lead-generation-customer-experience

Generate more leads with Trustmary

  • Lead gen widget library
    • inpage embeds
    • forms
    • notifications
    • popups
    • reviews
  • Testimonials in widgets

Sign up free

Want to know how to convert website visitors to customers with little to no human effort?

Would you like to implement a lead generation machine?

Keep reading!

Generate Leads with Live Chat

Every marketing and sales professional knows how important lead generation is. But in today’s business world, the customers have high expectations and old tricks don’t necessarily capture as many leads any more. 

According to a recent report, B2B buyers in 2021 expect a smooth digital customer experience. They are looking for

  • Personalized content
  • Around-the-clock support
  • Instant responses

Additionally, more and more people are frustrated with

  • Accessing basic information about a business
  • Navigation on websites
  • Old-fashioned forms

In a nutshell, customers love when things go smoothly, swiftly and easily.

If you are able to provide them that, you have a competitive advantage against your competitors!

B2B-customer-expectations-website

What if I told you that live chat and chatbots could resolve these challenges

In this article, I will

  1. Tell you more about the possibilities and benefits of live chat software
  2. Go over basic definitions of lead, lead generation and chatbots
  3. Inspect different chat lead generation solutions
  4. Provide a step-by-step guide for planning your own chatbot functions

With the help of this advice, you can utilize a live chat function to capture leads and accelerate your sales process.

First things first: if you want to boost your conversion rate, sign up for a free trial with us!

Defining Lead

First, let’s visit the basics. What is a lead? 

In a nutshell, a lead is a potential customer who is interested in your company. You want to find qualified new leads to generate more sales.

You can assess your leads’ quality by looking at

InterestHas the lead already expressed interest towards your business?
EnrichmentHow much information have they provided you about themselves?
QualificationHow ready and capable is the lead to actually buy from you?

The potential lead’s behavior indicates how likely they would be ready to be involved with your business.

For example website visits, providing contact information or participating in free trials tells you that this new lead might be serious..

Remember that not every lead is ready to buy your product or service. That is why you should always aim to identify the Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).

The Sales Qualified Lead is more than just interested in your product or service. The SQL has a need that you can fulfill, will to buy from you and is capable to do so. Talk about the perfect potential customer!

sales-qualified-lead

To learn more about different kinds of leads, visit our Resources.

Lead Generation Process

Don’t waste time trying to impress irrelevant people – focus on your important prospects!

drake-chat-lead-generation

Generating new leads is all about attracting the right people and awaking their interest towards your product or service.

It is the marketing team’s job to plan lead generation campaigns and lure the potential leads into your sales funnel. Sales team makes the next move and tries to convert the leads to customers.

There are many useful strategies and tactics to lead generation. Choosing the right ones depends on your business and your objectives.

Phases of Lead Generation Process

Generally speaking, the process has four phases, which are

  1. Lead capture
  2. Lead magnet
  3. Lead qualification
  4. Lead segmentation

Our website has useful tips about which tactics you could use in each stage of lead generation. Check it out!

Let’s move on the juicy part and see how live chat can help you generate leads and optimize your sales funnel.

How Chatbots Can Help in Lead Generation

Finding potential customers is time-consuming and slows down the sales representatives. If you can automate the process, you have more resources to actually drive sales. 

Chatbots can be a great lead generation tool and help with multiple stages of the lead generation process.

They also respond to the expectations of busy contemporary customers, as they 

  • Can create personalized messages
  • Are accessible 24/7
  • Give instant responses
  • Save the customer trouble by providing basic information in real time
  • Can help website visitors navigate the pages
  • Can collect the same information as forms, but in a conversational manner

And hear me out: If you improve your website with a live chat, you can reach up to 100% increase in conversion rates! Isn’t that amazing?

Now, let me tell you what a chatbot exactly is, and what kind of functions it can have.

What Is a Chatbot?

According to Wikipedia, chatbot is a software application that can mimic chat conversation. Chatbots are usually found on websites and mobile apps.

Most chatbots are simple and function based on a multiple choice survey or scripted sequences of messages. Some are more sophisticated and can use AI, machine learning and natural language processors to create elaborate discussions with visitors.

