5 Things We've Learned from Launching Live Chat
It's been about a month since our bot-first live chat feature was launched, to leverage live chat functionality within Instabots. Being that this is a new venture, there are a lot of lessons we are learning to influence our live chat strategy and enhance our product as usage increases and we gain feedback from users.
After testing it on our own site as well as talking to our beta testers, we have gained some valuable lessons thus far as to users expectations, indicators that will affect the live chat experience, and factors to take into account with developing your live chat strategy.
1) Timeliness is key.
If you are even 1 minute late, people lose patience and 80% conversations attended to after 1 minute were lost; so if you choose to use live chat heavily, especially for lead generation, giving people a message that you will respond in 1-2 hours is likely ineffectual. You are essentially using live chat as an over-priced e-mail form.
2) Most people preferred talking to the bot.
When we first launched our live chat feature, we were surprised at how often people would abandon as soon as offered to speak to them through live chat. They might spend 5 minutes talking to our bot, and as soon as we said, “Hello! Can I help you answer any questions?” 90% of people would abandon. It was a similar feeling to people who walk into a store at the mall that has an overly-aggressive greeter who asks how they can help you. Most people say, “Just browsing, thanks!” This makes sense as most users are at the beginning of the funnel and trying to research or get additional information.
3) Live chat was most effective when a user told us they had a question.
Our chatbots solutions specialist, Tim, was hugely insightful when he noticed that live chat was often most successful once people said, “I have a question.” It was then that they showed their interest in having a conversation, and were willing to reply. This often was questions that were technical or niche in nature (e.g. does your platform integrate with a specific API, etc.) Hence, we have now created an alert so that as people note a question, we can start monitoring the conversation more closely.
4) Lead capture efficacy dropped when we used live-chat only.
Lead capture was impacted by the use of live chat. A bot will auto-qualify users, capture e-mails, and port the data to our CRM seamlessly. The issue with live chat is that once a lead is captured and moves to an unstructured conversation or a demo, the process of lead input becomes manual. Yes, a transcript of the whole conversation exists in live chat, but inputting a users’ information from the transcript to our CRM was then a manual process and we had spelling errors and loss of data from human errors.
5) Live chat, when used appropriately, decreased the sales cycle.
For the minority of cases where people did engage in live chat, we could answer questions quickly and move users to demo in a period of minutes. Because our demo is really one of our “Wow” moments in the sales process, we were able to quickly move people to trial and then purchase.
Want to use Instabot's bot-first live chat for your business? Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'd be happy to get you started!