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Archive for the ‘Chat’ Category

Are You Getting the Message?: Connect With Consumers the Way They Want

In today’s mobile-driven society, consumers have an array of different channels at their fingertips to reach out to businesses and providers. Most people think of these common options: 1-800 number (if you’re desperate), email (if you want to wait) and live chat. While the automotive industry has adopted live chat in large numbers, still only about half the U.S. dealer market offers the capability to consumers. If we’re being totally honest, most of us probably wish consumers would just put down the mobile phone and come to the showroom, right?

But they won’t.

Messaging Is Now an Essential: What Does This Mean for Business?

Whether a consumer is seeking information about an upcoming car purchase or vehicle service need, he or she will use the communication channel that best suits them in the moment. In a consumer study done by Contact At Once! involving 1,000 recent auto purchasers or near-term intenders, nearly 80% said they’re likely to message (chat or text) during the research and shopping phases. More than two-thirds said they would use messaging to schedule appointments and even to help finalize purchases.

So, what’s involved in developing a messaging strategy? It starts with a stop. Stop thinking of the way “Contact Us” has traditionally been done (nope, no one is going to fax) and start thinking about how consumers are communicating right now. As a matter of fact, you’re a consumer: how do your conversations happen most often these days? It probably involves a combination of chat, phone, social and, of course, text.

And that’s what car shoppers and purchasers said they do too. In another consumer study we recently did, the majority of consumers said they’d rather chat about an auto-related question when they’re using a computer or a tablet. A little over 40 percent said they’d call if they were on a mobile phone and one-third said they’d text.

Here Are Things to Think About:

  • Do you have a chat platform? Even with a wide variety of other options available, live chat is still one of the most-preferred communication avenues today. In fact, 44% of shoppers noted that one of the most critical features a company can provide is a live chat specialist to help facilitate online purchases.
  • Can consumers easily (and legally) text you? Text messaging is incredibly popular among all age groups today—globally mobile device users send more than 18 million texts every single day, but there are compliance considerations, opt-outs and more that have to be ironed out.
  • Do you have an app? If so, embedding messaging allows consumers and customers to connect with you without ever leaving the app, making it simple for the consumer and improving stickiness for your app.
  • Are you using Facebook Messenger, Facebook Marketplace, Google My Business and Google Adwords? Silly question…of course, you are. And because you are, you should enable messaging in all of them, then funnel the conversations through your chat and text platform.

Why is that important? Consistency of message, fast response, tracked/documented conversations and capture of lead information are all critical components of an effective social and search messaging strategy.

As you can see, messaging includes a host of platforms and technologies that your customers are currently using. Now, it’s your turn to get in there and start connecting! At Contact At Once! and LivePerson, we call that conversational commerce – engaging with consumers whenever, wherever and however it suits them when they’re in a shopping moment.

You’ll find that it increases the number of meaningful interactions you’re having, that consumers actually value the ability to message vs. phone tag or email and you can toss that fax machine. Now, that’s a relief!

See How We Can Help


Using Dealer Chat to Close Deals? You Betcha.

Using Chat to Close Deals

At Contact At Once!, a LivePerson company, our mission is to make life easier by transforming how people communicate with brands. When we help you move customers closer to purchase via messaging, we consider it a personal “mission accomplished.” Your goal is our goal. So you can imagine how happy we get learning how our messaging solutions helped you grease the sides of your sales funnel.

Yes, collecting contact info and setting appointments are huge goals, especially for BDC specialists. However, there’s more to it than that (otherwise, we’d just have forms and calendars to fill out).

One Contact At Once! dealer, Josh Kisskalt of General RV, posed a question to our CONNECT Rewards advocate hub. He uses dealer chat as a way to close deals—not just gather information or set up a call—and he wanted to know how others do the same, progressing the sale through the funnel without forcing the customer to call.

In fact, Josh adds, “If you asked me what contributed the most to my large year-over-year increase in sales, without a doubt it’s chat.”

Many replied that yes, they found it much easier to gather contact info and set appointments using chat vs. phone or email. Even more found it to be a great icebreaker and a convenient channel to ask “why” questions.

