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Moving Into the B2B Fast Lane: Boosting Lead Gen with Live Chat

by Chris Frascella

You just increased lead generation by nearly 40%. What do you do next?

If you’re Hygiena’s marketing team, you get to work increasing it by another 40%.

From 2013 to 2014, Hygiena saw an increase of 38% in new inbound leads from their website. As of last month, they were on track to repeat this growth for 2015 as well.

Think you could never achieve this? If it’s because your product/service is boring, think again! An unsexy offering is no excuse for mediocre marketing performance.

Hygiena does not serve a very flashy market. They manufacture and sell microbiology and hygiene testing kits for food safety and healthcare infection control. Most of their customers are industrial food processing quality managers, hospital infection control nurses, sanitarians, and chemical/janitorial companies.

Being sexy is not Hygiena’s secret to success—being accessible, efficient, and data-driven is.

If you can make your team more accessible, more efficient, and be more responsive to data, you can make a major impact on your website lead generation numbers over the next 6-12 months.

Let’s take a deep dive into how that looks in practice.

Unlocking CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) with Accessibility and Efficiency

For Hygiena, the key is live chat. Customer service reps are able to maintain four conversations simultaneously, creating a stellar user experience.

From the customer perspective, the difference between live chat and telephone or email is the difference between traveling on a clear multi-lane highway and rush-hour traffic in a big city.

The value of accessibility and efficiency here is three-fold:

1. More Volume

You are able to address more potential leads, which in and of itself doesn’t necessarily mean you will turn more into leads—but it certainly offers you an opportunity you didn’t have before.

2. Less Waiting

Your customers are spending less time waiting for a response than through other channels, which actually does increase their likelihood of converting into a lead.

3. Better Service

Your brand is being associated with timely customer service, which may not quantifiably impact immediate lead generation, but will certainly help build your brand and strengthen your relationship with existing and potential customers.

But here’s the real value

Hygiena is able to quickly engage and route site visitors to the appropriate account representative, which means customers get one-on-one attention when they’re most interested, and conversions can be more easily optimized.

As noted above, this reduces the amount of time your potential leads spend waiting to speak with a live person.

Not only that, by getting potential leads to the right rep faster, Hygiena virtually eliminated a very frustrating experience for their site visitors: giving information and getting nothing of value in return.

How often have you wasted time with a customer service rep because you weren’t talking to the right person? Or equally frustrating, answering the same questions within minutes of each other?

By avoiding these pitfalls, Hygiena ensures a positive customer experience for their site visitors.

To review, being accessible and efficient with your site visitors entails serving a greater volume of visitors simultaneously and reducing the amount of time you force visitors to wait to speak with the person who can actually help them.

Results

As a result of their focus on accessibility and efficiency, Hygiena has left a strong positive impression on their prospective customers.

Customer satisfaction rates with live chat hover at 97% (see below).

live chat customer satisfaction rates(feedback from the month of June 2015)

The team at Hygiena believes this is also a strong competitive differentiator for them. Their hypothesis is backed by qualitative customer feedback:

  • “I love using your instant chat to place orders. Your customer service is excellent!!!!!”
  • “Thank you for a rather nice interface to get questions anwered [sic]- Jacob was able to get the answer in less than a minute.”
  • “This is a great service! Angie was able to answer my questions in full and is helping me to look at purchasing an instrument.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the marketing team at Hygiena also noticed a significant shift in the proportion of incoming leads coming from the website.

From 2013 to 2014, incoming leads grew nearly ten percentage points, from 60.6% to 70.2%. As of June 2015, the proportion of incoming leads via website YTD exceeded 73%. Live chat is shifting the distribution of leads in the website’s favor.

total inbound leads with live chat

These shifts in proportion also represent significant cost savings for Hygiena. It is more efficient for the company to have customer service staff engaging leads via live chat than via phone or email.

Unlocking CRO with Use of Data

“A majority of our business comes from people searching for our product categories online, so we know that once we attract traffic to our website, capturing the leads there is critical to gaining business.” – Lauren Roady, Marketing Manager, Hygiena

Even without a live chat tool, using software like Google Analytics, Lauren is able to determine how the majority of potential leads arrive at Hygiena’s site.

Based on this data, for Hygiena, product categories could include monitoring systems, pathogen tests, allergen prevention, sample collection devices, etc.

Like many clichés, it’s true: knowledge is power. Knowledge represents the power to change —whether it’s adjusting an ineffective process or scaling a promising one more broadly.

Their ability to gather the right data to make the right insights is one of the secrets to success. Use of that data is another.

What are the types of data you need to be collecting?

Lead volume by sales department

Higher conversions often depend on greater efficiency.

The reason Hygiena is able to so quickly and easily direct leads to the appropriate rep is because they monitor lead volume by sales department. This means that, by and large, the sales team is appropriately staffed to meet inbound lead volume.

image006

When lead volume trends change (based on time of day, for instance), the sales support team is prepared to shift accordingly.

Site visitor activity

In the example below, a chat rep could see that this potential lead came in via Google search and that the visitor immediately began looking around in the food and beverage pages on the site (see bottom half of screenshot below).

image007

Additionally, this activity would suggest this potential lead seems more interested in gathering information than in looking at products (depending on how long they spend on that last page).

This might actually be an opportune time to have a food-and-beverage rep reach out proactively and ask if the site visitor needs assistance.

Chat history

This is not just the current conversation with a site visitor but rather any record of previous conversations with that site visitor.

This helps provide additional context to reps and helps them build stronger rapport, which in turn improves the likelihood that the site visitor will become a lead or convert fully to a customer (in the screenshot below, names and other personal information have been blacked out).

image009

In the screenshot above, you’ll notice the chat transcript is one of several from June and July. This means that even if you weren’t the most recent person to speak with this potential customer, you have the data you need to bring yourself fully up to speed.

To review, making use of data to improve your conversion rate entails anticipating lead volume (which includes making sure sales or marketing is staffed accordingly!) and gathering contextual information about your site visitors, such as their current activity and past interactions.

But it’s more work, isn’t it?

Yes, absolutely.

At a minimum, you need people to staff live chat (or whatever service channel you’re using to optimize accessibility and efficiency for your site visitors) and you need the time and attention to evaluate and respond to the data you’re gathering.

Hygiena got:

  • 40% year over year increases in lead generation
  • More than 10% increase in leads generated by the website
  • 97% customer satisfaction ratings

You don’t get results like that without expending a little extra effort!

What are you doing to increase efficiency? Could the metrics used by Hygiena impact your optimization efforts as well?

Learn More

You can learn more about what live chat features specifically support these kind of conversion rate optimization efforts here.

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Chris Frascella

Chris Frascella shares live chat best practices as the Content Director at Velaro Live Chat. Before joining the Velaro team, Chris worked to promote outcomes-oriented case management software at Social Solutions Global.

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  1. neha says:
    July 25, 2016 at 7:09 am

    Thanks for sharing information,i appreciate your formula i.e.no waiting=happy customer,yes i agree with this because i am using tiger.do ,this live chat app helps me to connect with my customer instantly as soon as i get alert.

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