Pitching Your Live Chat Contact Center

 In Chat Center Startup

The why, how and what of selling pilot participation

You need to win over prospective customers with an end goal of participation in your pilot. Throughout this process, it’s important to remember: Don’t sell your service – sell participation in a six-month pilot at a fixed price. This is how you stay away from the pitfalls of live chat as a service.

The ultimate goal of any pilot is to get the results and evaluate, right? That means you won’t have all the answers at this point, and you should be transparent about that fact.

Entrepreneurs can generally spot growth opportunities and are willing to take risks. So appealing to those personality traits is usually a good idea. They can relate to the challenges of founding a company, and they can decide quickly. This is why founders and entrepreneurs are my favorite pitch targets.

I know it is tempting to try to talk to the big fish in the pond. But generally, they are risk-averse – going for track record and taking their time to decide. So save them for later.

So how do you pitch?

As far as I’m concerned, a pitch should consist of three elements:

  1. The Why
  2. The How
  3. The What

The Why

Why should your prospect sign up? Because they are missing business opportunities.

They have a beautiful website. Google Analytics shows the numbers – thousands of monthly visitors. But they are just that – numbers. The magic of live chat is, once you place the widget on the website people will start conversations about topics that matter to them, which will result in leads.

So spending lots of money on a beautiful website and advertising to drive traffic is wasting money if visitors have no way to engage. Ask your prospects: When is the last time you filled in a webform? What are your expectations when you email an organization? Because today’s consumers want it now, and you better give it to them or they’ll move on.

The How

This will be your prospect’s key question and concern: How is it possible that your agents can answer questions about my company, products and services?

You have to move this rock out of the way by focusing on 80/20. Roughly 80 percent of all conversations revolve around seven to 15 topics for which your employees can be prepared and trained. The rest will be learned step by step by adding missing information to the know-how system.

Second, have a knowledge-based system in place. During onboarding, your client will gain access to his or her online client portal, which contains articles, location and campaign information. The info can also be gathered via an online questionnaire. It is equally important to point out that everything is in writing, so agent performance is very transparent.

Finally, put a feedback system in place, making it possible to gather feedback (ratings, comments, etc.) from visitors. This feedback loop will be your, and your client’s, handle on quality monitoring.

The What

You will be staffing their website 250 hours a month, allowing them extended opening hours. Effectively their prospects can now reach out to them seven days a week, 14 hours a day, given your service profile is Monday through Friday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. What will you be delivering? Leads and service chats. But keep in mind, percentages will differ from sector to sector.

While onboarding clients, their business goals are translated into tangible results. What kind of outcomes are desirable for the business? Let’s use a car dealership for example. They may be looking for showroom visits, test drives, scheduling service appointments and financing offers. During the chat, agents will select result codes and collect the associated data-elements, which are shown as form fields. When the chat ends, the client receives an email containing the transcript of the conversation as well as the contact data gathered.

Finally, it’s time to talk numbers. How many chats should you expect, and what will be the cost of the pilot participation?

In our previous blog Calculating Your Critical Mass of Pilot Customers we ran the numbers. All you have to do is apply those numbers to your prospects. For example, you are talking to a prospect with 15,000 website visitors per month. Expected total chats would be 1 percent of 7,500 visitors or 75 chats. And just so you’re aware, a 1 percent conversion rate is very conservative. Their pilot cost of $15k out of $200k (break-even visitors per month) equals 7.5 percent of total pilot cost. Their share is $2,475 total or $412 per month.

This then breaks down to $5.45 per chat or roughly $16 per lead (if utilizing a 30 percent lead conversion). If the numbers add up for your client’s business case, agreeing to participate is really a no-brainer.

To round it out, be sure to keep your presentation really compact, eight to 10 pages works fine. Be sure to communicate participation costs and results on 1 page. And ask for a decision on the spot. Good luck!