ECommerce Live Chat Tips (And More!) in Prep for the Holdays

Ecommerce live chat is one of several must-haves to prepare your business for the upcoming holiday season.
Ecommerce live chat is one of several must-haves to prepare your business for the upcoming holiday season.

If you think October is too early to start implementing the changes you want completed in time for the end-of-year online shopping season, come November you’re gonna have a bad time.

The good news is the fish are biting: conversion rates are up. But what do you need to do in order to position your business to capitalize on that as much as possible?

To avoid desperate scrambling in November, here are a few quick reads that can help guide you to holiday season success:

And here are some longer reads for those who are ready to get serious about their preparations:

But what about ecommerce live chat specifically? Before you try Velaro Live Chat (totally free trial can be found here), read a bit about what to expect below.

Ecommerce Live Chat for Conversions and Order Size

Deploying live chat to your ecommerce website increases conversions in two ways. First, it provides customers who may have a question about the product, shipping, etc. to get the certainty they need to complete their purchase, immediately. Second, for customers who would not think to ask for help, proactive chat  can engage them, learn what they’re looking for, offer solutions, and take them off the trajectory of leaving your site, disappointed, and on the path to a sale.

Live chat can also increase order size for your ecommerce site. By recommending related items (for instance, batteries to go with a tool or toy), you are both providing thoughtful service to your customers and increasing your own profits.

Ecommerce Live Chat for Customer Service

Many are arguing that customer service is the new marketing. If that’s the case, live chat is the best tool you will have in your ecommerce marketing toolbox. Not only is it efficient for you (a trained live chat agent can engage four potential customers in conversations simultaneously), but it is also convenient for your customers – the average time spent in queue for live chat is well below that of phone or email average wait times. Moreover, customer satisfaction rates for live chat exceed those of any other channel.

Because live chat balances the personalization of one-on-one conversation with the efficiency of automation (for instance, making it easy to use pre-written messages), live chat can be extremely helpful to ecommerce customer service teams.

Click here to try Velaro Live Chatfor free.

Ecommerce Live Chat Tips (and More!) in Prep for the Holidays

Both customer service and conversion/lead generation is bolstered by ecommerce live chat.
Ecommerce live chat is one of several must-haves to prepare your business for the upcoming holiday season.

If you think October is too early to start implementing the changes you want completed in time for the end-of-year online shopping season, come November you’re gonna have a bad time.

The good news is the fish are biting: conversion rates are up. But what do you need to do in order to position your business to capitalize on that as much as possible?

To avoid desperate scrambling in November, here are a few quick reads that can help guide you to holiday season success:

And here are some longer reads for those who are ready to get serious about their preparations:

But what about ecommerce live chat specifically? Before you try Velaro Live Chat (totally free trial can be found here), read a bit about what to expect below.

Ecommerce Live Chat for Conversions and Order Size

Deploying live chat to your ecommerce website increases conversions in two ways. First, it provides customers who may have a question about the product, shipping, etc. to get the certainty they need to complete their purchase, immediately. Second, for customers who would not think to ask for help, proactive chat can engage them, learn what they’re looking for, offer solutions, and take them off the trajectory of leaving your site, disappointed, and on the path to a sale.

Live chat can also increase order size for your ecommerce site. By recommending related items (for instance, batteries to go with a tool or toy), you are both providing thoughtful service to your customers and increasing your own profits.

Ecommerce Live Chat for Customer Service

Many are arguing that customer service is the new marketing. If that’s the case, live chat is the best tool you will have in your ecommerce marketing toolbox. Not only is it efficient for you (a trained live chat agent can engage four potential customers in conversations simultaneously), but it is also convenient for your customers – the average time spent in queue for live chat is well below that of phone or email average wait times. Moreover, customer satisfaction rates for live chat exceed those of any other channel.

Because live chat balances the personalization of one-on-one conversation with the efficiency of automation (for instance, making it easy to use pre-written messages), live chat can be extremely helpful to ecommerce customer service teams.

 

Click here to try Velaro Live Chat for free.

 

A Tale of Two Chat Scripts

The numbers are clear. Customers love live-chat.
Live-chat is good for the bottom line.

Live Chat
Well-crafted pre-made messages for live-chat (and leniency to divert from them) can be a major factor in customer satisfaction.

The numbers are clear. Customers love live-chat.

Live-chat is good for the bottom line. Live chat can save customers a lot of time. Shopping cart abandonment rates decrease when customers are engaged in a live chat conversation. The list goes on and on. Like anything though, there are right ways and wrong ways to engage customers with live chat.

