Do You Need a Chat Widget?

To have a successful home inspection business, clients need to be able to contact you easily and quickly – otherwise, that inspection goes to your competition. If you read our blog or follow us anywhere online, you know that having an amazing website is key for converting clients. But are you missing out on a feature that could help you convert better?

What about having a chat widget on your website? Is this valuable? The answer is yes. Let us tell you why and also explain the most effective way to use it, and some pitfalls to avoid.

Why Consider Having a Chat Widget?

The vast majority of home inspectors do not have a chat widget on their website. But there is good reason to have one. Think about websites that you visit to make a purchase or receive a service. Isn’t it nice when there is a chat widget that pops up, enabling you to communicate with someone without having to talk on the phone?

When clients are looking for a home inspector, they will do Google searches, read reviews, and look at websites, before actually booking the service. If you have a chat widget, when they visit your website, you will be making contact with them before they get to talk to anyone else – and having contact with the potential client FIRST is by far one of the most important factors for converting them. It could be that the client has a simple or unique question about a service. It can be very appealing to them when they are able to ask their question in a chat and get a quick answer, without having to spend time on the phone.

Chat widgets are helpful in giving soft nudges to visitors on your website as well. What is a soft nudge? You can set up your chat widget to produce a little message, like “Welcome to our website, if you need any help, simply reply to this message”, or “We are online and ready to help.” Just be careful to not push services in their face or be spammy, such as “Click here! Let’s talk right now! Do you need an inspection? Book now!” We call it a “soft” nudge for a reason.

Another advantage is that a chat widget allows you to have support if you are a solo inspector. Do you have a spouse, niece, nephew, or someone else running the back office? You can have multiple people handling the chats. This is great if you are out on an inspection, perhaps in a crawlspace, and unable to answer a chat. Another person can respond to the client’s question and either provide an answer or let the person know that you will get back to them as soon as possible. They can direct the client to the scheduler on your website. That could even be added to the initial chat widget automated message “If you need to schedule an inspection online, click here”.

What else is great about chat widgets? They can be free! If you go to Tawk.to, you can sign up for a chat service that goes right on your website, for free, which is awesome. Tawk.to helps you track website metrics as well. You can see what people are doing on your website, when they start and end a chat with you, if they return, and it allows you to make notes about the person. Notes can be helpful conversation starters for the next time the client visits your website.

Warnings When Using Chat Widgets

The biggest thing you need to remember is to be sure to have someone available to answer chats. Missing a chat can cost you that client. The chat is the first impression you make on that potential client, so missing a chat is worse than it not being there at all sometimes. It would be better to not have a chat widget than to have one and let it go unanswered.

When a client sees their chat go unanswered, they may automatically think that is how all business dealings will go with you in the future. A service like Tawk.to allows you to turn the chat widget off during hours when no one is available to answer a chat. You can set it up to be working during only certain hours. That’s important because you don’t want someone trying to chat with you at 3:00 in the morning. You can set it up so instead of a live chat, they will get a contact form saying something like, “Please leave your information, and we’ll get back to you.” That is not as effective, but it’s better than missing a chat.

Another caution is that you want to watch your grammar and tone when chatting with a client. Be careful if you use talk-to-text, as some incorrect spelling or words may detract from your professionalism. Certain mistakes could even be offensive. Your grammar doesn’t have to be 100% perfect, but make sure that it is within a reasonable expectation.

Also, don’t delay in answering a chat. Respond as soon as possible. If a client is chatting with you, they are not just a warm lead, they are a hot lead, and having to wait a long time for a response can be as annoying as no response at all.

For complex issues, it is a better idea to speak on the phone with the client. Maybe they have some more in-depth questions or are confused about something. Do they sound a bit stressed, or even rude, in their chat messages? Offer to call them. Say something like, “I’m the inspector, I’d love to call you and chat about this matter, here’s my phone number. May I have yours? What time works best for you?” It’s better to do that than have our messages come off wrong or jump to conclusions about their attitude. Messages from a client that seem offensive or are misunderstood can often be cleared up with a phone call.

A Chat Widget Is a Great Idea

Having a chat widget on your home inspection website is a great idea. It’s a useful tool to start conversations on your website. Many home inspectors do not make use of chat widgets, so having one can really put you ahead of your competition in the market.

Just be sure to use it properly. Remember that it matters how diligent you are in answering chats and how timely your responses are. Also, use good grammar, and think about how your tone comes across in your messages.

If you ever have any questions about this or anything else, please reach out to our team at Full View Home Inspector Marketing. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 518-878-4845, or chat with us using our chat widget on our website!

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