Insightful Chat Search: Enhancing Product Discovery

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Jon Tucker
CEO HelpFlow
Insightful Chat Search: Enhancing Product Discovery

Optimizing your website for maximum conversions can be challenging. Implementing insightful chat search can streamline the process by providing direct feedback on user interactions. While testing various setups and tracking conversion rates is a methodical approach, it’s often costly in terms of design resources and can be disheartening when outcomes don’t align with expectations. Incremental improvements in conversion rates typically require a significant investment of time.

It’s possible to just have your visitors tell you the perfect way to convert them on your website…

By using logic creatively, you can basically have your visitors tell you the perfect way to set up your website for maximum conversions and then get that in place quickly for all visitors. This is quick, easy, and reliable since the insight comes directly from your visitors. It’s also pretty simple to execute, especially if you already have live chat in place with your team.

At HelpFlow, we provide 24/7 live chat teams for over 100 e-commerce stores. We have driven over $100 million in revenue through millions and millions of chats. In addition to driving sales, a big part of what we do is help our clients unlock insights from chat conversations with their visitors. Using these insights, our clients are able to massively increase the performance of their entire website – not just for people we chat with.

In this post, I will share how you can get insights from your own chat efforts to improve your product search and discovery process – one of the most important elements of conversion on your site.

Insightful Chat Search: Find the Customer’s Starting Point

Insightful Chat Search find customer

When visitors land on your website, they’re usually searching for something specific. Traditional navigation and search functionalities serve as a solid foundation. However, integrating an insightful chat search can refine their experience by narrowing down choices, guiding them more efficiently towards what they’re seeking on your platform.

But the problem is, what the heck are they looking for? How can you narrow that down?

You can identify this by testing different chat greetings and seeing how visitors respond. Once you’ve identified the right options that spark up quality live chat conversations, you can tweak your navigation to focus on these elements.

Here's an example...

  • Let’s say you sell a whole bunch of types of phone cases.
  • Your live chat greeting should start with something like “Hi, I wanted to let you know I’m online if you have any questions”. But then, test different options like “Are you looking for a case that’s more sleek and stylish, or rugged and durable?” VS “What type of phone do you have?”.
  • Your default navigation probably focuses on the type of phone they have, but you’ll realize quickly that that’s not the primary thing visitors are thinking when they get to your site. It’s obvious they will end up needing a phone case for their iPhone 11… but more of what they’re thinking about at first is quality and style.
  • Also, you’ll notice that visitors get hung up a bit with what phone they have since they don’t know off the top of their head.

I’m cheating with the above example since it’s something we’ve learned from an existing client, but it represents the reason this strategy works pretty well. If you sell phone cases, I can almost guarantee your primary navigation focuses first on the actual phone type. But that doesn’t perform best, and it will become obvious quickly with chat testing.

Find the Customer’s Filtering Criteria

Once you know that customers are primarily focused on style, you can craft your website navigation to focus mainly on style options… THEN, filter down by phone type in a later step.

But again, with testing in a chat conversation, you will start to realize where friction occurs with visitors as they consider different types of factors related to the product.

Sticking with the phone example…

  1. A visitor might respond to the first greeting with, “I’m looking for something that’s rugged and durable because my kids tend to throw my phone around sometimes. But I also want something a bit more minimal (not a huge bulky case).”
  2. You can then test different ways of asking what type of phone they have. Again, I’m cheating since I have experience in this niche… but you’ll quickly find that asking “What type of phone do you have?” doesn’t quite work. Visitors will know they have an iPhone, but then many will get confused by what type of iPhone they have.
  3. You can start to simplify this process by asking, “Do you have an iPhone or an Android?” since those are most common. That ensures the conversation keeps going since it’s an easy and obvious answer. That “velocity” of the conversation matters.
  4. From there, rather than asking “what type of iPhone” you can test leading them through potential confusion points with your question… for example, “What type of iPhone do you have? If you can tell me your model number from settings > general model number, I can tell you the exact type”.

As you have more of these conversations, you’ll figure out the sticking points and different ways to help visitors break through them with a different way of leading the conversation.

Determining the optimal way to filter products for your customers is crucial. Once established, you can collaborate with your design team to incorporate these filters into your website. While engaging in a direct conversation with each visitor is impractical, implementing an insightful chat search can emulate a similar interactive experience, helping visitors find what they need through your interface design.

For example, for the “iPhone Type” question above, you could create a simple sidebar widget that shows visitors how to find the model number and then immediately filters the products by that type once they enter their model number into your site.

Again, what you’re trying to do here is identify the sequence of filtering criteria and how to best position it.

Sell with the Customer’s Language

Insightful Chat Search sell with language

Once you figure out the best way to help customers find the right products, you can use chat conversations to identify specifically how visitors talk about their problems and ideal solutions. This is marketing 101, but it’s something that is very powerful and easy to implement when you have a chat conversation with people telling you their pain points and solutions.

For example, in the above example, the customer was looking for a phone that was durable, so it wouldn’t break when their kids were using it but still looked good (minimal etc.). Someone else might be looking for the same, but mention their outdoor lifestyle rather than their kids. For products that fit these criteria, you could literally craft this into the actual product descriptions.

For example, “If you’re looking for a case that doesn’t look and feel like a brick but will hold up to the craziness of your kids or the fast-paced adventure lifestyle you live, the Awesomcase 5000 is for you!”.

Creating a product description isn’t overly complex, yet its effectiveness lies in mirroring the language customers use to express their needs and issues. By incorporating insightful chat search into your product descriptions, you can connect more authentically with customers, likely leading to higher conversion rates compared to standard descriptions.

What’s Next?

The key thing to apply here is to chat with your customers to get a clear idea of what they are thinking when they are looking for your product, and then integrate that into your website design and copy.

We run 24/7 live chat teams for 100+ stores and have seen how to best use live chat to drive sales while also leveraging chat conversations to improve your store.

If this strategy sparks ideas for you, I’m happy to get on a Strategy Call to talk through website navigation ideas from other clients that could apply for you – and also how to use chat to drive more sales in general.

Even if we never end up working together, you’ll get a ton of value you can apply since we’ve worked with so many stores.

Your Store Needs a 24/7 Live Chat Team

HelpFlow can drive sales by having our team of human agents available on live chat 24/7 to predict and save abandons before they happen, proactively reach out and engage with visitors via SMS and email after they abandon, and by answering visitor questions live on your website to convert visitors.

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