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5 Easy Ways to Drive Revenue with Live Chat This Holiday Season

Written by Kayla Brehm | Nov 18, 2015 7:00:03 AM

The holidays are quickly approaching and while brick and mortar stores prepare their showroom floors for an increase in foot traffic, online retailers are getting their customer service teams ready for a historic season. At 67.4%, a record number of US consumers are planning to shop online this year, up 14.9% from last year. As a company who sells online, are you doing everything you can to maximize your revenue this holiday season?

Implementing live chat can help your customer service teams exceed expectations this holiday season. According to a study by econsultancy, live chat has the highest customer satisfaction rate for any customer service channel. Customers want help when they need it, and want their problems solved fast and with little effort.

Data shows offering chat on your website increases customer satisfaction. And we all know that a good customer experience positively influences revenue.

How? Let’s explore. 

1. Use proactive chat
 

Proactive chat, or the triggering of a chat invitation based on a predefined set of visitor behaviors, is a great way to reach the customer when they need you most (and often before they even realize they do).

If you’re at a restaurant and your water glass is almost empty, would you rather wait until its contents are completely gone to be refilled, or to have a waiter notice your situation and approach you before you get to that point? Chances are you’d rather not have to ask. That’s the benefit of proactive chat.

The more online buying experiences are able to mimic the concierge experience of shopping in person, the better the outcome for both company and customer. 44% of  US online consumers saying that they like having a chat invitation appear to help answer questions during an online research or purchase, up from 33% in 2012 and 27% in 2009. Customers want proactive customer service.

How can you use proactive chat this season?

  • Reward loyal customers: Use proactive chat to reward your repeat customers. Set up a custom proactive chat trigger for some of your loyalest existing customers and treat them to a unique promo code for their purchase. They’ll love the VIP treatment and that you know who they are, despite the relationship being based online.
  • Create seasonal chats: If you’re feeling the holiday spirit, change some of the language in your chat to be more season-friendly. A quick adjustment from “Hi [name]” to “Happy Holidays!” can go a long way.
  • Use chat to proactively increase customer trust: Helping someone find the right gift? Suggest complementary items, discuss pros and cons of different offerings, and ensure that your agents are knowledgeable in the products you offer. Buying is largely trust based, and the more a customer feels good about their relationship with your brand, the more comfortable they’ll be buying larger quantities from you because they trust that the result will be good. In fact, 1 in 3 people who chat before buying buy more than they were planning to.
  • Remove holiday shopping stress: Use data to identify points that customers are getting confused and teams proactively address those bottlenecks before customers run into them. By streamlining their experience without them even knowing, you’ll ensure that the holiday shopping season is as stress free as possible.

2. Put chat on your checkout page

Cart abandonment is a big deal. Consider the statistics:  An average of 68.53% of online transactions are abandoned at the checkout page in 2015; Alternatively, $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in shopping. No matter what way you look at it, teams need to address why customers are leaving before checkout.

Use live chat to help identify the problem and come to a solution. If you notice someone pausing for longer than average on your checkout page, initiate a conversation with a simple, “Hi! Is there anything I can help you with?”. Their answer may help you uncover a product issue or bug that can save you time and money later on.

3. Identify your pages with the highest bounce rates

Google defines a bounce rate as the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). Work with your team before (and during) the holiday season to identify which pages on your website have the highest bounce rates.

Are your analytics telling you people are leaving your “About” page after one minute? Set up a trigger for that page that prompts a chat asking the customer if they need any help. You may soon discover that you need to adjust your content or page layout to be more clear.

4. Put Chat on all of your pages

83% of CX inquiries during the holiday season will go unanswered

It’s common for companies to only offer chat on one or two of their highest traffic pages. Increase your availability during the holidays by offering chat on every page of your website.

Providing chat on each page will increase your speed of service and get customers the solutions they need faster. Rather than page over to your contact page to get in touch, they can reach you when (and where) the problem arises.

According to Sprout Social, 83% of CX inquiries during the holiday season will go unanswered. Don’t let that happen. Be present to provide help when your customers need it. The best thing about chat? Agents can handle 2-5 chats at a time on average depending on complexity, so redirecting customers to chat rather than phone and email will make your holiday customer service far more efficient.

5. Set up priority and skill-based routing

Priority routing allows teams to adjust which team/ person gets a chat first. If you have a new team member who may not be as knowledgeable about the product as someone who has been on staff for a few years, adjust your priority settings accordingly.

If you also have team members who serve as backup for your primary agents, you can set them at a lower priority. When your primary agents are at their maximum number of chats (some agents can handle up to 5, while others max out at 3), your backup agents can easily jump in and take over.

Departments allow your team to set routing based on the skills of your agents. Are two of your agents primarily customer support and the rest sales? You can easily set up different departments that a customer can choose from. In this way, your agents can handle chats based on their primary roles in your team.

The holidays are the biggest revenue event of the year for many companies. Make sure that your team is ready to maximize not only your profit, but your customer experience during this busy time of year. Live chat is a great way to reduce stress for customers and staffing needs for companies, a true win-win in this busy holiday season.