Live Chat Tools for Maximising Conversions

These days, we all know that personalised and immediate customer service is an asset. Whether you sell goods or services online, the principles of commerce force us to create a user experience that efficient and congenial enough to compete in a busy environment.

Enter live chat. This is individualised real-time customer service at its best. Is it just a buzz, or are these tools living up to the hype? Here are some stats to help you decide…

  1. 63% of customers surveyed by Forrester said they were more likely to return to a website that included a live chat option
  2. If customer satisfaction is you’re after, live chat outweighs other options by a margin. It has a 73% approval rating in comparison to a phone which weighs in at 44%
  3. Customers that use live chat are reported to have a 10% increase in average order value, a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour, and a 40% conversion rate

Convenience means conversion. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Conversions

Conversion will mean different things to different people. Whether you’re selling a product, capturing leads, or offering eBook downloads, the goal is fundamentally the same – to get a pair of browsing eyes to make a commitment.

If a prospect can get their questions answered within moments, rather than enduring the painstaking call queue or email ticketing system, they will be warmer to progressing. Live chats impact conversion chances by:

  • Educating prospects about your product in real-time
  • Allowing you to compete with the bricks and mortar one-on-one service
  • Giving you the option to upsell on-the-go
  • Providing a personable user experience and improving brand engagement

Caveat: Whilst live chat is a phenomenal tool, it can be used poorly. In which case, it becomes like that overzealous waiter who won’t leave your table but is miraculously absent when you want to order. Or the chatty shop assistant that insists on following you around the store but doesn’t know the answers to the questions you ask.

Read more about common mistakes made in live chat implementation in this Forbes article.

The best live chat / chatbot solutions

Question #1:

Do you want a smart chatbot that is automated by the process of your customer journey mapping, or would you prefer to go with a real live human? If you go the human route, the agent can be an account manager receiving alerts on a phone app, or via email.

Question #2:

Which tool is best for you? The chat apps and plugins listed below are a combination of chatbots and live (human) chat options that will vary in relevance based on your situation. I’ve included a range of different options.

Drift is my personal favourite. It is not simply a chat plugin but an integrated conversational marketing platform using artificial intelligence (AI) to advance traditional marketing methods. It’s focus is B2B, so it may not always be appropriate – although it is flexible. It’s worth noting that this tool currently has 5 stars on Capterra. Happy customers, indeed!

Other popular live chat and chatbot tools include Live Chat, and the ever-present customer service suite, Zendesk. SnapEngage is another  live chat tool that works well across a range of industries, and allows users and agents to transfer files back and forth.

Aivo includes chatbot and live chat options. Whilst the bot experience can be a deterrent to certain customers looking for one-on-one experience, others will find the efficiency and round-the-clock service a huge bonus. Chatfuel, on the other hand, is exclusively a chatbot solution that allows you to automate your Facebook Messenger Inbox. It has an impressive client base, ranging from BuzzFeed to Netflix, to British Airways.

Most of the above tools have free versions and varying levels of pro versions. Check each tool’s pricing pages for more details. As with all martech, your stack must be built with scalability in mind. Make sure that your chat tool has the ability to expand accordingly as your business grows.

In conclusion…

You will be looking at better website engagement and higher conversion rates after installing a chat tool. But like anything, these solutions are only as good as how you implement them. One key factor to remember – especially with chatbots – is that if the user experience feels too robotic, you’ve defeated the purpose.

It’s about personalisation, and solving the complex queries of those who visit your website. Not only do you want to leave a good impression, but you need your chat solution to guide the prospect further down the funnel, to the next stage of commitment.