In the cutthroat online world today, one of the toughest tasks is to get a customer invested enough in your website, whether it’s an online marketplace or a community. There’s nothing that helps in engaging your visitors than having a chat forum on your website. By doing that, you’re not only enhancing their user experience, but also ensuring speed and transparency in all sorts of communications. This will set you apart from other companies which, by being slow in their communication, appear cold and distant. Adding a transparent communication channel to your platform will give you returns in a three-pronged manner. By facilitating direct communication for your users, you will be able to increase engagement, by making them feel a sense of connection and community with your brand, you will be able to increase your rate of retention, and through many methods, you will be able to increase your revenue as well. Let’s take a closer look at how this happens:
An online platform is about creating and honing an environment where people engage each other in things that interest them. Think about these platforms before the arrival of the Internet. If you were the owner, you’d have to take active steps to ensure people visit you. Further, people also need to have their own motivation, and talking to each other help reorient their expectations. The scenario is much the same today, only the context has changed. Communities too functioned in this manner: certain circles would be formed, into which others would want to be included. Think about the scenario today, as somebody who is responsible for a community, would you want anybody to be excluded? For instance, suppose you’re working towards forming social communities. If your visitors had the chance of talking to each other, they’ll not only feel at home but also connect to the other users you have. This will ensure a lot more engagement than anything else. They’ll be able to connect to likeminded people which will not only engage them to your platform, but will also make them keep coming back. Ensuring that a real-time chat happens on your platform, whether it is a consultation website, a marketplace, or a social community, can set you apart from most of your competitors. This will make it engaging for your users because they will have the ability to hold direct conversations. Moreover, this also allows communities to be facilitated better internally. Two people who never knew each other before might, thanks to a chat forum, realize what they have in common, and they might join the same sect of the community - to take just one example. It goes without saying that this will also enhance the level of trust your users have for your platform. And an increased amount of trust will ensure they’re not only engaged to your offerings, but also they keep coming back for more.
Which brings us to the next section, chat apps also help you retain more customers. How? Let’s see
Once you have managed to sufficiently engage your visitors, the next task on your hands is to retain them on your platform. The key question to ask here is: what are you doing to ensure that your user stays on your platform and doesn’t look for ways out of there? Using AI-powered messaging technology, you can send across powerful messages which convey to a customer that what they’re looking for in a community or business is available. Through this technology, you can target individual customers - and not large datasets at one go - by accounting for their preferences and actions. Further, personalized messaging also helps you close deals faster. For instance, suppose you operate an online marketplace - if your customers are curious about the quality of certain products, they can simply reach out to the seller/other buyers to calm their curiosity. They can get answers to all the queries they might have, which will largely help their buying decision. The reason for this is pretty obvious - when your visitors have the opportunity to directly interact with the providers as well as other visitors on your platform, they’ll get a quicker and more precise answer to their query. This will help them resolve their queries in real time, before they can reconsider their decision (which might lead them to swing away from your place). This will undoubtedly help you convert prospects into clients faster. Further, these chat apps support a set of features including file sharing, emojis, gifs, which make the user a lot more engaged to your platform. The communication on your platform will not be an activity but an experience for your users - one that they’ll want to revisit time and again. Collaborative features like whiteboards help users communicate through ideas and designs, from your platform itself - without having to search for third-party applications to perform this. Another unparalleled benefit that you can enjoy by using chat apps are the push notifications. Once your visitor gets a reply from any other user/seller, they’ll get instant push notifications. This will keep them hooked to your chat arena, and will make them keep coming for more. If you can keep all your users engaged, you’ve cracked the code to customer retention! Looking at it this way, retention is the thing to take care of, after engagement. And as we have seen, it is possible to increase the potential to retain users through the power of personalized messaging. Once you have a loyal set of visitors for your platform, you’d want to find ways to monetize your offerings. Revenue is always at the back of any entrepreneur’s mind, and finding ways to generate revenue isn’t as easy as it sounds. But you’re in luck - the chat apps help you generate revenue as well. Let’s see how. As the owner of a platform, it’s understandable to be wanting to increase your stream of revenues. Advertisers get very easily attracted to the availability of a vibrant community in which people have engaged discussions with each other - and once you’ve got this covered, the next steps won’t be too hard.
Let’s look at some of these ways. To monetize, you can: 1. Advertise within the chat box Research conducted on online spending patterns indicate that users are more likely to spend money after they experience a personal advertisement in a chat, as opposed to other forms of advertising. You can place native banner ads within the chat box, generating extra revenue as well as having increased ad effectiveness. Since these ads are very visually engaging, monetization strategies can be built around them. Moreover, users can also share these personal ads with their family members as well! For example, if you run a consultancy platform that connects the experts & the users, a chat will enable you to gather insights into their specific needs and requirements. Using this information, you can advertise the services that you feel they’re likely to opt for. 2. Credit-based Deduction Credit deduction allows you to deduct a certain number of credits from a user’s account when they use any additional feature, like audio chat, video chat, whiteboard, etc. You can charge credits for per-minute usage of these features. Because you have engaged your customers and gained their trust, it won’t be difficult to get them to spend a little money for additional features.
3. Utilize role-based access control Role-Based Access Control mechanism ensures more opportunities for brands and marketers to monetize by restricting and enabling certain features to certain users. Using role-based access control, you can create different tiers of subscribers, and according to their tier, they get access to certain features. This allows you to understand your users’ ability (and willingness) to pay, which lets you facilitate monetization better. This will enable you, for instance, to get more people to become paid users. Once this stratification is created, you can set the features up in such a way that free users can only get access to a text chat. Thus, only premium users get the chance to have access to premium features like video call to only paid users. In such a scenario, if a free user tries to make a video call, they will be shown a popup (or given a notification) to tell them to become a paid user to be able to make video calls.
So, how do you increase engagement, retention and revenue with a Chat App?
To get started on this, you will need a chat API, which you have the option of building from scratch. This will take you a lot of time as well as other resources, and in the end, you may or may not have a chat API which is up to the mark. Or, you could use CometChat, a chat API with hundreds of features including the ones discussed above, which offers much more than just communication. In addition to the regular chat features, it allows your website to reach new heights by having your user share images, do video & audio calls, and screen sharing, as well as including single player games, collaborative documents, and whiteboards. It comes with a ready UI for you to put as minimum efforts as possible, and will prove to be invaluable as your company scales ever upwards. Why not give it a shot? Growth Hackers is a growth hacking agency helping businesses increase their engagement, retention and revenue. Chat apps are only one of the tools we use to do so. Do you want to increase your engagement on your website, with your content or on social media? Do you want to retain your users? Do you want to increase your revenue? If the answer to those questions is 'yes', contact our growth marketing experts now and you'll see your retention, engagement and revenue grow in no time.