The online world is driven by different laws and contrary to brick & mortar setup, e-commerce stores across are being visited by millions of customers every day.
Shopify runs over 800,000 e-commerce stores & BigCommerce powers e-commerce for more than 60,000 brands. Both the platforms are the base to a wide variety of stores, which sell everything from a common segment to a super speciality niche.
Irrespective of what merchants sell on these stores, the best of them are getting only 3% to 5% of their traffic converted into paying customers.
With only a small margin of the traffic being converted into customers, what’s the most effective, fastest & easiest way you could think of to get a hold of your hard earned visitors while they’re still on your website?
Live Chat Support- The Tried & True Solution
A study by ICMI finds that more than half of all customers prefer to chat with someone in real-time and online, rather than call a company for support. Similarly, a study by FurstPerson confirms that 77% of customers won’t make a purchase on a website if there’s no live chat option available
While the former study strengthens live chat support’s necessity for seamless customer support the latter proves that live chat support is highly effective in getting more business too.
Additionally, a study by Forrester confirms that live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate!
Furthermore, a study by J.D.Power states that a staggering 42% of customers prefer live chat compared to just 23% for email, and 16% for social media or forums.
The results look lucrative & are equally demanding as well. However, despite being such an effective sales & customer support boost medium, no resources are available online or offline on how to ace at e-commerce live chat support. You get just 1 chance to impress your customers with something new & when it comes to e-commerce, you just can’t afford to take much risk. But, Chataffy has got the e-commerce live chat success blueprint to help you get right on the success strategy.
The Success Blueprint
Chataffy comes with over 15 years of global leadership experience in delivering exemplary 24×7 live chat agents support & sales leads generation service on e-commerce stores. This resource is the compilation of the learning we had over these 15 years. By following the aforementioned practices, you bind the returns on your e-commerce store live chat to lead nowhere but north.
Setting up the perfect e-commerce live chat support strategy is like stacking Jenga with following being the 2 foundation blocks: the chat software you use & the strategy with which your chat agents perform. Let’s zoom into the two:
Ideal E-commerce Chat Software
The chat software jungle offers a variety of low hanging chat software, but not all of them are feature rich for e-commerce stores.
It is crucial to check for the quintessential features in the live chat software for your e-commerce store well in advance, because the live chat success strategy which we’ve discussed below finds these features critical for the success.
Having worked with pretty much all the chat software available in the market, Chataffy has curated a list of must-have features for an ideal e-commerce live chat software which you must check before subscribing to any chat software.
Chat Widget’s Must-Have Features Checklist Exclusively For E-commerce Stores
A thing of beauty & smartness always grabs attention & a beautifully & smartly customized chat software is no exception.
Most of the advanced e-commerce chat software give you with the power to customize pretty much everything about the chat software, right from the color & avatar picture to the shape of the widget.
You can also decide whether you’d like to put the chat widget on all the pages of your e-commerce store, or only on certain pages. The deeper customization options allow you to set different chat widget greetings for the different pages.
With everybody falling fan to customizations, your ideal e-commerce chat software must also be highly customizable.
Proactive Popups with Personalized Greetings
According to LiveChatInc, visitors invited to chat with a greeting are 6.3 times more likely to convert into customers than the ones who don’t chat!
Chat widget greetings are indeed a great way to personalize your approach towards the visitor & cast a positive impression. Besides, it encourages your visitors to buy more & reduce cart abandonment.
For an ideal e-commerce chat tool, it is mandatory to offer chat widget greetings feature with a variety in time-based & behavioural popup intent.
Maximum Visitor Information
The quality of your live chat support can be highly improvised if the chat agents are provided with the maximum information about the visitor they are chatting with beforehand.
It’s obvious that since the visitor would have just started with the chat, not much can be gathered about him/ her, but minute details such as the city they’re chatting from, the page they landed on & the page from which they’ve started the chat can definitely be called pertinent information for an e-commerce live chat support to customize the chat approach with & make it more successful.