Get the Answer to “Why”

As Angela Reed, Internet Manager at Brown’s Sales & Leasing, says: “There is a reason people are in the market for one model or the other, and figuring out the why is very important to me.” Once she knows how they prefer to communicate, she follows up…and not just on the business of selling that particular vehicle. “I reach out to visit with each of them about the reason they contacted me in the first place: the need or want that drove them to hit ‘Chat’ in the first place.”

Encourage Follow-Up by Avoiding Phone Calls

Kevin Graska from IQAutos likes to encourage customers to follow up with him and reminds them they don’t have to call him directly. They can text him! “I’ve closed many sales without ever talking to the customer,” he says (well, at least without talking to them face to face or over the phone). Plus, our Take It On The Go feature makes it super easy for a consumer to change from chatting to texting!

Help Shoppers Take Buying Actions

Some dealers go beyond making a personal connection via a chat conversation. After answering questions, sharing brochures and sending photos or videos of the vehicle, a few go straight to getting them pre-approved by sending a credit application link. Take what Halston Schaff, Internet Sales Manager at George Nahas Chevrolet, has to say:

“I think chat gives you the opportunity to take the deal as far as the customer is willing. I have often discussed soft numbers and done everything online right up until the customer has to show up (credit approval, final trade eval, etc.).”

In fact, Contact At Once! recently completed a study with Root & Associates that shows how messaging can positively impact car research and digital retailing. Almost 3 in 4 of those shoppers who said they would NOT fill out online paperwork (like the credit application Halston speaks of) said they’d be more likely to if they could message during the process.

From the beginning of the research process to the final buying stages, automotive messaging can play an important role. It’s all in how you use it, and we’re proud to support you all the way!

Pump Up the Volume: How to Increase Consumer Engagement

You’ve been chatting and/or texting with customers for a while now, and you’re loving it. You’re one of the thousands who have discovered your customers would rather message than call or email! In fact, messaging is their #1 choice for communicating with brands (more than 75% preferred it over phone or email in this survey).

So how do you pump up the customer conversation volume to get even MORE incoming messages?

Check out these ideas on encouraging engagement—and hopefully close more deals as a result:

#1 – Be “Present”

Before consumers can reach out via messaging, they have to know the option is there. Then they need someone to respond when they do chat or text. Aiming for always-on presence can help you with both!

The goal is to have someone available to message with customers on your company’s behalf whenever they reach out. (Hint: our co-managed or fully managed options make this easy!) Not only is immediate availability the best customer experience—which can encourage more use—it can also mean that your chat invitations are delivered to more people, boosting potential volume. At least, that’s the case if you use presence-aware chat invitations, which only display if someone is there to respond instantly, reducing consumer frustration.

#2 – Connect on Shopping Sites & Google My Business

You can also increase messaging volume by deploying chat and text options beyond your website. If you list inventory on,,,, etc., take advantage of the ad packages that include chat and text. Extend your messaging to Google My Business while you’re at it—we can even activate it for you. After all, the more connections you make, the more sales conversations you can have!

Not sure if the classifieds site you use offers messaging? Ask! Many of them do, and you’ll likely use Contact At Once! to manage all the resulting conversations.

#3 – Enhance & Expand Messaging with Our Partners

Take a look at Contact At Once!’s partner integrations, too. Many of these tech partners integrate our chat into their products, so if you’re a mutual customer, you could engage consumers in more places! For example, one integration helps you manage Facebook Messenger, another lets you add chat links Digital Air Strike’s ResponseLogix SmartQuote™, and yet another adds chat options to eLEND Solutions’ CreditPlus program.

#4 – Add Text Messaging Everywhere

Take the Mobile Text Connect number you get with Contact At Once! and put it…well, everywhere! You’re not stuck with a tap-to-text button on mobile or desktop sites. You can put the number on print/TV/radio ads, billboards or window stickers, promote it at the front desk and add it to your pay-per-click campaigns (Google AdWords). The more places you add text, the better your chances at reaching the shoppers who are ready to take action that way.

Hint: You can even purchase additional text numbers and dedicate them to different advertising campaigns for better attribution.

