Driving sales with live chat—here’s how it’s done

by | Dec 23, 2020 | Marketing, Public Relations

Brick and mortar businesses understand how important it is to have every visitor become a repeat customer. They can easily achieve this through personal touches that can make anyone in the store feel like a special guest. The same thing can be achieved with businesses working online using real-time communication tools, such as a live chat. Customers who engage with the live chat conversation feature of a business are much more likely to complete their purchase, as they will be making an informed decision.

However, smaller online businesses don’t have the capacity—or digital PR capabilities—to staff a live chat for more than a handful of hours throughout the week. According to research, businesses that choose and allocate time slots wisely can get a lot of benefits from having live chat support for their visitors and customers.

Similar to how brick and mortar businesses bring in extra help for holidays or weekends, online businesses should have someone available to chat with their visitors when the store is at its busiest hours. These companies can learn when their busiest times are by analyzing the traffic patterns of the store website. Once the timing has been chosen, businesses should be paying attention to the number of chat requests they receive and how many of those conversations are productive.

The business can then make those chat sessions even more effective by coordinating them with other marketing activities. For example, sending out a customer email newsletter means plenty of people will receive the email and promptly visit the store, which increases the traffic, which is the optimal time to activate the live chat feature for those visitors.

After a few hours of talking to these customers, businesses can get a fresh perspective on how the website visitors think about the company, their needs, and what they have issues with. This is valuable information that can improve the products and the storefront, which then increases sales. This strategy is also useful for visitors who have some basic inquiries, which can be answered in an FAQ page, as a way to have them avoid the live chat feature and have time to focus on the more complex inquiries.

As marketer Alexei Orlov of MTM has said, “There are few things as draining as trying to navigate a dozen different chat conversations happening at the same time, which is something businesses should be avoiding. It’s a lot more beneficial to provide excellent service to a single customer, giving out one-word responses to ten different visitors, who will end up unsatisfied, confused, and avoid making a purchase altogether.”

This is easily achieved by having the live chat option appear to certain customers at a certain time during their buying journeys, such as when they’re looking at their shopping cart when they’re reviewing pages that feature new products, when a customer is visiting the website from email promotions, or other marketing efforts, or even customers who are in certain locations.

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian founded 5WPR, a leading PR agency..