Are you considering adding live chat to your website? Wondering whether live chat can boost your conversion rates?
I’m sure you know this already – Convenience and consumer satisfaction go hand in hand. But so do consumer satisfaction and conversions..
Live chat is the most convenient way for customers to communicate with a company. And evidently, it has the highest consumer satisfaction rate too (at 92%).
But how and how much does live chat affect the conversion rates? That’s what you will find out in this article. What’s more, you’ll also learn a few live chat tactics that will help you increase conversions.
What is Live Chat, and How Does It Increase Conversions?
Live chat is a real-time communication channel that allows site visitors to chat with your customer service and/or sales team through a chat widget placed on your website.
Here’s why live chat helps in increasing conversion rate:
- It’s easy to access: Typically, a live chat widget is present on the bottom-right corner of the webpage. If website visitors have any questions, they can simply click on it and ask. However, if there’s no live chat option, the visitor has to find the contact form and fill it or email you the query, which they probably won’t, leading to missed opportunity of converting a lead into a sale.
- Live chat is fast: On average, consumers had to wait a mere 46 seconds in 2019 to get the first response from a live chat support team. That’s way faster than any other support channel. What does it mean? If looked at broadly, live chat allows you to start conversations, solve potential leads’ queries, help them through their decision-making process, and seal the deal before they get the window to look at your competitors’ products or services.
Also, 1 in 5 customers will stop using a product if a brand is slow to respond in the online chat. Given that live chat responses are typically fast, you will be boosting retention rates by 20%.
- Live chat helps cart abandoners solve questions conveniently: Forrester data shows 45% of US adults will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question. If you have the accessible live chat and ready-to-respond live chat agent(s), you can guide that 45% and ensure they make the purchase.
- Live chat is essential and adds to customer experience: 44% of online customers admit that instant communication (that live chat offers) is the most essential option a website can offer.
Live chat enhances the customer experience, and a better customer experience = more sales. Statistics also prove it: A personalized experience increases sales by almost 20%.
- Live chat lets you persuade: Besides call support and face-to-face meeting, live chat is the only option that enables real-time conversation. And real-time conversations allow you to persuade and convert the chatter.
Quick live chat for sales tip: Do not handle sales chats to customer service agents; instead, let salespeople handle sales queries. Customer service people don’t understand sales know-how as salespeople do.
- Live chat satisfies customers: The average customer satisfaction with live chat service exceeds 87% in the tech industry. So, unless a competitor company’s offering gets better than yours, customers will want to remain with you. In other words, the customer retention conversions will be high because of the customer satisfaction live chat brings.
- People prefer to give contact information through live chat: According to a survey, 42% prefer giving contact information through live chat. That means your visitors to lead conversion rate will instantly increase on installing live chat to your site.
Does Live Chat Increase Conversions? Some Data Proving that It Does
- A study by Forrester Research found that “Many online customers want help from a live person while shopping online, 44% of online customers stated that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important feature a website can offer.”
- As per another survey, 38% of respondents made their purchase due to the chat session.
- La misma encuesta señalaba que "los encuestados que no habían utilizado el chat en directo eran probablemente compradores en línea poco frecuentes, ya que el 36% realizaba una compra menos de una vez al mes, en comparación con el 18% de los chateadores".
- 62% of the survey takers are more likely to purchase again from the site that offered live chat support.
- 73% of customers find live chat to be the most satisfying way of communicating with a business. [Invespcro]
- If a visitor engages with a live chat agent, they’re 2.8 times more likely to end up purchasing a product. [CampaignMonitor]
- Live chat has the highest consumer satisfaction rate at 92%. [99Firms]
- Websites with chat support reported a 19% increase in revenue and a 38% increase in conversions. [99Firms]
- A 2013 survey by eDigital found live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel at 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone calls.
- Just adding a live chat feature on the website will lead to a 20% increase in conversion rates. [V-count]
- Live chat can increase leads by 40 percent. [Common Places Interactive]
- One reply via live chat can increase the conversion chances by 50%. One more reply, and the visitor is 100% more likely to convert. Similarly, 6 exchanged messages increase e-commerce conversion likeliness to nearly 250%. [Inflow]
- The same article also mentions an example: “In our conservative analysis for a client selling specialty pen kits, we saw overall conversion rates lift by 3.84% with a 6% overall lift in revenue once we implemented live chat on their store.”
- The personalized communication ability that live chat brings can increase customer engagement by as much as 55% and increase conversion rates by 51%. [SmarterHQ]
5 Proven Live Chat Tactics To Increase Conversions
Now that you know why live chat increases conversions and what kind of numbers you can expect, let me share a few tactics you can implement right away to meet those conversion expectations.
