iMedia Connection

4 ways live chat can improve your marketing

Casie Gillette

Let's be honest, no one likes pop-ups. You get to a site, you want to check things out and you don't want something shoved in your face. If you recall, that's basically how live chat used to work. Luckily things have changed and companies have developed tools that don't interfere with the user experience.

For companies, this has resulted in immediate support, less phone calls, and increased customer satisfaction. It also means increased feedback from customers; something marketers should be jumping for joy over.

I talked to four companies using live chat to learn how it's helped improve their marketing efforts. Here's what they had to say:

Faster product enhancements

Sam Gurdus, director of customer delight at AdRoll

"At AdRoll, we don't simply aim to support, we strive to delight. In keeping with this goal, live chat has become a key tool for our customer delight team. In addition to resolving people's problems in real-time, live chat gives us the ability to enhance our product based on feedback that doesn't always come through other support channels.

We're able to attach automated tags to each chat, revealing data on which issues surface most, where they pop up, and occurrence windows. This has led to improved dashboard features, easier campaign editing functionality, and strategically placed tips in areas where live chat data showed us there was confusion."

Eliminating sign up blockers

Mike Morris, VP customer acquisition and retention at Grasshopper

"Our marketing department ran live chat for a few weeks and the biggest takeaway was the amount of insight it gave us into our pricing and signup page. We learned that features we thought were most important to customers weren't the ones that mattered. We also came across a few sign up road blocks we didn't know existed.

The great part is, because our marketing team ran the live chat, we were able to take the data and create new content to address some of the questions people had. We're also currently in the midst of redesigning our entire signup process to address the issues we came across."

Sales and support content ideas

Josh Pigford, CEO at PopSurvey

"I throw sales and marketing in the same pot for us...there's a lot of overlap. So having live chat as both a sales channel and support channel has been very beneficial. From a sales perspective, customers are able to get any of their concerns instantly alleviated, plus it gives us an opportunity to put a face with the business and start a relationship. Almost any time someone chooses to contact us via live chat, they signed up right afterwards.

From a support perspective, it allows us to solve problems instantly. The feedback from this is literally always positive."

Improved user experience

Caitlin MacDonald, director of marketing at Rapleaf

"From a marketing and product perspective, live chat has provided an easy and fast way to get feedback on the overall user experience. We're able to see where our users are getting caught up and what the most frequently asked questions are so we can adjust our messaging and enhance our product to make it more user-friendly.

It not only provides an additional channel of contact for potential customers, but shows users they are important to us and we want to be available to them at any time. It makes them feel more comfortable that there is an actual person behind the site, which strengthens customer loyalty and enables us to deliver that one-to-one 'in store-like' experience to each and every person."

Casie Gillette is online marketing manager at Grasshopper.

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