Remote Ready, Part 2: Connect With Your Audience Through Website Notifications and Live Chat
This is the second post in a multi-part series outlining ways small businesses can more effectively plan and communicate online. Read Part 1 of our Remote Ready series.
We’re into our fifth week of working remotely and finally settled in. If you’re working remotely, we hope you are too. In Part 2 of our Remote Ready series, we highlight more updates and implementations we’ve been making for companies big and small. Here are two features that any company can implement to better communicate with their customers.
We’ve been working on adding notification pop-ups, sticky bars, and slide-ins to websites for our clients in an effort to keep users informed about organizational updates. These tools are a cost-effective, visible way to stay in front of users when they are looking for information. Here’s how those work:
- Pop-ups remain in front of users who must manually close, so they can work great for messages that you wouldn’t want to have missed. However, companies should use them very sparingly.
Example of a Pop-up
- Sticky bars allow you to have a message stick to the top or bottom of your website. They are less intrusive than pop-ups but great at providing sitewide updates without distracting users.
Example of a Sticky Bar
- Slide-ins are similar to pop-ups, but they slide out from the side of the page. Movement of content can draw attention without covering up information that users are actively viewing.
Example of a Slide-In
Live Chat on Your Website
If you handle customer service through a call center or other centralized channel, then moving to a remote workforce has likely been difficult. One way to help ease that burden is to implement live chat on your website.
Most people have seen or interacted with companies via live chat, but if you have not implemented it and are wondering how it may help your business, here’s our take on it.
Live chat allows your support staff to handle customer communication remotely because it’s cloud-based. Each agent downloads software on their computer and accesses it via a personal login. Set it up to automatically route to available agents, and managers can check in on chats or take them over if issues become escalated.
It also takes the work-from-home sounds (dogs barking, kids screaming, doors closing) out of the equation and keeps you looking and sounding professional.
Live chat on websites is an easily scalable feature that is typically priced based on the number of users. Our recommendation on software would be LiveChat. It’s not the cheapest option available, but the software is very robust, and it will empower your team to manage communications successfully.
What if I just need something really simple?
If you’re a really small business that has a staff of one or two managing communication, there’s a good free option available. You can implement Facebook messenger as a live chat feature on your website. It takes a little bit of code but will provide you with a simple, free option that you can easily manage on your computer or phone via the Facebook Messenger app.