It happens to everyone to search the web for specific information about a product, a service or a company. These searches are generally classified as navigational queries, if you are looking for content from a specific site, or transactional queries, if they are oriented towards purchase. If the user does not find an immediate answer to his or her need for information on the site, he or she will then move to the header or footer of the home page, or to the contact page, to find out how to interact and formulate specific requests. In general, phone numbers and email addresses will be found, the use of which requires consequent action: the answers will not always be immediate and will remain bound to specific working hours.
The web requires speed, and those who browse our site are looking for immediate and personalised answers. After all, the usability of a website is measured in terms of ease, speed and pleasantness of navigation, which are often obtained by reducing the number of actions necessary to reach the required information. A site with many steps, i.e. the consultation of some pages, to find information offers a bad user experience, especially in these times, when the number of searches and navigation from mobile devices has exceeded those made by traditional computers, whose large monitor allows you to draw pages offering more complete information.
The most recent sites have telephone numbers and email on their home page, either on the top right or in the footer, thus improving the user experience, which quickly finds a contact channel. If the goal of the site is to achieve conversions of some kind – purchases of goods, services or reservations – the challenge for the web designer is to interact quickly with the customer, hiring them to facilitate impulse buying. In this sense acting on UX to improve it is an essential choice for anyone who wants to achieve results in terms of visits and conversions.
Just phone number or email address? Let’s think of a potential customer, who is making purchases online, or is in the vicinity of a restaurant, hotel or tourist attraction. He has the need to obtain immediate information about the product, but also about timetables and parking or about the availability of free rooms and tables. in these cases, through a quick and targeted response it is possible to acquire the customer, who otherwise will turn to our competitors.
The evolution of platforms and languages for the design of websites currently offers a number of possibilities, each with advantages and disadvantages, which nevertheless have a strong impact on the User Experience, because they allow you to get in direct contact with the customer to provide fast and personalised information. Solutions of this type improve the image of the company, which is focused on the customer and attentive to the information needs of the public, generating conversions.
People, whether they are old or potential customers, surf the web to find information, but often have the need to get directly in touch with the company, to formulate specific requests. We are all used to chatting during the day and we find this mode of interaction functional. A Live Chat, activated directly from the home page, certainly induces users to formulate requests. This interaction tool has existed for years, and is a clear example of web 2.0, which transforms corporate communication from unidirectional, typical of the outdated “showcase site”, to bidirectional, used by the most recent sites. The aim is to engage the visitor, stimulating curiosity and generating interaction. An essential element of a Live Chat is proactivity: the typical message “I’m Anna, what can I be useful to you?” or other promotional forms – the proposal of a discount? – communicated to the site visitor after he has consulted it for a few seconds, can help stimulate interaction and increase the conversion rate.
Live Chat is an active service only at times when operators will be available, but you can customise your responses, for example in the evening hours. During office closing hours you can invite the user to leave their phone number to be contacted during working hours. In this way you will also try to interact with those who surf late at night. The effectiveness of Live Chat in terms of conversions is based, of course, on the quality of the responses offered by the resources that will interact with users, who will be given specific training on the company’s products or services and on sales techniques and motivation to purchase through a chat. Live Chat can be activated through paid platforms, but also through WordPress plugins. The Video chat formula is also used, perhaps a bit invasive for a first contact, but very engaging for those looking for a relationship not mediated by text messages.
If Live Chat still represents today an effective declination of the concept of web 2.0, Chatbot goes in the direction of web 3.0, the “data web”. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are also revolutionising marketing, and it is currently possible to delegate some user interaction functions to an automated tool. Chatbot is precisely a software that, thanks to machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence, is able to chat with the user, providing immediate answers without human intervention. A Chatbot can currently be activated on websites and Instant Messaging platforms, such as Slack, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and Google Allo.
It is therefore an automated chat, which has the advantage of working within 24 hours, non-stop. The limit with respect to Live Chat is that for now the two tools are not exactly fungible: a well-trained operator will be able to provide more detailed answers and in wider areas, with human methods, precisely. The advantage of a Chatbot is that, once programmed, it has sustainable costs compared to an operator chat.
Among the options offered by some platforms it is very useful to enable Chatbot that does not include a question to transfer in real time the chat to an operator or show a callback form.
The potential of this tool is enormous: let’s imagine a Facebook Bot that retrieves in real time the user’s Facebook profile data and identifies preferences, social status, passions and everything that could customise the response. This will provide answers – and promotions – calibrated to the user profile. Those who are looking for a hotel and have children may wish to receive an offer for families, while a young person is attracted by a free aperitif, included in the cost of the hotel room. This certainly increases conversions, because it offers the customer what he really needs. The Chatbot, finally, is an excellent tool to later analyse the requests of customers, performing Content Curation actions of the information on its site.
In recent months as many as 22 million Italians have used the popular chat app, purchased by Facebook in 2014 for 14 billion dollars. These days is the news of tests on the activation of WhatsApp for Business, a new service that will make it possible to make the brand of companies appear, and no longer a trivial mobile phone number. Whatsapp is a suitable tool to be used as an immediate contact tool for business and tourism activities. Many companies are already using this platform to provide customer support services, with a help desk function.
To date chatbots have not been implemented on WhatsApp by Menlo Park technicians, who preferred to give new life to Facebook Messenger, then who knows? In any case, it’s easy to insert WhatsApp as a contact method on your site: just indicate the company’s Whatsapp number on the home page to allow everyone to chat with an operator. The desktop mode of the popular application allows companies to manage responses and contacts in a more functional way than tablets and smartphones, used until a couple of years ago. As for the User Experience, there is to consider that, compared to a live chat, WhatsApp forces you to record the number in your address book before you can activate the chat, but the platform is undoubtedly interesting, especially to generate interactions with customers using mobile devices.
If you need to build a website oriented towards customer interaction, integrating live chat or chatbot, ByTek Marketing is the agency for you. Contact us and tell us your goals: we can improve your company’s presence on the web.