For many businesses, improving customer conversions is important regarding increasing sales and improving revenue stats.
When it comes to statistics, it seems that using social chat can increase customer conversions by up to 30%!
This can be accomplished in a variety of ways: chat bots, chat rooms, chat apps and my preferred method, social chat.
Take a look at this infographic to see what I mean:
And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
Adding the human element
Remember the old adage: "people buy from people". It is the act of purely interacting with another human that does the trick.
In the old days salesmen used to go door to door. Now the customer can use the Internet to find what they want, without being unnecessarily bothered. But there is the lack of face-to-face contact that hinders a lot of customer conversions.
And 'speaking' in the digital world can involve typing words, as even chatting to a computer screen is more preferable than empty emails and impersonal cold calling via the telephone.
I use the chat system with my website hosting company. It is much easier and quicker to 'book' a chat with a person there and then, rather than filling out a 'ticket' and waiting for eternity for an answer.
Even though I don't actually see my technical support, just knowing there is someone there answering my queries in real-time is a comfort. Some of my chats have lasted over an hour, while major problems were sorted out, but it didn't seem that long to me.
A lot of businesses shy away from using chat applications. Maybe they don't value recruiting enough staff to 'man' them. But having an expert 'on tap' at the end of a chatline is invaluable towards reassuring your customers you know what you're talking about.
Which person relishes battling with those awful telephone options you get when you ring up a company. They are never what you want, and often they leave you exasperated, desperately wishing to speak to an actual human!
It may be easier for businesses to hide behind automation, but it certainly doesn't boost customer conversions. Forcing the customer to plough through a load of irrelevant and inadequate FAQs before they are able to locate a chat system is also extremely annoying.
Automated responses are intensely irritating. So is the inadequate use of AI to predict what the business thinks the customer wants. How can a computer replace a real person? Of course it can't, and that's why so many customers are left wanting.
If you are fortunate enough to get to 'speak' to a real person, even if it is online, the outcome is so much more satisfactory. Now you can communicate properly, explain what you want, and expect a reasoned and relevant reply in return.
Proper social chatting, eg adding pleasantries into your conversation, can have many desirable results. You come across as more agreeable to the other person, making them more relaxed and willing to help you.
You can still be efficient and direct and at the same time sociable whilst chatting. I like seeing 'LOL!' from the expert's response, and imagine them laughing. This is the same as having a conversation in the same room. But we still succeed in the business portion of our communication.
Informed buying decisions
Not every customer arrives on your site ready to buy. Many of them are browsing, or may need convincing your product or service is the best option for them. How are they going to realise this if your company has a cold, clinical approach towards customer conversions?
Be ready to socially chat to your customers, through whatever method. This could be a chatting app, social media, blog comments, even an option to leave a question, however dry this may be. Purely being open, transparent and showing a willingness to communicate could make a huge difference.
Many customer will have questions. They will need explanations or even demonstrations. If these are delivered by a friendly human face, followed up by the chance to communicate with a real person, the chances of them buying are vastly increased.
Creating a rapport with customers
Social chatting is part of getting to know your customers. Every sales person will want to create a special relationship with you, to get you onto their side. However, some people may prefer the safety of being behind a computer keyboard, rather than having someone breathing down your neck to sign on the dotted line!
Online chatting is freely available in so many formats. Even simply communicating via social media, which would not include a sales pitch, can be a pleasant experience. How many businesses make the effort to really get to know their customers on a social level?
Use social chat to get your customers to know, like and trust you. Here is an opportunity to tell them all sorts of things you can't do on your website. However, social media is ethereal, so nothing sticks around for long. This means you need to keep on chatting in different ways to eventually bring your customers round.
Getting happy customers
As I said earlier, people buy from people. They prefer a business they feel comfortable with. If they've had a good experience, they are more likely to tell their friends, or recommend your company if anybody asks on social media groups.
Social chatting is vital to maintain your presence online. You need to maintain your hard-won rapport you cultivated with your customers, just like you need to do with your own friends. Ideally your customers should be treated with the same respect as those in your address book.
Contented customers are more likely to return again, the next time they need your services or products. Therefore it is necessary to keep up with the social chat so they don't forget you. This means thinking of different ways of getting your message across to maintain the interest factor.
Giving customers what they want
The advantage of social chatting with your customers, in whatever capacity, is that you can find out information from them. You can learn just as much from them as they can from you!
This is all down to how relaxed you are prepared to be during your conversations. OK, it's good to maintain a sense of expertise and business-function, but use the same language as them, and bring yourself down to their level so they can easily relate to you and what you can do for them.
And this newly gained information should be adapted to improve your service, or develop new products they have requested. If your customers continuously ask for a certain item in pink, you now know you will need to produce that particular line as soon as you can.
How do you improve your customer conversions?
How sociable is your business? This doesn't mean having a presence on social media, or contributing to a blog. It's about what you say when you socially network with your customers, past, present and prospect.
Social chatting happens in online forums, social media groups, when answering comments on your blog, through your company's helpline system. It's time to ditch the cold, formal approach. Take off your tie, undo your top button, and learn to relax a bit more.
Treat your customers like your friends. If they sense your friendliness, they will respond in a similar fashion. How nice this is to properly 'communicate' with your customers, rather than behind a cold, stark, static website?
What do you think of social chatting to boost customer conversions? If you can any experiences you would like to relate, or even any thoughts on this matter, we would love to hear them via the comments below.