Tips to Boost Live Chat Sales and Increase Conversion
Why you need to leverage chat sales: Over 63% of leaders expect a continued rise in contact center volumes through 2021 despite physical stores reopening, according to a report by Freshworks. This is because buyers skim through websites before making a purchase digitally or in-store. While there’s a sales representative available in a physical store to assist the customer, customers with unanswered questions on websites often drop off without purchasing in a digital store.
The solution to this problem is: Live chat.
Real-time chats can be used as proactive sales tools for marketing endeavors, customer profiling, market research, conducting surveys, gathering data for analytics, and a host of other functions. A report from Forrester has found that live chat engagements lead to a 40% conversion rate, boosting revenue per chat hour by an average of 48% and even contribute to a 10% increase in order values. This is true not just for B2C businesses but also for B2B customers.
So, how can you turn a blind eye to the massive sales opportunity that this tool provides?
How Live Chat Can Boost Conversion Rates and Sales
Virtually, live chat can recreate a brick-and-mortar experience for customers on the web. They can simulate a human experience and drive deep connections that other virtual channels may not be able to. A live sales representative can engage with customers in real-time, take their needs, grievances, and other essential factors into consideration, and then make recommendations accordingly. For customers, talking to a live chat agent is a fast way to find answers to their queries without having to wait at a store or be put on hold on a call.
Here’s why chat sales are an effective way to make money:
Live chat opens the door for quick engagement.
A live chat can keep the conversation going with customers. More importantly, your agents will be able to handle the conversations simultaneously – a single agent can handle multiple chat requests at once, unlike the phone channel. Even emails and text messages have a longer response time, frequently lasting up to 48 hours.
Research indicates that the average first agent response time after a customer submits a live chat request is 46 seconds. This speed can make a great first impression and positively impact the purchase decisions of customers.
Live chat can be used to collect and segment customer data.
A massive advantage of live chat is that agents have access to customer data at their fingertips. In a physical sales scenario, agents can rarely get all relevant information to make a sale. They have to work with what the customer provides them. Most live chat software allows for a CRM integration where agents can track past purchasing habits, preferences, and other details to make personalized recommendations. This makes sales efforts more pointed and relevant, thereby leading to higher conversion rates.
Freshchat CRM Integration
Live chat can streamline the sales funnel.
Usually, pursuing and converting a potential lead can take time. A sales representative needs to touch base with a customer, identify their requirements, and then follow up multiple times to turn them into a paying customer. However, with inbound customers who have landed on your website, proactive engagement can nudge them to interact with you upon arrival. Once there, a chat agent can identify whether a customer is a potential lead within minutes of engagement and then decide how to proceed. Live chat can save a lot of time and effort through near-accurate lead qualification and lead to better conversion rates.
Live chat can attract customers through proactive messaging.
Not all customers know what they want when they visit a business’s website or social media channels. Sometimes, they are merely browsing. However, a live chat agent can proactively engage hesitant customers. Based on specific triggers, they can begin conversations at the right time and offer tailored assistance. A trained live chat agent can guide customers to the right products by asking relevant questions, using past purchase data, and empathetic communication.
Proactive Chat Triggers
Live chat can create a connection between your brand and the customer.
Business live chat software can also be an empathetic means of virtual communication. This means that agents can respond with thoughtful messages. Combined with quick responses, personalized recommendations, and easy access, live chat can effectively improve the overall customer experience and increase a customer’s trust in the business.
Live chat unifies platforms and tools.
Omnichannel engagement is the need of the hour for all businesses. Apart from physical and online presence, companies also need to look at different online channels to engage with customers. People today engage with businesses through their websites, mobile applications, and social media channels. Live chat software is versatile when it comes to integration. You can fit a live chat anywhere, from Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to your mobile app and use a common interface to reply to all of them. This way, you will never miss a single opportunity to sell to customers.
Live Chat Metrics Are Good Feedback Loops
A lot of valuable feedback can be collected from live chat conversations, both directly and indirectly. Customer satisfaction surveys at the end of a customer support chat can provide direct information on how people perceive your online sales experience. Other sales chat metrics like average response time, chat duration, and closed tickets can indicate your live chat’s success. This information can help identify any issues in your chat practices and rectify them accordingly.
Six Best Practices to Boost Chat Sales
Having a live chat tool on different business platforms will not automatically guarantee higher customer conversion rates and superior customer experience. Given that 85% of B2B businesses and 74% of B2C companies employ live chat for sales, it is essential to do it right.
When trying to convert leads and push sales through a chat window, you must optimize your live chat experience to identify and provide customers with access to exactly what they are looking for. Here are some tips on how you can set your live chat up for successful engagement and lead conversion:
Place live chat buttons at strategic locations.
Speed, convenience, and accurate responses are critical for higher conversion rates using live chat. However, a customer should know where to go when seeking advice on anything. To make the customer experience seamless, make your live chat easy to access.
When incorporating live chat into your website or mobile app, place the chat option on the landing or home page, product pages, and any other high-traffic pages like blogs. Typically, a convenient spot to have live chat buttons is on the right-hand corner of the page so that it is easy to find, if required, while at the same time, it isn’t intrusive enough to hamper the user experience.
