Business live chat: Have your cake and eat it too.

These days, it’s not unusual to interact with someone mostly or entirely online. Many of us have co-workers, colleagues, and friends we’ve only met over the internet. The same might be true for you and many of the people you serve. And potential customers (i.e. leads) want to meet you and your business online, too.

Although technology has changed, the basics of good business have remained the same. Sure, the world is growing more digital by the day, but all people—and especially your potential customers—still crave human connection before they buy.

It’s the age-old question of having your cake and eating it too: Is it possible to grow your business and become more digitally savvy while providing all leads with the human connection they crave?

Meet the cake: website chat for your business.

With business live chats, you can delight potential customers and have more time on your hands.

Website chat can…

  • Convert traffic into leads
  • Foster human connection with everyone who visits your website
  • Demonstrate the value of your business to prospects
  • Gain insight into your leads and their needs
  • Save you time so you can meet the needs of current customers or even (gasp!) have a life outside of your business

To demonstrate how live chat can help you reach more prospects while providing a better web experience for everyone, let’s go back to our friends Amy, Bryan, and Casey from the Story of a Lead. And since we’re talking cake…

Let’s say you run a bakery.

That's you!

To recap, we know of three leads who may be interested in buying baked goods from your business: Amy, Bryan, and Casey. Each is at a different point in the sales funnel.

As explained in her story, Amy is what we would call a sales-qualified lead. This means we know a lot about Amy, but she’s not yet a customer. In this case, you’ve already spoken to Amy about her budget, and you know she’s interested in a Jaws-themed cake for her dog, Bruce’s, birthday.

Amy is going to purchase from someone—the goal is to convince her to choose you to bake the cake.

Using self-service chat to convert a lead into a customer

Let’s imagine what would happen if you had a self-service chat option on your website:

It’s after business hours, and Amy is ready to decide. She goes to check out you and your competitor online one last time before making a final decision.

Meet Amy (Bruce not pictured).

Your business has a self-service chat built into your website, and your competitor doesn’t. With live chat, you connect with Amy directly while she’s thinking about Bruce and his cake. You have the opportunity to speak with her about her needs and show her the unique value your bakery brings to the table. (Or is that “…brings to the dog-food bowl?” You get the idea.)

In any case, your competition doesn’t have chat. Your competition didn’t even know Amy was browsing their websites, trying to make a decision.

During the chat, you explain to Amy that all of your cakes use pet-friendly ingredients (no chocolate, of course) and will save her time, so she can focus on planning the rest of Bruce’s birthday party. To sweeten her options, you tell her you’ll even throw in matching cupcakes for Amy’s human guests.

You win Amy over, and she makes a deposit directly through your website.

With live, self-managed chat, you’ve seized the opportunity to take Amy from a prospect to a customer because you had a way to connect on your website. It’s a digital channel that enables you to connect, human-to-human (specifically, human-to-human-with-dog-who-loves-shark-themed-birthday-cakes).

Self-service chat is just one option. Not everyone has the time to chat with all of their prospective leads personally—you’re busy making cakes, after all. That’s where full-service chat can come in.

Using full-service chat to convert a lead into a customer

Let’s see how outsourced, full-service chat can convert a lead into a customer for your business. This time, we’re talking about Bryan.

Meet Bryan.

As we explored in his story, Bryan is a marketing-qualified lead. He’s reached out to you in the past. He’s even filled out your email subscription pop-up, but that means he’s going to have to wait until your next newsletter to hear from you…

…Unless, that is, you can engage with him via chat on your website.

Full-service chat again enables a human connection—but, this time, from a professional familiar with your business, a professional hired to engage with your prospects while you’re busy baking cakes for your other customers.

The chat specialist is ready to respond live if and when Bryan visits your website and chooses to initiate a conversation. They can find out exactly who Bryan is and what he’s looking for:

Is he looking for a cake? Cupcakes? A pumpernickel loaf?

Is he even a prospective customer? Maybe what he’s truly interested in is turning his love of cooking and baking into a part-time job.

Or, perhaps he’s a potential partner—someone who has an in with a supplier who can get you your ingredients faster and cheaper.

Full-service chat will help you gather the data you need to figure out which way to convert Bryan or direct him to the right area of your business.

One of the greatest advantages of full-service chat is that it creates human connections 24/7/365. While you’re busy with other customers, your personal life, or—hey, how about sleeping?—a chat professional can help you filter prospects through your sales funnel.

A full-service chat professional is trained on your specific business and knows what questions you would ask if you spoke to Bryan yourself. They can gather his contact information, answer some of his basic questions, and show him where to go on your website for more details about your business. Your chat professionals have helped you determine what kind of lead Bryan is, all while assisting Bryan to answer some of his basic questions in real time.

Plus, you can go back and read the transcript of the conversation with Bryan. You can review the data from that conversation and plan for reaching back out to Bryan personally, on your time.

Self-service or staffed by a professional, chat is a powerful lead conversion tool. If you hadn’t had chat on your website, Bryan and Amy would have been left alone in the digital universe—and may have chosen one of your competitors instead.

Using automated lead capture to gather more data about leads

What about the leads at the very top of your sales funnel?

Here’s where we can talk about our third lead, Casey.

Casey saw your Instagram feed, where you shared photos of Bruce’s birthday cake. They then clicked on the link in your bio and ended up on your website.

Meet Casey.

Let’s pause for a moment and consider what Casey might be looking for. Are they just curious about your business? Or might they be interested in a cake of their own?

We simply don’t know at this point. We’re not sure where Casey is on their cake journey. Maybe they don’t even know yet.

How can you find out? By using automated lead capture.

With automated lead capture, visitors on your website trigger a pre-built conversational flow designed by you to help evaluate leads 24/7. The flow changes based on your visitors’ answers. It can gather basic contact information, link your visitor to important pages on your website, and help you determine who needs your help—and who’s just browsing.

Casey interacts with your automated lead capture tool, and as a result, you know that Casey clicked on your Instagram bio to learn more about you, but that they’re not interested in buying anything at the moment.

But although you didn’t make an immediate sale, you did capture a lead. Your website stood out to Casey—it provided them with a better experience than your competitor’s website. And when Casey does need a cake, they’ll remember that experience and how it felt.

Learn more about leads.

Discover how to connect with and convert different kinds of sales leads.

Ready to convert more leads? Add chat to your website today.

Amy, Bryan, and Case are just three types of potential leads. Building up your digital presence with chat and making your website a better experience for all visitors can help you learn about, qualify, and convert many more leads.

The bottom line: by adding chat to your website, you can have your digital cake and eat it too.

Ruby empowers businesses of all kinds—from bakeries to consultants, from law firms to healthcare providers—to provide exceptional experiences for the people they serve. We provide multiple chat and lead generation solutions:

Full-Service Chat: Ruby is here 24/7/365 to connect with your website visitors through our Full-Service Chat. Our live chat specialists gather contact information, answer FAQs, and assist in qualifying leads, saving you time so you can focus on growing your business. You can see all your chat information alongside your call details on the Ruby Dashboard and Mobile app.

Automated lead capture: Ruby offers automated lead capture to all Call Ruby customers, so you can engage website visitors 24/7/365. The tool captures leads and answers questions through a conversational flow designed by you. Conversations can branch based on the visitor’s answers, allowing you to identify more urgent leads from those doing initial research. The conversation can also answer FAQs and encourage current or potential customers to call for additional assistance.