Everyone has seen the rise of live chat on business websites over the last few years.

What started out as a very rudimentary way of saying hello has, in many cases, transformed into a slick part of the sales process, which for many is actually handled by a ‘bot’! Whilst this term can strike fear into the hearts of those old enough to remember Terminator 2, it’s actually just a way of routing a conversation via a series of binary choices that people have to make, which in turn guides them to the right answer, help page or person. It’s actually a very efficient way of sending people in the right direction, and much less annoying than doing the same thing over the phone where you would press 1 for sales, 2 for customer support, 3 for accounts, or 4 for everything else (which in many cases is the line that 1, 2 and 3 end up at anyway!)

But there are new methods of engaging people around chat, and one of these is the ability to leave a video message that starts the ball rolling. This ‘video chat’ isn’t live per-se, in that you can’t see the person live and they can see you, but it’s a way of engaging people with a real person, snippet or promo that invites them to start a conversation via the box underneath.

If you are a business that has a physical space it can be a great way of giving people an inside glimpse, if you have a new member of the team it can be a great way of introducing themselves, if you want to show people how to use a product you can now provide this as a hands-on video instead of a series of instructions – with the option of asking questions in the box below.

The live chat function can in most cases be installed on a range of devices including desktop, mobile and tablet meaning people can see the message when it pings up instantly. When you throw in the fact you can add in calendar functions so people can book-in time, appointments or see availability then you have a great way of capturing attention, engaging immediately, and then generating an action on the back of it.

To give you a live example of how we use this at Venue View, as well as using this to drive our own sales, we are encouraging people to put links INSIDE their 3D tours, meaning they can capture attention the minute people start exploring the tours and turn visitors into customers! We use Drift Video here at Venue View, the starter version if FREE and we would certainly recommend checking out this free way of driving new business.