Customers reward companies that personalize their experience. Live chat is no exception. Some of the efficiencies of live chat are a result of using canned messages. Scripted messages can be a time saver, but they need to be balanced with more natural communication styles so as to not come across as robotic or give the impression that the customer is interacting with a machine, not a person.

Business Insider (BI) posted an article a few years back comparing two drastically different live chat conversations. In the first example a customer contacted Amazon’s support center worried that someone was trying to steal his identity by reverse engineering his e-mail. After an arduous back-and-forth with the live chat agent, the customer was so exasperated that he posted the entire conversation online. A conversation is a two-way street, of course, and the customer clearly became aggressive toward the end of the conversation, but only after it was abundantly clear that he was getting nowhere with the live chat agent. There were a number of factors that made this exchange cringe-worthy: the live chat agent did not have full command of the English language; the agent relied too heavily on scripted responses that did not address the customer’s concerns nor answer his questions; it wasn’t clear that the agent fully understood the issue and offered “solutions” that didn’t address the problem. Wanting to see if Amazon’s chat support was as bad as the above customer claimed, BI contacted Amazon and Zappos via live chat under the pretense of wanting to apply for a job at each company.

Even though Zappos is owned by Amazon, the chat experiences the BI reporter encountered with each were dramatically different. How? When the reporter was chatting with Amazon’s agent, he was greeted with a series of canned messages. While he did eventually get his question answered, it was preceded by a scripted response. Although the recorded conversation that the reporter had with the Amazon agent in no way mirrored that of the customer mentioned earlier, it lacked a personal feel.

The reporter’s experience when working with the Zappos live agent was totally different. Mainly, the Zappos employee was comfortable veering from a canned script. She was appropriately sunny, quickly answered the question about how to apply for a job, and gave the overall impression that Zappos is a great company to work for.

So what’s the moral of the story? When it comes to delivering great customer experiences, agents need to be trained and encouraged to converse naturally and impart the “culture of the company” in their conversation.

There is a time and place for scripted conversations, but one of the reasons customers prefer live chat over other communication channels is it can allow for a personalized and targeted exchange. When training agents in live chat, this is important to keep in mind, as it can make all the difference in the type of experience your customer comes away with.

At the end of the day, what’s most important is that your agents are providing customers with personalized and helpful service so they are compelled to keep returning to your brand or product. Empowering live chat agents to naturally engage with customers is a good place to start.

3 Ways Tagged Chat Improves Live Chat

Live chat is a popular solution for web-based businesses chiefly due to two fundamental benefits: 1) efficiency and 2) revenue-reclamation.

Tagged chat exemplifies efficient, convenient and effective communication via live chat.
Tagged chat exemplifies efficient, convenient and effective communication via live chat.

Live chat is a popular solution for web-based businesses chiefly due to two fundamental benefits: 1) efficiency and 2) revenue-reclamation.

It’s fast and convenient for customers to get their questions answered via live chat, and it’s typically more efficient for businesses to field inquiries via live chat than via email or telephone.

For eCommerce sites, live chat also represents an effective way to mitigate shopping cart abandonment, and thereby “recoup” revenue before it’s lost. (It’s been estimated that 76% of shopping carts are abandoned totaling to approximately $18 billion in lost ecommerce revenue each year).

In addition to advancing these two chief live chat benefits (efficiency and revenue-generation/reclamation), tagged chat also facilitates best practice for live chat customer service. Depending on where you look, live chat customer service might focus on energy, empathy and etiquette, or politeness, personalization and fast response times, or being prepared, being informed and being well-managed.

In each of these instances, pre-written messages are essential. They form a courteous, thorough foundation of a response that your chat agents can then tailor to better meet the needs of their specific chat conversation.

Tagged chat allows for your chat agents to call up these pre-written messages more quickly and easily.

Tagged Chat and Efficiency

Live chat is the go-to communications channel for increased efficiency primarily because chat agents can field four chat simultaneously – whereas in other mediums, customer service reps can typically only assist one customer at a time.

Pre-written messages are a key component to this efficiency, and as alluded to above, tagged chat makes it even easier to utilize pre-written messages.

When a chat agent types a tag word with the tag symbol (e.g. “#thanks” vs. “thanks”), it brings up the list of possible pre-written messages, all of which contain that tag. From this library of tagged chat options, your live chat agent can then select the one that best meets their needs, and spend a few seconds polishing it into the optimal response before sending it to the customer.

