fbpx

Responding to leads: Are you moving fast enough?

A new lead comes in – the clock’s ticking. How much time do you have to respond before your lead falls off the radar?

Everyone seems to know that, when there’s an opportunity to close a sale, time is of the essence. Yet, research statistics out of Harvard Business Review show that most companies are slow to respond to leads, meaning they aren’t handling online queries effectively.

Looking at over two thousand U.S. companies to gauge how long they took to respond to a web-generated test lead, the results found that 24% took more than 24 hours — and 23% of the companies never responded at all.

What’s even more interesting, is the stat that reflects just how important timely responses can be. The research suggests that companies that respond to leads within an hour, are 7 times more likely to convert leads to sales.

Companies that try to contact leads within 60 minutes of receiving a query “are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later” – the report reads. However, only 37% of companies manage to follow up with leads within an hour.

 

Every minute counts

 

The Harvard Business Review demonstrates the importance of responding within an hour, but what happens when looking more closely; at the minutes that follow the submission of a lead?

The Lead Response Management Study shows just how much every minute can cost you when your leads are awaiting response:

 

  • “The odds of calling to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times in the first hour.”
  • “The odds of qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 21 times.”

 

Why is response time so important?

 

The reason why the time you take to respond to leads matters so much is not only to do with top-of-mind-awareness (a vendor is still fresh on the consumer’s mind when the contact occurs), but also because of the so-called “wow effect”.

Would it freak people out if you got back to them seconds after receiving a lead? Perhaps there was a time when this could have been a bit of a concern – but with all the recent advances in AI and technology, the truth is that consumers nowadays want and expect an instant response.

Responding fast to a potential customer is a great way to make a good first impression. It shows that you’re interested, and it tells them a bit about how quick your service can be – helping to build trust right from the start.

 

Beating your competitors to the punch

 

As much as 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. So, how can you make sure you are handling leads effectively and be the first to respond?

 

1. Equip your team with the latest live chat technology 

More than ever, consumers are demanding immediate attention, which is why businesses are increasingly turning to live chat software that can facilitate an instant response.

Ibby’s modern live chat tool can allow your sales team to be ready to strike a conversation whenever someone is interested in your product or service; and engage in conversation to answer questions in real-time.

With no need for submitting forms online, or consumers having to wait for your emails; live chat can simplify the funnel to a single conversation.

Aim to get back within 5 minutes for optimising your chances of success.

 

2. Use automations for tailored responses

Automated responses can provide good support for when you can’t provide an immediate personal response – providing your team is able to pick up and follow up, as appropriate.

In the usage of automated responses, it’s important to avoid auto-responders that come across as a canned response. Make an effort to personalise your messages. A good automation tool allows you to tailor messages to customers’ behaviours and actions, ensuring content is not only timely, but relevant and to the point.

With Ibby, you can also take it further and automate tasks for your team. Tasking users in connection to personalised auto-messages can help your team to stay on top of every action required to close more sales and move prospects through the funnel.

 

3. Follow up effectively

Apart from commonly slow response standards, statistics also show that companies aren’t persistent enough at following up on leads. On average, companies try to contact a lead only 1.3 times before quitting.

Think about how many choices consumers have out there. Your potential customers can be hesitant and require a level of attention that can only be achieved through appropriate following up. This is why persistency can be so important.

Workflow automations can be of massive help for following up, so that agents don’t have to manually chase leads and perform repetitive tasks. Workflows help companies to keep potential customers advancing through their decision cycle by communicating consistently with them.

By not following up effectively, you’re letting your leads fall off the radar and giving your competitors space for stepping in.

 

Conclusion

 

Delaying your response to inbound leads can easily result in money lost. Responses within an hour increase the chances of conversion by as much as 7 times, and your best odds of making a successful contact with a lead are within 5 minutes.

Responding to leads quickly is largely down to having the right tools to do so. Speed is critical, but so is relevancy. Make sure you equip your team with tools that allow them to respond fast and to send the right message at the right time. And remember – every minute counts!

 

_____

Get your hands on the latest messaging tools to be the first to respond and convert more customers. Sign up with Ibby today, you can get started for free!

 

Conversational Commerce: It’s time to chat

Conversational commerce presents a massive opportunity for the future of marketing and sales. Learn all about it and how easy it can be to get started.

The ways consumers shop online and interact with businesses are changing. With the use of smartphones transforming our world, online users want instant answers, and companies need to streamline their operations to tackle the challenge. It stands to reason why there’s been so much talk around conversational commerce.

 

What is conversational commerce?

 

In 2016, Chris Messina described it in an article as follows:

“Conversational commerce (as I see it) largely pertains to utilising chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands, or services and bots that heretofore have had no real place in the bidirectional, asynchronous messaging context.

