The right way to do it
There are so many options for web site owners to add widgets, chat features, social bookmarking/networking, forum piece it can be a challenge to find the right one to work with your product and services.
It’s easy to think that “Oh that feature sounds great! But a web site owner needs to stop and think about how to actually manage new features.
Let’s take the Live Chat feature…Who will be in charge of managing it? Who will be answering questions in the Live Chat? Is this person knowledgeable? Is this person professional and trained to deal with potential customers? What hours will the Live Chat be available? Will this person be able to communicate effectively during a live conversation and will it enhance your service or encourage customers to take action and purchase your products and services?
Recently, I reached out to a Live Chat person with a specific question about their product. I asked my question, and first, they wanted to get some basic info from me…which I gave…after answering like 4 or 5 of their ‘qualifying’ questions, the Live Chat operator thanked me for reaching out and wanted to know if there was anything else she could help me with. I wrote, “Yes, you can answer the question I came to you with in the first place…”- and then I entered the question again. After much delay, the Live Chat person said that the manager would be calling or emailing me with that information, thank you and have a nice day.
I had a question. I went to their Live Chat. I asked the question. I received NO ANSWER.
Am I annoyed? YES. What was the whole point of their version of LIVE CHAT? Simply: To get my contact information- period. NOT to answer questions. I felt as if the rug had been pulled from under me. I’ve used Live Chat features plenty of times on the web, and found them to be an extremely useful tool. This particular company though used it as a ruse, just to get my info. I wouldn’t have been as annoyed had they at least attempted to find out the answer. But this was clearly not the intention for them.
One of the keys to making your small business successful is anticipating client needs and expectations and keeping them happy with your product or service. If your client has expectations and you end up not fulfilling them, you are going to disappoint them. Don’t pull the old ‘bait & switch’ on them. If you offer a product such as a Live Chat feature- remember that customers have the expectation that you will actually ANSWER questions with it.
Best Business Mastery Tip: Don’t add a product or service to your site without understanding how it may be used by your clientele. If you are not prepared to fulfill the expectations with your widget, social bookmarking/networking/ chat or forum- it may turn into an avenue to alienate clients rather than endear them to you.