An ideal e-commerce chat software must supply a maximum of such automatically collected information to the chat agents.
Pre Chat Surveys For The Smarter Support
Be it a sales lead, a support ticket or a visitor chatting by to say hi, your live chat agents would often need to ask some basic pieces of information, say name & phone number.
With the Pre Chat Survey feature you can turn this manual questioning into smarter one, by asking the visitors to answer these questions before starting the chat. The questions can be put to both the compulsory mode & optional mode. Moreover, many advanced chat software can push the filled information to other apps via integration.
Message Sneak Peek
With great features, comes great responsibility & live chat support is no exception to that. Your visitors expect you to be swift with your responses, after all, it’s LIVE chat support we’re talking about.
Message sneak peek is one such convenient feature which lets your chat agents preview the visitors’ messaging right as they are typing it. Yes, real-time! This saves a lot of your response time as your chat agents get to have their response ready beforehand.
Canned Responses- The Ultimate Time Saviour
Your visitors might be completely different from each other, but a majority of the questions they’re going to ask your chat agents will remain the same. Afterall, yours is an e-commerce store & not a SaaS website.
Canned Responses is an amazing feature which will let your chat agents save those replies for future use & when the need comes, bring them up with just a keyboard stroke. It’ll not only save their precious times but also woo the customers with the amazing response speed.
Tracks Past Chats To Stay Ahead
Most of the visitors chat frequently on e-commerce stores & remain fed up by having to reiterate their concern over & over to different chat agents.
One of Chataffy’s most favorite e-commerce chat software features is the ability to track the previous chat transcripts automatically on the basis of the IP Address & amaze the visitor by catching up the conversation right where it ended.
Offers Easy Access To Support Resources
Although you’ve already got all your FAQs right on your e-commerce store, Chataffy recommends maintaining a curated set of support resources separately for the chat agents.
The ideal e-commerce chat software you’re looking for, must offer native knowledge base feature so that the chat agents won’t need to maintain different platforms & the key information remains handy for them.
Easy File Sharing
Sharing files may sound a little out of scope for e-commerce live chat support, but saying by our experience, your chat agents would need this feature many times for transferring media back & forth while conversing with your prospects.
Thus, actively check for file sharing feature as well in your e-commerce store chat software.
No matter how updated your chat agents are, many a time, they are going to come across such questions which just could not be answered right in the chat. A working ticketing system gives you a way to demarcate such open-ended conversations & spot them easily for the further follow-up.
As per LiveChatInc’s 2019 Customer Service Report, an ideal business creates 49 tickets per month over live chat support. The number is definitely not too low to be called negligible & calls for a basic ticketing system in place.
Chat Transcript Sharing
On e-commerce stores, visitors often reach out to chat support seeking important information about their orders, discounts etc. & most of the time, need to refer again to the chat transcripts.
Unfortunately, once the chat has been closed, the previous conversation vanishes from the screen.
An ideal e-commerce chat software is the one which saves your visitors from this trouble & allows them to email the chat transcripts to themselves for future reference.
Post Chat Surveys
Bad customer experience spread much faster than the good one & when it’s e-commerce we’re talking about, feedback is always on steroids.
You must not leave any stone unturned to receive that feedback & your ideal e-commerce chat software mustn’t either.
Social Media Support
Social media is indeed a melting pot in itself with a huge chunk of e-commerce prospects browsing across the platforms.
If you’ve already got your e-commerce brand active on social media, you might as well be seeing your prospects & customers reaching out to you through your social media accounts.
The good news for you is that many advanced chat software offer social media account support as well. Which means they enable your chat agents to handle the social media questions right from the chat software.
If your brand is a social media buff, we recommend you must check for this feature in your ideal e-commerce chat software.
The data you generate from live chat is indeed an invaluable resource for your brand & to get the maximum out of it, you may need to use it in different ways, using different apps.
For instance, you may like to get all the sales leads’ email address copied to your MailChimp marketing campaign list & the chat transcripts be simply added to the Trello card for the QA Team.
