Live Chat As A Viable Conversion Tool

  • Written on Thursday, January 15, 2015 by Geoffrey Cooling

Converting Website Viewers To Leads

I wrote some time ago on the Just Audiology Stuff blog about my experience with live chat on a website I had visited. I had decided to organise health insurance for myself and my family under un-relenting pressure from the wife. So I thought to myself, nerd that I am, let’s go online and sort it out right? It will be grand I said, what could go wrong!

Do you have any idea how complicated health insurance products are? I thought tax returns were complex, until I began to look at health insurance products. Whilst I was online I noticed a little box to one side, talk to a representative online now.

As the story goes, I did, a lovely lady guided me through the process and the products we got the job done without bloodshed or my head exploding. It got me thinking, never a good thing, but at least it keeps the voices busy.  Me and the voices came to the conclusion that this was a feature that could really work on a hearing healthcare site.

A Moment Of Coincidence

In a strange coincidence, I then happened to read a great article about technology changes that may help retail marketing. It was an interview type article with David Edelman. David Edelman is a respected authority in sales and marketing practice. One of the questions was about online chatting, the process where a company representative is available online to chat with a website viewer. Something that I had been fascinated with since my encounter with the lovely Laya Healthcare lady.

The question was “Do you know if consumers are open to online chatting? Are they happy with the experience so far?” His answer was insightful and it made me think about re-doubling my efforts to introduce the feature. He said:

In the financial services sector, we’re actually seeing two to three times the conversion rate with human interaction through a computer interface. This is not necessarily the case with canned chat through typing. I think consumers get annoyed by the formality of that sometimes. But we’re seeing dramatic increases in conversion when people can talk right through the computer to a person, cobrowse and get questions answered.

David Edelman
Partner and Global Co-Leader, Sales and Marketing Practice
McKinsey & Company

Complex Purchases

The qualification in his answer about the financial services sector was what really caught my attention. Products within the financial services sector are complex and not easy to understand as an outsider or purchaser just like products in health insurance. Hence, talking to someone during the browsing experience to get answers and explanations helped the conversion rate of the business.

My experience with the lovely lady had reinforced that concept. Our profession sells products and services that are hard to understand by outsiders and purchasers. People who land on hearing healthcare websites are looking for answers to their questions. However, those answers often lead to new questions.

The hearing healthcare world is a highly technical place, the skill of hearing healthcare professionals is to transfer that tech speak into understandable benefits for a consumer. With just a website to do it, it is a difficult if not insurmountable task. Hearing healthcare professionals know that, that’s why the goal is to get people to come in for consultation.

Audiology Websites designed To deliver Business

at Audiology Engine we take great pains to ensure all of our delivered websites are packed with useful information, articles that we think answer every possible question. That is the goal of good Audiology SEO strategy, to address the questions that are being asked. But SEO alone is not enough, we then must design the flow of the website including the visuals and other content to lead people through a journey. A journey that we hope answers their questions and leads them to a consultation.

Increasing Engagement

I see real possible value in the online chatting feature, I believe it should increase engagement, answer the questions that need answering and encourage conversions to appointments. We are constantly monitoring the website traffic of our customers. the key metric  that we want to track is how many people who land on a website come in for consultation? We see many visitors to the websites that we manage and monitor who can be categorised as prospects. They are in the geographical area, they have arrived from a search return but for some reason we lose them.

Whilst we can make assumptions based on the data, that is all they are, assumptions. I plan to speak to a chap who is offering this service. I shall let you know what he says and what the stats look like from his experiences. I think that we shall run an experiment on this one, I think that like PPC before, this is worth an investment of time and some money to get definitive answers. Or at least as definitive as we can get from a small experiment.

The Edelman article can be seen at iBeacon and similar technolgy

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