Property searches account for an incredible 1% of all web traffic in the UK, with 80% of all house hunters using the web to start property search. Of that total, almost 50% visit local agent websites, in addition to portals. This is especially true for people trying to source an agent to market their property.
Live chat is now expected
Live chat is increasingly the preferred communication channel online, and all types of businesses now offer this communication channel as standard, either through staffing it themselves for limited hours, or through using a specialist provider of fully staffed and managed live chat.
As people become more familiar with live chat, they tend to actively seek it out as the best channel online to give them immediate answers to their queries. They now expect it to be there.
Among UK live chat users, 78% say live chat is more efficient than email, and more than 35% say it is actually their preferred communication channel overall.
Quality of experience is everything
The key risk with live chat – aside from not having it at all – is not executing the service professionally.
Live chat creates an expectation in the user. As it is real time communication, people expect and want immediate response. From the time of accepting a chat, you have literally seconds to respond. You should target a response time of 15 seconds, and anything beyond is risking losing the customer.
With a slow response, you are creating a poor experience, which will adversely impact your reputation. You must ensure you work with a provider of great operators who can supply affordable support 24/7.
Customers are 24/7
Crucially you must ensure live chat is available when people are visiting the website, not just within office hours.
This means having staff available evenings, weekends and even through the night. In fact, the most efficient live chat deployments are 24/7. Over 50% of visitors, and more importantly leads, are handled out of hours, which massively optimises your return versus cost, and gets you those all important customers.
Quality not quantity
Live chat operators must be highly trained in your sector. Look for chat credentials and sector experience. But also look for a proactive methodology. Is there a structured engagement script, which nurtures leads through the buying cycle?
As for approach, operators must be honest with visitors and skilfully manage expectations. If they don’t know the answer, they must capture details so the answer can be provided later. In fact, having questions where the answer is not immediately known is a fantastic lead generation opportunity. You have a customer need that you can resolve. Ask to see customer satisfaction scores.
The key benefit to live chat is generating quality leads from people who are already visiting your website. Even if you have a website with low traffic volume, don’t ignore the importance of live chat. As a rule of thumb, skilfully targeted live chat could see you engaging with 2%-3% of unique users on your website, and here’s the amazing thing, a third of those could generate quality new business leads making live chat the highest converting lead generation channel online.
Focus on lead generation
Use live chat proactively for lead generation. Your audience is already expressing a clear interest in property, and live chat is incredibly effective at not only capturing detailed information on client requirements and contact details, but also discovering whether those buyers also have property to sell.
With careful deployment of live chat, you should see significant increases in the number of leads you are able to generate. As a guide, at Yomdel we would expect to covert 35% of all people chatting. So out of every 100 chats, that’s 35 leads. This is not precise, and every business will vary, but it gives an indication of what should be possible.
Buy on value not cost
There are multiple proptech solutions out that there that demand a monthly or annual subscription, and then leave you to ensure that you extract the maximum value from the product.
At Yomdel we believe you should only pay for what you use, so make sure you buy live chat on a deal that is directly related to the volume of visitors you get to your website, the actual number of chats you will use, and the number of leads you are generating. Yomdel tracks all these statistics via a live dashboard, accessible to all clients. You should only pay for live chat, on the basis of the value you receive from it.