Is Your Live Chat Ready for Black Friday 2019?

With Black Friday on the approach and online sales at an all-time high, making sure your website is ready is absolutely crucial, and live chat is a great way to do this. According to a research done by Forrester¹, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.

So how can you make sure that you’re ready for Black Friday 2019?

Speed up the check out process

More than 50%² of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes more than three seconds to load. Even in store locations, shoppers frequently jump ship when it takes a long time to make a purchase. By reducing the time it takes to check out, you can ensure you’re not missing out on any sales.

Optimising your site and making sure the checkout process is clear as well as ensuring your website is prepared to deal with the traffic is absolutely key here, but another way to do this is through adding a live chat option at the checkout page. A chat agent appearing to a site visitor who has been lingering on the checkout page a little too long using a proactive strategy can be the difference between a sale or an abandoned basket.

Often customers have a last-minute question and either can’t find the answer to it or don’t want to leave their basket to go ahead and find it. A chat agent there can mean they’re able to answer any questions, overcome objections and guide the customer seamlessly through the checkout.

At The Chat Shop, we deliver 50% more leads from your existing traffic and our chat gives an uplift in sales conversion of between 5 and 15 times when compared to non-chat engaged customer journeys, there’s never been a better time to add live chat to your website.

Keeping Your Knowledge Base up to date

One of the key ways that live chat can directly support a marketing campaign is through educating the chat agents and keeping them up to speed with what is going on in the business. 

Ahead of Black Friday, make sure you’re reaching out to your chat team and providing them with all of the information they need ahead of sales. This could be information on which offers will be featured, discount codes and returns policy.

When your Black Friday campaign is rolled out, give your team a heads up so they can be sure to address this in chat where appropriate. If there is a particular angle you are coming from in your advertising, the chat agents can be sure to match this tone on chat too.

Seeing a cohesion between all aspects of your business can have a massive effect on how a potential customer views and trusts your business, resulting in trust and ultimately more sales.

Real-time inventory

Getting through the mad rush of Black Friday and adding an item to your basket only to later find it had been sold out and not yet updated is extremely frustrating and can lead to poor customer retention. Why would you return to a business that let you down?

If you’re able to, let your chat team know in advance how much stock you will have of each item and the expectations for how quickly this will go. Information like this seems small and unnecessary, but when speaking to a customer online, it makes a huge difference when the chat agent is aware of what is going on within the business.

Keeping an up to date, real-time inventory system can be a great way to help out with this too. When your chat team knows your stock level and can let customers know that there on chat, it prevents a lot of confusion and lack of faith in the business, as the customer can see that all sections of the business are up to date with what is going on.

Ensure you have enough staff to handle the traffic spike

Proper planning and preparation are absolutely key during this season to ensure you have enough staff coverage. Online sales Black Friday jumped 23.6%³ from a year ago, according to a new report from Adobe Analytics.

Making sure your website is equipped to deal with the traffic is one thing, but ensuring you have enough people on hand to deal with customer queries, troubleshoot support issues and help them through the checkout is absolutely vital. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting in a long chat queue, and a SuperOffice survey found that 20% of live chat requests go unanswered.

If you’re feeling pressured and understaffed, adopting a managed chat solution could be the key here. Give your staff the chance to do what they do best, whether that is admin, phone or email support, and allow a fully trained live chat team to take some of the pressure off. 

With an overall satisfaction of 98%, there’s no reason to fear handing your chat over to a team of professionals.

The aftermath: Customer support handling

The Black Friday craze doesn’t end when the day is over, you are bound to see a substantial increase in customer support queries, and the way you handle these says a lot about your business.

91%⁴ of customers never come back after being dissatisfied with customer service, so ensuring that you approach this issue properly is key for customer retention. 

This ties in nicely with the points already discussed, keeping your support team up to date on the latest information and issues, and making sure they are enough people on chat to handle the spike in traffic.

Final Thoughts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday don’t have to mean panic and rushing around, with proper preparation they can be an exceptionally positive and beneficial thing for your business. Ensuring your customer service is on point makes a massive difference, so don’t neglect your live chat in 2019.

Click here to find out more about how live chat can help you this holiday season.

¹https://www.forrester.com/report/Making+Proactive+Chat+Work/-/E-RES57054

²https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/mobile/consumer-behavior-mobile-digital-experiences/

³https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/24/black-friday-pulled-in-a-record-6point22-billion-in-online-sales-adobe.html

⁴https://99firms.com/blog/live-chat-statistics/#gref