Pros and Cons of Live Web Chat for Estate Agents
13 February, 2019 | Online marketing
More and more consumers are bypassing the traditional customer service channels like phone and email and instead opting to use more modern channels like Facebook, Twitter and Live Web Chat.
As with all technology, there is always pros and cons, and despite the fact it will work perfectly for some, the same technology might just not be for others.
Live Web Chat is no different, and just like Facebook and Twitter it is a huge commitment for a company and takes time and effort to get right.
Here are the pros and cons of Live Web Chat software:
Pros for Live Web Chat:
Easy communication for the consumer
At all times, most people have access to the internet and Live Web Chat can instantly connect you with your customers.
It can also help customers who may not be able to talk on the phone (due to being in work, etc), but may have access to a computer so they will likely be able to talk via Web Chat.
Can save time
It can improve response times if staffed correctly. As the queries are delivered in real-time, it may be faster and easier to respond to than email.
It is easier for staff members to appear to know all the answers. On the phone you may forget certain details that a customer has requested but with Live Web Chat your staff have the time to team up and find out the information quickly and easily compared to a phone conversation without the customers knowing.
Reduces stress on other communication channels
Having Live Web Chat available leaves other communication channels open for larger problems. Potential and current customers are likely to use Live Web Chat for small queries, leaving your phone lines open for larger problems.
Deal with multiple customers
Another advantage is that unlike phone calls, you can chat to multiple customers simultaneously.
Cons for Live Web Chat:
You must respond quickly
This is one of the major problems with Live Web Chat. For all the above to be beneficial to your business, the chat tool must be manned during your office open hours constantly or it may reflect badly on your business.
With Live Web Chat software, you can immediately be available to customers to answer their questions and help them, but will you be?
If you are not online and a customer visits your website with the expectation that you will be there to answer their questions, they will leave your website disappointed if you are unavailable for whatever reason, which could be anything (e.g. being on your lunch break, off sick, busy with another customer, etc).
If you don’t have someone constantly sat in front of a computer screen every day to manage this tool, then it may do more harm than good.
Live Web Chat works best when you have a dedicated customer support team, however most estate agents either don’t have the time or the manpower to manage this type of tool throughout the day.
Live Web Chat will always be on in the background which means you run the risk of having your work interrupted by messages.
This means it can take longer for you to do the work you originally intended to do as you must stop and start throughout the day to answer these messages.
It can slow down your website
Like any website plugin, Live Web Chat plugins can slow your website down considerably. Having a slow website will frustrate users, potentially leading to them abandoning the website and will also negatively affect your SEO.
Impersonal and robotic
When a customer accesses Live Web Chat they are greeted by a very robotic automated welcome which never leaves a good impression.
Although we live in the modern world, many of us aren’t exactly tech savvy. Not only may this be an issue with Live Web Chat, but it looks even worse when the company isn’t. Slow typists, as well as grammatical and spelling errors will reflect badly on your business.
Although Live Web Chat can be very beneficial to many estate agency businesses, it isn’t for everyone. Don’t get caught up in the hype. Ensure you can handle the extra work load or risk damaging your reputation.