The Value of Collecting Basic Contact Info with Live Chat

Elizabeth Lockwood

You can chat with leads all day long, but if you don’t know who you’re talking to or how to reach them, your efforts could all be for nothing. Gathering a lead’s contact information is a must. That’s why Smith.ai requires a lead’s name, email, and other basic contact information to initiate a chat — because getting a lead’s information upfront may mean the difference between another paying client and a missed conversion opportunity. 

What’s the importance of collecting contact information upfront?

In addition to the obvious benefit of acquiring a more direct way to connect with and nurture your new prospects, having Smith.ai gather a lead’s contact information right off the bat allows you to: 

  • Steer clear of spam

Gathering a chatter’s contact information is one way to guarantee that there’s a real human on the other side of the chat and you’re not wasting time (or money) on spam, sales, tests, or other unimportant chats.

  • Gauge a lead’s interest

If a lead is serious about their inquiry, they’ll have no reason not to provide their contact information. If there are any hesitations or if they are simply not ready to communicate with your team directly, they may not be the lead you want your sales team to spend time on.

  • Send a more direct follow-up

80% of sales require 5 follow-up messages after the initial conversation, so following up with leads is absolutely crucial to the success of your conversion efforts. Knowing exactly where you can reach a lead after that first chat will increase the odds of response and give your team a better chance at closing the sale. 

  • Recall previous interactions to better serve leads

Any information a sales associate can get in advance makes them that much better at selling. Obtaining a lead’s contact information makes recalling previous conversations easier for your sales team, which in turn helps them more effectively guide leads through the customer journey.

  • Continue the conversation

If a chatter loses connectivity and wants to come back to the chat, having their contact information enables agents to reconnect with the chatter and carry on with the conversation they were having. Chatters won’t have to repeat themselves with a new agent and your business won’t lose out on potential clients.

  • Run conflict checks

Gathering contact information can help attorneys run conflict checks on leads so they can confirm there are no conflicts of interest that may prevent them from working with potential new clients. This saves attorneys from wasting time on leads they simply can’t work with.

  • CRM integrations

Collecting a lead’s name and email upfront allows you to add a valuable lead to your CRM. Even if the lead doesn’t make a purchase today, their needs might change in the future and when that happens, your team will have all the information they need already stored in your CRM so they can follow up and ensure your business stays front of mind. 

Best practices for collecting contact information via live chat

To encourage leads to provide their contact information upfront and drive better results from your chats, there are a few best practices you may want to try, including: 

Optimizing your intake fields 

While we do require a chatter’s name and email address upfront, Smith.ai’s live chat software also allows you to ask for more information. Whether you’d like to request a different form of contact information, like a chatter’s phone number, or something more personal, like their budget restrictions, you can customize our chat’s intake fields to ask for the information you need for potential clients.

When thinking about what intake fields you’d want to include, consider not only what information you want to collect from a client, but what information is going to be the most useful for the prospect. For instance, a lead interested in marketing services may find including a link to their website relevant and helpful to their inquiry, but a lead interested in legal services may not.

Some examples of the basic information you could ask for include:

  • Phone number
  • Company
  • Address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Country
  • Website

Examples of more specific information you could ask for may include:

  • Budget
  • Scope
  • Goals
  • Timeline
  • Industry

We recommend keeping these custom intake fields as simple and relevant as possible. Answering more than a few questions upfront can be tedious and time-consuming for busy leads and the last thing you want is for them to abandon the chat halfway through answering your questions, so keep it simple. 

Interested in setting up custom intake fields? Read our help doc to learn how.

Testing your intake form

To make sure it’s as easy as possible for your leads to send over their information, you may want to test your intake form. Some aspects of your intake form A/B testing can help optimize include:

  • Verbiage
  • Length
  • Design
  • Buttons
  • Field bottlenecks

Once your intake forms have been tested, you’ll have a better idea of what’s working and what’s not. From there, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions to improve your intake form so they not only meet your standards but your clients’ standards as well. 

Integrating Google Analytics to your Smith.ai Chat

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you get the most value out of your live chat. For example, integrating your live chat with Google Analytics allows you to:

  • Understand user behavior

Be better equipped to address your prospects’ needs by following user journeys and discovering how your users interact with your chat with Google Analytics. For instance, Google Analytics can show you which devices your users chat with you on, so you can be better prepared to deliver the omnichannel support your chatters expect. 

  • Track traffic

Google Analytics has the power to reveal what drives users to your chat. Whether it’s a specific page on your site or a unique keyword, you can pinpoint the traffic source to see exactly where you’re getting the most leads from. 

  • Evaluate chat performance 

Gain insight into the success of your marketing channels, like SEO, PPC, and email, with the help of Google Analytics. Use the information you find to adjust your campaigns to see better results.

Integrating Google Analytics to your chat not only highlights your chat’s commercial value but helps you identify potential growth opportunities as well. For tips on how to integrate Google Analytics to your Smith.ai chat, check out our help doc.


Get started using live chat with Smith.ai 

Just one new client captured via chat can pay for a year (or more) of Smith.ai's live web chat service, so if you’re looking to get the most out of your conversations, see what Smith.ai’s live chat can do for you!

Our live website chat is fully staffed by highly skilled professional agents trained to answer questions about your business, qualify new leads, schedule appointments, take payments, and more. We send over chat transcripts after each conversation on top of storing them directly in your CRM.  There's no setup fee, services are month-to-month, and there's no annual contract. Get started today or try out our live chat risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee

Have a few questions or concerns before getting started? Email support@smith.ai or call (650) 727-6484, and we’ll assist you in any way we can.

Elizabeth Lockwood

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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