3 questions your business has about community chat

Your customers play an increasingly important role in the decision process of other consumers. Social media, a growing collaborative economy, online reviews… the online shopper’s voice can not be ignored. They demand brands to be transparent and to reward their loyalty. Community chat enables your users to share their tips and knowledge in real-time. But your business might still have doubts about this relatively new, real-time communication channel for users and customers. Let’s tackle those preconceived ideas so that your brand community can become your best ally!

Here are three points that will address the main concerns businesses have about community chat. For more information, you can also read the  article  “The 5 benefits of on-site  community chat.”

Will I loose control over my community?

Social media, forums, product reviews … your brand community already has the floor. To win the game, you need to play the game. Your business cannot prevent visitors from talking about your brand. By giving them that space on your website, not only do you show them that you value their opinion,  you remain involved in the conversation. The main benefit of real-time community chat for visitors is its transparent nature: an informal tone and authentic opinions contribute to the global customer experience your business can provide with this service.

There are two different approaches to implementing iAdvize’s Community Messaging on your website:

      Open“: any website visitor can answer the questions of other visitors by selecting the question in the thread and responding in the chatbox…
      Selective“: users must be members of the community and can answer questions from a dedicated interface they log in to.

In both cases, you can supervise interactions and analyse the impact of community discussions on visitor satisfaction and sales thanks to several KPIs. Likewise, access to the history of past discussions  means you can draw from this content and optimise your strategy.

Can I build my brand community for free? 

Users that answer the questions of other visitors are volunteers. They are free to take part in community  chat whenever they want and according to the topics they are interested in. Indeed, you cannot compel them to answer specific questions or log in to the discussion interface. They are not agents and that is specifically one of the reasons why community chat appeals to online shoppers.

However, your business may decide to set up a loyalty programme, which may involve sending VIP invites to special events to thank users for their dedication and make them feel involved and valued.

Do I still need professional agents?

Yes! Now, your agents can focus on contacts where they can really make a difference, to the customer and to the business. Providing your online shoppers with community chat on your website shows you value them but its ROI remains limited if this service is not associated with  other contact channels. Indeed, it is based on the complementarity of interactions between members of the community and a professional customer service. Thanks to an adapted behavioral targeting strategy, you can make the most out of your agents’ time and skills. In other words, they can focus on questions that will generate added value for everyone.

The tips and advice your expert users can share about the advantages of one product compared to another is much appreciated by other website visitors as this feedback is more authentic. However, for more specific, technical and logistical questions, customers prefer to interact with a customer service agent. This also applies to travel, insurance and online banking. The higher levels of investment and commitment require the professional advice that matches. In these situations, it is essential for your professional customer service to act in order to reduce cart abandonment.

You can watch the video of how Vicky became a brand ambassador for Cooktoys.

Community chat and Community Messaging: When Vicky discovered community chat… from iAdvize.

We hope this article has removed some of the concerns you might have had about community chat. If you still have any questions, get in touch!

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Ludivine Kasteleyn

French and Belgian born in France and interested in everything related to Marketing, Foreign Languages and the Web.

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