Chat your way to more leads

As technology continues to evolve and shape how we communicate, the role of web chat has become increasingly important for franchisees and franchisors alike.

Chat your way to more leads

As technology continues to evolve and shape how we communicate, the role of web chat has become increasingly important for franchisees and franchisors alike. Once seen as a ‘nice to have’, web chat services are now a fundamental part of the sales process.

The ability to connect with brands in real time through web chat has revolutionised the way we research, compare and even buy products and services. But too many businesses still see web chat purely as a customer service function says Tim Morris, MD of inbound communications specialist, Cymphony. A well-renowned franchise professional and customer service expert, Tim explains that alongside more commonly understood sales channels, such as email and social media, web chat is a powerful lead generation tool that can help franchise owners to grow their business. 

Web chat is here to stay

First of all, let’s be clear – web chat is not a passing fad. It has, in fact, become the preferred channel for customer communication. According to a recent survey, 46% of customers say they prefer web chat compared to 29% who prefer email and only 16% who prefer social media1. To meet these growing customer expectations and preferences, brands must adapt their operations to welcome digital services such as Live Chat on their websites. The harsh reality is that if you don’t have this service, you are effectively ignoring your customers… pretty much the quickest way to lose business!

Web chat, when manned by a human being and not a bot, is undoubtedly a superior customer service facility. One which offers you real-time conversations with your customers and prospects, providing an incredible opportunity to understand them better, serve them faster, and build a human connection. The technology is win-win. Customers have an immediate way to reach your business in the exact moment that they have questions or problems they cannot solve, while you can boost customer satisfaction levels, which can often lead to additional sales. But there’s more.

Generating quality leads

What if, instead of just helping you keep existing customers happy and continuing to spend, you had a tool to tackle the never-ending challenge of ‘how to generate quality leads’? 

As well as offering excellent customer service, web chat is an ideal way to optimise lead generation. After an automated greeting, 76% of visitors to a website will interact with a web chat. This gives a trained, proactive and knowledgeable operator, acting on your behalf, the chance to ask questions, understand the prospect and build a rapport. From here, what would commonly be considered a cold lead, or enquiry, can be guided to take direct action in order to bring them into your sales process. This could be anything from booking appointments, arranging calls and even moving along to a purchase after providing information and answering questions. All of this, within mere minutes of finding your site. If you’re leaving your website visitors to their own devices, how many of them are moving on until they find a business which engages with them in this instant and helpful manner?

Out-of-hours leads

As we all know, limiting your response times to within working hours has a negative effect on your business. It can leave those who submit an enquiry waiting hours, if not days, for a response, causing them to feel undervalued and irritated. And when that happens, you’ve lost your lead, and maybe even your customer.

Expanding your availability via web chat has two advantages. One, you’re always on hand to provide personal, convenient and real-time support to existing customers. Satisfaction goes up and with it, retention rates, repeat business and referrals. Two, every single person that lands on your website, at any time of day, has the potential to be converted from a visitor to a warm lead. Think about that for a moment and consider the potential impact on revenue and growth. 

Going 24/7 as a franchisee doesn’t have to be a drain on resource or finances. Services like Live Chat from Cymphony ensure you’re ‘open all hours’ and your website is working as hard as it possibly can for you as your biggest sales and marketing asset. 

Leads are the lifeblood of a business, creating opportunities to build on your client base and increase your revenue. Web chat is fast becoming one of the best catalysts for lead creation and conversion. It’s the ideal tool for customers seeking convenient and humanised assistance, and the ideal method for taking a simple enquiry and converting it to a warm lead in your sales pipeline. It’s cost-effective and it’s convenient. It’s time you got chatting!

1 Super Office

Tim Morris
Tim Morris