Case Study: SMB Marketing Firm Uses Chat App to Convert Clicks to Leads

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Merchant: Outlook Bench Group
Location: Washington, DC
Platforms: LiveEngage, MailChimp
Bottom Line: SMB marketing firm has found that 60% to 75% of leads are interested in learning more through real-time messaging tools.

Fifty-nine percent of merchants see their websites as integral to their business success, and yet more than half say that less than 11% of their annual revenue is being generated online.

One business looking to change that figure and increase the ROI from its website is Outlook Bench Group, a Washington, DC-based sales marketing and branding firm. Outlook consults with small businesses on digital marketing strategies, and yet the agency itself wasn’t seeing the kind of returns from its website that the company’s co-founder, Nii Akwei, had hoped for.

“We realized only so much engagement could occur via design and user interface; we needed some sort of live representation, someone to talk to on the digital front who could field clients’ questions before they disengaged and the lead was lost,” says Akwei.

With the goal of retaining and converting more leads for his agency, Akwei went in search of a product he could use to connect with website visitors in real-time. Through general brand awareness, he already knew about LivePerson — a vendor that helps businesses connect with customers through chat, voice, and content delivery on websites, social media, and mobile devices. Although he was impressed with LivePerson’s platform in general, it was the vendor’s partner program that pushed Akwei over the edge.

“As an agency, we are trying to solve a problem for our clients as well as for ourselves, and LivePerson’s partner platform understood this,” he says.

LivePerson recently introduced a mobile messaging platform called LiveEngage, aimed at small and medium-size businesses, and Akwei was game to try it out. But before integrating it with his agency’s website, he set some clear goals — Akwei wanted to make sure that at least 60% to 80% of the leads gathered virtually, through his agency’s website, were translating to actual business.

Because Outlook Bench Group wasn’t using any digital chat technology previously, Akwei wasn’t entirely sure what kind of results he could realistically expect. He set up the platform on his company’s website, using it primarily to connect with online visitors.

Since integrating LiveEngage, Akwei and his team have been able to start interacting with clients, or potential clients, regardless of their physical locations. For example, Akwei says he chats with prospects in real-time while he’s commuting and sitting in meetings.

“Often I will respond to a client right away and set up a meeting for a more extended conversation later in the day,” he says.

Akwei also uses live chat to measure the success of his digital campaigns. Instead of embedding live chat on his website’s homepage, he’s been able to add it to just the pages for specific campaigns.

“So, it’s a good indicator to their success,” he says.

Although Akwei says he knows that having a mobile live chat platform is affecting his business positively, he hasn’t measured the exact impact. He says the biggest indicator of success right now is the number of potential clients who are requesting to chat.

“About 60% to 75% of leads are interested in having a chat,” he says.

Outlook Bench Group also uses a marketing automation platform, which reacts to the actions that clients take on email and responds with additional, appropriate communication.

“We use MailChimp to design a set of email templates for given scenarios,” he says. “LivePerson complements these platforms by encouraging further engagement of new leads and allowing new business conversations to begin immediately.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.