1. Be proactive
Proactive live chat refers to the chat you start with the website visitor instead of waiting for the visitor to send a message first.
48% of consumers favor companies that offer proactive live chat support. Plus, website visitors are more likely to respond to proactive sales chat rather than initiate the conversation themselves.
Proactive chatting helps in increasing customer satisfaction, reducing cart abandonment, increasing average order value, reducing customer support costs, and obviously, increasing conversion rate.
A proper proactive live chat implementation includes setting live chat triggers based on time, URL, visitor’s activity, and more.
Here are a few tips to win customers with proactive support:
- Time it right: Your goal is to have a conversation with the visitor, and starting the conversation at the right time is essential. Too early, and the visitor will close the chat window; too late, and the visitor might have left the website.
- Personalize the message: A personalized message is more likely to get a response than a generic one.
For example, we ask, “Can I answer any questions about our Slack integration?” on our Live Chat for Slack page. It’s specific to the page and hence better than a generic “Hey, how may I help you?”
- Let a chat agent handle it: Implementing a chatbot to answer frequent questions is a good idea, but the real magic happens when a professional handles the conversations. That’s where all the “boosting conversion rate” happens.
- Be a resource, not a distraction: Proactive chat can surely increase visitor to chat conversions, but if not done right, it becomes a distraction. For example, if a visitor is making a purchase, let them — don’t ask if they need any help.
You can A/B test your way to an ideal proactive chat plan. Start by analyzing the time visitors take to click on the live chat button and on which page.
2. Be mobile-friendly
Over 50% of live chat queries come from mobile devices. Therefore, ensure your live chat looks proper on a mobile device.
To start with, get proper live chat software. For example, Social Intents is mobile-optimized. Besides, here are a few tips to ensure mobile friendliness:
- Make sure the proactive chat triggers don’t hinder the customer’s website viewing experience.
- Keep the chat minimal. There’s only so much space on a mobile device.
- Know that the mobile chatter might take more time than desktop chatter. It’s primarily because of all the distractions and notifications on smartphones.
- Let the user chat on full screen. And ensure they can switch to the website and not lose the chat.
Social Intents chat on a smartphone.
3. Place live chat across the website
Many websites implement live chat only on the homepage or support page. Make sure yours is not one of those sites.
Why? Well, 45% of live chatters are more likely to convert on pages other than the homepage. Therefore, place it on all the pages except the ones where it’s just a distraction. For example, you don’t need a live chat on the Payment Processing page.
4. Let visitors leave a message outside business hours
One of the benefits of having an online business is that customers can discover it 24/7. Once you have a live chat feature on the website, people will likely want to ask queries through it.
Now, imagine a customer clicking on the live chat button and discovering they can’t chat because the business hours are over. That will be the same as someone walking to a brick-and-mortar store and finding the store closed, but more disappointing (because they expect to at least ask the query, if not get an instant reply).
Here’s the difference: the visitor can’t ask, “Hey, do you have the 55-inch Samsung TV?” when the brick-and-mortar store is closed. However, they can enter their name and email and ask, “Hey, when will this TV be available?” if you allow them to leave a message (in the live chat widget) outside business hours.
5. Follow live chat etiquette
The conversion rate will only increase if the live chat agents are professional, friendly, and persuasive. If they are the opposite, the business will go downhill because of visitors’ bad experiences and negative word of mouth.
Therefore, training agents to follow proper live chat etiquette is crucial. Here are few fundamental etiquettes to increase conversions:
- Answer promptly: No one likes to wait. In fact, the average live chat agent responded in 46 seconds in 2019, so visitors rather expect all sites to respond that fast. Here are a few tips to reduce the waiting period:
- Implement a chatbot to answer frequently asked questions so that the visitor gets the answer instantly. It also keeps chat agents from getting overwhelmed by the same question again and again.
- Integrate Social Intents to chat from your internal communications platform (Slack or MS Teams) and make all communications efficient.
- Use canned responses to save time.
- Be human: Start with a friendly greeting, introduce yourself, empathize with the visitor, apologize if it’s your mistake, perhaps joke a little.
- Understand the query properly: Knowing what the visitor wants to know is the first step to effective live chat communication.
- Keep a positive tone: “We are the best option for your needs” instead of “We are one of the options” will likely get more conversions.
- Ask for feedback: At the end of each chat session, ask the visitor if you can do anything differently and better. The feedback helps you understand the average visitor and adjust your communication for a higher conversion rate.
Adding a live chat feature to your site is a sure-shot way to increasing incoming queries, leads, and conversions. It also betters the overall customer experience, leading to more revenue, customer loyalty, and employee engagement.