Callback vs chatting on a website: enemies or allies? A survey of 300+ business owners and marketers

Callback vs chatting on a website: enemies or allies? A survey of 300+ business owners and marketers

In this article we’ll tell you about a recent study on online chats, their potential, and the development vector for online chats in the upcoming year.

So, your website is ready. It’s time to decide which communication options to implement and start getting your first leads.

Your options to do outreach:

  • call;
  • call back request;
  • online chat;
  • pop-up forms for collecting contact information;
  • social media widgets;
  • messaging services.

In pursuit of a higher conversion rate and better website usability, marketers are often tempted to use as many tools as possible. They leave the choice to a user: call us, message us, or leave your contact details and wait for a manager to contact them.

In reality, an abundance of buttons and widgets may look scary — visitors won’t know where to click first to close them.

Worse than that, you may accidentally create a situation where it is impossible to close a window or when several pop ups appear when a user attempts to escape from a persistent site.

We agree that in 2021 the battle for user attention has intensified. Nevertheless, common sense suggests that it is best to only use pop-ups in exceptional cases and use callbacks and/or online chat as your main method of communication.

Let’s see if users really prefer messages to phone conversations, how businesses and digital specialists evaluate the effectiveness of online chats, and which communication method to choose for your company.

Is it worth installing an online chat on your website?

According to the forecast made by the independent analytics company, Forrester Research, online chats and chatbots are among the top 10 tools to be used in the customer buying journey in 2021.

➤ 40% of people surveyed noted that live interaction with a salesperson is less important than being able to receive an instant response online.

➤ 41% of site visitors expect to see a live chat.

➤ 60% of B2B companies are focusing on CRM marketing to track user behavior patterns, determine preferred channel and contact times automatically, and arm their team with up-to-date data.

Your customers will love hearing from you!

Use only the most effective tools to reach your clients.

Set up a live chat and speak the same language with your customers’ needs!

Set up a live chat



What will your client choose — chat or call?

Practice has shown that in complex niches with a high average sale price, a callback is more effective than an online chat. Firstly, site visitors are not always able to formulate a specific succinct question to ask in the chat. Secondly, many people still perceive a phone conversation as a more personal form of communication. When making a call it is also easier for sales representatives to read emotions, understand their innermost needs, and ask the necessary additional questions.

Take the audience’s national characteristics into account. Our support team from the Belarusian office mainly answers phone calls, while in Ukraine about a third of support cases are solved via online chats. Different demographics have different expectations for customer service.

For example, clients of banks, car dealerships, and insurance companies usually need detailed advice. It is more difficult to provide details in a chat — as well as to convince a person to pay for a product right here and now. In this case, a combination of online chat and callback works best: while texting, the clients’ needs are identified and segmented, while the main presentation and sale are done over a call.

Online chat is even more relevant for the local service industry and eCommerce. Millennials and Gen Z appreciate being able to consult and shop online at convenient times without interrupting their activity flow. For example, new mothers often shop online during night feedings, and young people order grocery delivery or cleaning services while on the road or standing in lines.

Usually, buyers are interested in similar issues — payment, delivery, exchange and return policies, specifications, warranty, and repair. Processing these questions is automated with quick replies. To solve complex requests, operators can transfer the chat to a narrow-profile specialist. Chat operators can also see the user’s activity on the website, a history of communication and purchases, notes made during a dialogue made by other team members during the previous communication. With the right organization online chat operators can be engaged in up to 4 chats at the same time reducing the load on the incoming phone line.

Proactive conversations are another business benefit. With smart widgets that adjust according to a user’s actions or behavior, a chat starts automatically with the best offer at the most appropriate moment.

For example, users who visited the website in non-business hours can be offered to text your chatbot or order a call back at a convenient time. This way the business doesn’t lose leads and visitors feel that the company is caring and ready to resolve their issues.

One of our clients, a platform where you can create courses to teach your clients and partners, has set up different scenarios for business and non-business hours. Visitors who came to the website outside working hours are involved in communication in the messenger not to lose contact with them.

