For those serious about putting live chat to work on their site, for lead generation, customer service, or increasing conversion; live chat has to go beyond click to chat. The highest amount of engagement with website visitors comes from proactive chats rather than reactive. Using proactive greetings means chat levels 10 times higher than using reactive alone. And the more you engage with visitors, the more chance you have of helping them and/or converting them into a lead or sale.

Reactive chat is where the chat button simply waits on your site for a customer to come find it when they know that they need assistance. Proactive chat looks at engaging visitors based on their behaviour; a live chat greeting is triggered by the user's actions and it is you that begins the conversation rather than the visitor. Proactive chat can detect the consumer's problem as it happens, offer up assistance and lead the customer to solution and/or sale. Want a more detailed explanation of the differences between reactive and proactive chat? Check out our detailed post on the subject here.


How To Use Live Chat With Proactives

So when I say "How To Use Live Chat Effectively", I really mean "How To Use Live Chat With Proactives". As I said, proactive chats offer an opportunity for higher engagement with website visitors, but in the same way that you shouldn't just stick live chat on your site and hope for the best, you also shouldn't just throw in a couple of live chat greetings and hope for the best. Proactive invites need to be carefully formulated so that the right people are targeted at the right times. Proactives offer an opportunity for higher engagement and if they are well targeted then they can put that engagement to use.

There are quite a few generic proactives which can be used for a broad audience. Geo-location means you can offer a local greeting based on the users location. Number of visits means that you can welcome back a returning customer. Time on page means that you can regain the attention of someone staring into blank space on one of your web pages.

Generic greetings have little chance of starting a conversation which will detect a customer problem or create a sale. The most effective proactives come with highly customised greetings which look at detailed visitor behaviour. The possibilities with these are endless, and as luck would have it they are the most difficult to set-up, of course. But they are worth investing a little time in.

 


How To Use Live Chat With Highly Customised Proactives

Proactives can be set-up to invite visitors in all manner of situations, here's a few examples of the kind of things which you can do.

Error With Payment Page. A customer is ready to pay but gosh darn it, they can't. They've loaded up their basket and are about to checkout but they are hit with an error code after entering their card details. You can create a proactive live chat which fires when this occurs. Instead of the customer stumbling around for a solution or completely abandoning their basket, you reach out to offer support, assist them with the payment and make sure that you make that sale.

Long Time Navigating A Number Of Help Pages. Using a combination of greeting rules such as pages visited and time on page means that you can hone in on someone looking for help. Customers might sometimes trawl your site looking for an answer to their question rather than clicking chat; some customers might feel their question isn't important enough or simply can't see the chat window. Proactively asking the customer if they need assistance is great customer service.

Flicking Between Similar Products. If a customer can't decide which product to buy then they might put off purchasing for another day or go elsewhere to find the advice and product they need. Using a proactive greeting to spot indecisive customers and engage with them offers an opportunity to provide the customer with a personalised service. You can point them in the direction of the right product for their needs and also potentially upsell and cross-sell other products.

 

According to a study by LiveChat, custom proactive greetings have a traffic to chat engagement rate of 11.19% on average. Companies using custom proactive greetings such as the 'Error With Payment Page' example, experience 1.98% better satisfaction rates among users than those using default greetings. Custom greetings are the rarest proactive used though; LiveChat surveyed 32 million chats across 810 businesses and found that only 0.19% of proactives used a custom greeting. No doubt due to the complexity of set-up. Despite the complexity, you should look to use custom live chat greetings if you want to use live chat effectively.

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