Free Live Chat for Your Website

Have you considered offering live chat on your website? You may have seen it on other sites — you know, the little button or text box that offers to let you chat in real time through the website with a customer service rep.

I know some business owners who swear by it. Of course, I know others who’ve tried it and swear it didn’t do anything for them.

Cool thing about live chat: it lets your customers ask you questions right away, while the questions are still fresh in their minds. This could help increase your sales by allowing you to deal with their objections almost as if they were standing right in front of you in your store or office.

Not so cool thing about live chat: it can be a bit pricy to implement, and it doesn’t help increase sales for everyone — so you could end up spending a fair chunk of change only to see no tangible results. Bummer, eh?

Well, Google’s come through for us cheapskate webmasters before, with free high-end tools like Google Analytics. (Highly recommended, by the way.) And now they’re doing it again, with the Google Talk chatback badge.

Google Talk is their free instant messaging service, sort of like Windows Messenger, AIM or Yahoo’s chat service. But now Google has implemented a “badge” you can install on your website, which will allow visitors to chat with you via Google Talk in real time — even if they don’t have a Google Talk account!

And it’s free!

Now, in order to make this work, you need to have a Google Talk account, and you need to be signed in to Google Talk in order for the chatback badge to display your status as online and “available.”

So now you can experiment with live chat, see if it makes a difference for your business, without it costing you a dime. Now, how cool is that?

Read here for more information from Google, including a link to get your own chatback badge for your website.

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Copyright © Diane M. Aull, an online consultant for small and mid-sized businesses. For more information about her services, visit NineYards.com or BootstrapSEO. For resources and tools for home based workers, visit Torka's Home for Wayward Girls.

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