In a week we got 272 widget displays with 5% conversion to dialog. We plan to improve the wording and continue the test.

Be ready: there are also telephone conversations and message lovers in any niche. We recommend testing different interaction options and choosing the one that works best. Be fast and flexible, follow trends, introduce new tools even with minimal functionality for free or for little money.

Only make decisions after a full test with real traffic.

What businesses and digital marketers say: opinions and forecasts

To study the attitude towards online chats in the CIS market, we did a little research using 13Chats tools to understand the needs of the market and improve the product. 327 people participated in the survey. We found out more about the purpose of using chats on your site, what benefits they give, and which functions may be in demand in the coming year according to trends in answers from our respondents.

Survey respondents by profession

Now more than 25% of our respondents have installed an online chat on their website. 57% plan to implement it in the near future and only 18% do not see the potential and do not plan to install an online chat product by the end of 2021.

Why do you need online chat on the site

Live chat engages potential buyers in a chat and encourages them ro make a purchase from you. Customers will appreciate the quick support in a convenient format.

Many clients find texting easier than calling. If there is no option on your website to send a message and immediately receive an answer, the potential client will simply leave.
Online chat is important for fast and supportive communication with clients. It forms the first impression and assessment of the company’s service. At the same time, you get a collection of leads for further promotions.

In addition, online chats minimize routine processes and speed up processing repetitive calls.

Online chat makes communication with potential customers easy and fast. It gives customers the ability to get answers to common questions right away.
This is an additional communication channel that helps lessen the load on the support team through a well-thought-out FAQ section.

It is important to warm up and segment your audience in order to simplify the work of the managers. The more a potential client learns about a company and its product, the more conversions to sales they will get.

We are considering chatbots for the initial warming up of the audience before personal contact with a manager. This helps achieve the desired level of trust, work out fears, and doubles the average order price.
A timely reply from a consultant warms up leads and stimulates the visitor to place an order. Dealing with specialized and complex topics and questions (for example, spare parts and components for tuning a car), people often hesitate and it takes them longer to make a decision on order placement without a consultation.

Also, the ability to launch different welcome messages during business and non-business hours is in demand. Users feel care for and the company retains valuable leads.

The company sees incoming customers during non-business hours. Those customers are satisfied that their questions were not left unanswered.

One of the most popular sequences is to engage visitors in a dialogue in order to subscribe to a chatbot.

It is important to start communication with clients, stir up their interest, and then lure them into a messenger, where they will go through the sales funnel.
We installed an online chat to implement a chatbot and transfer the client to messengers.

Statistics show that timely support and gradual engagement have a direct impact on sales.

We use online chat to get leads. It takes months to conclude agreements, the product is very expensive. The built-in chatbot helps us collect a database of contact information and works as an add-on point of communication with clients.
Online chat implementation at the hotel allowed us to double our sales.
The use of a chatbot increased the number of requests from the site by 35%.

There are two main reasons website owners refuse to implement an online chat:

  • the need to expand the staff to provide fast and qualified chat support;
  • lack of understanding on how to combine chat on the site, CRM, analytics, and marketing campaigns in an omnichannel system.
I did not implement an online chat, because it is difficult to maintain due to the fact that someone needs to always be available to get in touch with from our side.
Unfortunately, most companies implement online chat as a fashion statement or something of the kind. Nobody bothers with supporting it. In fact, it turned out to be an absolutely useless thing.

How does introducing an online chat change a company?

The key value of online chats is to engage in a dialogue, warmup, and generate leads from the part of the audience that is not ready to buy at the first contact with the company. Proactive automatic messages are triggered not chaotically but by an event, and therefore, they are positively perceived by users. An increase in site conversions was noted by 24% of respondents.

21% of respondents who have an online chat installed on their site emphasized the increase of their support productivity.

I like that chat using bots can focus on a client’s request and lead them to an expert at the company based on their particular query.

