To many, having a chat box is an unnecessary and confusingly complicated feature to run on a website. Why have one when you can be contacted through email and by phone? Put simply, not having one is almost definitely losing you customers and conversions, so not really unnecessary after all. The frequent reason for this misconception is people’s misuse of the service leading them to disappointing results. When a good team of trained customer service representatives is put together with a reliable yet flexible plan on how to interact with customers via live chat, productivity and conversions can start to increase.
This is because customers love to have a personal connection with the company they are about to give their money to, especially when that connection can be made without having to listen to automated voices over the phone or having to wait days for an email response. The result of live chat is real time customer service that is incredibly convenient for a customer with a quick question or an issue. Most importantly chat boxes tend to be out of the way, not annoying like some forms of communication or advertising. Meaning that they feel under control, because for the large majority it is up to them to initiate conversation with you whenever they feel they need it. However it can also be used for you to initiate conversations with them to figure out if they need any help or questions answered, offering them the helping hand they weren’t aware they needed.
The efficiency and speed of the service eases shoppers minds as it promoted their trust in your company. They get the help they need immediately and you get to keep them on your website while you give it, rather than them having to come away to write a lengthy email to you discussing their problems. If your chat service runs smoothly and you are able to help a customer out or ease their mind they will more than likely leave you website with a positive view of your brand, and even make a purchase before they do so. If a customer is simply confused by your site and needs help checking out, guide them through the process step by step as your chat box will stay open on their screen as they navigate throughout your website. Also note any recurring issues from multiple sources and take a look into why they are occurring, as it may be an issue with the clarity of your website and not their error.
Chat boxes are usually used when customers are close to a purchase, when they want more information before they commit and occasionally for issues with your website itself such as payments not working. Having a chat service handy when they come across struggles or are feeling uncertain can help put them on the right track and reinforce the fulfilment of their purchase. This is simply because you are able to keep them engaged while they are frustrated, offering solutions they may have missed or filling in gaps of information while they stare at their checkout page. Tell them something they have been waiting to hear and you may just make a sale, even if its something as simple as shipping information for the product they are purchasing. Keeping a customer engaged while contemplating a sale is crucial, as their interests may wander off if they are waiting around for your email response to fix their issue.
To drive more conversions, once your customer service representative understand the customer’s intentions they can recommend more purchases to compliment what they are currently considering or one that’s better to replace it. Offering upgrades when a customer is about to buy can be more effective than suggesting it from the offset. Give them a good deal on something of more value and you may even see a higher sale amount if they are happy to take your suggestion. However if your customer is worried about pricing and looking for a deal, do your best to down sell and let them know it is a one off favour, otherwise you may find their friends asking for the same pricing when they come to your site, decreasing your products value. Whatever approach to take to helping them decide on their purchase, by accommodating to their needs and suggesting things to suit them you will be more likely to make a sale. But this does depend on the chat representative in charge of each chat and the customer on the other end of them, as not everyone will be efficient enough to sway a shoppers mind.
Overall the main attractions of chat boxes for customers are their speed and personal feel. They are useless if it is a bot on the other end answering their questions from some predetermined text, as they are unlikely to be able to help in the way the customer requires. Instead use your chat boxes to be personal and efficient, offer help when you feel they will need it or sit back and wait for them to contact you. Even set triggers to start conversations when customers get to certain stages of the shopping process or hesitate on an important page for a certain amount of time, such as their checkout or basket. Using a chat box to connect with customers, offer around the clock support (where possible) and note website issues can have a great impact on conversion rates, all you have to do is run them appropriately to see the results.