In principle, Conversational Commerce consists in the notion of facilitating sales with conversations. The concept has existed for as long as humans buy and sell, because trading has forever involved discussion; whether it’s in meetings with salesmen to discuss products, phoning companies to check stock or asking questions in person to assistants in shops.

For the world of ecommerce, communication has been a little different. Emails dominating the digital dialogue for years has meant that the conversation hasn’t exactly been real-time, but this is now quickly shifting.

With the rise of AI, voice assistants and instant messaging tools; real-time conversation has progressively become a core part of the online shopping experience – and live chat is assuming the protagonist role.

Live chat is the epitome of conversational commerce online. Asking questions is innately human; hence, when given the chance, online consumers jump at the opportunity to engage in chat and ask for help before completing a purchase.

The benefit for businesses is clear; engaging with visitors online is equivalent to assisting potential customers coming into a shop for help – a superb resource for closing a sale.

Live chat has the ability to shorten the sales funnel to a single conversation. Without the need for emails going back and forth, time-consuming Internet search, form submissions or other broken means of communication – a visitor who engages in conversation via live chat can immediately be assisted, qualified as a lead and turned into a customer.

When it comes to closing sales, time is of the essence – and with the power of real-time conversations, you can close deals in minutes. That’s the great opportunity. Live chat is allowing businesses to easily capitalise on instant messaging and increase sales, whilst enhancing support online and boosting customer engagement.

Asking questions is innately human; hence, when given the chance, online consumers jump at the opportunity to engage in chat and ask for help. #BusinessMessaging Click To Tweet

Getting on top of the game

 

Conversational commerce is here for the long haul, re-shaping customer interaction for the future. If you’re not giving your visitors and customers the chance to chat with you online, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

Getting started with live chat is easy and it doesn’t have to cost you much. In fact, with Ibby, you can get started for free!

 

Chat as a team: break down the barriers!

Marketing and sales working in silos, disjointed channels for customer service and technical support… Sound familiar? Find out how Ibby’s live chat solves the problem.

We’ve all been there – as customers – in the unfortunate event where we get transferred to lots of different agents or departments; other times asked to send an email or call a number to get the support required. Not only it’s time consuming, but massively frustrating.

Uncertainty is the worst enemy of customer satisfaction. Customers often have to try different channels; or explain what they need more than once to different people – it’s the kind of thing that results in poor customer experience and really hurts your funnel.

The divisions between business departments is a problem companies have faced for many years. The answer? Spare customers the pain and route requests in real-time with live chat.

Live chat is traditionally a one-to-one communication channel – but we changed this. With Ibby, we reinvented live chat to work as a channel where customer requests can be dealt with as a team, immediately – no need for transfers!

 

Collaborate behind-the-scenes

 

When several agents are in a conversation, they can use private notes to communicate behind-the-scenes in the same conversation thread. This means team collaboration happens in real-time, without the visitor finding out.

A typical scenario: a customer needs help from support and tries live chat, but he reaches the sales department. How to deal with this effectively: bring in support to the conversation.

 

 

The ability to chat as a team helps to break down the barriers between agents and departments, reducing friction and making it easier to deal with things.

 

The end result

 

Agents can work more efficiently, and customers are more satisfied with their experiences.

A plus side to chatting as a team is that customers don’t usually expect to talk to more than one agent on live chat, so not only will you be able to support them better, but also delight customers with the level of service!

 

Ready to deliver a increase sales and enhance customer support with live chat? Sign up with Ibby today, you can get started for free!

Live chat support: 10 tips for best results

Ready to engage with visitors on live chat? Here’s a list of 10 top tips for communicating effectively and make the most of every opportunity.

Live chat gives you a fine chance for engaging with visitors online, answer questions instantly and turn them into customers. But it’s important to know what works well and what doesn’t, so here’s a guide with our top ten recommendations to help you to maximise results!

 

1. Introduce yourself

 

Start the conversation with a friendly greeting and an introduction with your name. Don’t rely on your avatar or information displayed on the chat window to tell visitors who you are – introducing yourself directly is an important step to start establishing rapport with customers.

Sharing your name will also help humanise the interaction and assure your visitor that a real person is ready to take care of the case.

 

2. Keep it human

 

In spite of all the hype around chatbots, several reports on customer service stats show that people still want to talk to a real person, so do your best to power your live chat support with helpful humans.

 

3. Use the right tone

 

The tone that a customer service agent adopts has the ability to express a range of emotions, which presents both opportunities and risks. Remember this, so that you can strike a conversation with the right tone and provide a positive experience for every interaction.

A relatively informal (but always professional) tone will help you to come across as friendly and approachable.

Also, don’t be shy with the use of emojis, people love them!

