Potential home buyers who visit Peachtree Communities’ Web site are greeted by a balloon that reads, “Questions? Click here to chat with us.” Once they click, the two concierges who staff the Atlanta-based builder’s online chat function have 12 seconds to respond. Any more than that, and they risk losing the sale.
“It’s the quick and the dead,” says John Rymer, president of Rymer Strategies, whose Tampa, Fla., sales and marketing firm conducted the consumer research that led Peachtree to change its chat. “Either you get to them quickly or you’re not ever going to get a response from them.”