Chat Sucks: Don’t wait for conversion, make it happen with SmartChat


There’s “basic chat” (everyone else) and there’s “SmartChat” with Crossroads.  Basic chat “waits for the phone to ring” while “SmartChat” targets personalized messages to customers in a personalized way to start the right conversation, with the right customer, at the right time.  Where “basic chat” canabalizes phone and form submissions, SmartChat creates new opportunities.

It’s a Marketing Problem Opportunity

Getting a consumer to engage in a conversation is not a technology problem, it’s a marketing opportunity.  In a recent study on personalized ads versus standard ads Jivox found that personalized ads get 3x more consumer engagement.  This philosophy of “personalized ads” is what our SmartChat system is all about.  Let’s explore what that’s all about.

Why “chat” is a four-letter-word

To most people I meet, “chat” is a four-letter-word.  Whether you’ve been the customer or the company using a chat service is usually a mediocre one at best.  Yes it produces a real-time  human engagement with a company and yes it produces some leads and sales but why is the reputation so blah?  We believe it’s not because of the medium of “chat” but rather the application of the medium and an understanding of the customer experience.  People don’t want to chat…they want to be helped.  However, for you to earn the right to help you have to do more than a button.

When I say “chat” you typically think of a button on the website that says “chat”, “live chat”, or something equivalent to that.  Sometimes you’ll see a floating box with the picture of a pretty girl that says something like “I’m here if you have any questions”.  Sometimes she even has a headset on in the picture which is a bit ridiculous given that it’s chat…not a phone call.  I digress.

Don’t get me wrong, basic-chat is better than nothing but it’s like having a trade-show booth with a display table, lots of compelling signage and on the table there’s a button that says “click me if you want to talk about something”.  Or if you’re an automotive dealer it’s like taking all of your people off of the lot where all the product is and putting them around the reception desk with a sign that says “Come over here if you have any questions”.  Again, better than nothing but still not ideal.  So let’s talk about ideal.

Retail experts know how to convert shoppers into conversations

If you talk to any retailer with a physical location that knows their stuff they’ll tell you that if you greet someone with “what can I help you find” as they’re walking in the door you’ll likely get an answer like “oh I’m just looking”.  However, if you wait for the customer to get their bearings and start to pay attention to a specific type of product or hover in a specific department this gives you insights on what they’re looking for.

Using this information you can be more specific with your offer to help with something like, “Don’t you love that new model camera?!  Did you know about the new motion stabilizing software?  Do you know about the special going on right now?”

SmartChatThe experts will tell you that the specific greeting works exponentially more often than the generic greeting.  Why?  Because it’s personalized to the customer and they feel a higher level of trust as a result.  The benefit is a higher transaction rate, more profit per transaction, and higher retention rate.  The question is, “what the hell does this have to do with my website?!”.  Everything.

How Crossroads SmartChat works

In the example above the ideal greet is one that specific to the customer and personalized to them. In the online world we have TONS of information about the customer like:

  1. How they got to the site: search engine, referring site, social media, email
  2. What they’re looking for
  3. Where they are geographically and what the weather is like at that moment (que creep factor)


Armed with this information we personalize the invite in such a way that it becomes the highest converting ad you will have: an ad about your customer.  When you put the right message in front of the right customer at the right time, the conversion rate goes up 10x.  We call this SmartChat.

SmartChat by Crossroads will help you increase your conversation conversions and get to your customer before they’ve already done all their shopping and only want to know “what’s your best price”.  The benefits of SmartChat with your customers can be summed up this way:

  1. 3x your conversations, leads & transactions
  2. SmartChat converts customers before they’ve shopped earning higher transaction rates, profits per transaction, and retention rates
  3. Skews your conversations towards sales instead of just customer service inquiries turning “chat” into a revenue center not a cost center

To find out more about SmartChat and how we can Convert, WOW, and Win customers for life for your organization schedule time to chat with us or send an email to

Posted on December 16, 2016 in Conversion science, Strategy

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About the Author

Born in 1982 Raised by entrepreneurs to work hard, work smart, work with integrity... Started helping in the family marketing business at age 12... Started first business at age 16... Sold first business at age 19... Joined family marketing business full-time at 19... 2002 Signed Ryan Seacrest to exclusive personality endorsement contract that ran 10 years... Built Media/PR platform with personalities such as Ryan Seacrest, Hulk Hogan, Manny Pacquiao, Mario Lopez... Earned two Cisco Systems certifications at 21 along with Microsoft and Google certs... Built & began Google Search Engine Marketing programs for agency in 2005 w/ $5million under management... Built #1 Web Site for help-wanted in telecom industry in 2006... Youngest member of Vistage International CEO forum in 2007 at age 25... Joined Royal Family Kids BOD's in 2008 focused on confronting abuse and changing lives... Earned BA in Business concentrating on Information Systems & Decision Sciences in 2010... Climbed Mount Rainier in 2010... Moved to Dallas and started new branch and sister co (Crossroads) in 2011... Summited Mount Whitney (mountaineers route) in 2012... Built a 24/7 virtual company in 2013 that broke even in 6 months...still growing... Changing the world one chat at a time... Writing a book... Foodie & amateur cook Tennis player - USTA 4.0 Soccer player - goalkeeper & sweeper Father of four... Husband who married up! "Culture isn't the #1's the ONLY thing"​ - James Sinegal, Founder of Costco The world is changing but the principles remain the same: Know your customer, deliver value above the cost, and a good name is more valuable than gold. Be relentless! That's it, I'm done (name the movie, get a prize).

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