Webchat: A Low-Effort Way to Boost Sales

If you’ve ever ended up on a company’s website unable to find an answer to your question, you may have turned to that little chat bubble in the corner of their site that connects you with a live agent and turns anonymous browsing into personal assistance.

Offering a live chat option on your website lets you turn a visitor’s unanswered question into a conversation, and even potentially boost your revenue. In a survey, 79% of businesses said that adding a live chat feature led to increased sales.

If you’re wondering whether your business needs a webchat, keep reading to learn why our answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Today we’re covering:

  • How a webchat works
  • How a webchat lets you engage with your site visitors
  • What to look for in a webchat
  • How to set up an easy webchat

How Does Webchat Work?

For a site visitor, a webchat usually shows up as a dialogue bubble at the bottom of the site. Once they click, they first engage with a bot and are asked for their name, contact information, and the category of their question. From there they are either directed to the right webpage or transferred to a one-on-one chat with a customer service representative.

For your team, operating a webchat can be much easier than fielding incoming phone calls. When questions come in, you can set up automations to direct visitors to the right page, like an FAQ section. If their question is better answered by a person, you can direct it to the right staff member who can continue the live chat. Unlike with phone inquiries, it’s easy to keep a written record of all conversations, and you’re able to automatically collect contact information, which allows you to follow-up with prospects via phone call, text, or email later.

More sophisticated webchats allow more complex automations — in some cases, a webchat can use artificial intelligence to automatically answer questions and improve its responses over time. For the average small business, a webchat that offers simple automations (like letting a visitor choose their question category and then either directing them to an FAQ page vs. a live person) should be plenty! 

How a Webchat Helps You Engage With Customers and Prospects

Webchat is a popular communication channel for turning your website visitors into customers. If a prospect spends time on your website and can’t find an answer to their question, you’ll lose them. If instead, you form a personal connection, they’re more likely to enter your sales funnel and eventually convert.

A webchat also helps boost your online customer engagement. Your customers shouldn’t have to search for long when they have a question. A webchat lets them connect quickly with someone from your staff and end the interaction on a positive note. Ultimately, the quicker someone can get connected to a representative the happier they’ll be. 90% of consumers expect an “immediate” answer to a customer support question. 

Adding another way for your customers to get in touch is valuable in and of itself. Nearly half of respondents to a Hubspot survey said every brand should offer multiple ways to contact them, beyond just a basic phone number. As we’ve written before, exceeding customer expectations is actually proven to be profitable for your business.

What to Look for in a Webchat

There is a huge range of webchat offerings on the market from over $15K/year bespoke, AI-powered chats for enterprise clients all the way to free web plugins. Here are a few things we recommend looking for in even the most basic webchat:

  • Customization: You want your webchat to look like a natural part of your website and to represent your brand. A free plugin often can’t be customized enough to do that.
  • Automations: Different live chats offer different levels of automation, but you’ll want to choose one that can at least direct an incoming question to the right person who can answer.
  • Ease of Set-Up: Unless you’re especially technically proficient, we recommend choosing a webchat from a provider who will help you implement it on your website.
  • A Suite of Communication Tools: If you’re hoping to streamline your workflow, you might consider looking for a provider that also helps you set up other communication channels (like text messaging) and funnels everything to a single inbox.

Setting Up an Easy Webchat

Setting up webchat is easier than it might seem. You can add a webchat to almost any website by working with a customer engagement platform like Swell

You definitely don’t have to be a web wizard to get in on Swell Webchat’s benefits. During onboarding, Swell helps you set up a fully customizable webchat branded with your company colors, logos, images, and FAQ options. To do that, our team will input a bit of information to your website’s code, which just takes a few minutes. We even set up automations that direct certain questions to specific team members or office locations best equipped to answer and track which issues are most common.

Your new webchat will automatically ask for a phone number, so your visitor can continue the conversation as a text message thread while you respond from your dashboard. 

Webchat messaging

Adding a webchat to your site is an easy way to improve your customer experience and convert prospects by providing attentive service while still saving time for your team. Get a demo of Swell Webchat to see how it would work for your business.

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