“Do you think this plush would really sound like Darth Vader?” Jim asked his best friend Seth.
“I think so. It does say that in the product description. But why don’t you ask someone from customer support just to be sure?” replied Seth.
“I’ve done that already. Sent an email to their agent in the morning. They haven’t replied yet.” Jim answered back. “Perhaps I should give them a call.”
Jim then picked up his phone and dialed the customer service number. A few minutes later, the dismay was apparent on his face.
“All lines are busy. I wonder if I’d even hear back from them today. Wish there was a live chat option somewhere.” Jim said.
He then started searching for the same plush on other websites and never came back to the first one, even though the support team replied the next day.
You can’t imagine how many online stores lose customers like Jim every day. The main reason is their failure to provide real-time support, which is becoming the key to engagement as consumers look for effective and easy ways to get the answers they need.
Live chat is a great technology to get a leg up in terms of customer engagement, stay competitive in your niche, and convert those who’re interested in your product/service into buyers.
Check out these eye-popping statistics:
- 68 percent of website visitors will engage in a live chat and 63 percent of them will get back to a website offering live chat for a repeat purchase (source)
- 38 percent of online visitors make their purchase during live chat (source)
- Live chat, according to cited studies, has been found to increase conversions by more than 20 percent (source)
You’re missing out on all these great benefits by not implementing live chat on your website, especially the last one
While this may seem like a complicated way to work towards improving conversions, in reality, it is easy and effective. Mentioned below are 7 ways to use live chat for achieving a better conversion rate:
1. Be available around the clock
9am to 5pm business hours and availability from Monday to Friday may not be enough. If you really want to see an uptick in live chat conversions, you should offer it 24/7. If you don’t have in-house agents to handle the chat outside business hours, you can hire external agents to serve customers around the clock.
A Nerd’s World added live chat functionality to its website last year to build a rapport with its visitors and answer their queries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
They reported that the first 72 hours with the software was a real opener and also highly recommended other online sellers to use this option to gain customer confidence. Being available around the clock all days in a week enables the brand to serve customers coming from different time zones as well as those who work on the weekends.
2. Initiate the chat at the right time
There are different kinds of visitors on your website. Some compare items while having difficulty in making a buying decision, while others are just idly shopping around. So it won’t be a smart idea to prompt a live chat to someone who has been on a product page for long.
A reliable live chat software will offer tracking features that can be used to target the right visitors, especially those on pages where you’ve inserted calls-to-action.
Blue Soda Promo does exactly that. Using the Bold Chat software, they answer all customer questions before an order has been placed. By analyzing which pages the user has engaged with and how long they’ve stayed on the page, support agents start a chat to ask if the user has a question. With this tactic, they’ve been able to convert nearly 60 percent of chat leads into sales.
3. Present a human face
Customers want to talk to real humans, not robots. Train your agents to personalize their interactions with the visitors. Also, it is viable for the chat agent to have a small thumbnail in the chat screen somewhere so that people can see who they’re talking to.
Another tip for personalizing the interaction is to call the visitor by their name. This would be possible after the visitor writes their name, email address and phone number when prompted.
This is what live chat agents at SingleHop do. They also speak directly to the customer by using “you” and “I”.
4. Focus on addressing pain points
Sometimes it can work in your favor to swallow the loss if live chat agents are addressing a customer’s pain point in return. This strategy, apart from increasing live chat conversions, has the potential to bring in recurring business and build customer loyalty, sometimes even for life.
A conversation between a Netflix subscriber and a Netflix customer service representative is a great example of this.
The agent worked with the subscriber to address his pain point over a long chat session, while personalizing the interaction. The agent did well to interact in the tone of the customer.
5. Offer/suggest something valuable
Most live chat software offer tons of information about the visitor, which can be used to provide valuable service. By going through a customer’s chat history and information, live chat agents can provide them valuable suggestions.
For example, if a customer shows dissatisfaction towards a product design, the support representative should take a minute to see whether an alternate item with a different design but same features is available. If the option is available, it can be suggested to build valuable leads.
In this chat example above, the operator does well to provide a valuable option to the visitor. The visitor is interested in knowing more about the program. If the visitor leaves and comes back at a later date to inquire about the program, this chat history can be used by other agents to offer him/her value.
After you demonstrate value and make the case for a higher level of customer service, you can try increasing conversions via upselling. Once the agent has engaged visitors by understanding their needs, they are in a better position to recommend upgrades, add-ons, etc.
Internet Retailer revealed that Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. uses live chat to achieve conversion rates as high as 23 percent. Customers using its live chat platform converted 3.5 times the rate of those customers who didn’t use live chat.
The intriguing part of the story is that the UK-based airline doesn’t use live chat to sell airline tickets, but rather to upsell. With customers already in the decision-making phase while buying tickets online, agents can easily upsell priority seat bookings, customized meals, etc. This is used to increase average order value and revenue.
7. Take customers where they need to be
Most live chat agents neglect that visitors may not know where to go on a website. For example, they may want to go to the FAQ page before placing an order, but don’t really know how to get there because the icon/link didn’t catch their eye.
As a result, your chat agents can make things easy for them by sending the links which redirect them to their webpage of choice, and that’s how you facilitate actions that lead to conversions.
By using the right links in the chat panel, all your offerings will remain visible to your visitors and this way they won’t get lost in the navigation of your website.
While improving your conversion rates is a long-term endeavor, live chat (when executed properly) can reduce the time it takes to see results. By following the tips mentioned above, you’d be able to get customers talking, build loyalty, and facilitate action-taking.
Do you use live chat on your site? Got any additional tips to add? Feel free to leave comments.