live chat

Artificial Intelligence...good, not great?

"AI" (artificial intelligence) has been all the rage this week.  Okay,  AI has been all the rage for some time now.  It has been all the rage for 20 years!  So, why does anyone care about it now?  Microsoft made good, not great, headlines with AI this week.  

One of the great advancements with websites over the last few years has been the addition of “chat.”  The problem is that people have learned that this is not a new idea.  It is something that voice call centers failed miserably at 10 years ago.  

Remember the last time you called your cable company?.  Chances are, you activated an automated voice system that feebly attempted to solve your problems by pushing 9… 2… 7… or who knows what combination of these numbers.  It's called “containment".  

Most companies try to keep (contain) you within the automated system.  Most of the companies get incentives to do just that.  Keep you from talking to a real person.  Why?  It costs a lot of money to talk to a real person. Chat is no different… but chat allows these same companies to invoke AI.  It allows the provider to ask you a variety of questions that you may have already provided the answers to.  

In many cases, chat can be more frustrating as sites and companies have off-shored this to (potentially) even less reliable sources than were handled by the old voice systems.  

SiteStaff provides something that both AI and automated phone systems simply cannot do.  We don’t ask irrelevant questions.  We don’t make website guests feel they are in an endless queue or being handled by a robot that will repeat details that have already been provided. 

Are you old enough to remember when you could call your doctor's office and you knew the receptionist's name?  She went to school with your daughter.  Remember when you called the car dealer and his niece still would schedule your oil change?  

SiteStaff believes that having real people, not AI, makes a significant difference in how you deal with your customers. 

We'd love to hear your thoughts, experiences and comments.  Chat with us today!

Michelle, Client Services Director

Just How Important is First Contact?

This is great insight for the Senior Living Industry...and the logic applies to your business, too!

Our team here at SiteStaff has done the research.  Your communities are cream of the crop, offering the finest care to its residents, outstanding sales staff conducting value-oriented tours, and constantly ranking highly on search engines.  It's for this reason that we bring some very compelling statistics to your attention.


  • reports that only 2-3% of online visitors take any form of action.  
  • According to Senior Living Smart, 87% of prospects research online before contacting a community;
  • 45% of website prospects will make a deicison within 12 months;
  • Of them, a staggering 75% of inquiring parties will buy from the first person and community they speak with.  

What is your cost per move-in?   What is the impact of open availability?  

Let's cut to the chase.

Consider this simple math -

100-room Assisted Living community, 90% occupancy, 10 available rooms
1000 unique visitors per month visiting the website                         
3% increase in monthly conversion rate (30 leads, 25% lead-to-tour ratio, 10 tours)
75% FIRST CONTACT contracts @ $4,500/mo (
7.5 x $4,500)

 97% Occupancy, 
$33,750 monthly revenue increase

By increasing your site's conversion rate, you create a mathematical certainty of success.  No matter how you do this, your occupancy will rise.  

First's important.  In fact, it may be the only thing standing in your way to greatness.

Should I outsource my Live Chat service, or do it myself?

We at SiteStaff believe in the mindset of being the best we can be and to outsource everything else.  

This quandary often arises where our clients and terrific prospects ask whether they should chat for themselves and have us serve them after hours (TandemChat) or to hire us to serve them during all hours.  

Now, we can talk to you about lead priority and your employees wearing multiple hats, but we'd rather have you look at it from a different lens.  Take a look at this terrific post from Laura Patterson at VisionEdge Marketing, entitled "Go DIY or Call in an Expert: How to Choose".  NOTE:  this is useful for ALL of your DIY vs. Expert tasks.  We believe that once you've answered her questions, you'll come to your own decision quite quickly!

Read more:

Proactive vs. Reactive?

 Proactive vs. Reactive – What’s More Effective?

I was on a phone call yesterday with the CEO of a local marketing firm.   We were discussing different marketing approaches designed to drive traffic to websites when the subject of live chat was brought up. He asked a very good question, and I wanted to address it with everyone who might be wondering the same thing.

His question –

“Why must your chat box automatically appear and start moving horizontally or vertically across the page being viewed by the visitor?  Why not just offer a chat tab where the visitor could find and click if he/she is interested in chatting?”

He went on to say, “It might seem a little intrusive to have that chat box just pop out if not requested. I click the red X as fast as I can to get the chat box off the screen!”

My response –

“Good!  What you actually just said to me is you were proactively met and greeted. You were directed to take some type of action.”

There are three types of action

1) Positive Action (Great)

2) Negative Action (Okay)

3) No Action (Not Acceptable)


Shoppers on your website are likely to agree.

According to an E-consultancy report, online shoppers consider proactive invitations to live chat to be positive, with 66% being either ‘receptive’ or ‘appreciative’.

Think of it like this.  A customer walks into a store of their interest (we will call it a dress shop).

 Three things could happen -

 1) The store clerk proactively meets and greets the store visitor and an engagement begins. (Great)

2) The store clerk proactively meets and greets the store visitor, however the visitor states she doesn’t need any assistance, she is just browsing. (Okay)

 3) The store clerk does not proactively meet and greet the visitor. The visitor leaves without a word being spoken. (Not Acceptable)

Number 3 is not good for business.  In that case, the business is relying on the customer to proactively take action.  The business is relying on the customer to do the job of the sales clerk. This dress shop has spent good money getting that shopper into the store.  Is there a better time to create a new satisfied customer?

If we want to create new relationships, we must be proactive in doing so.  If you are the first to say hello to someone, there’s a pretty good chance they will say hello back.  If you decide not to say hello, there’s a pretty good chance no words will be spoken. If new relationships are important to you, but you are not willing to be the first to say hello, you are now relying on the other party to create the relationship.  You are now giving up control.

I can promise you this:

"If you're not proactive today, you'll be reactive tomorrow"

- Bill Jennings