#5 – Consider the Look, Feel & Placement

Along with adding messaging in more places, double-check the calls to action on your own desktop/mobile site: Have you checked to ensure you’re using the latest, most updated options from your provider? Is the invitation to chat or text appearing in the right location (and in the right color) to attract clicks?

The following designer advice may come in handy:

  • Position smartly. Bottom right is where the eye naturally lands (for the Western world), so invitations that appear in that position seem to get more attention.
  • Less is more. You might think flashy animation looks cool; however, animation can sometimes come across as a pop-up ad. Be subtle so the engagement feels more like a natural part of the website experience.
  • Try to blend with your website colors. For example, use a contrasting (or accent color) to grab more attention. You want the call to chat or text to stand out while still being a part of site design.
  • Photos are key (even if subconsciously)! People often feel more comfortable asking questions when they can see who they’re talking to on the other end.

After all, even though most consumers prefer to message, we have to make that action easily noticeable and accessible wherever they are! Are you ready to turn up the volume and get more from your messaging?


6 Reasons to Build a Business Messaging Network

If you’ve been around Contact At Once! for any length of time, you’ve heard us talk about the “messaging network.” No, it’s not a secret society. It’s not a garage band. The network refers to how we link multiple touch points together for you, giving you easier access to customers and the resulting data. (Much cooler than a secret society, in my mind!)

What’s in a Network?

Think about how consumers (including yourself) research big-ticket items, from cars to homes or apartments. Think about how they find or hear about your company. Almost all the resources used during those processes can be turned into interaction points with Contact At Once! messaging. That’s what we call the messaging network.

In other words, you can enable people to chat, text or message with you from…

Click image above to see the messaging network explained in an infographic.

The advantages of tying all these touch points together are powerful. Here are a few of our favorites:

#1: Help Shoppers Take Action

People search, compare, ask questions and schedule appointments whenever and wherever it’s most convenient. Easily found tap-to-text or chat options on all your sites and ads will help you interact at shoppers’ most impressionable moments.

#2: Guide Shoppers Earlier in the Process

Adding messaging to your classifieds and other advertising may help you reach shoppers before they’ve decided on your company. The convenience of a messaging conversation here can lead to increased inquiries, which can convert into leads, leases and sales.

#3: At-Your-Service Attention Wherever Consumers Find You

Adding messaging options in all those places means shoppers can get prompt responses to questions. This gives them more chances to “preview” the level of service they can expect should they become a customer.

#4: Include Company Departments Within Your Network

Mobile sites adding Contact At Once! messaging have shown engagement increases of up to 40%. Why restrict that to a single department like sales? For example, automotive dealerships can dedicate messaging channels—a specific text-enabled number, a unique “Chat with Service” button—to help fixed ops departments connect with service customers. Funneling those inquiries to the right team provides a better experience (and increased team efficiency).

#5: Track Your Advertising Spend

When you add Contact At Once! to advertising, you can tell which source encourages the most conversations. For classified listings that offer chat or tap-to-text options, you can see the originating URL for each conversation (or review the Contact Source report). You can also place dedicated text-enabled numbers in various locations, from Google pay-per-click to print, radio and TV advertisements. All the resulting text conversations will flow through your Contact At Once! platform and processes…and you can filter reports by text number.

#6: Streamline Management for Increased Efficiency

A messaging network can minimize the learning curve and training costs for your company, too. Instead of juggling one system to chat with a shopper from Autotrader, another one to chat or text from your website, and yet another for those texts from Google ads, you can do it all with Contact At Once! One system and app to learn means more time for your teams to focus on the sales and service they do best.

Consumers are ready to message across the network of sites and ads that make up the shopping path. Will your company be there, ready to help?

(Post updated November 6, 2017)

2016 Dealer Survey Infographic: Automotive Chat & Text Bring Results


When you learn what shoppers prefer, do you ignore that knowledge? Or do you use it to appeal to—and win—more of them? Let’s say you learned that 4 in 5 people were drawn to the color red. You’d probably rearrange your inventory in both physical and virtual showrooms to feature the red cars (and possibly draw more attention).

