The research indicates that IM (instant messaging or online chat to some) is a clear winner in the stakes for most valuable we 2.0 tool for enterprise. While I would question whether instant messaging fits in the 2.0 category, I will not question the results. I am not surprised by these numbers at all.
When asking IT decision makers at US firms with more than 500 employees the question, "Using your best estimate, how much business value has been derived from your deployment of each of the following technologies?", the results were clear cut as can be seen in the following graphic below right (click for larger image):
I have always considered online chat as a key part of any online
business. I have had a lot of experience implementing technology such
as liveperson on a number of sites. Online chat was a key channel in
the liveperson e-CRM software, and for good reason. Conversion rates
People love to buy directly from people and IM or online chat allows this to happen in real time online. There is nothing quite like giving your online sales team a 'real' feel for your customers and what they like.
Add these benefits to the obvious such as speed of response and providing more contact options for your customer. In my opinion IM or online chat should be a key consideration for any online business strategy.
Whats your experience with IM in a commercial scenario?