Modern Retail

Live Chat to Revolutionise Online Experience

Customer Service

Live chat has been proven to be one of the most successful forms of customer service, growing in popularity amongst retailers.

When compared to other methods of sales support, live chat comes out on top. A staggering 42% of customers prefer to use this feature, rather than any other form of communication to resolve queries.

As the demand for instant responses grows, consumers report the highest levels of satisfaction when using this feature. When responding to queries, live chat typically results in 73% of site visitors being satisfied, compared to 61% for email and 44% for customer service over the phone.

It’s not only customers who benefit from the use of live chat. Customer service software company, Kayako, report that 79% of businesses say it has a positive effect on sales, revenue and customer loyalty.

Today, over 30% of customers expect live chat on a website. This figure rises dramatically among mobile users, with 62% of those on a mobile device expecting it to be available.

Here are a few ways to implement successful live chat features on your site.

Make it easily accessible

Don’t bury your live chat within help and support pages. Gain a reputation for being customer-focused and let site visitors immediately know that you are on hand to answer any queries they may have. Create eye catching pop-ups or clearly labelled sections to create an instant sense of trust. Customers are far less likely to abandon a purchase when they are reassured that they can communicate with the company during their journey.

Respond quickly

Don’t keep potential customers waiting. The immediacy of response is important, with 42% of people saying that not having to wait on hold is one of the biggest benefits. Where it’s not possible to have a customer service agent respond immediately, create automated messages to begin the conversation.

Not only will this make customers feel they are valued, automated messaging can keep users occupied through welcome messages and answers to FAQs.

Ensure you do not keep those on your site waiting too long, as 84% of consumers have given up with on-site communication due to slow replies or unsatisfactory responses.

Gather relevant information

Gathering relevant information can reduce the time spent responding to questions, helping to fast-track queries and improve efficiency.

From customers’ names to order numbers, you can choose the most relevant information to understand ahead of the conversation. This can be automated, meaning the most important information is collected while customers wait for an agent to be available.

Visitors can even be filtered, directing queries to the relevant customer service assistant by having them select the service they require.

Make it personal

Introduce the customer service agent with a name and picture, coming across as customer-centric, as opposed to a faceless brand.

Find out the user’s name so the conversation can be tailored to create a more personal feel to responses. To save time, this can be done through automated messaging, asking before the customer service agent enters the conversation.

Keep it on brand

Communication should remain consistent with your brand identity. An example of this is jewellery retailer Goldsmiths, who introduced video chat with sound. This was done to merge their personalised instore service with the digital world, encouraging online purchases from those who prefer an experience.

Create memorable communication

As well as providing a high level of customer service, give users the option to receive a copy of the chat session. This valuable action is only offered by 55% of companies and means consumers are able to refer back to the conversation dialogue with ease.

Use feedback to improve

Understand your customers’ preferences, helping to improve future service. Request feedback at the end of chat sessions to understand areas for improvement and put these into action moving forward.

Offering one-to-one interaction and timely responses to questions, live chat is expected to continue its rapid growth. According to SuperOffice, it is expected to grow by as much as 87% in the next year.

If you’re not already making the most of this feature, what are you waiting for? It’s time to put these tips to the test.

Holly Worthington

Holly Worthington

Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail's Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today's ever-changing market.