manager at Moneypenny.

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