How to increase online sales with chat
Don’t waste time being frustrated because you need a higher online conversion rate. Increase online sales with live chat.
Over the years our award-winning team has paved the way in live chat best practices. For that reason, we know there are some things that you just don’t change about your live chat sales tactics – that is, if you’re already doing them.
Back in 2014, we sat down with Live Chat to shine some light on increasing sales using online chat. Five years later we’re here to let you in on a little secret: those live chat techniques still work (and on multiple channels). If you still aren’t using them, it’s no wonder your online conversion needs help.
Below are 5 tried and true ways for increasing online sales with live chat.
1. Personalise your online sales conversation
If there’s one thing we understand, it’s the importance of adding the human touch to online transactions. While scripting and chatbots have their place, good old fashioned conversation is the key to filling gaps in your online sales goals.
How do you enable sales with conversation? Easy; by personalising how you approach your website visitors.
Personalised live chat is so important for increasing sales because it adds an element we’re very fond of at The Chat Shop; engagement.
Don’t be fooled, though. Engagement is not synonymous with interaction. You need to do more than get your website visitors to use your live chat feature; you need to get them to enjoy it.
Elevate your customer experience by providing your site visitors with genuine, organic conversation. No one wants to feel like they are a means to an end, especially your consumers. When you speak to them as individuals and show them you are invested in their needs, not just your own, you’re sending an invaluable message. As a result, your online conversion rates go up.
Your online conversion rate is an invaluable metric. It will give you insight into how effectively you’re turning website browsers into paying customers. When you’re using live chat, setting an online conversion goal is pointless if you don’t also have a personalised approach to reaching it.
This is where your live chat agents come in. Live chat agents – or live chat operators – are the face of your brand when it comes to online interactions. They are your online sales team. They are the ones on the front lines, communicating with your customers just as an in-store assistant would.
In other words, your live chat agents are enabling more online sales. This is why it’s crucial to give them the right authority on live chat.
Allow your live chat agents to make recommendations. Give your customers options by providing the human touch through live chat for ecommerce like you would in a physical store. These recommendations are crucial to increasing online sales. Personalised interactions will show each and every customer on your website that they are important and you care about them. When you couple these personalised interactions with personalised recommendations, your online sales increase.
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2. Be proactive to sell online; start first
Increasing online sales is easier when you choose a proactive live chat strategy. This is because live chat sales come easier when they’re sought after. If you’re waiting for your website visitors to click on your live chat feature, you’re losing sales.
Not sure what that means? It’s simple. Proactive chats simply begin before your website visitors decide they want to chat.
That’s right; no click necessary.
Don’t wait for your customers to begin chatting with you. Harness the power of technology and start talking to them first. Integrating a proactive approach into your sales strategy can work in two ways:
- You’re increasing your chances of engaging your site visitors who otherwise would not use your live chat feature, and
- You can reach out to site visitors at the most crucial moments in their buying experience.
The benefits of the first point should be obvious. Just like not every customer will pick the phone or reach out to a salesperson in a physical store, not all of your site visitors will be motivated to seek out your live chat.
By proactively initiating chats, you’re “making the first move,” so to speak, and eliminating any anxieties your site visitors may have about reaching out.
In addition, integrating a proactive approach into your online sales strategy allows you to learn and leverage user data in a way that will increase online sales.
With data analytics you can study the ways in which your customers are interacting with your website. Figure out where and when your sales are (or are not!) being made. Ask yourself important questions like:
- When are my customers abandoning their carts?
- How long are my website visitors spending on each page?
- Are there any areas of my site that seem to be losing me customers more than others?
Using the information you find to those questions, you can determine the most opportune times and places for your chats to start. But leveraging user behaviour alongside chat isn’t complete if you aren’t sending the right message. And we mean that literally.
Engaging your customers in genuine conversation is key, but so is how you get them engaged in the first place. This means if you’re going to proactively start chatting with your customers then what you say is just as important as when you say it.
Take a moment to think back to those site visitors we talked about that won’t take the first step in chatting with you. These are the same people who are not going to say “yes” to questions like “Can I help you?” or “Is there any way I can help?”
Now consider things like what motivates a customer to abandon their cart or how you can tailor your chat to what a customer is actually looking at.
It should be obvious that you cannot say just anything to anyone. You have to be intentional and engage your chatter in a proactive chat by asking them something specific and relevant to their experience.
By leveraging user behavior alongside chat behavior in a personalised way, you will undoubtedly increase online sales.