Improving the speed and quality of ticket processing has a positive effect on the user experience, builds brand loyalty, and encourages further communication.

17 % of business owners noted that they can have more personalized communication with their clients, 16% — that customer’s satisfaction increased, confirmed by NPS surveys.

The best thing given to us by the online chat is a personal approach, focused interaction, and a high engagement rate. Once a user purchased a course but lost access. Operators helped them quickly resolve the issue and preserved their customer loyalty.

Other changes adding an online chat can bring:

  • the percentage of abandoned carts decreases;
  • the average order volume increases by 5-7%;
  • ROI and LTV increase in the long term.

This research was conducted based on feedback from 13Chats users in CIS countries. In Europe and the USA online chats are also popular because they increase revenue and help improve communication with the site users.

Here are some European statistics in favor of online chats:

  • 46 % of customers choose live chats over other communication channels;
  • customers that use live chat have a 73% satisfaction level;
  • 63% of customers are more likely to return to a website after a live chat;
  • customers that use live chat spend 60% more per purchase.

What functions of online chats will be in demand in the future?

Almost all of the respondents are sure that the future of bussiness belongs to omnichannel funnels, the unification of marketing tools into a single system, and the introduction of chatbots into chats on company websites.

We would like online chats to become a full-service tool that can: consult customers and help them select a product, accept payment, inform them about the status of an order, collect feedback, send useful content, and send data to CRM.
Maybe functions like auto-replies, personalization, video consultations?
We would like to see functions like payment for services, reminders, answers to frequently asked questions, mobile learning, integrations with other services, calendars, schedulers, re-posts from other sources; in fact, all the functionality of the internet available in the chat.

Respondents also rely on audience segmentation for more personalized communication.

The ability to communicate is personalized with high-quality automatic segmentation and subsequent analytics and improvement of work tactics.

Interestingly, most of the requests have already been implemented in existing messenger marketing services.

For example, lead bots collect primary information, qualify potential customers, and schedule a dialogue or meeting with a specific manager. A combination of a chatbot with an online chat helps you automate the processing of popular questions, register a client for a service, and collect feedback. Combining analytics, CRM, and IP telephony with online chat data is done using webhooks, APIs, or services for integration.

Working with online users has also been implemented. For example, with 13Chats, the manager sees site visitors in real-time, analyzes their activity and history of previous interactions, and starts a dialogue armed with the necessary information.

The market lacks knowledge of what has already been implemented and how to apply it in practice.

Businesses also wants to minimize the human factor:

  • organize automatic answers to popular questions without involving an operator;
  • let users select goods or services by filters without the help of a manager;
  • construct a flow of chatbot responses based on users’ choices;
  • automate lead generation and sales, leaving phone calls to sales representatives;
  • to transfer communication in a live chat to artificial intelligence, which is capable of conducting non-linear dialogue and understanding spoken language.
Using a chatbot allowed us to reduce the number of call center employees, while not making the client wait for an answer or solution.

At the same time, most specialists realize that online chats, even together with a chatbot, will not replace specialists. Perhaps, there will be fewer support operators and sales agents, but their competencies will only deepen towards analytics, relationship marketing, and customer education.


Research supported our hypothesis: online chat is losing relevance as a separate tool for connecting a potential client with a company. Today it is becoming part of personalized CRM marketing and should be embedded in omnichannel systems regardless of your niche.

With the help of an online chat, users not only get quick answers but also go to instant messengers and subscribe to chatbots. Operators, in turn, see the entire history of interactions with clients, are able to analyze their activity and choose the right time to present the most relevant offer. This personalization boosts conversions, establishes loyalty, and helps build long-term relationships between brands and customers.

Online chats are gradually adopting the functions of chatbots to become full-cycle tools: from the initial consultation to payment and automatically returning buyers to the sales funnel.

If you are looking for new solutions for your own or a client’s project, we hope that the information from our research will help you form an effective strategy and properly organize the process of implementing an online chat on your website.

Try 13Chats for free and watch your sales improve in no time. Get in touch with us to get more details!

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