A few weeks ago I briefly touched on the rise of instant messaging as a popular communication channel for younger members of the workforce. I’ve previously discussed how brokers can use Facebook Messenger’s chatbot feature to integrate instant messaging into their marketing strategy. This week I’ll take a look at some easy-to-use tools you can adopt to integrate live chat as a communication channel on your website. These insurance agency website chat tools will help you modernize your marketing strategy.
But, before we get into it, you should understand why insurance agency website chat is useful to you as a benefits broker.
LIVE CHAT IS IN DEMAND BY YOUR AUDIENCE
Modern B2B buyers can now research services on their own long before they engage with a sales rep. This means brokers have to adapt and transform their marketing channels to meet the growing expectations of the modern B2B buyer.
One way to meet the new expectations of your audience is to provide them with their preferred modes of communication – and what they want is live chat.
The chart above is data from the Global Contact Centre. This shows that for both millennials and generation x, live chat is high on their list for preferred modes of communication. More importantly for you as a benefits broker, both of these generations are key players in purchasing decisions for businesses.
What’s also useful for you to know is that a study from AMA Access found that live chat is relevant to multiple stages of the buyer’s journey:
- Marketing awareness
- Marketing: conversion to qualified lead
- Sales: early direct engagement
- Sales: mid direct engagement
- Sales: closing deal
- Post-purchase: customer support, education, engagement
Given the high demand for live chat from your target audience, and its diverse relevance to the buyer’s journey, you can see why this is a beneficial tool to include in your marketing strategy.
Now that you understand why you should consider including insurance agency website chat to your marketing strategy, let’s look at a shortlist of live chat tools.
What is Intercom?
Intercom is a live chat system that can be used for your agency’s customer support, sales, and marketing departments.
To your website visitors, their experience with the system is very similar to Facebook messenger or any other form of instant messaging.
For you and your agency’s staff, Intercom is CRM software that uses data to help you better understand, improve, and benefit from live chat with your target audience.
You’ll be able to communicate directly with leads and current customers that visit your agency’s website. But, beyond instant messaging, Intercom uses live chat as a means to capture data and contact info about your website visitors.
Why is Intercom relevant to you?
When using an insurance agency website chat tool to streamline the sales cycle, you have to take into consideration the customer experience. If a prospect visits your website and is interested in potentially becoming a customer, Intercom provides you with a powerful tool – timing. Insurance agency website chat tools like Intercom give you the opportunity to engage with leads who are actively on your website and are interested in learning more. This allows you to establish a connection with leads early on in the buyer’s journey. You can use live chat as an online tool to get unknown website visitors on the phone. After answering a few of their questions through live chat, they’ll be more comfortable providing their contact information. This helps you turn anonymous website visitors into qualified leads.
Live chat can also enhance support to current customers. You can quickly assist customers who are searching your website for information or you can direct them to the relevant department of your agency that can best address their needs. This can help improve your customer retention rate.
Another way Intercom enhances your marketing capabilities is through their multi-channel messaging and integrations. This is one of Intercom’s strongest attributes. The platform has marketing automation like features that allows you to send emails directly from the system.
Essentially, Intercom’s Team Inbox provides you with one place to manage and respond to all conversations with leads and customers who engage with you through a variety of channels. For brokers who have an online presence across multiple online channels, this makes Intercom an ideal insurance agency website chat tool.
Intercom offers a 14 day free trial. Check out their pricing to see which plan best suits your needs.
What is Drift?
Drift is also a live messaging app that allows you to talk to leads and customers in real time on your website.
Just like Intercom it provides your audience with an instant messaging like experience
and for you it provides a variety of features to help you to manage conversations and generate leads.
So given the similarities with Intercom, what separates the two platforms?
Why is Drift relevant to you?
While one of Intercom’s strongest attributes is their extensive list of integrations, Drift’s claim to fame is their chatbot – a powerful AI tool called LeadBot that assists in qualifying leads. Basically you can provide LeadBot with a sequence of questions you already ask your audience in order to qualify them. When someone visits your website, LeadBot will greet them and ask them the first question you assigned. One of the weaknesses of live chat is that users expect an immediate response. Research found that 21% of live chat messages go unanswered. This can have the opposite effect of optimizing the customer experience.
With Drift’s chatbot feature, your agency’s website visitors will get an immediate response every time. Once they’re qualified as a lead, you will be notified to follow up.
LeadBot can also schedule sales meetings in real time, which takes lead capture to another level.
Intercom recently launched their own chatbot called Operator, however it can only assist with simple tasks in comparison to Drift’s LeadBot. This level of AI can greatly enhance your marketing strategy.
Many brokers currently rely on quote request forms to capture contact information. However, AI tools like these are becoming so efficient that they may soon replace static contact forms altogether. Chatbot tools like these optimize the buyer journey and overall customer experience.
This will also streamline customer support as you can set up the chatbot with relevant questions and responses. LeadBot can then alert the relevant team member to take over the chat.
Drift has a number of integrations with popular CRM tools like Salesforce and Marketo, however they don’t have as many integrations as Intercom. You can see a full list of Drift’s integrations here.
While Drift has a feature stacked paid subscription version complete with trendy chatbots, it all comes at a much higher price in comparison to Intercom.
Deciding which insurance agency website chat solution is best depends on your specific needs. Each agency will have its own characteristics; number of groups, staff size, budget, etc. So before deciding which system best meets your needs ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you require a simple, straightforward system with basic functionality?
- Will you make use of advanced features?
- Are there any specific features that are especially beneficial for addressing your current pain points?
No matter which live chat system you choose this feature will only help to provide your audience with their preferred experience as they navigate through the buyer’s journey. This in turn will help you generate more leads and close more sales. Subscribe to the Broker Tool Belt to keep up to date with the latest marketing tools for brokers.