 

4. Be quick

 

Your response time is crucial in live chat service. The point of using live chat is to keep the conversation real-time. Consumers expect an instant response, so the optimal response time in live chat is circa 10 seconds, and under 1 minute.

Help yourself with canned responses when appropriate to provide a quick response, and stay alert with notifications to stay on top of all conversations.

 

5. Be proactive – make the most of visitor data

 

The best live chat tools are equipped with live website visitor analytics that give you a real-time view of your visitors online: you can see where your visitors come from, what they are browsing, how much time they spend on your website and more.

The trick is in using this data to your advantage, as it allows you to get really close to prospects and proactively engage with them.  Do you see someone spending a lot of time on your pricing page? Chances are they are struggling or have some questions – offer some help! 

Monitor your data to identify prospects online and start a conversation. A data-driven approach can help to improve conversion rates and sales.

 

6. Avoid transfers: chat as a team

 

We’ve all been there – as customers – in the unfortunate event where we get switched from department to department; or asked to send an email or call a number to get the support required. Sadly, this happens in live chat too!

Luckily, with Ibby, you can invite users to a live conversation with a visitor or a customer, to get them the instant help that they need. No need for transfers.

Chatting as a team can not only provide quick assistance, but also delight your visitors with the level of service, as most people don’t expect to talk with more than one person on live chat!

 

7. Keep messages short

 

Keeping your messages short will help you to provide a quicker response. Try to send short messages composed of 1 or 2 sentences; keep them informative and to the point.

 

8. Be patient

 

Sending multiple messages without allowing your visitor the chance to read can give the wrong impression.  Give them a moment to think and get back to you – this will help the dialogue to flow naturally.

 

9. Deliver personalised service

 

Providing a personalised service is key to customer satisfaction. In fact, a research from Accenture found that 73% of consumers prefer to do business with retailers who use personal data for providing a more personalised experience.

Keeping this in mind, make the most of contextual data that can give you all the customer insights you need to provide tailored support. Start by addressing your customer by name!

Live website analytics also provide helpful insights for a more personalised service.

 

10. Set expectations 

 

Managing expectations is vital for customer satisfaction rates. You can choose to display your typical response time to let your visitors know what to expect.

In addition, you can use the welcome message on your chat window to show your support hours if your company doesn’t operate 24/7; or to inform your visitors of certain things like downtime or if you are short staffed on the day

 

Succeeding with live chat is easier than you think – it all starts with choosing the right software. With Ibby, you’ll be ready to deliver a live chat experience that meets demands and delights your customers. Sign up today and get started for free!

Customer intelligence tactics for the finance industry

Technology-led changes have been disrupting traditional business models over the past few years, and the financial services industry has not escaped the impact.

The need for using technology to improve IT efficiency and optimising costs while continuing to support legacy systems has been a constant challenge for businesses in the finance industry. FinTech start-ups have made their way into established markets with new technologies and innovative customer-friendly solutions. Automated processes have become a must, and almost everything is done electronically.

Industry players of all sizes have to facilitate innovation in order not to slip behind. While building expectations for the future of financial services, the question that requires prompt answers is how businesses can better prepare to compete.

 

Customer intelligence: A key priority for success

 

In a research conducted by PwC which examined the forces that are disrupting the financial services landscape, is it predicted that by the end of this decade “customer intelligence will be the most important predictor of revenue growth and profitability” (Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond: Embracing disruption, PwC).

Building the technology capabilities for customer intelligence is therefore a key priority for competing in the financial services industry in the immediate future.

Here are 5 tactics for businesses to get more intelligent about customers’ needs and to get better-positioned to succeed:

 

  • Live chat

Consumers are no longer willing to dig deep into a website to find information; now more than ever, they expect to get an instant answer to their questions. This tendency, along with the overwhelming growth of instant messaging, has prompted businesses to increasingly install live chat on their websites to enhance the way they interact with visitors and customers.

As a low-friction point of contact, live chat is a smart way to turn visitors into customers quicker than forms, follow-up emails or other broken communication channels commonly used in financial services.

When it comes to learning about customers’ needs, the instant feedback from visitors and customers via live chat can provide valuable consumer insights to shape and improve business strategy.

 

  • Live website analytics

For virtually all businesses with an online presence, every visitor is a potential customer – which is why customer intelligence should start with analysing your visitor activity.

Live website visitor analytics are a powerful tool to track visitors in real-time; to identify opportunities and proactively chat with prospects. Monitoring visitors’ footprints is a great way for better understanding consumer behaviour in order to provide a more personalised service.

 

  • A context-centred model

Digitisation across different industries has shown customers that e-commerce delivers speed and personalisation, shaping their expectations for financial services as well.

The need for delivering a seamless omni-channel experience is becoming more important – and the context of every customer is paramount for providing a customer-centred, personalised service.

