I often tell people who are making inquiries about adding Olark live chat to their site who are worried about convincing their boss to spend money on mere customer support, that getting Olark Chat can be the best marketing money you can ever spend. But wait you say, live chat is for customer service and answering support questions and doing sales. What’s that got to do with marketing? I thought marketing is about print ads and TV commercials and going to conferences with other marketing people and drinking too much.
Live chat has everything to do with marketing your company in a positive manner, bubba.
Good marketing is all about driving traffic to your site, making people think well of your company, promoting trust in your company and feeling confident about using your product, with the final mission being to make them feel like your company is “their” company. As mad man Don Draper tells us, marketing is selling happiness, telling stories and raising expectations of greatness. e.g. Turning browsers into buyers. Live chat is the best path to that particular pot of gold.
How does providing live chat do all of that?
Simple. Personalizing each interaction and consistently amazing your customers and potential customers with outstanding, go the extra mile chat services puts your company’s best foot forward in a direct way to your potential and current customers far more efficiently than an ad in a trade magazine or a :30 sec spot during the drive time break on the half hour of some random radio stations. This is an opportunity for your team’s great personalities to come through directly to your site’s visitors without spending $1000′s on ads, graphics and whizbang attention grabbers. People are far more able and apt to remember a great, personalized customer service moment and bond to you like a baby duck from the direct experience — rather than being told how great you are* in an ad on the wall of the subway train with clip art people wearing headsets. It is to our way of thinking that providing spectacular customer support every day of the week is a far better place to stick your hard earned dollars.
* Of course they will remember even more vividly a moment of your support chain breaking down and doing a lousy job (have you seen that new Twitter thing, and Yelp?), so it’s also very much about walking the walk and not just talking the talk.
This isn’t particularly a new idea; Zappos has ran with their meme of marketing dollars are best spent in building a large and mighty customer service dept since their inception, and it’s worked out well for them in becoming identified world-wide as a champion of amazingly great customer service. They have a commitment from the top down to care for and treat each customer like gold and to consistently go the extra mile in making people delighted with how they are treated and respected by Zappos. They throw vast resources into staffing and training and maintaining a company culture based around making their customers happy. Which translates to a returning customer and great word of mouth referrals.
Amazon and Apple are two other companies who are committed to making every customer with a problem walk away a dyed in the wool evangelist. Very few people walk out of a Genius Bar unhappy and Amazon is #1 in response time and resolution of problems, sales disputes and returns.
I don’t have the budget that Amazon and Apple and Zappos have, what can I do to compete for trophy for the best customer service in the world award?
We say, add live chat to your tool belt. Put a chat box on every page of your site, keep it open as many hours a day as you can and staff it with passionate, helpful, skilled communicators. Realize that every chat is an opportunity to make a life-long customer and treat every person like a king and queen. Even if it’s Friday evening at 0:beer:thirty and you’re tired and want to go home. Make that last chat of the week as fresh and friendly as the first. The pay off to your company will be seen instantly.
Can’t afford to hire a phalanx of customer support people? Make your whole company a customer service machine. Involve everyone in talking directly to your customers. From the CEO, down through marketing, engineering give everyone a shift on chat. They will all learn tons of info about your customer base, what it is they love, what it is they less then love and ideas for making your product and company better. The best thing is you don’t have to be available all the time. Be available when you can be available, and handle issues as email when you’re too swamped to chat with every singe person.
This is the Olark way. If you’re running customer support for your company it’s important to make this known to company wide. Live chat will help you own a customer’s experience with your brand and help make your company legendary for making great customer service an everyday event.
Come chat with our phenomenal support team today at Olark.com and we’ll show you how we walk the walk.