5 Ways Live Chat Can Increase Sales

5 Ways Online Chat Can Increase SalesA potential customer is shopping on your website. It appears they’ve found an item they like, but they have not yet added it to their cart. They’re struggling with their purchase decision because they have a few questions they need answered. The shopper doesn’t really want to pick up the phone and call you, but if they don’t get the information they’re looking for soon, they’re going to leave your site without buying the item. Live chat to the rescue!

Live online chat can have a powerful impact on customer satisfaction and sales. In fact, according to Econsultancy, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel at 73 percent. Email and phone are a fairly distant second and third with 61 percent and 44 percent respectively.

How Live Chat Increases Sales

Companies that implement online chat as a feature on their well-designed website find that it helps increase sales in a variety of ways. Live assistance:

Eliminates customer confusion and frustration

The top priority for live chat operators is ensuring that website visitors get the information they need to feel comfortable making a purchase. By quickly eliminating any uncertainty a shopper has about things like product features, cost, etc., you clear the way for them to buy with confidence.

Creates a customized shopping experience

Nothing feels better than having a product expert match your specific needs with the perfect product or service. Even a small amount of digital “pampering” makes shoppers much more likely to complete a purchase.

Increases cross-sell and upsell opportunities

While your chat operators have to be careful not to cross the line into “pushy,” some subtle encouragement to investigate higher quality or more feature-rich options can go a long way. Similarly, letting a shopper know about complementary offerings is a great way to encourage additional purchases.

Provides a competitive advantage

With so many providers eager to get their business, online shoppers tend to have very limited patience. If your competitor is not offering live chat and you are, it’s very likely that the positive user experience you deliver will start to draw business your way. 

Increases conversion rates and improves lead generation

In some cases, a website visitor isn’t looking to make a purchase now, but simply wants to learn more about your offerings. If live chat streamlines their research, they are much more likely to take the relationship further by completing an action like submitting a request for information form.

“If your competitor is not offering #livechat and you are, it’s very likely that the positive user experience you deliver will start to draw business your way.” TWEET THIS

Live Chat Best Practices

Properly implemented, live chat is a powerful tool for delighting customers and driving better sales results. However, the “properly implemented” part is key. Poorly executed live chat can frustrate or irritate potential customers, sending them in search of other companies to do business with.

 Keep these best practices in mind for delivering an exceptional live chat experience: 

  • Think carefully about where when, and how to provide chat. A website visitor probably doesn’t need assistance when they’re on your About page getting basic information about your company. Similarly, it’s unlikely they need assistance two seconds after arriving on your site. And, peppering a person with 20 offers of assistance during their short visit is only going to irritate them. The key is making a limited number of polite, well-timed interventions.
  • Staff appropriately. If you implement a live chat feature, it’s important that visitors can count on it. Nothing is worse than knowing a company offers live chat, only to visit the site with questions in mind and not get the help you need.
  • Train your chat team. There is much more to a successful chat interaction than opening a window and asking, “How can I help you?” There is an etiquette to how chat conversations should take place, especially if it is proactive live chat.
  • Monitor metrics and tweak your program as needed. Are your operators overwhelmed or bored? How long does the average interaction take? Are there regular surges in activity based on time of day or day of the week? The answers to these questions and others will help you best meet the needs of your customers while also ensuring that your operation is cost effective.

Of course, there are some obvious chat no-nos as well. For example, your operators should not make any promises about product performance other than what is stated on your website. They should never pressure a potential customer to make a purchase. And, while being friendly and helpful is important, they should never let the conversation stray outside the boundaries of a business transaction.

Maybe We Should Chat

How could live chat improve customer satisfaction, generate positive word of mouth, increase customer loyalty, and grow sales for your company? We’re happy to provide some insight. Contact us today!

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