Why Live Chat is a Better Alternative than Texting for your Business

As the world has moved mobile, marketing has responded to keep pace. Potential clients are on mobile devices throughout the day and have grown accustomed to on-demand answers at the touch of a button. 

So for businesses trying to reach these customers, the need for instant answers to mobile devices becomes more and more important. But there are still a lot of questions in how to execute in a way that’s mobile, immediate, but also generating a positive response from your audience.

Texting vs Live Chat

Many businesses have turned to SMS, allowing text correspondence with potential clients. This usually works where a customer would text to a certain number to get updates. Then the business would have permission to send text messages to their mobile number. 

The advantage of this is the open rate of text messages is nearly 100%. If you have someone’s mobile number you have the most direct access to getting in front of their eyes.

But there are also drawbacks to using text messaging as a means for lead generation.

The alternative for businesses who want instant response capability, is offering live chat. This would work differently. With live web chat, a potential customer would browse a site on any device. They would have a message option pop up, and can send any questions and exchange information in real-time to get what they are looking for. 

Live chat is a better user experience

The goal in marketing is not only to boost revenue, but also to create a great experience for your potential clients. With texting, you are walking a fine line. Many see receiving texts from a business as intrusive. While they will typically open the text messages, their experience is negative and it’s not likely to generate a response. 

Live chat provides a much better experience. You are able to still have a mobile-friendly conversation in real-time. And the customer gets to do it on their terms. They are asking relevant questions and feel in control of their experience.

Live chat is easier to execute

With live chat, you can use a combination of virtual receptionists, staff and bots to make sure someone will get a proper response. It’s simple to manage chat with a team and maintain consistency in the process. 

With chat, it’s more complicated. If you are sending automated messages to a mobile device, these will be generic rather than personal and likely get ignored every time. But to personally provide text messages to leads is complicated also and impossible to monitor or control as a team from a centralized location.

Live chat leads to higher quality leads

Your goal in lead capture is to qualify and nurture along a process. In a live chat conversation, you are able to capture a significant amount of information about the prospect. You will have their name, email and phone number for starters. Even better, you’ll have at a minimum a basic understanding of their interest level based on their interactions in the chat.

If you are using SMS asking for a mobile number to receive information or updates, all you’ll have is a mobile number. You can now call and text that number, but you’ll have very little context on why they gave you the number.

With live chat, you’ll have all the key information saved in your CRM and a major step forward in qualifying a lead in your sales process.

Get a Free Trial of Smith.ai Live Web Chat

It's time to try live chat on your website. Just one new client captured via chat can pay for a year (or more) of Smith.ai's live web chat service. We provide fully staffed live website chat with professional agents. Outsourced live chat is best for small businesses like law firms, e-commerce businesses, IT consultants, financial planners, property managers, realtors, and marketing agencies (to name just a few!).

Our live agents are highly skilled and can answer common questions about your business, qualify new leads, schedule appointments, take payments, and more. You stay in the loop when chat transcripts are sent to you after each conversation and logged in your CRM. There's no setup fee, services are month-to-month with no annual contract, and plans start at just $60/month. You’ll only pay $8-12 per relevant chat -- and after-hours chatbot service is included for free. Learn more and get started with a 30-day / 10-chat free trial!

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