Well, more than 4 in 5 car shoppers and buyers shared their preference for mobile messaging. And dealership professionals are using that knowledge to their advantage.

In the newly released 2016 Dealer Survey report, we share how messaging—automotive chat, mobile text and the like—continue to pay off for dealerships. After all, such communication allows you to meet shoppers where they already are, on the channel they’re more likely to respond on.

Check out the infographic below (or click here) for a peek at the numbers. Then read the full 2016 Dealer Survey results for more insights, including why the automotive industry may embrace messaging even more this year (and how you can prepare).

How to Weave Facebook Messenger into Your Messaging Network

Facebook Messenger connects businesses to consumers

With over 1.65 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a behemoth you need to befriend…and put to work for your business. That means going beyond having a page for people to stumble upon. It means having a live presence, where you’re always ready to connect and help consumers take the next step.

Thanks to recent Facebook Messenger enhancements (and our own Contact At Once! integration), it’s easier than ever!

We’ve already been working with a few customers, helping them manage Messenger conversations through Contact At Once! Our goal was to see what works best for businesses like yours: How can you harness the power of Facebook and weave it into your current messaging processes for maximum results and minimum hassle?

What You Get with Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger can be a good addition to your current customer touchpoints because of its vast user base and convenience. You’ll be able to…

  • Meet consumers where they are – Over 900 million people use Facebook Messenger, and they send about 1 billion messages to businesses each month.
  • Have more opportunities to connect – The average user is on Facebook for about 50 minutes a day, so Messenger may be the most convenient communication method…especially considering their new ads (see below)!
  • Take advantage of their “click-to-message” ads – If you run Facebook news feed ads, people can click to open a Messenger conversation with your company (similar to Google AdWords).
  • Make referrals easier – If customers to give you a shout-out and link to your company page, their friends can simply message you if they’re interested…all without having to leave their social app.

Where Contact At Once! Fits In

The challenge with adding any new channel of communication is bandwidth for your team, even if outsourced. Juggling multiple systems can mean missed conversations, slower responses, inefficient tracking of customer data and plenty of headaches! If you use Contact At Once!, you don’t have to worry about that, though:

  • Use one app to manage it all – Receive and respond to Facebook Messenger conversations just as you would a text or chat from your website, third-party ad listings or Google search results. The Contact At Once! desktop and mobile app give you streamlined access to our enterprise-grade system—the one place where all your consumer-facing channels come together, along with reporting, analytics, etc.
  • Use existing processes & people – You don’t need to create anything new; Contact At Once! will route these messages to whomever manages your chat or text conversations already, whether it’s your own staff or our professional messaging experts.
  • Keep everything tracked & secure – Since the messages flow through Contact At Once!, everything (from transcript to customer profile) will be recorded and can be reported and integrated with your CRM.

Why You Don’t Want to Wait

Making your company more available and responsive on Facebook isn’t just smart. It’s easy with Contact At Once! And it’s more and more necessary.

In our recent consumer survey, 83% said they’d prefer to use mobile messaging to communicate with a business about purchases. Almost 9 in 10 said they’d prefer it for communicating about customer service issues. (See the survey report for automotive and real estate.) Facebook IQ and Nielsen did their own global mobile messaging study and found similar trends. More than half of their respondents said they message more today than they did 2 years ago. They expect their messaging to increase even more too, especially with businesses.

It’s not surprising. After all, ours is a culture of convenience. As consumers, we want easy ways to get things done, be it paying a bill, researching new homes or finalizing the purchase of a car. And it shouldn’t matter if we reach out from your website, a third-party listing site, a Google search…or Facebook.

No matter how consumers make the connection, you can be there, ready to influence decisions. So make it easy for them. We’ll make it easy for you.

Interested in getting started with this Facebook Messenger integration? There’s no extra cost if you’re a direct customer of Contact At Once! (if you use our Core, Professional or Fully Managed packages, for example)! Start a text or chat conversation with us now, or email

10 Text & Chat Tips for the Best Digital Interactions



Chatting or texting with friends and family is second nature to most of us. But throw it into a business context, and we all tend to have a question or two about the best way to handle various situations. It’s common! In fact, we’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions right here…with advice from leaders in our customer care team (the Professional Messaging Experts).

