There’s no question about it: customers expect you to be there for them when they need you, and they want to be helped as quickly as possible. For many companies, this is a challenging trend to keep up with at scale – especially if they’re not using live chat.
Whether you’re selling products or services or have another offering altogether, live chat can greatly increase your conversions and grow your business while delivering an outstanding customer experience (CX).
Improve Your Online Sales With Live Chat
Live chat allows customers to interact directly with your brand at the speed of their choice and get dynamic, helpful information consistently. This causes an immediate connection between you and potential buyers and is a great way to build rapport.
Live chat is the best way to turn curious site visitors into passionate brand advocates. Here are ten ways that live chat can improve your online sales.
1. Meet the Customer Where They’re At
The scope of eCommerce has become broader than before, and a shopper's journey to a sale occurs on more online channels than ever. It’s not uncommon for a shopper to use one platform for inspiration and discovery, another platform to check reviews, and yet another platform to learn more about your brand. And that’s all before they ever make it to your website.
This means that once they do visit your website, you need to be sure to connect with them while you can. To get customers' attention, you need to be engaging and connect with them using conversation that matches where they are in their buyer journey.
And remember, live chat adoption has increased over the past few years, with 79% of companies saying that live chat has positively impacted customer loyalty, sales, and revenue.(Kayako, 2021) And as our shopping habits have changed dramatically, we are likely to see this trend continue in the future.
The way people choose a brand has changed drastically in the last few years.
Before, customers might explore a brick-and-mortar location, looking around and shopping for what they want. Now, this process often first occurs online.
To see strong evidence of this, look at the mattress industry. There was a day not too long ago when people thought they would only buy a mattress they could touch and lay on.
Mattress companies that have shifted to using live chat as part of their marketing mix have reaped the rewards of this trend. The ability to make dynamic, specific recommendations to customers has made consumers far more receptive to making larger purchases online based on agent recommendations and customer reviews.
2. Proactive Messaging
Many companies have adopted Live Chat as part of their marketing strategy, which is great - but have not taken a proactive approach. If live chat sits idle or it is too generic, it might as well be another part of your static website. This reactive mentality is what is losing many companies’ sales and opportunities.
One way to improve this current approach is to adopt proactive messaging. Don't wait for your customer to engage with you. Make the first move by engaging in conversation to start a connection with your customer - often with a customised message that matches a product or page they’re currently looking at– this is a strong first step in any sales process.
Using proactive messaging delivers a level of personalisation to a customer that a static website simply can’t, and the numbers don’t lie. For example, at The Chat Shop, on average, 67% of all our leads generated for our customers are done through a targeted, proactive strategy based on user behaviour.
Our eCommerce brand customers who use a proactive approach see their conversion rates double.
3. Timing is Key
Have you ever been in a shop, looking around to get a sense of what they offer, but you are interrupted by a salesperson? This can be frustrating for both parties – you’re just looking around, and the salesperson is trying to help you find the perfect product.
We don’t want to replicate that same scenario online. So what is the difference between a helpful, pleasant sales experience when looking around? It all boils down to timing.
Adopting the proactive approach is important and can raise sales, but the key to its success also comes down to timing. The right message at the wrong time could be the wrong message.
Allow your customers to navigate the site, familiarise themselves with your offering and brand, and then open up with a question when they’re looking at a specific product or service.
We can even use data to see patterns and trends that determine the best times to reach out to a customer.
Using existing data as more live chats occur, we can analyse the best time to engage in conversation with that customer using existing behavioural stats. By looking at the information within Google Analytics, we can make recommendations based on the data we see.
4. Refine Your Sales Process
Don’t take the approach many companies do once they incorporate live chat– they think once it’s “on their site,” they’re finished. This is not the case. Live chat is a dynamic tool, and you should consistently test different strategies, messages, and features.
As your customer evolves, so must your chat. Take an active approach to review the chats you are receiving monthly to spot any ways you can improve your current approach.
This is another opportunity to use your Google Analytics data and your chat logs to do research. Consider reviewing what language is getting the strongest results in your live chats. Not sure what language is working best? See what was said in your chats that occurred just before a conversion. What pages are getting you your best results and most conversions? Test variations of what’s working on other pages.
Also, if you want to try new copy wording, set up an A/B test, using variations of wording and focus to see what customers respond to best.
5. Be Clear About Your Returns Policy
In a world of rapid online purchases, people want to know that they can return their purchases if needed– this reduces friction and helps make the sales process smoother.
Don’t be afraid to share your returns policy– in fact, if you’re using live chat, answer questions about returns quickly and confidently. If return information isn’t located where the customer is making their purchase or is difficult to find on your site, customers will abandon their carts.
Don't let customers spend too long trying to find your returns policy– instead, have a live chat agent who can give them that information quickly and confidently. By using simple, clear language nothing is ambiguous. This helps to put the customer at ease with their purchase and increases sales.