Interstellar Digital Marketing

7 Tips for Using Ecommerce Live Chat

Live chat offers several advantages for ecommerce websites: increased efficiency of support process, reduced costs with support team, improved customer experience, and best of all, it can have a major impact on sales revenue. According to Forrester Research, live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour, and a 40% increase in conversion rate.

To help you get started using live chat on your ecommerce site, follow these seven helpful tips.

1. Make the Chat Box Your Own

Remember that your chat box is part of your overall web design. It should stand out so that visitors know it’s available, while coordinating with the layout and overall design of your site. Incorporating subtle animations, chat icons, a custom image and/or large button font will help to naturally attract attention to your live chat.

Customization features differ depending on which chat service you use. There are loads of them out there, but we’re pretty fond of Olark, which is a simple, flexible and affordable solution.

2. Get Info Up Front to Properly Route Chats

An automated welcome message can help draw attention to your live chat. Program your automated message to say "Hi. My name is Angie and I'm here to help answer any questions you have."

When customers choose to interact with your live chat service, begin by thanking them for their visit and ask a simple question or two to direct them to a specialist in the area they need assistance in. Your customers would much rather answer a simple question to be redirected than to repeat the conversation multiple times.

3. Define a Consistent and Professional Tone of Voice

Speaking with customers in a live chat is not the same as speaking with them in person or over the phone. The purpose of a live chat, beyond prompt customer service, is to be less formal, and more conversational. The relaxed, conversational tone can help keep customers comfortable and help them understand that they are speaking with a person and not a machine.

However, the proper use of spelling and grammar remain relevant. Avoid shortened words or “text speech.” Although you're avoiding formal speech, you should remain professional or your customers may not take you seriously.

4. Tread Lightly with Sales Speak

The use of promotional language in a live chat must be subtle and strategic. Because of the informal and conversational style of your chats, customers don't expect to be advertised to. However, you can look for openings in their questions or statements to promote your products by providing them with the answers they're looking for and offering helpful suggestions that lead them to select your products on their own.

5. Consider Using Video Chat

The utilization of live video chat, if done correctly, can provide you with a competitive advantage. Video chats look and feel modern, which can assist in asserting the credibility of your business. Ensure that the person on the other end of the screen looks and sounds professional and is knowledgeable enough to answer customer questions without pause.

One significant downside of video chats is the difference in customer internet speeds. There is always the possibility that your video can cut out or become “choppy,” which could aggravate customers. Therefore, be sure to provide a backup plan in case this happens, such as communicating through a regular text chat, or by sending an apology email with a way to reinstate conversation.

6. Keep the Sign Off Engaging and Action-Oriented

A conversation should not simply end with "bye" or even "Have a great day!" The sign-off should always include a question and a call-to-action. Ask if there is anything else you can do to help them, direct them to more information about the products they were inquiring about, or provide them with a coupon as a reward for using your chat service.

7. Post-Chat Survey and Transcript

If you are utilizing a post-chat survey or providing a transcript, you should mention this in your chat sign-off. Let them know that you will be sending an optional survey to ensure customer service satisfaction and that you will be providing them with a transcript of your conversation to keep for their records.

Live chats are convenient for your customers and for your customer support staff. They can significantly reduce costs, improve productivity and increase sales.

Interested in getting started or need more information? Contact us for assistance incorporating live chat into your site.