Les Melnichenko
Apr 20, 2022 | 8 min read

How do you usually spread the word about your business and attract better audiences? Is it social media, email marketing campaigns, or ads? Well, it must be something from the list. 

On the one hand, these tools could be a win-win for your lead gen efforts: wide coverage, in-depth insights on your audience, and steady website traffic. On the other hand, however, any business may make a slip when it comes to gaining the interest of potential customers and collecting their contact information before they leave you.

One thing is for sure, though. If you get your hands on the right tool that checks all the brand’s boxes, the chances are you come out on top. Could it be a live chat for lead generation? 

As a matter of fact, live chat is an exciting tool for lead gen as is. Users land on your website, come up with some questions and reach out to you via online chat to get answers. Bam! The process is on: your sales team swoops in, the moment is ideal for gathering users’ contact info and telling them about the product or service in real time.   

Do lead gen and live chat make a good team?

As Salesforce puts it, lead generation is the process of gaining the interest of potential customers in order to increase future sales. It is a crucial part of the sales process of many companies. Intrinsically, this is when a potential customer is “recruited” to be an active one and then – a complete unit of the sales funnel. 

Live chat, for that matter, is in the box seat when it comes to customer communication and driving people’s interest. Get ready: we are about to shower you with some numbers.

According to the stats, 38% of consumers claim a live chat interaction led them directly to purchase. And 51% of clients say they are more likely to purchase if a company has a live chat on its website. 

29% of customers are ready to buy stuff from a website even if they don’t seek support. The cherry on the cake is that 79% of brands that provide live chat end up enjoying positive benefits in sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.   

The bottom line is that when you know exactly how to use live chat for lead generation, you can not only stand out from the crowd but also ignite customer happiness through your products or services.   

Using live chat for lead generation: most effective tips & tricks

1. Set up proactive chat messages 

If you already have a live chat implemented, time to beat the bag out of it. The very first step is showing your customers you are here for them and ready to lend a helping hand. 

A good deal of modern software, such as HelpCrunch, offers an ideal feature – proactive chat messages. These are automated triggered greetings you can send to prospects when they land on your website pages. That is, they invite a user to communication. 

HelpCrunch-live-chat-landing-proactive-chat-message
Proactive chat message on the HelpCrunch website 

Thanks to specific rules, you can catch the audience’s attention at the right moment. That is a major pro point for lead generation. For instance, in HelpCrunch, you can set up these criteria:

  • Browser language;
  • First seen;
  • Time spent on page;
  • Country;
  • Number of visits;
  • Current page URL, etc.

Once you’re all set, craft your message to drive lead generation. Include everything from redirect links to your products or services and newsletter opt-in sign up to links to the company’s blog/customer support/pricing pages to release notes. If bundled, these actions help you convert prospects into loyal customers and skyrocket the conversion rate.  

What proactive messages to send to success in lead generation?

Before you fling yourself into such an adventure, you’d better hammer out a solid plan. I’ve come up with these questions you might ask yourself:

  • What is so special about my product?
  • Is there something extra I could provide my leads with?
  • Does my business have enough human resources to offer, e.g, individual customer onboarding/20 demos a day?

To make this plan work, alter your introductory chat messages. Instead of sending something like Hey! I am here to help!, send this: Hi there! I see you might need help puzzling out the product. How about a quick intro and a cup of virtual tea/coffee? The second option is much friendlier and wins favor.  

Besides, create a sense of urgency. Have your support heroes communicate the special discount or whatever it is you offer to your customers with a little asterisk: the deadline is XX

Live chat isn’t the only option here, though. A chatbot for customer service could be a win-win as well. The difference is that you can show your proactivity just as you do via live chat but with a drop of automation. Set up proactive messages, decide when and who will get them, and what info a chatbot should gather along the way.   

Not there yet? Put all the doubts aside and start driving your lead generation through live chat with HelpCrunch! There’s little left to do: create a free account with HelpCrunch to awaken its full potential.

2. Capture leads with pre-chat and offline forms 

The idea of 24/7 customer support is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s awesome you can take responsibility and provide assistance round-the-clock. On the other hand, though, there are such factors as team productivity loss or holiday season, to name just a few. The times when your stuff might be unavailable. 

