We have ( not so recently now) implemented Live chat on our website. It was implemented around July of last year and we have had great success with the new feature to our site. I thought I might write an article if you are considering adding live chat to your site and let you know what our review process was. I have also found through our research and having had over 600 live chats what works for us and what doesn’t. It will vary depending on your business but the main customer service elements would be the same across any industry.
We have used Zopim for the 600 livechats to great success, the software is easy to use and gives you great insights into your visitors. When we wanted to enhance our livechat it was time to look for other livechat software that could provide new features which we wanted to blend better with our new site. We only use live chat for sales based inquiries at this stage. We have wanted to extend the chat to technical support and accounts and billing but as yet we have not implemented it for these functions.
A common misconception about live chat is that you will have to have someone available 24/7 this is not the case. We have our chat available the same time as our business hours. Staff simply login to livechat as they would their phones at start of our business hours and then logout at the end of the day. When we logout the livechat function is removed from the site. You have a few options here you can have the livechat widget be hidden when you are offline or you can have the live chat change to an enquiry form where users can submit an “Offine” Message.
Here are some of our recommended best practices for Live Chat
- Be proactive, start the conversation with your customer
Dont wait for the customer to click “Chat Now”, open the chat box for them and ask them if they have any questions. Let them know you are here if they need you. Dont go crazy and say ” I have seen you have been on our site for 2 hours” you must be lost can I help you find your way?” This is way to instrusive. If you find a customer seems to be visiting alot of pages on your site and has been there for some time, it might be helpful just to give them a gentle message ” Hi, My name is Andrew, I am here if you have any questions on our products. Simply ask your question below”. This is much less intrusive.
- When using auto invitation messages make sure the message is about the content the visitor has viewed
Auto invitations are great, You can specify time frames and messages to really customise the interaction with your customers and the best thing is, its all automated. Say for instance you had a very basic product and you knew through your research the average time to conversion was 3 minutes. Also through your research you knew that 75% of people who stayed on that page for longer than 5 minutes bounced off your site. I would suggest placing an auto invitation at 3 minutes and 30 seconds asking them if they have any questions on the “whatever product page they are on”. This gives great feeling because the customer thinks you have noticed they are on that specific product and you are having issues. Another great one is offering a discount code after a certain time on the site or viewing a certain group of pages. Really the limit here is only your imagination.
- Make sure the people manning the live chat know their stuff
You need to make sure that the staff who are using livechat know your products because people use livechat to make it easier to buy from you. You want your operators to have great knowledge and be able to clearly describe the features and benefits of your products.
Suggested Live Chat Vendors to review
LivechatINC – http://www.livechatinc.com/
Zopim – https://www.zopim.com/
Here is a great study conducted by LivechatINC on what people most want with Livechat.
I hope this article has helped you see why we chose to implement livechat onto our site. If you have any experiences with Livechat on your site. Share them in the comments below.
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