If your chat widget integrates well with these 2 & many other platforms, you’d save your valuable time & manual work.
Offline Hours Contact Forms
e-commerce is one such segment which receives inconsistent traffic round the clock, hence Chataffy always recommends staying live 24×7 as the thumb rule of e-commerce success.
But, the companies which just can’t remain live 24×7 must find a way for their precious visitors to reach them & the most convenient of them all is the chat widget contact form.
Your chat software must function as a contact form for the visitors during the offline hours, so that the messages left by the visitors during the offline hours show up as tickets for you.
Growth Measuring with Sales Tracker
What can’t be measured, can’t be improvised- old saying, still sticks.
An advanced e-commerce chat software subscription & at least a few chat agents managing the chats don’t cost a small sum & especially when it’s an e-commerce store, every penny invested always has many other potential streams to get invested in.
Smart approach is to be able to track what monetary returns you are going to receive with the chat support. In simple terms, your ideal e-commerce chat software must facilitate tracking how many visitors made a purchase after the chat & what amount did they buy for.
Upright On Mobile Phones
A new study commissioned by Moxie Software, Inc. reveals that 62% of survey participants expect live chat to be available on mobile devices, and 82% would use it.
That’s a huge chunk of your hard earned e-commerce visitors & using a chat software which doesn’t function well on mobile phones mean leaving a lot on the table.
Stay Mobile with Mobile App
Your’s could be a very small team, wherein only you take the chats on your e-commerce store or it could be a huge team, wherein you want to keep a tab on the quality.
In both cases, you can’t afford sitting in front of the chat screen 24×7.
So, if the chat software you’re looking for offers a mobile app as well, you could work smartly, on the go.
Infallible Live Chat Agents Performance Strategy
Now, since you’ve already understood the ecommerce chat widget features essential to your ecommerce chat support success, here’s the performance strategy which ensures the fulfillment of the remaining success criteria-
From our experience of serving over 200 global websites from different industries, we reckon that at least 10% of the website visitors opt to live chat support. So, if your monthly web traffic is let’s say 10k, you can expect to receive 1k chats on your website a month.
A professional live chat operator can aptly manage up to 3 concurrent chats simultaneously, which means in your case, you can have a flawless live chat support up & running on your website with just 3 in house live chat agents (1 active live chat agent/ 8 hours). You can calculate that as per your expected chat volume & live hours preference.
Maintain Staff Backup
Besides, you never know when any of them will call in sick or the chat count shoots up, so Chataffy strongly recommends keeping some chat agents on stand by mode as well.
How To Train Your Live Chat Dragons
Training professional live chat operators for your e-commerce store depends completely upon the size of your store. To begin with, simply train your live chat operators to be able to answer the basic questions on the basis of your knowledgebase & other learning content. If you haven’t got any, you can easily prepare one by referring to your customer support inbox.
With a limited piece of information available in the beginning, start with a safe approach. Suggest the live chat agents to ascertain whether the chatter is a potential customer or an existing customer by asking qualifying questions, answering the questions they have been trained on & collecting the pertinent information, such as the purpose of interaction contact details etc.
Assuming answers is a big no & for such cases wherein the chat agents are not confident about the best answer, tell them to use the ticketing function of the chat software for the further follow up with the correct response.
Go Full Throttle 24×7
The online world laws work differently & you never know when your biggest prospect just drops in, roam around & jump off to the competitor’s website.
Chataffy believes staying live 24×7 is the key. A research conducted by HubSpot reveals that almost 67% of buyers expect a response within 10 minutes to any marketing, sales, or customer service inquiry.
Staying live 24×7 may get a little arduous in the beginning, but believe us, it’s worth it.
Be a Baby- Keep Learning & Improvising
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor a champion e-commerce chat support team.
Keeping a close tab on the learning part of your live chat agents is the best way to ensure your live chat support game is getting strong & not weaker with every day passing.
Maintain Support Team Resources & Update It Real Time
You must keep a close tab on all the information asked & provided over live chat & use it as a QA resource.
