Benefits of Live Chat on Your Website

For many online shoppers, the inability to get instant feedback about certain products or services deters them from making that final buying decision and clicking the buy button. I don’t know about you, but when I am in the middle of clicking the Buy button and need some quick clarifications or answers, having a live agent to ask questions to always makes it easier for me to buy the item.

The great news is that businesses are being proactive about this by adding the live chat ability to their websites instead of just allowing potential customers and clients to drop off their website or worse still, go buy from their competition.

If you haven’t integrated a live chat support system into your website, chances are that you’re losing customers by the minute. Doubt that? Well, let’s show you what excellent live chat support can do for you.

Consumers Love Live Support In fact, live chat support is so important that 44 percent of all customers consider it one of the most important features any website can have when they want to buy a product or hire a service. Done correctly, it can help provide customers with immediate answers to their questions whilst still in a buying mode. Besides, it beats them having to wait while trying to call a customer agent.

Also, customers are more likely to revisit a website with live chat support as they consider it more professional and trustworthy. For many, having this feature actually reassures them that there is indeed someone at the other end of the buy button, not just some bot.

Drastically Saves Cost for Your Business This feature can help cut down on overhead costs. Agents can handle multiple client requests, thus ensuring that there’s little or no need for extra manpower to fulfill support requests.

This also means less contact with the support centers via phones – resulting in lowered running costs. As a result, customer questions are answered faster and in real time, resulting in faster decision making on their part and possible increase in revenues for you.

Great for Your Conversion Rates A survey by Emarketer showed that almost 40 percent of purchases made on an ecommerce store or a website was because there was a live chat support agent that answered their questions.

That’s 40 percent more sales and revenue that those businesses wouldn’t have made without that feature. Another Forrester survey showed that it helped drive conversion rates on a Fortune 500 company’s website to double digits, resulting in increased revenues and sales.

The reason this works so well is that customers are able to quickly get clarifications on whatever they were confused about and proceed to make a purchase. Also, there is the extra benefit of upselling opportunities wherein support agents are able to recommend even more products to the clients, leading to increased dollar spend per client.

Provides Competitive Edge Over Competition It’s interesting to note that many companies are routinely ignoring the inherent opportunities that live support provides. This means that you can take advantage of this and snatch some of your rival competitors’ clients and business. This tool positions you as professional and credible, and as you know, credibility does go a long way in reinforcing buyer confidence.

Help Document Major Customer Issues The key to rolling out even more effective products lies in your interactions with your customers and clients. Live chat software can help you identify major customer pain points, which can lead to even finer product and an entirely new line of products.

Companies that routinely engage their clients and customers get real time feedback on everything from their website’s user friendliness to product suggestions and valid customer concerns.

Now that you know this, what should you know or consider before integrating it into your website?

Ensure You Have Sufficient Manpower Let’s face it, this is a 24/7 job description, particularly when you run a retail store online. You need to be sure that you can handle this if you run a very small operation.

If you cannot handle this yourself, see if you have enough money to hire a dedicated live chat support agent who will be perpetually logged on to the website. Of course, this isn’t possible because we all must sleep. So, that means hiring two individuals at least.

Determine Your Needs There are a lot of live chat software in the market. Some are free, others cost a premium to use. The difference between both lies in their individual options and features.

Small retailers and businesses can still work with the free options while bigger businesses will have to consider using the premium software.

If you don’t already have a live chat feature integrated into your current website, give us a shout at BCP Design and let’s us bump up your credibility. Truly a smart move, especially before the holidays!

Sales Myths That Inhibit Entrepreneurial Success

You have no business without customers, and you have no customers without sales. But as important as sales are to the ultimate success of any entrepreneurial endeavor, there is no one area of business that is more misunderstood and more rife with myths and misconceptions than sales.

Often, the main reason for this is that the entrepreneur, the founder, or the originator of the idea or business concept upon which the company is based, more and more typically, comes from a non-sales background. They may be engineers, scientists or even professors.

They've only experienced sales as a function in companies where they've worked or like all of us, as prospective customers being sold to by sales people in retailers or auto dealers. And that can jaundice anyone's viewpoint!

So, to help entrepreneurs, whether you are just starting out, have a business that's growing, but not nearly what they expected, here are some popular myths that can impact your sales and your overall success:

Marketing And Sales Are Separate, Independent Functions.

Nope. They are joined at the hip. In fact, sales almost cannot operate efficiently without marketing. As I've noted previously, marketing's sole function is to create qualified leads for sales to close. They can do this in many ways, from websites to email campaigns to trade shows to webinars, but somewhere along the line, they have to do it. Otherwise, you have sales people making what amounts to cold calls (which we'll cover in the next section).

And to further emphasize the importance of the complementary nature of marketing and sales, if you want to increase sales, then increase marketing. I've also touched on this one, previously.

Sales Success Is Based On Making Lots Of Calls.

This one has been around since door-to-door sales people went around selling brushes or vacuum cleaners. But like the door-to-door sales person, it is an outdated concept. Cold calling (where you might only know the prospect's name) is the single most inefficient use of sales people's time. In those olden days, a lead was simply a household that might have money to spend.

Today, all sales leads are not created equal. They can and should be qualified before a sales person ever makes contact with them. And what's that mean? It means they are aware of your company and your product or service. They are interested (have downloaded information from your website, or inquired about a particular product). They have the budget, the need and the ability to decide.

