Ecommerce sites have taken retail online and with such its audience. Once representatives used to be able to physically approach customers to see if they need their assistance, now when visitors are on a website many companies are not aware of their existence unless the visitor makes contact.
Are companies just expected to sit back and wait to see if a purchase comes through?
Some less proactive businesses will do just that, however, they will not be the next eBay or Virgin!
Adrian Swinscoe, an UK customer experience consultant and advisor, wrote “A survey by inContact found that 87% of customers surveyed said they wanted to be contacted proactively by a company […] Also, nearly three quarters (73%) of those who had been contacted proactively and had a positive experience said that it led to a positive change in their perception of the business that contacted them.”
Those that want to take a more hands-on approach could implement Google Analytics to track visitors on the site and add contact forms to make the company accessible; however, there is one combined solution that would work better than multiple platforms.
Live chat is a one-to-one online communication channel. A Chat button is placed on your website and enables visitors to have their questions answered easily and quickly via text-based messages as they are instantly connected to a representative in real time. This still relies on the visitor to reach out and start a chat, so your representatives are waiting to react to enquiries.
So what else features in live chat software to make it a great solution for websites and increasing your sales?
Proactive invitations present an image to the customer inviting them into chat, this can be set up to automatically display based on your company’s criteria, e.g. certain pages or after a period of time. By having these automatically sent out, more visitors can be approached and be made aware that the company is contactable and wants to help them in any way possible.
Inviting customers to chat on the checkout page can be extremely useful to tackling shopping cart abandonment. A store customer is unlikely to start queuing to pay for their items only to place the basket on the floor and walk out, so why make it so easy for an online visitor to do so?
By stepping in and asking if they need any assistance on the checkout page customers have time to reconsider abandoning, this can include if they are having issues with applying a discount code, or are not happy with delivery charges being added on or guest checkout not being available. By iniviting the visitor to chat, your representatives can help to resolve any issues or offer other solutions to help retain the customer in future for example, offering free delivery on their next purchase.
A store will have posters in the shop window about special deals and offers presented throughout the shop.
Visitors to the site will not browse every page, and it is guaranteed that the majority of your online traffic will enter onto your homepage, space can be limited to grab the visitor’s attention, so only the biggest offers can be presented.
If the visitor continues their journey away from the homepage and there are other special deals they could be interested in, a ‘Promotion’ can be displayed. This image alerts the visitor to the information and when clicked can automatically direct them to the relevant page.
Promotions, proactive invitations and live chat work well both in B2C and B2B ecommerce environments, as they can be tailored to your organisation’s products.
Businesses usually take their time making a decision to purchase, as for higher value products they may enquiry with multiple suppliers, so it is important that live chat can cater for visitors at any stage in their sales cycle.
Gathering lead details at every opportunity helps your business create a healthy sales pipeline; a live chat solution can simplify this process and make it easier for visitors to leave their contact details:
Gather visitor details before they enter a chat, your representatives can confirm these in chat rather than having to collect the details themselves, giving them more time to concentrate on the enquiry and delivering exceptional customer service.
Here in the UK we have just had three bank holidays and have another just around the corner. If your organisation closes over bank holidays or doesn’t operate 24/7, there’s a chance for missed opportunities whilst your representatives are unavailable. An offline form can collect any visitors’ details and email them directly to you.
Engage with Customers Proactively
Forrester wrote: “Proactive engagements anticipate the what, when, where, and how for customers, and prioritize information and functionality to speed customer time-to-completion.”
Make it easy for your online visitors to come to your website and journey to their end goal. Simplify how they can contact your business by giving them the choice to chat or to fill in a form. Covering every communication channel helps to increase your sales and lead generation.
About the Author
Gemma Baker wonders: How is your business engaging with your website visitors? If you want to explore ways to improve this with live chat software, why not start a free no obligation trial with Click4Assistance.