6 Live Chat Myths – Busted

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Two weeks ago, we launched a free live chat service for websites. It’s been on our site and we’ve been able to help hundreds of visitors get the info they need in real-time.

For the people who weren’t ready to put live chat on their site, I noticed the same questions over and over. We’ve been able to help most of these people over the hump and they’re happily chatting today.

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The concerns were consistent and based on myths that I want to bust. Without live chat, you’re missing the boat. And this boat has more qualified leads, happier customers, and a feedback loop that makes your team and products better.

Here’s the top 6 myths – busted.

1. It’s Not Going to Drive Revenue

At my previous company, Acquia, we implemented live chat because the sales team wanted it. We weren’t sure it was going to produce.

We were wrong – it turned out to be one of the easiest investments to measure the return for. The return? Millions of dollars in pipeline per quarter was sourced through live chat. It quickly became our #1 source of qualified leads.

It wasn’t the #1 source of leads by volume, but it was the #1 source of qualified leads.

Just think about your marketing mix. I’ll bet you invest in SEO. Why? Because when someone enters a search term… they’re looking! It’s a clear indication of interest and intent.

Live chat is even better. It’s a clear indication of interest in your company.There’s no better way to get qualified leads served up on a platter.

2. It’s Hard To Implement

It’s not. Most live chat services, like ours, can have you up and running in minutes. Here are the steps:

  1. Register
  2. Put the code on your website. So simple, it looked like this:

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3. Live Chat Only Helps Sales

We got an awesome tweet from one of our free customers. She says it all. 

Past driving leads, live chat helps your customers and support team, and it also helps your marketing team know what the site isn’t communicating.

4. It’ll Cost Too Much To Staff Live Chat

The beauty of live chat is it’s just like any other messaging service – you can set it to be unavailable when it’s outside your business hours. If you set the expectation that you’re online of offline, you help potential users know whether they’ll be able to catch someone live or not.

The way we run it at Drift, everyone sees when live chats come in, and we all collaborate on responses, but we aren’t hiring anyone else to staff it 24/7.

5. It’s Annoying for Users

This myth usually comes from a couple of things: 

  1. People apply their own bias/dislike for live chat to the world
  2. There’s concern that implementing live chat will slow the performance of the site

On #1 – you have to put your personal bias aside to let your website do it’s best work for you. There is no research I’ve been able to find that proves people leave websites because of live chat.

There is plenty of research that shows that it stops people from bouncing and creates qualified leads. That in turn creates a better customer experience, not a worse one.

On #2, I asked one of our awesome engineers who goes by T-Run why there’s no performance hit.

Once the javascript tag is installed on your site, the Drift Widget will be loaded asynchronously. This means it won’t slow down your page or prevent users from interacting with your site. Drift also utilizes a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to ensure that the Drift Widget is downloaded as efficiently as possible no matter where in the world your users are coming from.

All I know is Drift.com isn’t slower.

6. Only Millennials Want To Chat

True statement: Millenials want to chat. False statment: Only millenials want to chat.

In a study by Software Advice, they broke out live chat usage by 18-34 (millenials), 35-54, and 55+ age ranges. The 35-54 age range was remarkably close to the millenial bucket in frequency of chat usage. Even 25% of the baby boomers have used live chat a few times. This is not just for millenials; it’s for anyone who needs help findig what they’re looking for.

Usage of Live Chat, By Age

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