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15 Best Practices When Using

Live Chat Software

You've got your website up and running. It's a beautiful store with tons of cool products and services. 

 

You attract lots of visitors, but only a few of them convert into customers. In fact, it seems as if most people only stay for about a minute or so before they exit. But why does this happen? Well, if visitors can't find the answers they need within a few seconds of looking, they leave.

This is why a lot of businesses have integrated live chat software into their website. It allows you to contact your visitors in real time. You can invite them to chat and provide them with the information they are looking for. 

 

Live chat makes it extremely easy to help people make the right decision as well as promote your products.

The best part about this software is that it enables you to build a reputation for offering premium customer service. However, though many businesses have this software, not every business uses it properly or to its full advantage. 

 

Let's take a look at 15 best practices that can help you to get the most out of this software and put you head and shoulders above your competition.

Check out our Top 10 Live Chat Software Comparison Table to see the best tools from a bird's eye view...

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1.)  Sales Experienced Reps
Individuals who have sales experience can really help to increase your bottom line. They're knowledgeable about up sales, cross sales and just generally getting people out of research mode and sending them into buying mode.

It's important to remember, that not only are you installing live chat so that you can help the customer out, but you're also going to use it as a way to possibly make them aware of other products that may be a good fit for them. If you have hired a good sales team, then they'll be able to make these connections.

2.)  Build Your Strategy Around Your Data

If you want to ensure that your chat campaign is effective, then you're going to need more than sales techniques, you're going to need the benefit of data. Take advantage of analytics and chat reports. You need to know when your customers are more likely to buy. 

 

For instance, according to research conducted by Windsorcircle, shoppers tend to be more likely to buy during the earlier part of the week, on Mondays and Tuesdays. You need to be familiar with the most common questions people ask and during what part of the transactions are they more likely to bail out. Find the answers to these questions can help you to formulate a winning strategy.

3.)  Train Your Staff

Not only should your chat representatives be skilled at making a sale, they should also be very familiar with your products. Though you may create scripts for different scenarios and questions, it's best that your team is able to respond as quickly as possible. So take the time to go over the inventory and all resources with them. 

 

At a moment's notice, they should be prepared to direct your customers to the most helpful product sheets, videos and reviews. By investing in training time, you're helping to ensure that they will be able to make the sale.

4.)  Set A Consistent Operator Schedule

Many business owners assume that live chat is a software that can be used whenever it is most convenient for them, but that's a mistake. If, for example, you're running live chat on Tuesday from 6 to 8 and Wednesday from 8 to 10, but not at all on Thursday, you're not being consistent. 

 

This means that customers won't know when they'll be able to talk with you. In order to gain your customer's trust, you need to be fairly predictable. So set a schedule so that you can ensure that there are no surprises.

Live Chat Hours

5.) Enable Message Features
Though it's ideal to always have staff on stand by and always ready to help your customers, this may not always be possible. In this case, you'll need to let your customers know that their concerns are still important to you. Enable the message feature so that they can explain their needs and you can follow-up later. LiveZilla offers a form for customers to fill out while their staff is away.

Live Chat Features
Live Chat Feature

6.) Customize The Look And Feel To Your Brand

Your brand shows customers that you care enough to put forth a professional image, and have the amount of creativity involved is what makes you unique. A business that is well-branded can easily create loyalty, and build awareness. 

 

In fact, according to Kissmetrics people make subconscious judgments about products within just 90 seconds of their initial view. Up to 90% of this assessment is based on colors alone.  

This is why even when you are not actively launching a marketing campaign, it's in your best interest to ensure that you emphasize your brand. Make sure your chat box has the same color scheme as your website. You may even be able to customize the font.

Customize LiveChat Software
Live Chat Branding

7.) Make Your Live Chat Icon Easy To Find

This sounds like a no brainer, but you would surprised by how many business owners miss this one. If your live chat is too small or not in plain view, then your customers will never know that they have real time customer service available to them. So make sure it's visible. 

 

In fact, it's best to place it within the template of your website. This way customers will be able to see that there is a live chat option on every single page of the site. Bold Chat offers a great example of how to place your box where it can be easily found.

LiveChat Button
Live Chat Location

8.) Set A Time For "Time On Site" 

According to Tony Haile of Chartbeat, over half of your website visitors will leave within 15 seconds of opening your page. That's why it's best to enable the timer feature on your live chat software. This way, you can get their attention just before they leave and let them know that you're there in case they need anything.

9.) Make It Personal

If your live chat software allows the person to enter their name into the live chat box, then you can use this to your advantage. Instead of immediately asking them what their question is, start things off on a personal note by saying their name, "Hi, [customer name] how can I help you?" 

 

This can build instant rapport, because the customer no longer feels as if they are dealing with an automated system. You've added a human touch and this is exactly what you'll need if you want the customer to be receptive to what you're saying.

Personal Web Support
Personal Website Chat

10.) Deliver a Professional Response

When you're using a chat feature, it can be easy to become a little negligent with your grammar and punctuation. After all, we normally associate chatting and texting with friends and social interactions. However, it's important to remember that this isn't a social call; this is a live business transaction. Grammar, spelling and punctuation count here. 

 

The tone with which you deliver your ideas counts also. Everything you say on live chat software represents your brand, so put your best face forward and remain consistent. Customers will only take you as seriously as you take yourself.

11.) Keep It Short And Sweet

People lead busy lives these days because the world is extremely fast-paced. Many of your customers will have very little time to decode information. Even though you want to give a thorough answer to the customer's question, it's best to mindful of the other person's time. As you answer, try to remember that the customer may be at work or managing a busy household and family. They are looking for answers that are simple and straight to the point. So the quicker and more condensed, the better.

12.) Offer Discounts

Many business owners assume that offering discounts will be financially detrimental to their business. However, the truth is, discounts can help your business just as much as it does your customers. Social Retail found that coupons actually increase sales lift, generate new sales leads and create brand loyalty. So during your live chat, occasionally offering people discount coupons.

13.) Boost Your Social

In many cases, you will deliver stellar customer service experience and build rapport with the customer. The customer will find exactly what they were looking for and even a few things that they didn't even know they needed. They'll be very pleased with how the transaction went. This is the type of transaction in which you can ask the customer to tell others about their experience, specifically on their social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you offered a great experience, then you should use your live chat to boost your brand with social currency.

Social Web Chat

14.) Turn Conversation Into Content

You can use the insights that you gain from your Live Chat and turn them into blog posts. So let's say that you run a footwear website where you sell athletic shoes. 

 

If you notice that your customers are always asking you what's the best shoe for running, then you can create a post that talks about the top 3 shoes for running. Or if you run a cosmetics website and your customers are always talking about problems with sensitive skin, you can write a post about the top concealers for women who have sensitive skin.

15.) Put Yourself In The Client's Shoes

Your customers will usually approach your services and products from a different perspective than yours. Not only will empathizing encourage customer loyalty, but it will give you a better idea of what your customer really needs and wants. This definitely helps with conversion rates.

As you can see, live chat software is more than just a tool to keep your visitors on site. It helps you to build relationships by establishing one-on-one engagement opportunities; it reinforces your brand by allowing customization; the insights you gain from customers can give you fresh ideas for content creation and it can help you to establish a reputation for offering premium customer service. 

 

The cool thing about this is that you have an endless amount of platforms to choose from. Get started by looking into those that have the easiest setups like Get Site ControlLiveChatInc or Olark.

Check out our Top 10 Live Chat Software Comparison Table to see the best tools from a bird's eye view...

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