Positive Customer Experiences
Given the continuous increase in online shopping, it’s becoming increasingly important for e-commerce stores to provide delightful experiences for their potential and existing customers. Providing live chat support for your customers is a great way to engage with them and ensure they are satisfied each time they visit your site.
Positive experiences, particularly through real-time interactions, help to build trust with your customers, leads to more conversions and increases brand loyalty.
Which is why, according to Forrester Research, 63% of customers said they were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat as opposed to one that doesn’t.
The question posed in this article is this – How do you know when your online store is ready for live chat?
In this post, we’ll cover the 5 signs that your e-commerce business is ready for live chat support. But before we dive into the reasons you should be considering live chat support, let’s take a look at what live chat is and how it is changing over time.
What is Live Chat?
Live chat is an increasingly popular way to engage with visitors to your online store or website. When a potential or returning customer lands on your home page, they see a small chat icon in the bottom-right corner of the page (yes, just like the one down there).
Visitors can click on the chat icon and a chat widget will appear, allowing them to immediately begin chatting with company representatives – be they customer support or sales.
In the past live chat was not always user-friendly and may have required the visitor to locate the contacts page or the support page. Some older chat widgets will require visitors to input their name, email, or phone number to begin chatting. This is a somewhat outdated practice and may deter customers from engaging with you.
Today live chat is much more accessible for consumers and a good chat service will allow you to even chat via text messaging on your mobile device.
See how Mochi can help your chat offering become more mobile friendly.
Live Chat Support is the use of chat widgets or text messaging to interact with customers when they visit your site. It allows you to engage with them, offer support, and answer question. Rather than sending a customer to a support page or asking them to call or email, you’re able to provide instant support.
5 Signs That Your e-commerce Business is Ready for Live Chat and Text
If you’ve been running your e-commerce store for a while now, you’ve probably learned the importance of converting customers when they land on your website. It’s easy enough to get visitors to your site, but converting them is where you make your money.
E-commerce companies of all sizes should be looking for the very best ways to engage with their customers because positive engagement is the surest path to conversion.
Live chat is a critical component of customer engagement. Especially, since customers who engage with a company using live chat are 3x more likely to make a purchase. This may be why Shopify calls live chat, “The most underused tool in your arsenal.”
According to Shopify, even small teams should be using live chat to engage with customers – even if they can’t immediately respond to every request.
“If you’re running a small business, you’re probably not going to be able to staff a chat channel for more than a few hours per week. Is that enough to make a difference? Fortunately, the answer is yes, as long as you choose those few hours carefully and use them wisely.” For more on live chat from Shopify check out Drive More e-commerce Sales with Live Chat Without Being Trapped at Your Desk
If you still need some help determining if your store is ready for a live chat solution, consider the following 5 situations that indicate your business is ready for live chat support.
#1 You Have a Low Conversion Rate or High Abandoned Cart Rate
Conversion rate is the percent of visitors to your site who complete a desired goal. Examples include entering contact info, installing an app, launching a free trial, or most importantly making a purchase.
Cart Abandonment Rate is the percentage of shoppers who place items in their online cart but leave your mobile site or app before completing their purchase.
A low conversion rate and/or a high abandoned cart rate are indicators that your site visitors are not finding what they expected to find, are being surprised by something in the process, or simply don’t have enough information to feel comfortable making a purchase.
Consumers are much more likely to abandon their purchase if they can’t quickly find the answer to their questions. Fortunately, offering live chat can help your site visitors get the answers they need to feel confident in making a purchase.
The e-commerce industry’s average conversion rate ranges between 2.8% and 6%. If you find yourself below these rates, then live chat support may be a good solution to test out.
#2 You Need Better Information About the Visitors to Your Online Store
Another good reason to begin testing the use of a live chat solution is that you don’t have good enough insights into exactly who your customers are.
Developing accurate customer personas is critical for effectively marketing your e-commerce store. It can be extremely challenging to fully understand who your customers are, where they come from, how they arrive at your site, and what type of person they are.
A live chat tool (such as Mochi) will offer rich insights in the visitors to your site. A good live chat software should be able to tell you where your customers live, how they arrived at your site, and how often they’ve visited your store.
Additionally, if you are using an e-commerce platform, such as Shopify, your live chat software should be able to tell you who your customers are and even their contact information.
Mochi takes this a step further and even scores each of your site visitors using our proprietary machine learning technology. An easy-to-read rating system is applied so that you know who the most valuable visitors are at any given time. This allows you to prioritize your interactions and optimize your time on live chat.