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3. Build trust through your live chat interface
Let’s go ahead and assume your website visitors can easily locate your live chat feature. Now ask yourself this: Can your customers trust live chat?
The answer should be yes; if it’s not, you’re losing online sales as we speak.
But how do you build trust with live chat? Easy; branding.
Live chat branding is essential. When it comes to what your customers are seeing when they interact with you, you cannot afford to leave any stone un-branded. Live chat is not exempt from this either.
The way you choose to customise your live chat interface will directly affect how your customers feel about your chat and, by extension, your live chat agents and their recommendations.
Visually branding your live chat feature builds trust with your website visitors. This customisation aids in increasing online sales by making your live chat an extension of your brand, not an extension on your site.
This is an essential component of utilising live chat to increase online sales. You could have the best chat strategy in the world, but if your customers are weary about your chat box, you won’t be increasing online sales.
When your chat window looks like it belongs on your site, however, customers will feel comfortable interacting with your live chat agents.
This is even more effective once you’ve also personalised your sales approach and implemented a proactive chat strategy.
When your customers feel comfortable, your chat box popping up will not put them off. Instead, they’re going to be inclined to trust you and want to talk to you. Once you get them talking and engage them in a personalised conversation, they’re going to consider the recommendations your live chat agents make as valid as trustworthy.
In other words, the seemingly small aspects of your chat strategy all compound to giving your customers a credible and personal experience, ultimately leading to a boost in your live chat sales. Your job is to make sure the first impression your chat feature has on your site visitors is one that involves trust and credibility.
4. Integrate your live chat with Facebook and other social media
As if implementing live chat on your website wasn’t a large enough undertaking, you must consider each and every avenue with potential for increasing online sales.
It’s no secret that social media has been on the rise over the past few years. With Facebook at the top, social media sites like Twitter and Instagram have become hubs for both new and existing customers. As a result, social media sites are now marketing goldmines.
Just like branding, your social media sites play a huge role in capturing new customers and holding on to your existing ones. How you reach out to your customers on these channels is going to affect your online sales. (And if you aren’t reaching out at all, you’re definitely missing out!)
But there’s more to it than simply replying on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. In order for your social media sites to increase online sales, you need to integrate them with your live chat. Customers are going to be interacting with your brand at all touchpoints. Making yourself available to speak at the right time in the right places is crucial, so you cannot afford to leave your social media out of your live chat strategy..
Integrating your live chat with social media will position you to increase online sales on more sites with one feature. If you do it right, that is.
Before you integrate your social media with your live chat, make sure that you’ve got a solid marketing message. Customers want to see consistency from your brand on all touchpoints. This means that in order for your social media to increase online sales with live chat, your messaging must be consistent across all platforms. Consider how your live chat agents are talking to customers and how your social media sites already interact with your customers.
Check for consistency in tone, language, branding, etc. If you find inconsistencies, make changes that align with the message you’re trying to convey to your customers and the experience you want them to have.
Once you’re able to deliver a solid, consistent message across all platforms, you’ll see a rise in your live chat sales.
5. Identify pain points
Take it from us; you don’t win awards for live chat without knowing the true value of each and every chat. While it’s important to personalise your sales approach and make sure you’re building trust through branding, you need to understand one simple truth:
The chat isn’t over when the customer leaves your site.
Not sure what we mean? Dig this: live chat sales are always more than just a sale. In fact, even the chats you’re having that don’t end in successful sales can be beneficial.
If you’re truly looking for ways to increase online sales using live chat, start looking backwards. Live chat quality assurance techniques can teach you a lot, including what pain points you’re not addressing for your customers.
This is where having those personalised conversations comes full circle. When you look back at the sales you lost, you’re gaining insight into any holes in your live chat strategy. Reviewing transcripts enables you to identify pain points. While you’ll never have a 100% conversion rate, you can have one that addresses trends you identify in conversations you’ve already had.
Take this one step further and provide your agents with a way to submit feedback. Since your live chat agents are on the front lines, they’re often your best resource when it comes to what’s working and what’s not.
By using your live chat to increase online sales and evaluate losses, you’re gaining an edge and really squeezing the most out of every conversation. Doing what works is only half the battle; you have to identify what’s not working and adjust accordingly in order to increase online sales using live chat.
Increase online sales with award-winning live chat outsourcing. Want to see the revenue stream we can create for you? Use our free Live Chat ROI Calculator.
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