For most eCommerce and Marketing Managers, an investment in any new technology or outsourced service must promise an uptick in conversion and a high return on investment. An investment in live chat comes with exactly the same expectations.

For us, live chat isn’t just about providing your existing customers with a helping hand to keep them smiling. For us, live chat is also about driving more sales from your website, preventing new visitors from dropping out of the sales funnel (never to return) and ultimately delivering an ROI which pleases every individual within your business.

Many people are unsure on how live chat can increase conversions and ultimately deliver this positive ROI. Below, we have set out a few key ways in which this can be done. If you’re interested in finding out exactly what kind of return on investment The Chat Shop can provide for your business, check out our Free Live Chat ROI Calculator here.


Buyer support
Customers left bumbling around your site on their own, encounter many problems. As soon as an online consumer faces a problem on an eCommerce website, they can abandon their shopping at the click of a button.

No matter how good you think your buying process is, there will always be consumers in need of assistance. You shouldn’t let confusing delivery charges, payment errors or ‘out-of-stock’ messages get in the way of sales.

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Providing support right when website visitors need it can mean the difference between an abandoned shopping basket and a sale. According to the Baymard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.53%. Live chat agents trained in providing the right advice and support at different stages of the online journey can make all of the difference. Without awesome live chat agents that know how to fix your eCommerce problems and convert troubled customers into buyers, buyer support won't increase conversions.

You might not have customers getting stuck every second of every day but they all add up to a decreased sales volume; offering support to buyers increases conversions in these situations.


Easy to find, easy to use
To encourage visitors to take advantage of the support that is provided, it needs to be easy to find and easy to use. When a visitor is browsing your website and faces a problem, your website is where they need to be provided a solution.

Live chat means that online shoppers don’t have to switch communication channels by getting in touch via phone or email; live chat provides support just a click away from where problems are faced.

Live chat technology is also easy for anyone to use - click to open the window and then start typing your message. Website visitors can also continue to browse your site whilst receiving support. Live chat agents need to make chat easy for customers in need of support though; agents need to decipher what the exact cause of a visitor's problem is and then clearly explain how it can be solved.

Providing solutions to customer frustrations means more sales. If customer service isn’t easy to access though, there is little point investing in a customer service team at all. Live chat that is set up and managed correctly offers a fantastic return-on-investment. More shoppers get their problems fixed and you make more sales.


The perfect product for every customer
Live chat doesn’t just increase sales by acting as a customer service channel; it can also be used specifically for persuading online shoppers to buy.

Selling via live chat requires a lot of skill from the live chat agents managing the system. Consumers will often start a chat to get advice on the right size or specification for their needs – the live chat agent should use this opportunity to make sure a sale is made.

The agent shouldn’t just try and sell any product, they need to provide a valuable recommendation to the shopper and make sure it is a product that they really enjoy. We always provide shoppers with valuable recommendations; we’re not trying to grift consumers, we’re trying to make them buy…and then come back and buy again, and again, and again…

A direct and open conversation with a customer can allow for the perfect product recommendation. You can find out exactly why they need the product, when they will use it, whether it will have a dual purpose; this high-quality, loyalty-inspiring recommendation is one which automated systems cannot provide. Structuring the way in which you talk to potential customers will help to make sure that you can provide excellent product recommendations time and time again. We use our very own in-house Explore Identify Match methodology to guide customers to the perfect product which will encourage them to return time and time again. First we use questions to Explore the customer's wants, then Identify their needs and what specifications may restrict their decision, before finally finding a Match between wants, needs and product. We do all of this in every live chat conversation.

Personalisation is becoming increasingly important in eCommerce, with 73% of consumers surveyed by Accenture saying that they prefer to do business with retailers who use personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant. You can't get recommendations much more relevant than when you have a one-to-one with the customer.


Cross-selling
After providing the perfect product recommendation, what comes next? The perfect accompanying product recommendation.

A meaningful conversation between website visitor and live chat agent can result in learning a whole lot of information about products which you sell, that the customer might need. Just as mentioned before, this isn’t about selling anything and everything to the customer but a case of providing a valuable service (whilst increasing your ROI with more sales revenue).

Here at The Chat Shop we don't just work to solve the problems of our clients' customers, we also actively work to increase the number of products which they buy and the average order value of the eCommerce website. We don't try to coax or deceive shoppers into buying though, we recognise useful products which they might enjoy based on the in-depth conversations which we have with them.

For example, if our live chat agents were managing live chat on a wine seller’s website, they’d enquire if the customer was buying the dozen red and white for a special occasion. If they were, perhaps they’d need some Champagne for a toast or at least some nice new glasses to drink from.

 

Basket abandonment
We’ve already discussed the bane of abandonment at the beginning of this post and we’re going to draw your attention to it once more, in a different light.

Basket abandonment continuously eats at the bottom line of all eCommerce stores. When an online shopper knows that they want to purchase a product, but can’t, then they will probably reach out to customer service.

But what if, at this stage of their buyer journey, they are indifferent from where they actually buy the product from? If they face an error on your website or simply get lost, they will probably just go to a competitor’s website instead. An incredibly high 25% of eCommerce customers which abandon the checkout process state complicated website navigation as a reason for doing so.

With some live chat technical know-how, consumers can be prevented from simply leaving immediately. When shoppers face an ‘out-of-stock’ message, a payment error or dawdle in checkout, we can pop them a message to offer help without them even having to ask for it. We use behavioural targeting to decide which users we should engage with; live chat analytics allow us to zero in on website visitors which are likely to leave the conversion process. Consumers are served a relevant invite to chat based upon the problem that they are probably facing.

This is proactive live chat. Proactive live chat can curb basket abandonment rates and increase your live chat ROI when a careful analysis of your website and its visitors is completed on a regular basis. We regularly review how we can improve the ways in which we engage customers so that we can convert the most sales possible.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, for us, live chat isn't just about customer service. Live chat has the ability to increase conversions on your website whilst putting a smile on your customers' faces.

The technology needs to be set up and used in an effective manner for it to work in this way; although live chat is a plug and play technology, it works best when analytics and understanding go into its operation. Having the right team of well trained agents handling conversations with customers is also crucial for turning live chat into more than just a piece of technology.

If you're interested in finding out what the ROI of live chat on your website could be, use our Free Live Chat ROI Calculator now!

 

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