A term we often use at The Chat Shop and on our blog is "proactive chat". We've given many brief explanations to what proactive chat is and the occasional lengthy explanation too. This post seeks to finally put an end to that burning question, which I know keeps you up at night: "what is proactive live chat?"
To help describe proactive live chat in all its glory I'm going to explain another type of live chat first. Confusing...I know...but I'm sure you'll keep up. First I'm going to explain reactive live chat.
What is reactive live chat?
So reactive live chat is the kind of live chat which you are most probably already familiar with. Unless you got distracted whilst reading the first few lines of this post, reactive live chat, in a nutshell, is that little purple box at the bottom right of this page.
It's sat there waiting for you to click and connect with an agent. And there's an agent sat there waiting patiently to answer all the questions you desire.
Reactive live chat is a useful feature to have across your site (we have it on every page of ours). For customer service scenarios in particular or situations where a potential customer might need a little more information, it's perfect for the site visitor to click and get their questions answered quickly.
So reactive live chat is a fantastic resource for a site visitor in need of a little help; reactive live chat is pretty much a no-frills feature for your business though.
Yes. You can solve the problems of customers and leads when they come and click and probably convert them...but if barely anyone has a problem (which is of course great) or just generally don't click, it's not going to achieve a lot. The average engagement with reactive live chat is about 2% of your site traffic. In a non-chat example, reactive live chat is the quiet, socially awkward person in the corner of the room at the party. They'll probably end up talking to about 2% of the party but that's mainly because someone will come up to them asking where the toilet is or if they know if there is any red wine left.
Reactive does have a place on your site though. There will be the site visitors which come looking for it, ones which really need help. If you want to get the most from live chat you should also be using proactive live chat (which you will be relieved to know, I'm finally about to get round to explaining).
What is proactive live chat?
If reactive live chat is the socially awkward person at the party, proactive live chat is the person that exuberates confidence and has many positive interactions with others. Opposed to engaging with just 2% of site traffic,LiveChat's recent study showed an average engagement rate of 7.28% with proactive live chat. With the highly targeted strategies which we use, we get engagement rates of up to (and sometimes even above) 10%.Proactive live chat is (unsurprisingly) proactive at establishing a conversation between live chat agent and site visitor. This higher engagement means that live chat can achieve much more on your site. It means that better customer service can be provided, more sales converted and more leads generated.
It's all very well and good me explaining the benefits of proactive live chat but I'm still not really explaining what it is or how it works.
If you've been on this page for long enough now you'll have been invited to have a chat with one of our agents. That is pretty much proactive live chat, the short explanation of it anyway.
We've got a proactive greeting set-up on this page to invite you to chat after 90 seconds of reading (if you've visited our site a few times before or visited a few pages it may not have invited you - I'll get to why in a second). A proactive is when the chat pops up with a message from the live chat agent before you have clicked on the little tab at the bottom.
The proactive gives us, the company, a chance to engage people when we think that they need a little further information or when we think they could leave if we don't get their attention. In this case we set the proactive to 90 seconds because I think that after 90 seconds of reading my post, you'll decide whether you want to bother reading the whole thing or if you just want to leave (it would be quite nice if you did keep reading). We don't want you to leave of course, we want you to read more of our posts and come and talk to us about live chat. Those that would have left around the 90 seconds mark have now been encouraged to stay, chat and engage further with the site.
If you've visited the site before, the proactive greeting may not have greeted you because we probably thought there was a better time to try and engage you.
Proactive live chats can be popped up on various occasions based on a set of rules. We can invite you after a certain amount of time based on how many times you've visited or what pages you've viewed. We could invite you if you've flicked back and forth through certain pages. Or we could invite you to chat based on what you've searched on our blog. The list is endless and that's why proactive live chat gives you a chance to engage visitors which are taking a long time to make a purchase decision, which are about to abandon, which can't decide which product to buy or which can't complete a lead capture form.
Proactive live chat means you can proactively help people that have a problem, persuade people to buy and give prospects encouragement to get in touch.
I hope that I've finally given a good answer to the question of "what is proactive live chat?" If not, you could always engage with our live chat and ask one of our outstanding live chat agents to explain it further.
Looking to get more out of live chat with a proactive strategy? Our consulting services can help you.
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