Business owners see live chat as just another tool that can be used to interact with potential and existing customers. But it can offer a lot more when it comes to improving efficiency. More so if it’s properly integrated with your customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Imagine you’re working in a restaurant. Several customers keep on coming back because they like the food. The thing is you don’t recognize them. When the vegetarian lady says “give me the usual”, you have no idea what she’s referring to. This is because you are serving them with eyes covered. The same thing happens when you’re using live chat without any CRM integration.

Survey shows that 74% of businesses have reported better customer relationships since integrating a CRM. It works by automatically collecting all data available about a visitor who reached out through live chat. It stores the user’s name, email address, phone number, social media accounts, date and time of the chat, IP location and chat transcript.

CRM integration is essential for lead-handling because it is dependent on understanding the origin of a lead. How can you afford to keep your CRM and live chat at arm’s distance? Below are compelling reasons why you need to integrate live chat with a marketing automation platform.

More Effective Lead Nurturing Process

Every single visitor your live chat comes in contact with is a potential lead. The lead attraction process ends once they visit your website. The next step is converting the visitor into a lead. A live chat integrated with a CRM can bridge the gap. Vital data can be used by the sales team to create new leads and contact records.

Live chat integration follows two principles for conversion. First, it creates the right triggers by identifying which stage of the consumer journey the lead is in. Then, it identifies the needs of that specific lead. Data used during this stage are collected from the first interaction, which is the live chat. CRM system refines data later in the customer’s journey.

The second principle involves identifying the right timing in providing the next set of triggers. It also helps the sales team understand the stages of the journey from being a visitor, lead, paying customer, to becoming a promoter. Identifying the right triggers allows the CRM to deliver them at the right time.    

More Comprehensive Buyer Personas

If a live chat is not integrated with the CRM system, businesses get less data thus, an incomplete picture of a buyer persona. Buyer personas depict your target customers. It helps the sales team to better understand a user.

Personas describe the ideal customers, their challenges, how they make decisions, and what affects their decisions. They are integral to the entire marketing process and further helps businesses with UI strategy and product development. Study shows that personas increase conversion rates by 10% and make websites 2-5 times more effective.

Buyer personas are established at the beginning of the marketing funnel. It helps marketers identify prospects effectively and then generate quality leads. Prospects are classified as either hot or cold leads by comparing it with the characteristics of the created personas. In terms of sales, it helps in discerning which strategies push prospects towards conversion.

Increase Employee Productivity

Live chat integration allows the sales team and customer service agents to focus on helping a user. This is because they know that data will be stored if deeper analysis is necessary. The CRM system integration also removes redundant communication layers. As a result, employees can act more efficiently and customers get answers more quickly.

With a CRM system, your marketing team can add micro-conversions such as e-books, whitepapers, and FAQs in the live chat prompt box. The sales team, on the other hand, can add macro-conversions based on the data collected in the CRM.

Live Chat and Marketing Automation Improve Overall Customer Experience

Live chat integration may seem like a complex process but it’s not. In fact, it makes a marketer’s life easier. Consider this – you enter a local home improvement store and a woman greets you at the door. She asks about your day and what you are looking for. Based on your interaction, she then takes you to a specific alley of products. Then, introduces you to another salesperson who is an expert on the product you’re looking for.

In the scenario, the woman is the live chat and the expert salesperson is the CRM system. The consistent data exchange enables companies to properly identify and service their customers. This is why businesses should start integrating their live chat system to a marketing automation platform.