How your business turns chat automation into revenue

Feb 5 2020

By Andrew Park

Research shows that customers of ages 18-49 prefer to engage with companies via chat, instead of by phone, email, or any other channel. 61% of B2B firms already use live chat to engage customers, and with good reason. From a customer experience (CX) standpoint, chat provides a low-commitment way for customers and prospects alike to start a conversation without having to dig through emails or worry about missing phone calls. In this blog, we’ll discuss not only the power and utility of chat, but we’ll also cover real-world, tactical use cases to get the absolute most out of chat automation for revenue roles in growth, marketing, sales, and customer success.

It’s not surprising that both customer success teams - who take inbound support queries - and sales teams - who field inquiries from interested prospects - have found uses for chat. However, getting the most out of chat involves doing more than just replying quickly. The challenge is that while live chat lets customers and prospects open up about their questions and concerns in depth, those context-rich chat messages get lost in the shuffle unless you tightly integrate chat with the rest of your tech stack.

Chat automation 01 61% of B2B firms use live chat to engage customers. Image courtesy Zoho

To capitalize on the strengths of chat while adding the power of context across your entire business, companies are turning to general automation. General Automation Platforms (GAPs) give any business user - not just engineers - the power to create custom integrations between chat and their other software applications, such as CRM, support helpdesk, and many others. GAPs also let users utilize automation to orchestrate sophisticated processes among their chat and other applications to speed up response times, sync context-heavy chat notes with sales and support records, and much, much more. Let’s explore some different use cases that help modern businesses get the absolute most out of chat with automation. (Most use cases here feature Intercom, but you can apply these use cases to other chat solutions as well.)

Chat automation ideas for marketing + sales:

Identify anonymous Intercom leads with Marketo This article explains how to use chat automation to automatically identify otherwise unknown leads if they have previously filled out a lead-capture form in a marketing platform like Marketo.

Recover orphan leads in marketing platform or CRM This blog covers how to use chat automation to fix inbound chat leads that become “orphaned” due to a lack of data sync with a CRM like Salesforce or with your marketing platform and append full lead details to such leads.

Bulk enrich Intercom leads This article shows you how to integrate a lead enrichment solution like Clearbit with chat automation to enrich leads in bulk. Lead enrichment is crucial to enabling your sales and marketing teams to follow-up with leads rapidly. Research shows that following up with leads within an hour makes businesses 7x more likely to speak to a decision-maker.

Speed up web chat response times by integrating internal messaging This blog discusses how to combine chat automation on your website with internal chat messaging tools like Slack. By connecting your live web chat client to internal messaging, you can create an alerting system that ensures your sales team is always on top of inbound inquiries and responds faster to sales chats.

Ultimate Guide Lead Lifecycle Automation 2 Many companies don’t respond in 24 hours, much less one hour. Image courtesy HBR

Chat automation ideas for customer success:

Intelligently segment customer queues by account value This article goes over how customer success organizations can integrate their internal systems of record with chat automation to auto-segment inbound support chats by account value. For business-to-business (B2B) companies in particular, it’s common to have customer accounts of varying value. Some accounts are extremely valuable and require more customer success resources. Integrating your web chat with your support systems using chat automation ensures you always reply to chat messages from high-value accounts first.

Integrate NPS into CRM This blog talks about Net Promoter Score (NPS) - the popular customer satisfaction (CSAT) score that companies use to identify their happiest and unhappiest users. By connecting chat automation to back-end systems such as your CRM and survey applications, you can automatically integrate NPS into your CRM to keep your customer success teams in the loop.

Preemptively prevent customer churn with chat automation workflows This article goes over how customer success teams can monitor telltale factors such as inbound chat volume to auto-detect low engagement and proactively prevent customer churn.

Get even more chat automation ideas

By now, you should have ideas on how to use chat automation to improve your revenue processes to retain more customers and follow-up faster with leads. For a real-world example of how companies use chat automation to grow their businesses, see how New Relic combined chat automation with its data warehouse, customer data platform, and a GAP to increase customer engagement 6x.

Get more ideas on the go for how to use chat automation to grow your business on the Inside Intercom podcast.

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