Tagged Chat and Revenue-Reclamation

It’s estimated that 12% of those who abandon shopping carts do so because the checkout process is confusing. This is obviously an ideal point at which a customer service agent can intervene and assist the would-be customer in completing their purchase.

Moreover, 8% abandon their purchase because they can’t find the coupon code they planned to use, 13% because of a lack of confidence in the security of the payment process, and 28% because of unexpected shipping costs. If even a fraction of these situations were handled appropriately by a live chat agent, ecommerce businesses would enjoy more than a 20% decrease in the amount of abandoned shopping carts (more than $3 billion, by some estimates).

Tagged chat can support these revenue-reclamation efforts by making it easy for customer service reps to quickly shoot over a targeted message to the faltering prospective buyer before they exit your site. A visitor that has their expectations disrupted like this needs to be engaged quickly and appropriately. If they are already considering leaving, they are unlikely to patiently wait for your agent’s carefully-constructed reply—whatever you can do to expedite the answers they need will increase your odds of successfully leading them to a completed purchase.

Tagged Chat and Live Chat Best Practices

As mentioned above, courtesy is also an important aspect of effective live chat. With globally-accessible tagged chats, anyone in the company with the appropriate account role can create and/or select the preferred wording your team has worked hard to refine (or at least avoid common detrimental phrases). As a helpful side-note, you can brush up on your live chat etiquette here.

Depending on how you structure your tagged chats, you could even leave openings for personalization. At a minimum, you can include commands in your tagged chats that will automatically insert the chat agent’s name (e.g. “Hello! My name is [AgentName], how may I assist you?”) or the chatting visitor’s name (e.g. “Is there anything else I can help you with, [VisitorName]?”).

Tagged Chat in Use

Contact the Velaro Live Chat customer service team via chat and ask them about how they use tagged chat in their everyday work. Click here to begin chatting. 

Common Live Chat reporting Metrics: How Do You Rank?

Any data and performance consultant will tell you that the best way to gauge your organization’s improvement is to measure against your own historical performance, comparing the present against both recent history and annual/seasonal trends (e.g. monthly/quarterly Year Over Year comparison).

Any data and performance consultant will tell you that the best way to gauge your organization’s improvement is to measure against your own historical performance, comparing the present against both recent history and annual/seasonal trends (e.g. monthly/quarterly Year Over Year comparison).

That said, every organization that receives that guidance is still left hungry for a sense of what “normal” or “average” might be.

Fortunately, as far as live chat reporting is concerned, Velaro has released an infographic that includes stats such as:

  • average time waiting in the queue for live chat,
  • average total chat time, and
  • the busiest hour(s) of the day for live chat.

These stats are based on the millions of chat sessions logged by Velaro’s customers every year. Your organization can use this live chat reporting information as a baseline to set expectations for your live chat efforts until you have built up your own reliable set of historical data.

More about Live Chat Reporting

There are a multitude of metrics you can track, in addition to those above, in order to help improve your organization’s customer service efforts. You can read more about them here. In short, tracking activity at the visitor, agent, and organization level each can help inform your efforts to continuously improve. To learn what to track specifically, read this blog article about live chat reporting.

You may also want to consider the human element in live chat reporting. Without a willingness to change and without attention to possible perverse incentives, it’s possible that even the best metrics will lead your organization astray.

For more concrete examples of what live chat reporting looks like, you can find samples of live chat reports in this brochure.

Ecommerce Live Chat Reporting

For ecommerce live chat reporting specifically, you will want to utilize a live chat integration with your ecommerce platform.

This allows you to determine which of your live chat agents and which product pages are responsible for producing the most revenue for your business. Once you’ve identified this, you can scale your success by directing more traffic to these individuals and pages and by replicating what works across multiple agents/pages.

This can be especially important in the early days of your online business.

Read more about best practice for ecommerce live chat here.

Improving Your Performance with Live Chat Reporting

Live chat can produce tremendous ROI, in the form of both cost-savings and revenue generation, even within the first year (in some instances, within 30 days). Already, many organizations that have discovered this about live chat software are eager to get even more return from their investment in this technology.

By partnering with Velaro, you are positioning your organization to continuously increase its ROI by utilizing our powerful (and more importantly: actionable!) live chat reporting to drive improvements.

Savvy consumers know the additional value is there to be had from live chat software, and savvy business leaders are always eager for direct, simple ways to increase the ROI of their efforts and of their partnerships with vendors.

Click here to speak with an expert at Velaro live chat and learn more about how the right live chat reporting can help your organization increase ROI and raise expectations for customer service.