eCommerce Insiders

How to Drive Conversions Using Live Chat

The popularity of live chat as a customer support channel is growing very quickly.

Increasingly, visitors turn to this great tool when shopping on eCommerce websites, and most customers say that using live chat is the fastest and most convenient way to a great shopping experience.

Live chat is a powerful tool to address the questions and concerns raised by your site visitors in real-time.

After the chat session has started, a customer can interact with the support staff via text messages on the screen such that the issues raised by the customer can receive immediate response.

A Q1 2015 study done by Zendesk revealed that online shoppers prefer the assistance of a live person while buying goods and services; in fact, compared to all other communication channels, using live chat has the highest level of customer satisfaction at 92%.

Because of its rapidly growing popularity, many eCommerce stores need a better understanding of how live chat can assist them drive conversions and increase their bottom line.

Here are some strategies you can use to achieve this.

1. Collect Customer Data.

Live chat gives you the best opportunity to know your customers. Most live chat systems have a written log of the conversation between the customer and the company representative.

Therefore, the customer pain points can be mined for data and used to improve the service provision at your eCommerce site. The more you understand the needs of your customers, the better you’ll be able to provide them with efficient solutions.

With live chat, you can learn more about what site visitors are searching for and use the data to target them with quality products that address their needs.

For example, during a live chat session, a company representative can ask important questions like:

  • Why have you come to our online store?
  • How did you hear about us?
  • What is causing your headaches?
  • Have you tried using our products?

If you get responses to such questions, you will essentially be gathering important data that you can analyze for added insight on the behavior of your target customers. Thereafter, you can use this information to begin converting these customers.

Additionally, you can use live chat to get phone numbers or email addresses of site visitors. Consequently, following up on person-to-person basis can be done to ensure they are converted to buyers.

So, during live chat with a prospective customer, try to offer quality customer experience and get some contact details for follow up.

2. Practice Personalization.

How do you feel when you want to purchase something and you are recognized, welcomed, and handled as someone important?

We all enjoy a personal touch, and this is not any different when it comes to shopping online.

Live chat is a captivating way to interact with shoppers and identify with them. According to a 2010 study by Forrester, most online shoppers need assistance from a live person before completing their purchases.

Actually, about 44% of customers say that someone responding to their issues while shopping is one of the most critical features of an eCommerce website.

Furthermore, McKinsey reports that 70% of buying experience is related to how online shoppers feel they are being handled. Therefore, practicing personalization by using live chat is integral to driving conversions.

It’s important to note that the main idea of including live chat on eCommerce sites is to offer warm, human assistance to online shoppers. If your e-store has robotic salutations or responses, it can greatly impair the efficiency of live chat.

Additionally, it’s your opportunity to showcase your ability to relate with your potential customers, which is essential in building your brand.

An example of a good way to practice personalization is to have an opening prompt of something like this: “Hello my name is [insert company representative name], can I help you with anything today? (Yes, I’m a real person!)”.

3. Have Quality Chats.

A high-quality chat will definitely drive conversions on your eCommerce site. You need to have knowledgeable, professional, and friendly agents to interact with your site visitors. If your agents are overworked or lack appropriate chat manners, quality will quickly go down the drain.

Chat agents need to respond quickly to the issues raised by customers. And, they cannot effectively do this if they are overworked or exhausted.

According to the earlier mentioned Zendesk report, agents should get back to customers in 30 seconds to maintain chat quality. Furthermore, Forrester reports that 45% of online shoppers in the United States will fail to complete their orders if their questions or concerns are not responded to quickly.

To increase the quality of your live chat, consider using sales people who have a thorough knowledge of the products offered by the company.

People with sales experience have the skills necessary for nudging customers to make purchases. Sales people can also practice upselling, which can greatly amplify your sales.

Importantly, you need to train your chat team formally on how to use soft-skills. You can use cheat sheets or FAQs to ensure customers have a quality chatting experience.

Training will also ensure the chat representatives are efficient in answering questions in the right manner to satisfy customers.

If you have high-quality live chat, you will gain your customers trust and converting them will be easy. Customers normally turn to live chat when having questions on the items they are about to purchase.

Therefore, this is a wonderful opportunity to provide them with quality customer experience and win their trust in the company’s products

4. Other Things to Consider.

a) Boost your social.

When live chat agents receive positive feedback from site visitors, they should remind the visitors to also comment on the company’s social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). This way, the company will be enhancing its social image and indirectly boosting sales.

b) Integrate with other marketing tools.

You can consider integrating live chat with other tools such as email marketing apps, plugins, or customer relationship management (CRM) software. This way, you will be addressing the needs of customers as well as preparing them to make the purchase decision.

c) Give offers and incentives.

You can use live chat to notify your visitors about special offers, free shipping, or other incentives you may be providing. This way, you can drive conversions faster.

d) Make live chat always available.

Do not assume 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. chat hours is sufficient, particularly if you are selling all over the world. You need to use analytics to know the time of day or night most people come to your website. And, if you cannot provide live chat during some hours, you can outsource the services or find another way of going about it.

Live chat is an excellent way to drive conversions and increase your bottom line. If used correctly, live chat can save on cart abandonment and increase customer satisfaction.

Efficiently addressing the concerns of customers or overcoming their purchasing reservations propels them to click the buy button.

Happy visitors means growth. And, the best way an eCommerce site can listen for feedback and respond effectively is through using live chat systems.

Image credit: Unsplash

Alfrick Opidi is an accomplished freelance writer and digital marketer for hire. He has helped several businesses leverage the power of the Internet to increase their net worth. Want to take your eCommerce business to the next level? Get in touch today.

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