For instance, all the leading chat software provided easy access to the chat transcripts which can be boiled down to your customer support knowledgebase. With your live chat agents getting more familiar with your business, you can even start closing maximum sales right in the chat than generating sales leads. Which obviously is the best usage of the live chat support.
We recommend setting up a Zapier integration for this.
Use Feedback To Spot The Scope
Most of the chat software come with the post chat survey feature which gives you an opportunity to collect chatter’s feedback & improvise accordingly. You can also conduct recurrent tests & quiz among your in house live chat operators to keep them motivated for the good work.
Assist Your Chat Agents In Becoming Timely
Many a time, chat agents overlook the fact that in chat support, timing is as important as the quality & in the bid to keep the latter higher, they end up delivering late responses.
Actively use your chat software response statistics to keep your chat agents response time aligned with your SLA.
Observe, Prepare, Respond
Personalization is crucial to maximizing your live chat support returns. Your chat agents must keep an eye on the information provided automatically by the chat widget, such as their geography, their navigation path, their chat trigger page etc.
To add an additional layer of customization, the chat agents must also use the information provided by the chat agents in the pre-chat survey & the chat greeting they started the chat with.
With your responses & approach remaining focus on the minute details, you can expect way more sales & best customer support.
Refer CMS Without a Miss
A maximum number of e-commerce chat support questions roam around the order status. To get all such questions answered right in the chat, your chat agents must be able to real-time access your store CMS.
In the beginning, you may want to provide read-only access, which can be further improved to the complete access for them to be able to make changes as well.
Your visitors are tired of attempting to converse with the chat bots & only need human chat support. But, if your chat agents will end up just pasting the responses, the purpose gets capsized.
In order to make a great impact with the live chat support, your chat agents must empathise with your visitors & mould their tone to match the visitors’.
Remain Cautious with Digital Dialogues
The only challenge with live chat is that it leaves scope for ambiguity. If the chat agents remain sloppy with their selection of words & tone, it could be misinterpreted by the visitor & might end up offending them.
That’s one of many factors where professional live chat agents outrank the newbies.
Offer Chat Transcript Sharing
The information which your chat agent provides to the visitors could be of great importance for them. Many a time, visitors fail to note the provided information & end up getting frustrated by having to ask for it again.
Although it’s not your chat agents fault either, but to remain on the safer side, the chat agents must offer chat transcript sharing before closing the chat. When offered, a maximum of the visitors prefers receiving chat transcripts & feel delighted.
Offer Further Assistance
A chat can be ended abruptly, but only by the visitor & never by the chat agent.
Visitors on chat support often forget a few questions & need to get back on chat again. It’s always recommended to chat agents to offer further assistance to the visitors before closing the chat. It definitely adds more stars on your impression.
Set Realistic Expectations
No matter how experienced your chat agents get, they’ll often come across questions which need them to dive a little deeper into the resources & that mostly takes much time.
If the estimated time is more than 40 seconds, the chat agents must learn to get off the chat window only after informing the estimated duration to the visitor.
The same thumb rule applies when the chat agents set expectations about the ticket response time.
False expectations are the fastest way to lose a customer.
Never Be Sales Pushy
We all are here to maximise our sales, but it’s critically important to understand that the moment a prospect realizes that you’re being sales pushy, it gets counted as a red flag & spoils the scenario.
Live chat is a smart support system which works best when offered as a resource to the visitors. A little sales push in a support scenario chat works fine, but a little more mostly backfires.
If your chat agents are inexperienced, suggest them to keep support as the focus point.
Cross Sell & Up Sell Professionally
Cross-selling & up selling deserve a lot of credit for e-commerce sales. When the chat is sales oriented i.e. the visitor is seeking a discount coupon or asking product suggestions, the chat agents should assess the visitors’ needs & meekly recommend the other variations of the products.
If done professionally, cross-selling & up-selling outranks every other cross-selling & upselling methods.
Got any questions? Schedule a free e-commerce live chat support consultancy session with one of our managers today from here: https://calendly.com/chataffy