It’s no secret that proactive live chat is on the rise, thanks to the changing demands surrounding online shopping. It’s a powerful tool, with a study by the American Marketing Association showing that customers who use live chat are three times more likely to buy than those who don’t. There are many reasons behind why customers are more likely to buy from websites who use proactive live chat, including convenience, fast responses and the personalised service it can provide. Let’s take a look.
Proactive live chat provides a personalised experience
Personalisation is a key part of the customer experience, helping customers to feel cared about and appreciated; an ingredient in creating a loyal customer base. Personalisation can be expressed in many ways, from simply using the customer’s name to creating a bespoke service catered to their individual needs.
Proactive live chat allows you to configure targeted messages that will trigger to website visitors who fall into specific conditions. This means website visitors can receive chat invitations highly relevant to them and their situation.
You could, for example, configure a proactive chat that says: “Hello! Would you like some help choosing a new hat?” when a website visitor is browsing the “hat” section of your online clothing store. This message is much more specific than a generic “would you like some help?” Customers will feel as though they’re receiving a personalised service and be much more likely to respond to chat invitations – giving you the chance to answer any questions and convince them to buy.
Proactive live chat guides your website visitors through to a purchase decision
Imagine you walked into a brick and mortar store and there were no employees in sight. Would you buy from there? You’d definitely be less likely to. So why would you leave your website unattended? In a study by Forrester, 44% of consumers say that having questions answered live while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.
Having customer service support available when you’re looking to make a purchase is essential. With proactive live chat, you’re able to proactively engage with your website visitors and ask if they need help. You’re able to do this at critical points of the buying cycle, ensuring that you address pain points before they occur. Customers can ask those burning questions, allowing chat agents to alleviate their concerns and help them with their purchase.
Proactive live chat allows you to answer customer questions immediately
Just over half of consumers say they would abandon an online purchase if they didn’t get answers quickly enough. People are busy – and often impatient – so, when it comes to online shopping, they want answers fast. Failure at answering questions quickly will likely result in the customer abandoning their cart and moving on to a competitor instead.
In fact, according to Statista, 69.23% of online shopping carts were abandoned in 2017. That’s a truly staggering figure. Proactive live chat allows you to engage with your website visitors in real-time and address any issues that may be preventing them from pressing that checkout button. You’re able to respond to their questions instantly, reducing the number of customers who abandon online purchases.
Proactive live chat caters to consumer preferences
Most consumers like to have choices for how they contact a business. Perhaps some prefer to call, some to email and some to use live chat. Its good practice to provide as many contact options as possible so that your website visitors can choose their preferred method.
With that being said, live chat is fast becoming the most preferred method of communication for customers. A study has shown that 61% of young people under the age of 24 go out of their way to avoid phoning businesses, preferring to use digital methods of communication. Clearly, live chat is rising above traditional contact methods and becoming the method of choice for many markets.
Proactive live chat is convenient
E-commerce is continuing to grow at a rapid rate, causing brick and mortar stores to be quashed under the likes of Amazon. The reason for this is largely due to convenience – online shopping is highly accessible and requires little to no effort. Proactive live chat makes the online shopping experience even more convenient for consumers, as they don’t have to phone up or wait for an email reply when they need to ask a question. Instead, the business can send them a proactive chat, which the customer simply needs to reply to with, “yes, I do have a question.”
A study by e-tailing revealed that 51% of consumers prefer live chat over other communication methods because it’s convenient and allows them to multi-task. Another 21% prefer live chat because it means they can shop and find customer support while they’re at work. Proactive live chat makes for an incredibly convenient way of communicating with a business, making e-commerce even easier than ever before.
Proactive customer service beats reactive service
Reactive customer service is the process of responding to customer enquiries as you receive them. The problem with this is that many people don’t like to ask for help – perhaps they’re shy or think it would be inconvenient – and would rather abandon a purchase than ask for assistance. Proactive service, on the other hand, is where the business proactively asks the customer if they need help. It works in the same way as department store assistants who approach customers.
Customers are much more likely to respond when the business makes the first move, giving the business the opportunity to provide assistance. And, as we discussed earlier, many consumers will abandon online purchases when they don’t find the answers they need. Proactive customer service increases the chance of that customer getting those answers.