1. How should we prepare for chatting and texting with consumers?

Along with getting official training on how to use your text and live chat software, consider approaching the conversation as if you were on the phone or talking in person. Set the tone from the beginning and add personality (i.e., be human). Because “it’s not cheesy in chat,” you can insert semi-formal speech if it fits your brand and, when appropriate, emojis. 🙂

2. What’s the single best piece of advice for overcoming objections during a chat or text conversation?

Make a genuine connection no matter what, even if the conversation doesn’t convert to a lead. Objections may be raised, they may not be pleased with a certain piece of information or they may end that particular conversation, but you’ve got a better chance that they’ll return if you’ve established a positive relationship. (Check out words of wisdom shared by customers like you on how they overcome sales objections in automotive and multifamily situations.)

3. What is the best way to convert a chat to an appointment?

Like an in-person conversation, wait until the appropriate time (which is usually not the moment the chat or text conversations starts). An important phrase to ask is, “So when are you looking to make a purchase?” or “When are you looking to rent?” This allows you to judge whether or not the person you’re speaking with is ready to provide more detailed information and if you should start gathering contact information. For example, Contact At Once! messaging experts are trained to recognize buying signals for HOT leads and help them move forward in the process.

4. How do you handle a customer who seems to be just wasting your time?

Although frustrating at times, try to treat every person who messages with your company like a valued customer. Just because they’re not be willing to commit to moving forward today doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. So don’t burn bridges! Follow through the conversation as diligently as possibly. (That said, there are times when it may be appropriate to blacklist people from messaging: excessive profanity, rude commentary, etc. Determine what your blacklist criteria are and reach out if you have questions about how to block them.)

5. How do you properly guide a chat conversation?

Consumers can sometimes go off topic when chatting or texting. While it can help you deepen the relationship, don’t forget to gently redirect the conversation back to business. Make sure you are polite and listen to them; hear their concerns. But look for a good place to insert a question, from “What kind of car would you like?” to “When were you looking to move?” You could also offer them something additional to encourage information gathering: “Where may I send more information?” or “Would you like to be notified when something like that becomes available?”

6. What is the best way to keep the consumer on the chat?

Be responsive. In messaging, 30 seconds can feel like 5 minutes, so if you need to look something up, let the person on the other end know! Tell them you’re working on their question, gathering the information and will get back to them as quickly as possible. (Hint: You can use a shortcut in those instances!)

7. What should you do when you’re chatting with one consumer and another walks into the business?

Not to worry! You can either forward the chat or text to another person on your team or push the conversation to your mobile device so you can continue to help both parties. (The latter, of course, depends on your level of comfort.) You can also use this as an opportunity to promote the texting option. Consider creating a shortcut message that asks for permission to text the consumer more details in case they don’t have time to sit on the chat while you assist the person who walked in.

8. How do you address a shopper’s concerns about the item of interest if it is no longer available?

Messaging is all about connections. Simply put, respond like you would if you were on the phone. Make sure to apologize, but offer an alternative as well. By suggesting a possible solution, you show you’re trying to address their concerns thoroughly, which can lead to a better consumer experience.

9. When is it ok to end a live chat conversation with a customer?

Usually, the consumer will let you know when to end the conversation (and they often will end it themselves). In the few cases where you’re unsure, just approach it naturally. Perhaps you could add, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” Whatever you choose, type with a smile; it does make a difference.

10. What do we do if someone abandons the chat prior to sharing their name or contact info?

Sometimes consumers prefer to remain anonymous, and we suggest respecting that (the benefits of the convenience and great service you offer can go far!). You can, however, also add in conversation prompts that require certain information before the chat or text conversation starts. Just be mindful that the more fields you require, the fewer conversations you’ll get…decreasing your opportunity to provide a great experience and possibly earn leads and future deals.

From preparation to the close of the chat or text, digital conversations aren’t really all that different from any other conversation. They just happen in a different format!