#3 Your Product is Unique or Complex
Another reason to include live chat on your website is that your product inherently causes the visitors to your site to ask questions.
This can be the case if you are offering a product that is new, such as something that you have invented, or is being introduced from another culture or industry, such that your target customers will need to ask questions to fully understand what they are looking at.
Additionally, if your product is complex it would be a very good idea to include live chat as part of your online storefront. Examples of complex products are those that have multiple parts that require assembly or includes a technology that requires certain skills, knowledge, or guidance to operate.
If your pricing tiers or business model is complex you may also find live chat support helpful. For example, a subscription service or product/service combination that customers may not always be accustomed to.
Remember, customers are hesitant to purchase when they have outstanding questions, and when you offer something new or complicated, they will certainly have a lot of questions.
When it comes to unique or complex products or business models, offering live chat can turn your customer support and/or customer service representatives into a revenue-driving team.
#4 Your Products are High-end or Expensive
Visitors to your site will be reluctant to make purchases when they feel uncertain about some aspect of your product, business, pricing, or shipping. This is especially true when the price of the product is high.
Targeting high-end shoppers is a great way to build a profitable, brand-conscious e-commerce company. However, if you can’t convert any of your site visitors, then you are certainly going to find it difficult to accomplish any of those goals.
The value in offering live chat support for a high-end or expensive product catalog is that you reduce the hesitancy caused by lack of information or trust. For someone to fork out a lot of cash for your products, you need to put their minds completely at ease.
Which is why, according to Forrester Research, 44% of customers said that having a live chat specialist available during an online purchase was one of the most important features a company can offer.
Live chat is the best way to connect with customers and help them move towards a high-end transaction online.
#5 Your Customer Satisfaction is Low or You Receive Too Many Support Emails
Whatever method you choose to measure customer happiness (Net Promoter Score, feedback surveys, product reviews, etc…) it is critical that you maintain high customer satisfaction. Your business depends upon it.
If you begin to see your customer satisfaction drop or if you feel inundated with customer support emails, this may be a good sign that live chat support on your website is worth a try.
Giving customers multiple options for how to reach you, signals to them that you care. When you’re able to respond quickly (within seconds or minutes rather than hours or days) you build trust and loyalty.
When it comes to the queue of support emails that seems to be ever-increasing, It may sound counter intuitive to offer live chat. However, you have to consider the different styles of communication that can take place on different channels. Email often feels much more formal, while live chat can be quicker and more conversational.
Additionally, email often requires a back and forth that takes place over hours or days. Meaning that you or your support representatives must return to the same email thread time and again, dig into past exchanges, and move forward at a very slow pace. Conversely, with live chat, you are able to respond to your visitors and customers right away. You can complete the conversation before you close the chat and ensure that your customers walk away happy with their interaction.
For these reasons and many more, live chat can help you reduce the burden on your support team and increase your overall customer satisfaction. For more information about the best ways to interact with customers and provide customer support in 2019 check out this post – The Best Methods for Communicating with Customers in 2019.
Bonus - #6 Your E-commerce Business is Operating Today
Here’s a bonus reason that your online store may be ready for live chat support. This is a bit tongue in cheek, but the simple fact that you are operating an online store in 2019 is reason enough to offer live chat support.
Today, consumers have a nearly endless list of options for shopping online. Even if another store doesn’t offer the exact product you offer, customers can find plenty of reasons to choose them over you. Maybe their pricing is slightly cheaper, maybe a friend recommended them, maybe they have better shipping, maybe they have a color or size the consumer wants, maybe they…
The list goes on forever.
As the list of potential customer decision factors is never-ending, you should be offering live chat support on your e-commerce store simply to provide a better experience for your customers. It really is a no-brainer.
Over to You
In this article, we covered the 5 signs that your e-commerce business is ready for live chat support. And we threw in a bonus #6 reason. We also quickly defined what live chat is and how it is changing over time.
The 5 reasons you should consider live chat for your e-commerce store include:
- You Have a Low Conversion Rate or High Abandoned Cart Rate
- You Need Better Information About the Visitors to Your Online Store
- Your Product is Unique or Complex
- Your Products are High-end or Expensive
- Your Customer Satisfaction is Low or You Receive Too Many Support Emails
- Bonus – Your E-commerce Business is Operating Today
Now, it’s up to you to implement live chat for your online store and take your business to the next level. Please, take what I’ve shared here and apply the things that you believe will be most beneficial.
If you have any questions or comments please let us know. Thanks and best of luck building your eCommerce business.