How often do you use a messaging app? And which do you rely on most?
Like most people, you’re probably familiar with Facebook’s Messenger. This app totaled more than 126 million users in 2018. That’s in the United States alone.
But Messenger (and other apps like WhatsApp, Instagram and more) aren’t just used for personal communications. A growing number of businesses depend on them to drive customer engagement and conversions, too.
Over half of consumers are likely to do business with brands offering chat-based support. And this technology is only expected to become even more popular. Brands can leverage chat apps to either provide support to existing customers or for messaging-based sales.
What does this mean? Simply put, messaging based sales refers to chat-based interactions between a business representative and a customer (via the website or app) during a sale.
If you run a startup and want to place yourself at the forefront of cutting-edge customer service and sales strategies, it’s time to embrace the power of messaging-based sales before all your competitors do it. You can get up to speed fast with services such as Chatbot or a full-featured solution such as messaging-based sales CRM, like amoCRM.
Why Sell With Chat?
Still not convinced? Here are four reasons why you should be embracing this trend.
1. Add a Personal Touch for a Service-driven Sales Process
Online shopping is faster, more convenient and — often — more cost-effective than visiting brick-and-mortar stores.
But there’s one key element missing from websites and apps: dedicated, personal service from a sales professional. As research is a key aspect of both online and offline shopping, having someone ready to answer questions at any time can make a big impact on the customer’s experience.
Messaging-based sales offers businesses the chance to assist shoppers just ahead of, or during, the purchase process. A few persuasive words from a rep could sway a buyer’s decision to purchase or walk away.
Simply clicking or tapping the “live chat” button on a site or app connects customers to an agent in seconds, and a fast response makes this as convenient as approaching a member of staff in a brick-and-mortar store.
2. Engage Consumers through their Favorite Platforms
We all have our own preferred ways of interacting with businesses, and the proliferation of online communication tools makes it far easier than waiting on hold or sending a letter like we did in days gone by.
Messaging based sales empowers your business to offer maximum convenience to every single prospective and existing customer. Being available through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or another chat app means you’re there for people in a way that’s familiar.
Furthermore, chatbots deliver 24/7 virtual assistance if you can’t operate round-the-clock too, providing fast answers to countless questions even when your office is shut down for the night. That means you can still prompt people with intent to purchase without direct input.
Email and phone service won’t disappear for a long, long time (if at all), but messaging based sales is a must for every startup aiming to cater to a modern, broad audience.
3. Reduce the Risk of Abandoned Transactions and Increase Conversion Opportunities
We’ve all changed our mind about buying something at one time or another, particularly online. Shopping on your phone or tablet is just so easy, fast and convenient, you can end up buying goods you don’t need or really want if you don’t leave the checkout at the right time.
But you could abandon a purchase for other reasons, such as feeling unsure if a product is right for you or worth the money. Messaging based sales gives you the opportunity to explain items’ benefits, address concerns and recommend alternatives — even if a shopper buys something cheaper, it’s better to retain their custom and earn their trust than try to pressure them into a purchase that might not suit them.
Make sure to present a chat option at every stage of the customer’s journey, and be proactive with prompts: don’t always wait for users to seek help out. Offering assistance may help you secure conversions, but staying invisible won’t.
4. Deliver Comprehensive Service with Small Teams
It’s highly unlikely your startup has a huge customer service team at its disposal.
And if you only offer support through email and helplines, you can end up with huge support-ticket backlogs and overdue callbacks. This will frustrate even the most laidback consumers, and 47 percent will abandon your business altogether.
With chat, though, your staff can multitask: it’s far easier to interact with multiple customers at the same time. It’s real-time and text-based, so there’s no need to worry about prioritizing email responses or customers hearing you talk to people on other lines.
As a result, you can deliver fast, comprehensive customer service with a small team. Chatbot technology expands this too (as mentioned earlier) allowing your brand to answer questions and offer advice even when you have no agents available.
You Really Need Messaging-Based Sales
This emerging trend in digital sales can make a huge difference to your startup’s customer experience. You can achieve better conversion rates, deliver a more personal level of support, build trust and encourage purchases at key points during the buyer’s journey.
Take a look at almost any successful company’s website. See an option to chat with a representative? They’re doing it right. Now it’s time for you to do the same.
This article, “You Can Thank Us Later – 4 Reasons to Start Thinking about Selling with Chat” was first published on Small Business Trends
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