Gone are the days when live chat software was only available to large enterprises. These days live chat plugins are available for free and only take a few minutes to setup without any prior technical knowledge required, making it a great solution for small startups, bloggers and entrepreneurs on a budget.
Live chat features provide fast, on-demand customer support anywhere on your website, giving you an opportunity to immediately address customer concerns, answer questions and even close sales before customers click away. In addition to speeding up customer support, live chat systems let you monitor visitor behaviour to provide personalised service, convert browsers into paying customers and improve your website to increase sales.
Nine out of ten consumers want to be able to use messaging to talk to businesses. And when you have a website experience that matches, you won’t just get happier visitors — you’ll get more leads and you’ll close more sales. — David Cancel — Drift
There are a number of fantastic live chat options out there all equally with their own merits, features, prices and complexities. However, for the purposes of this post I have chosen to discuss Drift due to a few reasons.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. These are my own personal words based on my experience of using Drift.
I have been using Drift for the past three months on my website and what started initially as some research, before I featured it on the NoCode directory (I test each featured tool), has now turned into a powerful tool I continue to use to interact with my users.
Example of my on/offline chat popup
So firstly, what is Drift?
“Drift is a sales communication platform that helps businesses generate more leads and close deals faster using messaging. Nine out of ten consumers want to be able to use messaging to talk to businesses today, and when you have a website experience that matches, you won’t just get happier visitors — you’ll get more leads and you’ll close more deals.”
This description above does essentially explain Drift and it’s features. However, I think the use cases for Drift are actually far more broad and certainly not limited to sites trying to sell something as the descriptions suggests. I have personally been using Drift to directly chat with my users to my site, with the aim to gather candid customer feedback.
This approach has allowed to interact with my users on a much more personal level, apposed to traditional methods like email or social media. My typical interactions are from users looking for a particular tool or resource, so this gives me the opportunity to ask them what they are making, helping me discover my types of user, their requirements and what tools and resources I need to feature. I can also ask “How are you finding the site?” or “Do you have any suggestions to how I can make my site better?” and lastly “How did you hear out about the site?”. These are great analytics you wouldn't necessary get the opportunity to find out from your users.
Tap to zoom
Some may say this is not a scalable technique for small startups or solopreneurs to interact with customers on a daily basis. However if like me you have only just recently launched with a manageable amount of traffic to the site it’s a perfectly viable option to consider during your early stages of the site. It can always be turned off at any point!
To chat with your user you have a few great options:
Tip: Turn on ‘Welcome Message Teaser’ in the customise Drift setting panel by clicking ‘online messaging’. This will make the chat window popup when a user visits your site, promoting them to interact with you. I have tried turning this feature off to see if it makes a difference to interaction figures and I would go as far to say it almost doubles the chances of users interacting when turned on.