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What are the typical ways that websites use to get customers?  Social media marketing, Search engine optimization and Google ads.  Many companies bring customers to their site, but they’re not really providing a human connection with the shopping experience. This can influence the final decision of a potential customer or client—whether they buy or don’t buy.

I’m going to share with you one of my best secrets, how to win customers simply and easily by re-introducing a little bit of that human relationship.

How to Establish a Human Connection with Customers

The secret way to win customers is what I call “Online Chat at Point of Sale”.  The real secret to it is nothing more than humanizing the online experience.  What I mean by that is – imagine for a moment you walk into your favorite department store (Whatever your favorite department store is.  It could be Nordstrom.  It could be Macy’s.  It could be anyplace).

You walk in and all the merchandise is there, but there are no other human beings.  There are no sales people.  There are no other shoppers.  It’s just you. You have the opportunity to look at all of the merchandise, but if you have any kind of a question, there is no one to talk to.

This is how the majority of our websites are built and they’re very, very impersonal. Now imagine for a moment you go into the corner coffee shop where the owner of the establishment knows your name, knows exactly how you like your coffee or tea, knows your family, knows who you are and what you want. You are an important customer to them.

You can do that same thing on your website by simply adding a live online chat. As the business owner and the entrepreneur, you yourself operate this chat so that you can engage your customers while they’re browsing on your website.

Why Use this Strategy to Win Customers

The human connection is really where the entrepreneur knows that you as a customer are important and important to them personally.  For me as a business development coach, somebody who helps entrepreneurs attract more customers, I want you to succeed. When you chat with me, not some other person halfway around the world who doesn’t truly care about you, you’ll see it come through.  I genuinely want to help you.  I genuinely want you to succeed, make more money and attract more customers now.

If you can demonstrate your genuine interest in your clients and customers. They will sense immediately that you’re different. They will sense they are important to you, you care about them, and you care about what is important to them. That’s really how businesses did well before the Internet. They succeeded and grew through word of mouth marketing.  They simply cared about their customers.

Mistakes to Avoid with Online Chat at Point of Sale

The biggest mistake that almost everybody makes when they install online chat is the chat widget doesn’t pop up proactively. When it does, you chat with a faceless “friendly customer service representative” that’s clearly a stock photo of somebody who isn’t real.

That, again, creates a completely impersonal experience showing that you don’t care about the customer. On my site I use a very simple piece of online chat software called Zopin. It allows me to customize my avatar, so when I’m chatting with you, you actually see a picture of me.  It doesn’t say “friendly customer service representative”.   It says “Bret Gregory”, the guy who owns this website.

The second worst mistake that almost everybody makes is when they do chat with people online, they use the five worst words that you could possibly use. Those words are: “How may I help you?”

Only salespeople use those words. We have trained ourselves to be defensive when we hear them.  So how do we respond?  “I’m just browsing” or “I’m not interested” or worst of all, we just close out the chat bar and don’t engage.

Instead what I do is I ask a very pointed question that creates a pattern interrupt and grabs the attention of the browser.  For example, I would say something like, “How many Facebook likes are you up to?” or “Are you an entrepreneur looking to grow your business from Facebook now?”

Something that’s unexpected and different coming from the owner of the website has proven to be extremely successful and effective.

Check Out the Results!

Here are some examples of results where this technique worked incredibly well.

win customers - online chat

Next week, in part two of this series, we’re going to show you how we did $5,000 in sales in less than 30 minutes using this technique. And we’re going to teach you how you can repeat the technique on your own website.

About The Author: Bret Gregory

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