3 Live Chat Mistakes Sales Reps Keep Making

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Live chat works. It gives customers the opportunity to ask for help when they need it without being bombarded by unwanted attention. It allows sales reps the opportunity to interact with a customer right away instead of waiting for them to fill out a form. Which will increase the likelihood of that potential lead turning into a customer. But live chat only works as well as the sales reps know how to use it. There are three big things sales reps tend to do wrong that are easy fixes. Correcting these three mistakes will drastically improve the quality of live chat conversations, which can only mean good things for that sales funnel. Let’s get started!

Not responding quickly enough

The number one cardinal sin a sales rep can do is leave a potential customer hanging! One of the best things about live chat is that it allows the site visitor to decide when to engage with the company. The second they click on that live chat button, they’re essentially waving their hand in the air and saying, “I want to talk to someone NOW!” The modern-day consumer tends to be finnicky, meaning they don’t want to be kept waiting very long. This is a rep’s chance to prove to a potential customer that the company values its customers at whatever stage they’re at. It increases the trust a site visitor has in the company and makes it more likely that they’ll continue learning about the company and what it has to offer.

On the other hand, a poor experience with live chat can do a lot of damage to a potential customer’s willingness to consider that company’s services in the future. So what’s a good time frame for responding to live chat requests? The sooner the better! But generally speaking, if a sales rep can get to a live chat in under a minute, they’re doing great. Up to two minutes is acceptable, but there’s some work to be done. Anything over that and you’re going to need to seriously revamp the live chat systems.

Use the average response time of the sales rep team to set expectations for the site visitor if that capability exists within your chatbot software. If it’s under a minute, have the bot say something like, “Hang tight for a minute while I find someone for you to talk with!” or if the response time is more like one to two minutes, the bot might display a message saying, “Someone will be with you in just a couple minutes!” To help with the wait, you might want to consider providing some kind of content like a video or a blog post to occupy the site visitor until a sales rep can connect with them.

Pushing for the phone call

Getting that response time down is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, but it’s only step one. Once they’re in the chat, sales reps need to appropriately engage the site visitor. This can mean totally different things for the customer and the sales rep. A customer usually starts a chat because they have a question or need help; a sales rep sees a chat as a potential selling opportunity. And a chat can be both! But only if the sales rep is smart about it.

Often a sales rep will answer a chat and try to direct the site visitor to a phone call. That makes sense because sales reps are trained phone call machines. They know what to say and how to say it! But a live chat is a different beast altogether. For the most part, companies list their phone numbers on their websites. So if a site visitor really wanted to talk on the phone, they would’ve chosen that method of communication. Sales reps need to respect that choice and work within the medium they’ve been given.

That doesn’t mean they can’t eventually direct to a phone call! That’s the natural progression of the sales funnel. But pushing for the phone call soon after the chat begins (unless the site visitor requests it) comes across like the sales rep isn’t interested in truly helping the potential customer. Instead of pushing for the phone call, focus on answering the question the site visitor has and providing value. This will lead more naturally to phone call and will leave a good impression of the company with the potential customer.

Not acting like a human

People want to talk with people. Chatbots are great because they connect people with other people quicker than forms. They’re efficient and can be fun to interact with, but at the end of the day, people want to talk with people. Site visitors who click on the live chat button expect to speak with another person and can sometimes be suspicious that the person they’re talking to is actually a bot pretending to be a human. No one likes to feel like they’re being tricked, which is why it’s so important to make it overtly obvious when a chatbot is speaking versus a real person. So when a sales rep answers a live chat, it’s their time to shine! This is a great time to introduce some small talk—or even a joke—to help the site visitor feel immediately at ease and let them know they’re chatting with a real person.

This is a great time to ask them where they’re from, comment on the weather, mention something from the news; it doesn’t have to be fancy! Just anything that feels natural to the sales rep. Showing some personality will take the chat from being just helpful and informative to pleasant and enjoyable, creating potential customers who are much more likely to become loyal customers.

Conclusion

Live chat isn’t rocket science. But little tweaks here and there can dramatically increase the positive interactions site visitors have with your sales reps. Want help training your reps? ChatFunnels has a team dedicated to just that!

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