22 April 2021

What Is Proactive Live Chat and Why Is It So Effective? | Aaron Henriques

It goes without saying that having the ability to stand out and provide excellent customer service is important for almost any business – memorable service will foster loyal customers who recommend to others time and time again.

There are two types of customer service. The first is reactive customer service, whereby you respond to queries that come in through email, chat or phone. Then there’s proactive customer service. This type of service involves proactively reaching out to customers to ask if they need help – like how a shop assistant at a department store would.

Reactive customer service is fine, but for businesses wanting to go above and beyond for their customers, proactive service wins every time. You see, people don’t always like to ask for help. Perhaps they feel like they’re being annoying, or perhaps they don’t know who or what to ask. By proactively engaging with a customer and being the one to initiate a conversation, they are so much more likely to engage back and say, “yes, actually, I would like some help.”


Proactive customer service on your website

So, we know that proactive customer service is a great way of engaging your customers. But what about proactive customer service on your website? After all, your website is often the face of your business and potential customers will browse it before making a buying decision. Proactive live chat enables your business to proactively pop up to website visitors – at the time they’re browsing and interested – and engage them in conversation. We’ve found that 60-85% of our live chats are triggered from proactively initiating it, rather than reactive chats where the visitor would start the conversation themselves. This suggests that customers really do appreciate being invited to chat.


How does proactive live chat work?

Proactive live chat systems like ours allow you to customise which website visitors receive proactive messages. You can target website visitors based on a range of conditions – from the time of day, the web page they’re on, search words they used, their location and so much more. This allows you to create bespoke proactive messages for specific types of website visitor, meaning that they receive highly relevant chat invitations that make them feel that the service is personalised and will be helpful.

You could, for example, configure a proactive message saying “Hey! I see you’re looking at our women’s bicycles. Would you like help choosing one?” on your product page for women’s bicycles. Or, you could configure a message that pop ups to visitors who clicked onto your website via your Facebook advert that says “Hi, would you like to learn more about our free trial?” Now that’s proactive customer service.


How does proactive live chat increase sales?

Proactive live chat provides a personalised customer experience, where website visitors can be sent messages that are contextualised and relevant to them. This is done in real-time, while potential customers are browsing and purchase intent is high. Chat agents can provide immediate assistance, alleviating any pain points or concerns and helping the customer to feel more positive about the company. This results in the customer feeling more confident in going ahead with a purchase. In fact, a study by Forrester shows that reactive live chat shows a return on investment of 15%, whereas proactive live chat returns 105% – that’s a huge percentage increase.

Furthermore, 52% of consumers admit to abandoning a cart when they can’t find the answers they need online. If it’s inconvenient or too much effort to contact the business in order to get those answers, the consumer will simply leave the website and not go through with a purchase. Proactive service involves the business making the first move, alleviating the inconvenience and effort of the customer having to do so. This allows the business to catch and resolve roadblocks in the customer journey before they have the chance to cause frustration – resulting in a satisfied, happy customer who makes a purchase.


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