In fact, the chances are that more than half your online visitors will expect an immediate response to enquiries that they‘ll make on your website. It’s simply not enough to offer a phone number and email contact details any more.
To put the opportunity into context, a study undertaken by Forrester Research found that:
“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.”
“63% were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.”
“A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself.”
The numbers are impressive. Chat is here to stay, and chat is serious when it comes to growing your business. But what makes chat great? Well, like most things, great implementation is the key to great success. And for that reason we’ve rustled up a few tips for you. This is by no means an exhaustive list – and if you think we’ve missed something – leave a comment.
1. Do your preparation
Understand your website and understand your customers. Google analytics will show you the times when most of your visitors are using your website. Nine-to-five chat hours may not work. Indeed in an online environment it’s often better to have 24/7 cover.
What’s your daily traffic volume? The more traffic your website receives the more chats you’ll need to resource. Make sure you can resource your live chat service properly. An unresponsive chat is as good as – or arguably worse than – no chat at all. It amounts to a broken promise.
2. Use good live chat operators
Ensure the skills of your operators exceeds prevailing industry standards. Additionally, successful operators should understand your chosen platform. They should know its features, functionality and operability as well as the software documentation inside out. Encourage them to stay ahead of the game by familiarising themselves with product updates, enhancements and new versions.
3. Be nice to your customers
There are some basic rules to follow. Welcome your visitor by their name. If you are answering questions make sure to answer quickly. If a customer’s request will take time to process, let them know. Proactive chat can work tremendously when used correctly, but can become irritating if it keeps on popping up time-and-time again.
It’s really important to provide warm, human help to a customer’s shopping experience. Be careful to avoid cold ‘canned’ greetings or responses.
4. Engage your customers
There may be some awkward questions from customers, so be sure to provide cheat sheets and FAQs to make it easier for your operators to answer these quickly. Remember, your aim is to keep the customers engaged. All replies must be short sentences that get right to the point. Avoid long paragraphs. Above all, just be human. That’s the real benefit for the end user.
5. Encourage feedback from customers
Use a post-chat survey to measure the performance of your operators. And when your live chat operators get positive feedback, remind those customers to Like your Facebook page and leave a comment on it.
6. Always give good customer service
Really importantly – great new relationships are built upon great service. Live chat offers you the means to achieve this. So use it, but use it wisely. If you do, you should reap great rewards.
At Yomdel we’re really excited about live chat and what it will do to the ecommerce environment. If you know of any other great ideas to help ensure your live chat is a brilliant service leave a comment.