Have you experienced live chat over the web?
For some people, they prefer the ability to be in control of a conversation online rather than on the phone. They feel less-pressurised when dealing with a company that way and can maintain some distance if they have to. And they like the relative distance it enables, rather than feeling they are being sold to.
It also offers companies chances to interact with customers who don’t wish to physically talk with a sales person. In fact, Intercom’s figures show that website visitors who choose the ‘chat’ option are 82% more likely to convert to being a customer.
Are there some techniques we can use to build rapport with customers who are online with our website? Here, we discuss ways to make a prospect on-line be more open and agreeable to making decisions.
1) Don’t oversell or pressurise the prospect
Remember, they are the one in control. They can stop chatting or go off-line the moment they feel the pressure of a sales pitch.
Instead, talk about the benefits the person will get from using your services. The message should be customer-focused, not product-centric, unless they specifically ask for specifications or product details.
2) Talk like a human being, not a robot
It’s tempting at times to lose the fact that you are actually communicating with a person. You’re not sending an email…this is a conversation, a live chat.
So, be friendly but keep a professional tone. Don’t robotically state facts and figures. Imagine yourself in their position.
For many, this is a strange conversation. Unlike the phone, you can’t hear the tone or the nuances of what’s being said. Unlike face-to-face, you can’t give eye-contact or see the body language. So, be human and welcoming.
3) Enhance your listening skills
Really listen to what the person is typing.
This sounds strange, doesn’t it, to listen to what a person types. But remember that they are writing down their thoughts and if you view what they type as coming straight from their mouths, you recognise what mood or state the person might be in and are able to reciprocate accordingly.
As you converse, ask pertinent questions, give the person time to answer and identify the meaning behind what they are saying.
4) Recognise the tone of the conversation
If you find the prospect is taking longer to reply or they seem to be getting more defensive, identify the change of tone and respond in kind.
This means less emphasis on what you want and more on what they are looking for as a future state.
The prospect may start to back away from making a decision, or want to think about things. What you don’t want is to suddenly lose them if they decide they want to go offline.
Identifying if there’s a change in tone will help you adjust your communication and hence get back on track.
5) Learn from experiences
If you find your live chat sessions don’t get you much business or don’t achieve the results you want, identify what the messages are telling you.
Look back over your chats and see if you can decipher any changes in tone that you didn’t pick up, or areas where you could improve your technique.
By checking out what you could improve in, you give yourself learning opportunities for future chats that may improve your chances of success.
Live chat is becoming a normal way of communicating on-line now, so we need to improve our communication on this popular one-to-one medium