Chatbot often has a unique look that suits the brand of the organization. Some bots have names and act as a kind of mascot for the organization.

Who Uses Chatbots and Why?

Possibilities with chatbots are endless. They are used by many businesses and organizations for customer service, language learning, health care and much more. And why not? They save so much human effort and shorten response time, which accelerated conversion rates.

Many questions that people have can be easily answered. A real person is not always needed to address them. Websites actually often already have answers to most questions that visitors have in mind. 

But as stated earlier, people don’t want to look for information. They want it handed to them in real time. Some people might not even have the skills to search for information on a website.

This is where bots are handy. People can ask their questions from the bot and it analyzes the question, looking for keywords and suggesting relevant content.

In the future, chatbots will likely be used more and more. Even universities and municipalities are adapting live chat as one of their website functions. Look at the University of Jyväskylä and the city of Oulu, Finland.

Chatbot Functions

Here are some ideas of what a chatbot could do on your website:

  • Welcome visitors to the website
  • Tell more about your product or service
  • Promote content, special offers or free trials
  • Collect contact information on website visitors
  • Help with visitor’s questions
  • Guide the visitor through your website
  • Gather information on the visitor
  • Send a prospect to chat with a live sales agent
chatbot-functions-chat-lead-generation

Ultimately, your unique goals define which functions you should implement on your webpages.

Maybe you want the chatbot to help customers make purchases in your online shop and guarantee excellent customer service. Or, perhaps you want it to help with lead nurturing.

Converting Website Visitors to Leads with Chatbot

As you remember, the three keys to identifying a good lead are interest, enrichment and qualification. However, it is time consuming trying to figure out so many details about people.

This is the part where chatbots can help you. Instead of sales agents playing detectives, let chatbots make the first contact.

When a visitor lands on your website, the chatbot can immediately strike up a conversation. It will capture your potential lead for you.

Chatbot can instantly send a chat message to any visitor any time of the day and collect more information about them. This saves your valuable time, is cheap and helps you identify quality leads.

Chatbots also cater to the customer experience by assisting the customer with simple questions and problems. Two birds with one stone!

lead-generation-and-customer-experience

How Do Chatbots Qualify Leads?

What does your regular lead qualification process look like? Maybe you look at the potential customer’s occupation, the company’s name, industry, location and budget. All that information can be gathered by the bot in a simple live chat for lead generation.

A chatbot is a good way to spice up your regular lead generation form. Instead of a form that the site visitor fills in, a proactive chat does the same job while making the customer journey more enjoyable.

The very first thing many chatbots require is the visitor to give their name and email address. This alone eliminates most people who are not seriously interested and not willing to receive email or other marketing material. This leaves space for more target visitors and more leads.

The live chat session can go on with any questions that you find important for lead qualification. Once the bot has collected enough information, it can suggest a chat with a real sales representative or let the site visitor book an appointment with you.

Congratulations, your sales representatives and the customer both saved time!

Examples of Chatbots

I have collected three example chatbots to show how they can be used.

First, I will introduce the Finnish post’s chatbot, which is mostly intended for customer support.  The second example from OnceHub is a chat for lead generation with a straight-to-the-business style. The third live chat example from Drift Insider applies more sophisticated lead qualification tactics.

Customer Support Chat

The Finnish post, Posti, has a customer support chatbot. It pops up on the bottom right corner of the customer support website. First thing the bot asks is the visitor’s contact information: name and email address.

Once the information is given, talking to the chatbot is possible.

Posti chatbot only accepts written responses, which can make communication a little bit difficult. The bot only understands a very limited amount of questions. It did not understand my first question, which is why I had to think about the most simple way to ask for English communication.

chatbot-no-answer

In this case, the chatbot does not speak English, so it directs me to its “human colleagues”. It also gives me some links to topics that are frequently asked by English-speaking customers.

This interaction left me feeling that the conversation was not successful. The bot did not understand my initial question that I wrote in Finnish, and in the end it was also not able to provide me much help in English. 

It did offer some help based on assumptions about an English-speaking customer, and gave me the opportunity to speak to humans. 

On the bright side, even though the live chat does not provide service in English, talking to the chatbot shortens response time significantly.

Lead Generation Chat

This example below shows how OnceHub goes about lead generation chat.

