Live Chat has become an industry standard in eCommerce. We run live chat for over 100 eCommerce stores, and regularly see a well run Live Chat strategy increase site-wide conversion rate 10-30%. You can see how in the Live Chat Strategy Blueprint.
Even if you’re already if you’re using Live Chat, you’re probably making at least a few of these mistakes. This frustrates your visitors and kills conversion rate.
If you walked into a brick and mortar retail store and wanted to ask a question, how would you feel if the store employees refused to speak with you until you filled out some paperwork…
Why would you do that on your website? It’s a horrible experience for customers if you do this on live chat.
Yes, it makes sense for you as the business to have their name, email, phone, and more info about what they might want to buy from you – but you can get that in other ways during the chat.
And if you’re doing this just to automatically add them into your email list or marketing system, you can do that during the chat too.
In short, a good live chat strategy does not put a wall in front of prospects and customers that want to ask you a question ; )
Visitors are on your website at all times, including nights and weekends. If you’re not available to help them, then you’re going to miss out on a lot of sales opportunities. Your live chat needs to be online constantly.
After business hours, prospects will still be browsing your site.
Research-based sites with a personal focus often see a big spike in the late evening.
B2B focused sites spike in the morning, but do have strong volume in afternoon and late evening, including slight growth in the evening in some cases.
Apparel / fashion focused sites seem to be pretty consistent through afternoon and evening, sometimes increasing late evening but not noticeably.
The weekend is also a popular time for website visitors, even on B2B sites. Below is a screenshot from one of our B2B customers that sells to machine shop in the US.
What if you’re not online enough? Visitors that chat convert 4-10X higher than visitors that don’t chat. Even though you might be away from the computer at 645pm on a Wednesday evening, your prospects and customers are still on your site. You need to be available to chat for customers.
The best live chat schedule – If you’re going to maximize the results that you get from managing website chat yourself, vs having us manage it for you, you should be online from 8am CST – 11pm EST (15 hours per day) every day of the month (including weekends).
If you only manage it during business hours, or “when you can”, then there will be visitors on your website that don’t get the help they need and you’ll be missing opportunities.
If someone is on a single product page for quite awhile, but still browsing around the page, they’re probably looking for specific information they’re not finding.
If someone puts something into their shopping cart, but then hits the back button, they might have a hesitation that is stopping them from completing their purchase.
In these situations (and many more we track), configure live chat to be there at the perfect time to offer help.
Only having a “Click to Chat” button on your website means you’re missing out on a lot of conversations with otherwise interested prospects. Log Me In, Inc. published a study showing that chatters who engaged via a proactive chat are 8x more likely to convert than visitors who don’t chat.
If you’re going to manage the website chat system yourself, make sure you configure really personalized greetings and track the effectiveness of those greetings over time.
Next time you go to a restaurant, ask the server a simple question and watch how the service is. You need to be just as good on your live chat.
This would probably take 1–3 minutes max.
Would you be angry or frustrated if he went back to the kitchen, then served another guest their drink, then chatted with another staff member, then took a smoke break, then finally came back and gave you an answer after 15 minutes?
When you don’t respond quickly on live chat to your website visitors questions, they get frustrated or angry.
While some tech-savvy website visitors will browse around while you look for an answer, the majority will sit there and watch the chat box waiting for an answer.
You need to answer their responses fast, and keep them informed the entire time re: progress.
If you take longer on your live chat responses, it’s not just ineffective. It will hurt sales. People that would’ve otherwise purchased without chat will get frustrated with the lack of response and leave.
If you’re doing website chat and using these best practices to maximize results, you are going to get a lot of chats throughout the day. If you’re not getting enough chats to fill someone’s time, then you’re doing it wrong…
If your team is 100% dedicated to being available on the website chat and engaging with visitors, then you’ll be fine. But if they do any of the below, you’ll be leaving opportunities on the table or damaging the reputation of your business.
This sounds extreme, but in each of the above situations, you only have two and neither will produce a good result for your business.
At Help Flow, all our chat agents do is website chat every day, all day. We manage 1,000’s of website chats per day for our customers, and constantly improve our systems and processes to make sure the visitor is having the best experience possible.
If you can’t do the same, then it may not make sense to manage the website chat system yourself.
You don’t need to use our live chat service, but you should definitely be offering live chat to customers. Avoid common mistakes that frustrate visitors and kill conversion rate by downloading the Live Chat Strategy Blueprint.