Table of Contents

    10 Live Chat Best Practices For Ecommerce

    Live chat is a powerful way to give top-level customer service, learn about your customers, and gather information. When done right, it can be your number one sales tool. 

    There are certain practices every online business must adopt when using chat in order to achieve desired results.

    Check out these tips that will help you capture the enormous value that a chat channel can add to your online store.

    Why Do You Need Live Chat For Ecommerce?

    Live chat is the single most effective way to give superior customer service in the online world. Compared to email, phone, or social media, a chat channel gives a unique opportunity for an answer right here, right now. 

    In the world of e-commerce where impulse-buying is the engine, this line of immediate communication with customers is an absolute must.

    Check out the following tips that will help you utilize the power of live chat for more sales, better customer service, and building relationships.

    Don’t Be Too Flashy

    Your job is to assist visitors, not distract them. A flashy oversized prompt for a chat can take potential customers away from the most important thing - the products! The best ways to strike the balance are:

    • Make sure the chat icon is visible, but not too big, flashy or bright
    • Trigger the chat at key moments where potential customers might be getting stuck

    Remember, the goal is to help customers along, not interrupt them.

    Make Live Chat Available Across The Entire Website

    A common mistake is to have live chat accessible on the homepage only. The obvious issue with this is the fact that visitors might need help on the product page, check-out page, or the terms and conditions page.

    You want to be available for them across all pages of the website, so they can always have access to the chat without having to go back to the homepage.

    Use The Power Of Chatbots

    A chatbot is a piece of software that is used to carry out a conversation on chat, based on predefined responses.

    For example, an automatic message of “Hello Mary, how can we help you?” will be extremely effective to give an immediate welcome to potential clients, instead of having to wait for five whole minutes for someone to get to the chat. 

    As fast as anyone may be, nobody can be as fast as a chatbot that sends out an immediate message based on predetermined scenarios.

    Another useful way to use the chatbot is to create pre-written responses for common issues.

    Questions such as “how long does shipping take?” or “what is your returns policy?” are highly likely to be repeated. 

    By configuring these responses in advance, the chatbot will be able to send them to a customer that is asking these questions.

    Using chatbots saves time, makes you look more professional, and boosts customer satisfaction.

    Read More: Top 5 Live Chat Software Solutions

    Be Polite And Service-Oriented

    When using chat to give service, you never want to provide short or curt messages. This is a golden opportunity to make the customer feel welcome and build a relationship.

    Always give your customers clear and comprehensive answers, and ask if there is anything else you can do to help them at the end of every chat. 

    Remember, written messages can be perceived differently to face-to-face communication or even a phone call.

    This is why a surplus of manners is needed when communicating via live chat, and this is especially true when dealing with complaints.

    Approach Your Visitors, Smartly 

    Your live chat should be visible and accessible, but not intrusive. However, sometimes visitors get frustrated due to not finding what they are looking for, and simply leave. Recognizing this pattern of behavior and addressing it at the exact right time can save a potential sale. 

    For example, when a visitor is about to hit the “back” button out of the website, you can approach the customer with a message like: “If you did not find what you were looking for, how about we help you?”

    Make It Personal

    Using a chat system that shows the name and picture of the agent can make a big difference for the customer. We can all understand that chatting with an anonymous agent does not do much to build up credibility or a relationship. 

    Choosing a cheerful picture with a color scheme to match, and providing the first name of the agent clearly visible, will create the friendly and personal atmosphere you are looking for.

    Also, work the first name of the visitor into the chatbot conversation, so as to give a personalized experience.

    Using “hello John” instead of “hello visitor” will certainly have a more positive effect overall.

    Use Chat History Wisely

    Make sure that all agents have access to customer profiles and details from prior chats.

    There is nothing more frustrating for customers than having to explain themselves again and again, and they will greatly appreciate the agent being able to pull up the last conversation for reference.

    An added bonus: this method makes your company look more professional, trustworthy, and coordinated.

    Use Knowledge Bases

    A solid knowledge base is a great resource to have on any website today. It can save time and help sales processes along as they are happening.

    You can take this to the next level by integrating your knowledge base with your chat. 

    Before an agent is called onto the chat, the chatbot can invite the customer to search through the knowledge base to find an answer to their question.

    Of course, they can opt to speak to a human at any time. This is a win-win situation for the customer and the agent, saving time and energy.

    Don’t Forget To Tag

    Tagging is the most important thing you can do to make sure your chat flow is working efficiently.

    Once a visitor has communicated that they need to chat with an agent, tagging the conversation will make sure it is routed to the right person within the company. 

    For example, if a customer has a billing inquiry, it would be suboptimal to send them to the sales department as they will not get what they need on the spot, and will be passed around. Make sure there are as few steps as possible between the customer asking for information and getting it, with the help of tagging.

    Collect Customer information

    A live chat presents an opportunity to gather customer information and expand your marketing efforts. Inviting visitors to opt in to further communication in the future will enable you to add them to your mailing list and send promotions later on.

    This needs to be done gracefully and only handled once the visitor has received the information they came to the chat seeking.

    Bottom Line

    Live chat opens up a whole new world of opportunity when it comes to giving service to your customers and connecting with them.

    For impressing visitors and converting them into customers, the chat window is probably the most important tool. 

    By using the tips above to maximize the effect of your live chat, you will be able to expand your customer base, enhance the customer experience, build loyalty, and make more sales overall.