The chatbot pops up when a visitor lands on any part of their website. It is good to have a bot proactively reach out to the visitors.

A cute and friendly-looking animated robot waves at the visitor and asks if the visitor needs help with leads. The visitor can ignore the pop up or click the option “Yes, that’s me!”.

chatbot-pop-up

By clicking the button, the chat continues.

oncehub-chatbot

After confirming my interest, the chatbot gives me more options for what I can do. 

chatbot-options

It promotes a free trial and more content as well as offers to bring me directly to the Sales team or Support team.

chatbot-lead-qualification

After I request to talk to the Sales team, the chatbot wants to start collecting information about me.

When creating your own chatbot, you can choose which questions to ask in the chat. This will help you further qualify the potential lead. Let’s discuss this in more detail in the next section.

Lead Qualification Chat

Third example is from Drift Insider. Unlike the previous bots, this one does not demand an email address at the very beginning. It offers me options to choose from.

I decided to just check things out and wanted to learn more about their topic.

chatbot-multiple-purposes

After this, the bot starts asking me more specific questions that help it qualify me. Once again, I don’t need to write anything, just click a button.

lead-qualification-question

I decided to go with less than 50 employees. After finding out this information, the bot was able to offer me personalized recommendations.

Lastly, it suggested a demo session that I could accept or decline.

chatbot-personalized-message

After I declined, the bot friendly pointed me to other content with direct links and welcomed me to contact them if I want a demo after all. 

Another cool thing that makes this bot so advanced is that the conversation starters vary from page to page, depending on what you seem to be looking at.

Hopefully these three examples help you grasp the idea of chatbots better. Use these examples as starting points for your own live chat development.

Which one do you find the best? Which style would suit your objectives?

Step-by-step Guide: Plan a Live Chat for Lead Generation and Get Live Chat Leads

Here is an extensive step-by-step guide for creating your own live chat for lead generation. No more missed opportunities! Elevate your website and get more leads.

Define Your Goals

Well planned is half done. Every project must start with defining the goals.

What do you want to achieve with the live chat? Is it purely for lead generation purposes or do you want to increase engagement in other ways as well? This determines which functions you want to include in the chat.

Let’s refresh our memory about what a chatbot can do for you:

  • Welcome visitors 
  • Introduce your product or service
  • Promote content, special offers or free trials
  • Collect contact information of website visitors
  • Help with visitor’s questions
  • Guide the visitor through your website
  • Gather information on the visitor
  • Send a prospect to chat with a live sales agent

You can use this checklist when planning the functions. The list is by no means inclusive: be creative and invent your own functions! It is always good to stand out and be unique.

Don’t forget to define what are the requirements of a lead for your business. You will need this information when planning the questions.

What to Ask in Chat?

As we noticed before, a chat based on written interaction might leave the customer quite frustrated.

Unless your chatbot is highly sophisticated (which it most likely is not), it might be a good idea to base it more on multiple choice surveys. Only use simple open-ended questions that can be answered with one word.

When designing the questions, keep in mind your product and service. If you have multiple products and services, you might first want to know which one the customer is interested in. Let the customer choose from different topics that they want to talk about.

Lead Capture Questions

You can include a pre-chat survey where you ask something about the customer, such as name, email address and occupation.

This allows the bot to create personalized messages using the customer’s name. It can also help eliminate people who are not seriously interested and don’t want to provide any information about themselves.

On the other hand, asking for personal data right off the bat might appear aggressive and spook away some clients who are not willing to disclose any personal data but would like to get to know your product better.

chatbot-personal-data

Lead Qualification Questions

Once you have engaged the potential customers in the live chat conversation, you can continue asking specific questions that have to do with your product. These questions should help you determine if the visitor is a suitable lead for you. 

Some examples:

  • Are you looking for an easy way to collect customer testimonials?
  • What is your company’s yearly marketing budget?
  • Where are you located?
  • In what industry does your business work?

Number of questions depends on how accurately you want to pin down your leads.

If you are being general, you can generate more leads. If you are specific, you will find less leads but more qualified ones.

Never ask more than you need to know.

Design

The design of chatbots is important, as they often act as mascots for the company or organization.