Did we address your question? Have something to add to these FAQs? Pass them along:

Consumer Survey Infographic: An Easier Homebuying & Renting Process for All

Mobile messaging is what homebuyers and renters of all ages want

Property management and real estate in general are industries that thrive on referrals, which are fueled by good experiences. But what constitutes a good experience evolves with technology…because technology can change our expectations.

For example, we, as consumers, increasingly expect to engage with your real estate or property management team wherever we are, however and whenever we want to connect. In other words, we expect mobile messaging. Don’t believe me? Check out the infographic below, and consider the following:

Today’s Trends Can’t Be Ignored

  • MORE micro-moments – Consumers turn to smartphones or other mobile devices when they need to find answers or complete a task like researching apartments (91% of smartphone users do this).
  • LESS patienceMicrosoft says that our attention spans have gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds. No wonder we don’t like to sit on hold or wait for emails.
  • MORE expectations – We’ve come to expect a much smoother experience from start to finish. Many smartphone users immediately switch sites or apps if the one they’re on “doesn’t satisfy”: 70% switch if it’s too slow (by seconds); 67% switch if there are too many steps in the process.
  • LESS brand loyalty – Perhaps because of all the information at our fingertips, consumers consider more companies/brands than they did 10 years ago…and almost half say they’re more likely to switch.
  • MORE mobile research – Almost 90% of buyers use a mobile search engine during the homebuying process. And homebuyers aren’t just researching on mobile, many are also ready to connect and contact an agent.

It All Adds Up to Mobile Messaging: Text, Chat, Etc.

The good news is that the same technology fueling the above trends can help you adapt. If you make it easier to connect and get things done with text, chat and in-app messaging, you’re setting yourself up to provide the type of experiences that can lead to more referrals. According to our 2016 Consumer Survey results…

  • 83% of respondents would prefer to use mobile messaging to communicate with businesses about purchases.
  • Almost 9 in 10 respondents agreed that they’re more likely to buy from a business that offers the option to communicate via mobile messaging.
  • And 98% of those who used mobile messaging during their buying cycle said it improved their experience.

The people have spoken. Read the full 2016 Consumer Survey here, or check out the infographic below for a snapshot of why chat and text are such smart options for your team:

2016 Consumer Survey Infographic for Real Estate Teams

5 Things That Make a Live Chat Conversation Successful


A good sales conversation has similar components regardless of how it takes place: Phone call, in-person meeting, chat, text, etc. Just take a look at this real-life example, a chat that came in from our own website at 9:32 p.m. a few weeks ago.

Can you pick out what the sales agent does to make this chat successful?

Sales Agent:
Hi this is _________, how may I help you?
Customer: My name is XXX XXXXX, internet director for _______, [phone number]
Sales Agent: Hi XXX, I know that XXXX has been working on your account. What’s up?
Customer: We have chat on our website and it works well. What other services do you offer?
Sales Agent: We have an integrated text messaging product, some telephony, messaging, and all can be co-managed on your site + network providers and OEMs
Customer: Can you have XXXX E/M tomorrow, I’m interested: [email address]
Sales Agent: What’s a good time for you? I can join him on the call … Bad time for us is 2 PM Eastern.
Sales Agent: Here’s my info [contact info]
Customer: I have a meeting at 2 Pacific.
Sales Agent: How about 3 Pacific?
Customer: 3 Pacific works.
Sales Agent: OK. 3 Pacific. Should I dial the # you provided?
Customer: Yes
Sales Agent: Got it. See you tomorrow.
Customer: Deal
Sales Agent: Virtually, that is. G’nite

Success #1 – Being There When Needed

The sales agent was there to help, even at 9:32 p.m. Would we have gotten this appointment otherwise? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But if we weren’t ready to talk when she was, that customer wouldn’t have had a very satisfying experience (and the sales conversation would have started later…if at all). As you might imagine, this timeliness is even more essential when it comes to consumer inquiries, from vehicles to property leases, homes, etc.

TIP: Our sales agent was at home, using his mobile app. If you answer chats/texts in-house, make sure your team downloads the Contact At Once! mobile app too! You can also use our professional messaging experts to manage those after-hours chats or texts (or any of your mobile messaging).