Another way to increase engagement is to include live chat links on emails and text messages. This will increase customer convenience manyfold. For instance, say you send out an email to a customer about a new product launch. Giving them the option to engage in a live chat may feed their curiosity and motivate them to engage with you immediately about any queries they may have. This way, you strike the iron when it’s hot and improve your chances of making a sale.
Gain speed with automation
The biggest USP of live chat is its ability to respond quickly and in real-time. You can speed up a chat session even further if you incorporate automation into your live chat process. For instance, software that automates chat assignments can ensure that your customer doesn’t have to wait for an agent to accept a conversation manually.
Another way to be quick with your response is to automate canned messages for routine interactions. A standardized canned response can be used for greetings, FAQs, and closing conversations.
However, too many canned responses can take away the human element of live chats. Strike a healthy balance to compromise on the speed, empathy, or overall customer experience.
Craft your conversation based on the type of customers
In sales, the kind of customer you are servicing can significantly impact your sales tactic. A new customer will have to be dealt with differently from a returning customer.
Your team and system will not have any information on a new customer. Therefore, the first step here would be to engage with the person and understand their requirements. While a live chat agent can ask relevant questions and qualify a lead, it may be quicker to hand this over to a chatbot.
Freshchat’s Hallway Lead Bot, for instance, automates lead capture by collecting user information when a user initiates a live chat. Instead of giving the visitor a pre-chat form, Hallway Lead Bot converses with customers, asks follow-up questions, and uploads these details to the CRM software for future use. Once all information is collected, the bot either redirects to an available agent or sends a message to connect later, depending on availability.
Hallway lead bot
For returning customers, live chat should personalize chat invitations and engage with customers on a deeper level. Past chat information, the pages they have spent time on until now, the kind of purchases they have made to date, and other metrics can be used to improve customer experience.
Returning customers also provide the perfect opportunity for your sales team to upsell and cross-sell products. An agent can suggest complementary products based on information history and any new pointers in the chat. Say a customer who has purchased pregnancy products consistently for nine months returns to an e-commerce site. Knowing that the customer is (or will soon become) a new parent, your sales agent can suggest post-delivery products like creams, nursing pillows, or cloth diapers. Offering excellent customer service like this will not only increase sales but also improve customer loyalty.
Be mindful about routing chats to the right agents
If you are a fairly-diversified business with multiple offerings, you may have different sales representatives handling certain business divisions. For instance, a renewable energy company may have a separate team handling solar panel sales from the ones running wind turbine sales. An agent familiar with one product line may not be able to answer questions about the other. If a customer seeking information on wind turbines is assigned to a solar sales executive, it may lead to a poor customer experience.
A poor customer experience can lead to chat drop-offs or, worse, losing a loyal customer. 59% of customers stop purchasing from a business after a poor customer experience. 55% end up going to a competitor. This is why it is essential to route customers to agents with the right product knowledge. Your live chat software should be able to do that. However, in case of an error, your agents should be able to quickly transfer a chat to someone else more capable of handling the issue. Ensure you provide your agents with enough information and training to do so.
Train your live chat agents
A confident salesperson is an asset to your business. Not only will they create a good impression with customers, but agents who know what they are doing will be able to identify, qualify, and convert leads more effectively in real-time. This comes with the right training.
Live chat sales can be similar to and also different from other sales pitches. Just like regular sales, live chat lead generation has to be personalized, intentional, and engaging. Aggressive and pushy tactics rarely work on chat. However, unlike an in-person or on-call sales pitch, a live chat agent may have to handle multiple conversations at once. This means they have to be mindful of the customer they are chatting with while being quick. Delayed responses can make a customer feel neglected and lose interest. Handling this can take some getting used to.
Practicing with simulations and chat scripts can help sales agents hone their multitasking skills. When you train your agents, teach them to:
- Be present, empathetic, and genuine in all their conversations.
- Handle every conversation with equal effort
- Be proactive in their communication.
- Leverage CRM inputs, knowledge databases, and analytical data for more meaningful conversations
- Identify and qualify leads effectively.
- Apologize for any errors they make and find effective ways to rectify them
Monitor Progress and Implement Changes
Finally, track the success and progress that you make with chat. Many metrics will tell you how successful your live chat conversations are regarding lead conversion rates and sales. First response time, average response time, and average resolution time.
The number of chats handled per agent is also a useful metric to monitor live chat conversations’ efficiency. Much live chat software comes preloaded with these. Freshchat’s real-time dashboard for live chat allows you to watch these crucial metrics alongside customer satisfaction ratings to ensure that your team meets expectations.
From keeping an eye on conversations to monitoring individual member performance, you can train and motivate your agents to put their best foot forward with every customer.
Go Live with Freshchat
Using live chat on your website and social media platforms are the modern-day equivalent of door-to-door and cold-call sales. With the right practices, you can qualify leads faster while saving money and effort.
If you are looking for a reliable live chat software that does all of these things (and more!), check out Freshchat. Using our automated, analytical, and proactive chat will help you charm your customers across channels and keep them coming back for more.
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