You might want to use your brand colors and invent a character that suits your business. Professional designers and communication specialists can help you shape the perfect character, both visually and language-wise.

Don’t let the chat go unnoticed. You should be proactively communicating with the visitors. Maybe make the chat bigger and let it pop-up to the screen. You can even add a notification sound.

Another point to consider is: how to make clear that this is a bot? You don’t want your site visitors to think that they are talking with a real person.

In case the bot does not understand something, you don’t want the customer to think that the “real person” on the other side is just stupid and incompetent.

For this reason, many chatbots are designed to look like robots. Some even state in the very beginning of the chat that the visitor is dealing with a piece of software, not a human.

importance-of-design-in-chatbot

Language of the Live Chat

Language is one of the most central parts of the live chat experience.

The chatbot should follow your business’ tone of voice. You can go a little crazy, but keep in mind that the language should be accessible to your target customers.

Since the interaction happens via chat, why not utilize all possibilities that it offers? If it suits your tone of voice, feel free to use emojis, gifs and other visual elements. Don’t forget other affordances, such as links.

Utilize the help of a professional content writer or UX writer if you want to make sure that the chatbot remains accessible and makes sense even if the style is a little bit unconventional. It’s all about the balance!

chatbot-accessible-language

Starting and Ending a Conversation

Start and ending are critical phases of the conversation. If you nail the start, you can attract more interactions. And if the end is successful, the customer will feel welcomed to come back any time.

You can invite the visitor to the live chat by awaking interest in one of your lead magnets. 

Example: “Welcome to our webpage! Would you like to know more about how to utilize social proof for increased conversion rate?”

Don’t leave the customer hanging even if they decline your invitations to free trials, demo sessions or newsletters. You should leave them feeling that they can always come back. Giving a cold shoulder after they reject the first try is not a good plan.

Example: “Okay, no problem! Let me know if we can help in any other way. Our sales team and support team are here for you. In the meantime, why don’t you check out what other people say about our services?”

Placement

Depending on the function that you have chosen for the live chat, there are different ways to place your live chat. Conventionally, the placement is in the bottom right corner of the page. People are used to it and know where to look.

Once again, mind your goals. You want to generate leads? Put the chat in the landing page as well as any other pages that attract traffic. This will guarantee the optimal conversion rate.

If you only want a customer support bot, you can add it to the specific customer support page. You could also place the live chat on a specific product feature page or pricing page. This helps you get more visitors who are interested in a certain product straight into the sales pipeline.

Keep in mind that the visitors might use computer or mobile devices to surf your web pages. Make the live chat accessible for all customers.

Add Live Chat to Your Website with Trustmary

Now that you know what chatbots and live chat are all about, would you like to try it yourself?

Trustmary offers easy-to-use chatbot templates that you can modify to your liking. You can add different survey questions, ratings, open-ended questions, multiple selection questions… we got it all!

You can choose from in-page chatbots and inline chatbot supercharged with social proof!

Conclusions

Chatbot is a piece of software that mimics a human live chat. Chatbots are used by many instances, since they are cheap, accessible and effective tools for customer support and lead generation.

Website visitors can be effectively guided into the sales process via live chat conversations. You can generate leads and qualify them with almost zero human effort.

Chat for lead generation can be built using different tactics. Your unique goals and objectives define what kind of features should be included in the chat.

Trustmary offers live chat software for building your effective landing pages.

Don’t forget to sign up for a free trial and start collecting live chat leads!

Further Reading

Trustmary Blogs

Other Reading

FAQ

How can I set up a chatbot?

There are many companies dedicated to chatbots and AI solutions. By googling you can find and compare different options. Don’t forget to look for recommendations from other businesses.

One option that you could check out is our chatbot templates.

What advantages do chatbots have compared to traditional lead generation forms?

People do not like traditional forms. Contemporary customers expect personalized experiences. Live chat conversations offer the opportunity to provide customized messages. Proactive communication also makes the customer journey more pleasant.

How can a chatbot qualify leads?

A chatbot can be programmed to ask specific questions that make or break a qualified lead. The chat collects the necessary information and suggests actions based on the responses. The goal is to let the qualified lead leave their contact information, book a demo or engage in other ways.