Success #2 – Establishing the Relationship

Never underestimate the power of reassuring consumers that they’re more than a number! In this situation, a current customer was inquiring about upgrade opportunities. The sales agent knew who the customer was—even before she mentioned use of our solution—because he pulled up customer details and used them to make the conversation more personal. It gives the feeling of: “I know you. You’re important. How can I help?”

TIP: Learn how to quickly find records of a consumer’s previous interactions in both the Contact At Once! platform and your integrated CRM. This will help you better guide conversations (and build on existing relationships), rather than making them repeat information like they’re at the doctor’s office.

Success #3 – Being Helpful

The sales agent took the time to answer all the questions he could, even though it wasn’t his account. And that’s important. Maybe it’s “not your job” per se, but helping consumers should be everyone’s responsibility if the opportunity arises…even if all you can do is get them in touch with someone else who knows the answer.

TIP: Ensure that your sales / service training includes how to be helpful in situations like this. What’s the follow-up process needed, and what will give the customer the best experience? Check out these tips for other ideas.

Success #4 – Setting Up the Next Step

The agent could have taken the easy way out, passing on the customer’s request for an email follow-up to his teammate. But he went a step beyond. He took the initiative to escalate the email into a set phone meeting at a specific date and time. This makes the next step simple and saves both customer and the sales rep time (because that appointment is likely what the first email would be about).

TIP: Try to set up appointments (or next steps) while they’re engaged with you in a chat conversation. Make sure your team knows how, whether it’s using a shared team calendar to book for others when necessary or something else.

Success #5 – Being Human

Although the conversation happened after-hours, it wasn’t a robot who answered the chat. And the sales agent showed it! He double-checked information, offered an alternative meeting option, made a little joke at the end, etc. He was professional and personable at the same time, which can make the interaction more memorable (in a good way).

TIP: Take a look at these additional tips for making a real connection with people when they chat or text with you.

In other words, when consumers reach out via chat or text, don’t forget the basics! Be available, personalize (and humanize) the conversation, be helpful, make the next step super simple—all are essential if you want good sales results no matter the channel or medium used.

The Good & Bad of Chatbots (& What They Mean for Your Business)


I’m sure you’ve eaten fast food while on the road: It fills you up, but it can’t compare to a home-cooked meal like your mom’s or grandma’s. Well, that’s how I feel about chatbots. Like fast food, bots serve a purpose, but they’re not a satisfying replacement for the real thing. (And they even may do some harm to your bottom line, just like that double-bacon cheeseburger.)

Keep the following in mind so you can make the healthiest choice for your business.

Good Bot, Bad Bot

With technology improving, it may feel like we’re living in a sci-fi movie where robots can handle almost everything. There are many examples of how bots can automate simple processes and complete basic tasks—even answer some customer questions via mobile messaging—helping increase productivity and save time and money. Amazon, for example, has a warehouse where robots help ensure their famed efficiency. And you’ve probably heard the buzz about Facebook Messenger and all the new bots being created to help businesses with those digital conversations.

These are all steps in the right direction: technology making our lives a little easier. The danger comes when businesses rely too much on automation, especially when communicating with consumers. Here’s why:

  • Bots have a higher rate of error – They’re machines and often can’t capture the nuance of human conversation. This can lead to feelings of frustration and inconvenience (never a good thing with today’s consumers).
  • Bots don’t put people first – They are focused on capturing data, which can be a major issue when dealing with customers whose needs may not fit the pre-scripted set of responses.
  • Bots are limited in their capabilities – At some point, humans would have to get involved in the process anyway.

Human-Powered Connections for the Win

In other words, bots aren’t empathetic. They can’t connect in a way that establishes trust with customers, especially those who need help with unique issues or are making a big decision like leasing an apartment or buying a car. No wonder 83% of consumers prefer to interact with real people to ensure good service. Human agents are able to adapt more quickly and tailor the experience to each individual for a better overall experience.

So for the foreseeable future, the secret sauce is a combo of mobile messaging, chatbots AND humans. LivePerson and Contact At Once! are finding ways to help businesses use the convenience of messaging and bots while enabling human-to-human connections in every moment of need. That’s the type of service that makes you look good all the way around.