And this is all driven by marketing, as we noted in the previous section. Calling on qualified leads is critical to increasing your odds of sales success. So let's change that myth: the more calls you can make on qualified leads, the higher your potential success.

You Have To Be Glib To Be A Successful Sales Person.

The Willy Loman "smile and a shoeshine" caricature of a salesman is another outdated concept. Sales people don't have to be glib to close sales. They have to know about both the company's products and services and the customer, their profile, needs, and requirements. In fact, to close a sale, as many entrepreneurs learn, you don't even need to be a sales person. You simply have to connect with the prospective customer on a personal and professional level.

Who knows more about the product than the founder? What it then takes is to better understand what the prospect's needs or problems are and how your product can best solve them. Your knowledge and credibility will trump glib or slick any day!

New Customers Are The Best Source Of New Revenue.

They may be a source of new revenue, but not the best source. The best source are existing customers. You've already done all the hard work. They know you and your company. They trust you and if you've supported them properly, they should be willing listeners and excellent prospects for add-on's to their existing product deployment. They present, not only an exceptional opportunity for new revenue, but with the bonus of a shorter sales cycle than for a new customer.

The More Products (Or Revenue Streams), The Higher Your Sales Success.

Actually, for small businesses, almost the opposite is true. Sometimes, simpler is better. With each product or revenue stream, you have to add some element of marketing and support, at a minimum, for each. Plus, you have to educate your sales team how to optimally sell the product and your support team how to best provide support for it. And it all has to be managed.

Now, this is not to say that you shouldn't develop more new products, but just to say that having more is not a guarantee of more success, especially if the products focus on different markets. This diffuses marketing, sales and support resources. And, especially, for young companies this could be self-defeating.

Selling is never easy, but if you allow some of the prevalent sales myths to guide your thinking it can become impossible. Sales is the engine that drives entrepreneurial success. Understand the critical issues that make up these myths and misconceptions and don't let them creep into your small business and limit your success.

Have you been guilty of some these misconceptions? Please share your thoughts in your comments.

How do you deal with employee management?

Hi everyone!

I got recommended from a friend to seek advice here, I just signed up so I'm quite new to the reddit community! I'm running a small event business with 35 employees, none is working full time, and we mostly work private parties and does some catering from time to time.

As we get more work we need to grow our employee pool as not everyone is available when we need them. This, however great it may be, has led to some troubles when it comes to scheduling. We have been doing schedules with pen and paper and have gathered time reports ourselves when at the events and it's been alright.. but as the employee pool grows and we are working multiple events the same night we have to deal with many more changes, and keeping everyone up to date can be a B to deal with!

We recently started with a shared excel file and it's a bit easier to deal with changes, but it seems impossible to get our employees to check the file regularly so I think we might need to use some other tool.

What softwares are you using? How do you deal with scheduling and changes in general? Are there any good app based solutions? I'd love to be able to manage all this while on the move.

Appreciate all tips and tricks greatly! Thank you 🙂

Buying salvage cars and sell

Hello everyone, a friend recently introduced me to few car auction websites (copart, etc…) and I’m trying to gather as much information as I can in order to decide if this is ether a successful and promising market to ingress or another illusion?

I believe that the premisses of this business are pretty obvoius. You go to one of these online cars auction and bid on a car that on your judgment is worth buying and fixing the whatever damage is on the car for a future sell with a little profit. But for sure, like all other areas, this business have it’s secrets and tips that I’d like to learn. Please PROs on this market, could you help me on my very first purchase? What should I look on a car? What kind of damage are the worst and what are the ones that are an easy fix?

Do you ever had a problem selling the car due the fact that now on the title it says that the car was once damaged? I live in Massachusetts so I just can operate through a broker, any recommendation? Is craigslist the best option to sell the car after fixing it?

After all those questions there’s two extra details that I think is worth saying, I know practically nothing about mechanic at all, but I can learn fast, and I’ve migrated to US recently and my english isn’t the best one and probably for a sale I don't think I would be able to use all my persuasion power.

This might be a little all over the place but I believe it can work as a first spark so we could star a helpful discussion.

Thank you very much

Getting more reviews for my small business

I run a print shop / sign shop / retail store and I would like to drum up more reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. I have asked a few long time customers if they would leave use a review when I got a chance and was thinking of attaching little cards to customers receipts that say "Let us know how we did, leave us a review" with a line of logos bellow it for the various sites we can be reviewed on.

But I was recently reading that Yelp strongly frowns on asking for reviews. Do other sites also discourage asking for reviews? Should I put a halt to the idea of these reviews cards? Has anyone ever actually gotten in trouble for such a practice? If I shouldn't be asking how to I approach this? A lot of our customers can barely use a computer, and have trouble forwarding emails from smart phones.

Advice on using a Canadian incorporated firms name whose status is Inactive/Dissolved

More of a technical legal question.

There are two corps, one in my home jurisdiction (Canada), and one in South Africa that have the same name that I would like to incorporate as.

The one in South Africa is currently in Voluntary Liquidation, and the other in Canada is listed as Inactive/Dissolved since 2012. I am not concerned with the South African corp, but I am unsure about the Canadian one (because I am incorporating federally in Canada).

From my understanding I can use the same name as the Canadian corp as long as it has been two years since the company was listed as inactive/dissolved, but I am unclear as to this. I am basing this knowledge from this link

One more tidbit of info; it looks like the original name that I want to use was incorporated in the 1960s, then re-incorporated under a new name in the 80s, and then carried that name until 2012 when the company was dissolved.

Any fellow redditors that have experience in this rhelm?