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At the beginning of February, I read a great piece in Econsultancy called “Why do online retailers need live chat?” Live chat, combining the ease of e-mails with the immediacy of the phone, is an excellent way of communicating with customers, explained the article.

This is undoubtable. According to BoldChat, 31% of customers in the UK and US say they would be more likely to purchase after a live chat.

Also, a customer service benchmark conducted at eDigital, rated live chat as the best customer service channel at 73% (e-mail was rated at 61% while phone was at the bottom with 44%).

However, I think that just having a constant link to a live chat tool is actually not enough. You need to take it one step further. Optimization, in this, is key.

Live chat works on the premise that you can easily and efficiently connect with customers but it also is a way of communicating with individuals.

You need to connect with people in the same way that a friendly sales assistant would in a shop. This is not your FAQ page: personalize. Here are three quick tips to personalize your live chat:

1. Make live chat feel welcome: trigger it when it’s needed

Adapt your live chat to your user’s journey. By triggering the live chat at specific moments in their experience on your website you can optimize the helpfulness of the tool.

For example, have you noticed that they have been lingering on a specific page for a while? Might this be a sign that they are stuck? Or have they been looking at one of your help or FAQ pages?

Sky are a great example of this. Their live chat box is also non-intrusive as it doesn’t open up on a separate page but rather appears on the page, allowing the customer to view products simultaneously.

2. Abolish gobbledygook and get hyperlocal

Different customers will be coming from different places. By targeting people in their own language, you can communicate with them directly.

If you were selling in a shop in Spain, you wouldn’t ask someone if they needed help in Arabic or English would you? Similarly, live chat can never sleep- it needs to adapt itself for different time zones.

A great example of this is Childrensalon. Through determining the customer's location the site is able to activate a slider using  the customer’s hometown language.

3. The face that launched a thousand conversions 

The more the customer feels the personality of your brand, the better. Video live chat is a great way of expressing personal warmth and engaging with your customer.

Schuh has a great way of doing this. Their video chat offers you two options: you can choose between text and video.

The customer feels subtly empowered with choice. It is also useful to note that you can see them, they can’t see you. This ensures that the customer feels comfortable, allowing you to shop in your pyjamas!

Live chat is a great tool to speak directly with your customer and get immediate feedback. It can enhance user experience and ensure that clients have your ear.

By personalizing this further, you can target the people that want your help atspecific moments of their journey on your website. Just like a shop assistant in a local shop, you need to allow your customers a space to speak without being intrusive.

Ian McCaig

Published 28 February, 2014 by Ian McCaig

Ian McCaig is Founder at Qubit and a contributor to Econsultancy.

29 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

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Konrad

Ian, thank you for this article, I strongly agree that adapting live chat to 
customer's journey is a big benefit for them. I often find live chat 
functionality too intrusive, especially when live chat popup window is 
displayed on top of the content I'm trying to read. In my opinion, showing chat upon specific triggers (for example after viewing certain number of similar products) would be much more helpful.

over 2 years ago

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HudsonW

Thanks for sharing the blog, emphasizing how to personalize the live chat. Live chat maximizes your online presence thereby increasing chances of conversions or sales.

over 2 years ago

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Joe Goode

Interesting article - thanks Ian. I'm currently running a Live Chat trial but using our store staff to provide styling advice. Initially we've opted for a proactive model where we serve a chat offer based on certain customer rules. However the take up and volumes are very low, I think this is because our customers are finding it too intrusive when they just want to shop on their terms, rather than ours.

The next steps are we're running a reactive chat button on permanent display across the site during the operating hours. We will then run both the reactive and proactive chat concurrently.

In terms of results so far, I'm really happy with the CSAT ratings, currently around 90% customer satisfaction. Conversion to sale is around 10%. So, I just need to get volumes up to prove the business case

It would be interesting to hear anyone elses thoughts on providers they've worked with or would recommend. What are your thoughts on Co-Browse?

over 2 years ago

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LiveChat

Thanks for using LiveChat logo in the article, but you should at least refer or link it to our website - http://livechatinc.com

over 2 years ago

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zain ali, Marketing Executive at LiveAdmins JLT

It`s true that live chat is a vast field and cannot end so easily. I have read many content on live chat services but the information provided by you is really helpful. Live chat software allows many useful tips to handle your customer and business in a good way. You can now directly communicate with your client by implementing on it and this field is increasing day by day for customer convenience. You can also visit http://www.liveadmins.ae/live-chat-software/ for more information about live chat software.

about 2 years ago

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