IS IT WORTH HAVING LIVE CHATBOTS ON MY WEBSITE?
Great question. Firstly, I want to distinguish between two things:
• Live chat - an addition to your website which allows visitors to send you instant messages
• Chatbots - automated messaging using AI which allows your live chat to be ‘manned’ 24/7
Setting up some sort of chat functionality on your website gives visitors another way to contact you. You should already have phone, email and contact forms, but live chat adds another way for users to get in touch. They may have a quick query about a product or availability, and when it’s fast, it gives your users a great experience - hopefully leading to more bookings and retention.
WHEN TO INSTALL LIVE CHAT
Live chat should be installed when you want to improve user experience on your website and be able to answer enquiries in an instant fashion.
Once installed it’s worth looking at your site analytics to get an idea of how many visitors you get. We have seen live chat improve engagement on websites across aesthetics and plastics, which can indirectly improve Google ranking.
Another benefit of installing live chat functionality is that you have access to chat logs. This will show you your most commonly asked questions and give you an insight into what website visitors want to know next. This might allow you to improve the copy on your website or even craft blogs around these FAQs, which benefit visitors and your SEO.
DON’T INSTALL LIVE CHAT IF YOU HAVEN’T GOT THE STAFFING TO KEEP UP WITH CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
Don’t have a full-time receptionist to monitor live chat messages as they come in and respond within minutes? You could use a bot to respond to basic question triggers, and it’s perfectly acceptable to set working hours for the live chat feature. If you don’t have the capacity to get back to them, frustration ensues, and you could lose the lead.
Adding bots to the mix can make your chat a bit more hands-off. Start simple with your automations, asking if enquiries are new or existing patients, managing FAQs and then diverting to a live chat manager or the phone/email for difficult-to-understand questions. You’ll find loads of free resources on how to manage this from your choice of chat software or video guides on YouTube.
There are many paid options for live chat software on the market. Paid software giants include Livechat, Manychat, Zendesk,
Hubspot and Olark. These all come with a monthly subscription fee.
The best way to add live chat to your website for free is using the Facebook Messenger plugin from the Meta Business settings. As well as costing you nothing, with the Messenger app, you can respond to enquiries through live chat on the move.
For most clinics, this is more than enough to add the functionality to your website.
Essentially, live chat gives people another way to engage with your clinic, and if set up with basic auto-responses and monitored regularly, it can generate leads for your business.
Alex Bugg works for Web Marketing Clinic, a family-run digital agency, which specialises in medical aesthetics.
The business builds websites and delivers marketing campaigns for doctors, nurses, dentists, distributors and brands.
Contact her: alex@ webmarketingclinic. co.uk or follow her on Instagram: @webmarketingclinic