You know how important good customer service is to the success of your website, so why not take it up a notch with click-to-call technology? The feature, which has grown more affordable and popular thanks to VoIP, gives customers real-time support, differentiates your site from the competition and can boost sales, too.
Click-to-call makes it easy for customers to connect directly with a sales or customer service agent: They simply click an icon on your site and input their phone number. Within seconds, they receive a call from an agent who can provide a guided online experience and even suggest complementary items and relevant offers based on the caller's information. "Click-to-call can immediately help address consumer buying concerns, encourage upsells and increase conversion from web-site visitors," says Sucharita Mulpuru, a senior analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Click-to-call providers include eStara, LiveOfficeand LivePerson; prices vary. For example, LivePerson's click-to-call service, LiveCall, is part of the company's Contact Center solution, which offers live chat, e-mail management and FAQ for $150 per month. LiveOffice's service costs 10 cents per minute for each completed call. For eStara's higher-end product, there's a setup fee of several thousand dollars and a licensing fee based on call volume.
Europe Moda LLC, a Philadelphia business that runs iFashionmall.com, a designer fashion e-commerce site, currently relies on LivePerson's Contact Center solution to connect with customers. According to Dan Kogan, 29, co-founder of the company with his wife, Marina, 28, "We can see what page and even what product a customer is looking at, and we know where they are located, which helps [customer service agents] get personal with customers."
The system has also eliminated the business's need for voice mail, improving productivity. Reps answer questions live during business hours, and during off hours, customers fill out a form with their question, and a rep calls them back later or answers via e-mail. "We don't have to go through our voice-mail system anymore, which was very time-consuming," says Dan. Using click-to-call has "reduced our number of calls overall and improved the productivity of our agents."
While click-to-call is not for everyone, you're a good candidate if:
1. Your average transaction totals at least $50. "Selling $2 widgets isn't going to merit investing $150 per month in the software," says Philippe Lang, general manager of small business solutions at LivePerson.
2. Customers tend to abandon their shopping carts. "Click-to-call can be a great source of insight," Lang says. "You can communicate with [customers] precisely when they are on that cart page."
3. You sell globally. International customers may be put off by long-distance charges. Says Lang, "Click-to-call is a great way for them to talk to you."