Trainer1 switches to Provide Support from a competitor for better usability and lower costs.
Trainer1 is one of the UK's leading independent e-learning specialists. The London-based company has been developing e-learning tools since 1992, and its clients include GM, Kraft Foods, Federal Express, Conoco, and Morgan Stanley. Provide Support Live Chat is critical to Trainer1's customer service operation, allowing a handful of employees to serve hundreds of demanding clients. Trainer1 also relies on the Live Chat system to sharpen its advertising strategy, identify potential clients, and turn browsers into buyers.
As a small, privately owned company that serves multinational corporations as well as small and medium-sized businesses, Trainer1's success rests on the quality of its products and the responsiveness of its staff. The company prides itself on providing personal, friendly service. Provide Support's Live Chat system ensures that clients and potential clients get immediate answers to their questions via the Trainer1 website. "Over the past three or four years, we've dealt with somewhere close to 700 or 800 different clients. Most of those are large corporates. Nearly every household name you could think of, we've done business with in some way or another," says Neil Lasher, managing director for Trainer1. "We have six full-time employees, but our competition would probably say we have 46. Tools like Provide Support allow us to deal with a lot more clients simultaneously, so we don't need 46 staff."
Trainer1 used a competitor's live chat system for several years before switching to Provide Support. "We swapped for two reasons," Lasher says. "Number one, price. The competitor became very expensive for the same services that Provide Support offered. Secondly, I liked the Provide Support interface better. I found that fewer people had problems with Provide Support's interface than with the competitor's." Every page of Trainer1's website now includes the Provide Support Live Chat button.
Like so many companies, Trainer1 spends a great deal of time and money trying to drive traffic to its website. It advertises in magazines and online and reaches out to potential customers via direct mail and e-mail blasts. There's no better way to tell whether a marketing strategy is effective than by monitoring website traffic in real time, according to Lasher. Provide Support console operators are privy to a wealth of information about each website visitor, including IP address, browser type, and referrer address. Visitors' whereabouts are displayed on a world map. "With the Provide Support console, we can actually see how many people are connected to the website, where they came from, who they are. So if we've done a big e-mail shot or we've paid for some advertising, we can watch live whether it's working for us or not. That's a huge benefit," Lasher says.
Real-time visitor monitoring has helped Trainer1 not only to sharpen marketing tactics but also to refine its website to maximize sales. Console operators can observe how visitors move around a site and how long they spend on each page. "I can tailor my website to drive traffic by watching them live," Lasher says. "It's much, much better than analyzing statistics on reams of paper."
It's not unusual for the Trainer1 team to close a sale in the course of a live chat. "We drive them to the store, we take them to the right page in the store, and they purchase. It's a great communication tool," Lasher says. A chat that doesn't culminate in a sale is also quite valuable. Trainer1 captures e-mail addresses and phone numbers of chat initiators and contacts them later to continue the dialogue. "It's a great lead generator," he says.
When Lasher goes home in the evening, he sets his laptop on the dining room table. "I switch it on, and automatically the Provide Support console comes up. One of the things it's allowed us to do is to say to clients that we offer support after hours. I could be in another room, but I'll hear the chime and come over. It greatly extends our ability to support existing clients."
The Bottom Line
"If it didn't work, I wouldn't renew it," Lasher says. "I constantly renew this service because it constantly works. It offers something that nobody else offers."