Online consulting helps companies and individuals engaged in individual entrepreneurship to emphasize their professionalism, which, ultimately, determines the choice of a client in favor of a company or an individual expert.
The global economic system today is characterized by the rapid growth of online consulting. Thousands of market leaders opt for this type of digital communication as an effective means of attracting customers.
Specialists in specific subject areas, positioning themselves as professional experts (lawyers, professional accountants, auditors, medical specialists, business consultants) actively advertise their own activities: carry out online consulting on social networks, personal blogs, or specialized consulting sites. The latter offers access to thousands of experts turning this industry into a $250 billion business.
The opportunity to receive expert information is not only a great way to improve the quality of your service, but also a powerful means of attracting customers and familiarizing them with your company.
Online counseling can take place in various formats:
1. audio format (phone, Skype)
2. audio-video format (Skype, Zoom)
3. text format (chatbots, forums, social networks, mailbox, etc.)
Many experts believe that an online chat (live chat) is a winning form of communication that significantly increases ROI and simplifies the process of interacting with customers.
From Passive Visitors to Active Buyers
The competitive advantages provided by online consulting can hardly be overestimated, since it requires minimal investment and operating costs, but provides an opportunity to effectively sell services online and increase the level of conversion of the target audience by tens of times. Here is the breakdown of other advantages:
– Online chat allows you to contact customers at the very moment when they need advice. For some people, calling on the phone to clarify any information is a certain barrier, it is much easier for them to ask their questions in the chat.
– Using online consultation allows you to create a good impression of the quality of support and the attitude towards your online store customers. Besides, customers who have received quick professional advice tend to trust an online store more. They will buy from you more willingly and more often than other customers.
– In most cases, you can monitor the movement of visitors to your site and, if you wish, invite them to chat to help understand the product or service. This option should be used with caution, as pop-ups can annoy users.
– Many of the online chats are available as a desktop version, as a browser version, and as applications for tablets and mobile devices. This way, you can communicate with your customers anytime and anywhere, even if you are on the go.
– As a rule, the appearance of the online chat can be customized to your needs. This setting enhances brand awareness.
– Since, in many cases, such service is free or inexpensive, it will allow you to reduce the cost of customer support.
The main advantage of live chat services is multitasking. You can communicate with several customers at the same time, redirect calls to other operators, provide forms for filling out and even issue invoices. This greatly simplifies the process and saves time for you and your customers.
Increasing the Efficiency of Online Consultations
If you strive to increase sales and work efficiency, you need to constantly communicate with your clients online, providing them with all the necessary information. We have collected several tips to help you improve the digital interaction between you and customers. To deploy them, you only need a computer and the Internet.
Implement a Chatbot
Users usually don’t want to dial the phone numbers indicated on the website, and they also don’t need to wait for an answer to an email, and the writing process takes a lot of time. It is much simpler and more natural to ask a question in the online chat window. With its help, you will not miss clients’ messages, as such an attentive attitude towards them will increase their confidence.
Provide Advanced Functionality
A service that includes online chat, video/phone communications options, and a traditional email feedback form (in case the consultant is offline) will be more effective than a system with only one of these options. Combine this with flexible settings, an intuitive interface, and high-load readiness – and you’ll get the best tool to increase conversion.
Add a Booking Widget
Install an appointment booking plugin to allow scheduling the online consultation. It is an ideal option for medical centers, beauty salons, barbershops, car services, etc. The clients willing to use/purchase services via the Internet will probably find it appropriate to receive information about it first. Since we are living in a constant rush, it seems logical to provide the opportunity for your potential clients to choose the time for communication that is most suitable for them. In addition, the online booking system will send automatic reminders about the meeting so the client won’t miss it.
Make sure that your widget and call to action are available from any of the gadgets clients might be using. For example, since most people in the world visit sites from their phones, make sure that your web interface and a booking form are accurately displayed on a small screen and that the contact button is in the user’s field of vision.
Prove Your Loyalty
Some online services state that the implementation of online consultation significantly strengthened their perceived credibility. So make sure you are always there for your customers. Mind that a system based on non-intrusive communication models that appears on the screen exactly when necessary helps to sell more goods and services.
Visitors actively resort to the help of online consultation systems, since this method of communication is very convenient. It provides a range of advantages for your clients: the costs are usually lower than in a personal meeting, and there are no restrictions on place and time. If you are selling services via a website, it is recommended to add a booking plugin to provide an easy and quick possibility for the clients to schedule a virtual meeting.