A simple solution is to make use of a smart CRM platform that can collate data for leads and customers, keeping everything organised and facilitating instant access to contacts’ history. The rewards for having the context for every customer right at your fingertips can be enormous.

 

  • Automation

Getting more intelligent about customers’ needs involves getting closer to them – this is when timely and relevant communications play a major role.

Automations, such as drip campaigns for sales and marketing, present a sure-fire way of supporting communications throughout the lifecycle. Used in combination with intelligent customer data, automated messaging can help businesses to send the right message to the right contacts, at the right time.

Automations can be the core of your sales and marketing communications strategy; to save time, nurture leads, move prospects through the sales funnel and keep customers engaged.

 

  • Reporting

No strategy can be complete without reporting to measure results. Intelligent reports are essential for understanding business performance and learning about customer behaviour.

For any business, comprehensive reporting can provide valuable insights not just for sales, but leads statuses, agents’ performance, communication with customers, email metrics and more.

 

Stay on top of the game 

 

The time has never been more crucial for industry players to keep a focus on technology and implement tools that can help to get an edge. Enabling customer intelligence, and the capacity to act in real-time on that intelligence, is becoming a key driver for success in the financial services industry.

 

At Ibby, we are working on a message-driven solution designed to empower businesses to capitalise on the aforementioned tactics for competing in the market. Sign up and take Ibby for a spin, you can get started for free!

 

5 Reasons why every site needs Live Chat

With instant messaging taking the world by storm, live chat has swiftly evolved to a powerful tool not just for technical support, but for sales and customer service – growing in popularity as the preferred channel for customer contact.

Before we expand upon the reasons why live chat is so essential, let’s make something clear: we’re talking about live chat that is done well: run by real humans who can provide personable, direct and immediate help through real-time conversations.

We’re not really here to debate whether it’s humans or chatbots who are better at live chat.  There’s been a lot of hype about AI and chatbots, and yes – it’s exciting times for technology. But it’s undeniable that it’s real people who can better interact with people and provide personalised service. So, let’s keep it human; at least until machines get seriously clever. Moving on…

 

1. Live chat improves sales

 

Live chat works magic for a website because it gives you the chance to show visitors and prospects that your business is more than just a landing page. It gives you the opportunity to get closer to someone interested in your product or service; to reach out to offer personalised help and answer questions in real-time.

Engaging in real-time conversations is an amazing way to instantly qualify leads and convert website visitors into customers. Just as if you were personally in your shop to help out, every conversation with an online visitor is potentially a sale, and talking to them is the fastest way to close that deal.

 

2. Live chat helps you to enhance customer experience

 

Not only can live chat help you to convert more customers, but to also delight them with the level of service you can provide via one-to-one conversations.

Chatting with prospects gives you a chance to offer personalised service, building your relationship with customers. That opportunity to delight your customers should never be underestimated – it can help to enhance the entire customer journey right from the moment of conversion, helping with loyalty and retention.

 

3. Live chat is ideal for customer support

 

With live chat, companies can quickly connect customers to the relevant team or agent to deal with an issue, without customers having to navigate arduous interactive voice response systems (IVRs). It also has also the advantage that it is a scalable form of interaction. A conversation via live chat can easily escalate to a voice call to get to the core of an issue – providing an ideal solution for customer support, to fix problems quickly and efficiently.

 

4. It’s what consumers want

 

It’s very important to live up to your customers’ expectations, right? Well, reportedly; a whooping 63% of consumers have said they’re more likely to return to a website that offers live chat as opposed to one that doesn’t. On top of that, 73% customer satisfaction coming from live chat.

Live chat has been spreading rapidly and it’s quickly becoming an essential cornerstone for customer contact.

 

5. A source of instant feedback & learning

 

Live chat can be particularly helpful for small teams who are still crafting their sales pitch, as it enables you to evaluate how well you’re selling your products, and adapt your messaging.

Every conversation you have on live chat can be insightful, and your conversations can become very helpful tools for training agents and improving support. The instant feedback you can receive from visitors and customers via live chat provides also valuable insights to shape and improve your business strategy.

 

Need more reasons? It’s worth mentioning that implementing live chat is usually simple, straightforward and cost-effective.

From a perhaps romantic point of view, live chat humanises the world of e-commerce, and realistically, with all the benefits in evidence – we can conclude that it really does pay off to chat!

#LiveChat humanises the world of e-commerce. Click To Tweet

 

________________

Ready to start converting visitors into customers?

 

We’re building an innovative message-driven solution to help you to boost leads, sales and support with modern messaging tools, including a state-of-the-art live chat widget! Sign up to take Ibby for a spin and start delighting customers!

 

 

Ibby helps customers globally, you live on Earth right?
Start your 14 day free trial now!