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How to Use Live Chat to Engage Your Prospects

Gray MacKenzie
Gray MacKenzie is a true operations nerd who has spent the past decade helping hundreds of agencies build more productive, profitable, and healthy teams by solving the core issues plaguing their project management.

To chat with Gray and have ZenPilot lead your team through the last project management implementation you'll ever need, schedule a quick call here.

How long should you wait to follow up with a prospect? A day, an hour?

In my opinion, they are both too long. The correct answer in seconds.

In order to engage with customers and answer their questions in a matter of seconds, we utilize live chat on our website. We use live chat for both our agency as well as ZenPilot. The results have been incredible.

But that wasn’t always the case. Live chat can be a burden if not used properly. In this episode of Inbound Sales Journey, we have brought on ZenPilot and GuavaBox co-founder Andrew Dymski to talk about how to use live chat the right way.

How Not to Use Live Chat

We first experimented with live chat 2 years ago with GuavaBox using Support Kit (now Smooch). At first, it was exciting, being able to chat with prospects immediately and answer questions on the fly. 

Then an hour passed, and it was no longer exciting, it was exhausting. We made the mistake of putting a link to chat on every page of our site. We were engaging with everyone from the awareness stage leads all the way to decision and everywhere in-between. 

It was too much. We were wasting time with bad prospects and always needed someone standing by ready to respond. 

We quickly learned our lesson and changed our approach. The only people we wanted to be instantly communicating with were decision stage prospects.

Connecting with Decision Stage Buyers

Once we made the decision to try and keep engagement limited to decision stage buyers we changed the areas you could engage in a live chat on the website.

We focused on the bottom of the funnel content and conversion areas on the site, allowing people to ask questions about what an Inbound Marketing Assessment was and what it entailed, etc…

We carried the same approach when we implemented live chat with DoInbound. This time, we tried a different software called Drift.

Here is what we like about Drift:

  • It’s free to start.
  • It integrates with HubSpot.
  • It integrates with Slack. 
  • It has a sleek interface that is easy to navigate. 
  • It works. 

We focused on implementing Drift in two areas. The packages page and the pricing page. Both of these pages include decision stage content that allowed us to connect with prospects shortly before they purchased.


Above is an example showing a prompt to start a convo in the bottom right.

Here’s What We Learned

We live in an instant gratification world. Marketing is changing, but so is sales. It’s no longer just about good calls to action and getting people into an automated marketing funnel. 

Automated emails aren’t bad, they are just slow. People want information, and they want it fast. They have questions, and they want them answered now.

Live chat is the best way to start a conversation and engage with a prospect, but in a more comfortable environment than a phone call where the prospect still feels like they are in control. 

Live chat only works if you have the team to support it. It’s not effective if it takes you an hour to respond to a live chat. At that point stick with email. 

That’s not to say you need a team of 20 people, we do just fine with 3 people. It works because we have a process. 

A Free Template to Help You Get Started

We had to develop a process to speed up live chat responses. Our core team of 3 people are all busy and not always available to jump into a conversation. 

So here is our solution. 

The link above is our internal templated process for helping team members utilize live chat effectively. Feel free to copy the template and use it at your own agency!

If you have any thoughts on what the best live chat platform is or any personal experiences feel free to share!

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