All of the above doesn’t mean you have to lose valuable leads. To still be a friendly business when your team is off (and, of course, welcome the hottest leads), use live chat for lead generation wisely. For instance, you can turn on an offline form and write a greeting when your support squad is out of service. This is how ChatBot puts their offline form templates when the team isn’t there:

Besides, consider a pre-chat form. It can help you gather website visitors’ emails before they even start a chat with your company’s team. Both an offline and a pre-chat form stay ahead, so to say: they gather all the info beforehand and you get it “on a silver platter” afterward.  

Let’s look at an example of a pre-chat form. Basically, it’s up to you what user contact data to gather: name, email, phone number, customer cat’s name. Anything you think is suitable for your future sales activities will do:

HelpCrunch pre-chat form

3. Consider post-chat forms

Many live chat tools have an alternative option: a post-chat form. With its help, you can connect the dots on the user’s experience. That is, you can use a predefined form or tailor it as you wish. 

Depending on your business profile and the purpose (in our case, it is lead gen), you might need different customer reviews. So your reaction to it will also vary. Experiment with the form – include open-ended or short questions, thank-you messages, dropdowns, or chat rating – everything your software is capable of.

4. Embed knowledge base into the chat widget to help leads proactively 

What can be worse than losing a potential customer to a lack of information? Or should I say to a lack of access to the information? One of the Forrester surveys shows that 53% of clients will simply abandon a brand if they don’t find quick answers to their questions. So, let’s picture a situation. 

You see a user searching for a perfect pricing plan for their company on your website. One of the options would be to send a proactive message and offer support in the chat. However, you can take further the potential of live chat: integrate a knowledge base into the widget preemptively. 

Having this resource means your prospects don’t have to lose their temper while waiting for direct communication. Instead, they just comb through a resource hub, read an article, realize how cool your business is, and decide how they want to proceed from there. As a result, you get better educated and qualified leads. 

HelpCrunch Knowledge Base and widget
HelpCrunch knowledge base inside live chat widget

5. Store and analyze customer data

You can’t benefit from a live chat for lead generation without full-fledged customer data. I’ll tell you what: it’s next to impossible to influence users’ behavior properly without it. That is why it’s crucial a support team (and even a chatbot) know who they’re communicating with. 

If your live chat software allows, gather such customer data through it as:

  • Company size;
  • Position;
  • Current customer location;
  • Main pain points and goals;
  • Time zone;
  • Language.

Once you start analyzing all of it, you can get better insights into your audience. Hence, the whole logic chain will look like this: you get customer data → you store and process it → you fine-tune marketing campaigns accordingly → you enjoy higher conversions.

6. Prevent cart abandonment with live chat 

Cart abandonment is a not-so-nice experience for a business owner. Basically, a user may have several reasons for that:

  • They faced unexpected costs (extra taxes, etc.);
  • They found your checkout routine lame;
  • They don’t know your brand well, so there were trust issues;
  • They noticed a lack of payment options.

Here is when live chat lead generation activities may truly change the situation for the better. 

First, if you have it installed on a website, a customer can easily reach out to you and solve the issue in real time. Unlike email support, live chat doesn’t require switching between the tabs/changing devices/whatever. 

Second, you can drive the website visitor’s attention smartly. Let’s say, a website visitor is surfing your product page but has second thoughts about purchasing some stuff from you. Here is when you can send your kind message, saying:

Hey! This is [your name] with [company]. I see you’re looking for [product name]. Do you have any questions? I can also offer you some alternatives. Let’s chat! 

This is how North Face tries to battle cart abandonment with a live chat. Once you’re having trouble during checkout (let’s say, can’t change the item color or don’t see how you can form a purchase as a gift), you can write a North face Virtual Assistant and have your question answered in secs:

north face live chat
North Face Virtual Assistant at the checkout page

Third, live chat is a source for collecting feedback. Once you see a lead is going to abandon their cart (or they have already), ask them to explain what was wrong and what gaps you should fix.

Sum it up

Winding it up, when you adopt a live chat for lead generation, you get at the very least: 1) an easy way for leads to contact you, 2) a way to monitor and reconsider your approach, 3) quicker, on-spot customer service. 

Speaking of, if you want to jump on the bandwagon, it’s high time you looked at your software at the upside. Is it capable of doing all those lead gen hacks we’ve discussed today? If not, you know exactly what to do. 

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