Study Suggests a Right Way, and a Wrong Way, to do Live Web Chat

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Live chat, when done 'right' on a website can help buyers learn what they need about your product. Live chat, when done 'right' on a website can help buyers learn what they need about your product.

KoMarketing Associates, of Boston, and Dianna Huff, a web marketing consultant based in New Hampshire, have released a B2B Website Usability Report that highlights a right way, and a wrong way, to implement live web chat.

The comprehensive report, based on a survey last year of 175 C-level executives, vice presidents, directors, analysts, specialists, and consultants asked what B2B buyers want to see when they visit a vendor's website.

The participants weren't shy and provided commentary on everything from marketing collateral to pricing information to registration forms to social media activity.

One fact they also addressed was the live web chat window. Some 60 percent of respondents found "intrusive live chat" a definite turnoff, but a discreet live chat option helpful, and welcome when needed.

Dianna Huff explains, "The data showed that obtrusive live chat windows are actually quite a deterrent and will cause someone to leave, and I completely agree.

"In fact, the other day I was having trouble with my website and went to my web host to fill out a support ticket. While filling it out, I was also reading WordPress support forums and found the answer I needed.

"My browser window was still open to the web hosting site and after about 10 minutes, the live chat window pinged and a support person asked if I needed help. That to me was a good example of how to use live chat. Obviously, they knew I needed help but waited a bit to ask if they could help me.

"When a user is in browse mode, don't bother them. Make it easy for them to access the live chat button if they need it and then, after a certain amount of time, use the pop up to help. Also, make sure that it only pops up once."

The report goes on to suggest that vendors test elements such as pop-ups, sliders and moving live-chat to ensure such 'action' features aren't turning away potential leads.

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