3 Ways Live Chat Software Can Improve Your Conversion Rates

by 27 07/23/2013

If used correctly and as part of your overall customer service plan, live chat software has the ability to increase conversion rates by giving customers instant access to a live support agent right while they’re on your site.

But if you think simply slapping up an online icon and waiting for the orders to roll in is all it takes, you’ll be sadly disappointed.

There are “rules,” if you will, for using live chat software to the fullest, so you can:

Here’s what to look for, and how to make sure you’re using your live chat program to the fullest.

Powerful Analytics

The best live chat software includes intelligent analytics which can be leveraged to learn which pages customers are visiting, how long they’re staying on that page, and how they got there.

Normal analytics packages can do this as well; however, live chat analytics have one important advantage:

They present the best opportunity for the support agent to initiate a live chat session.

Sam’s Furniture uses the LivePerson™ chat software which looks at these very factors and determines if the user would be a good candidate for a live chat inquiry.

sams furniture

Often, with major purchases such as furniture or appliances, the customer has to think about it. They may want to compare prices and different models to determine if they’re getting a good deal. With these long-term, high-ticket purchases, they may come back to the site several times and then ultimately buy in a Sam’s Furniture retail store.

For these reasons, both the analytics and live chat customer support can identify customers who have been comparing different brands or who have spent a longer time on specific pages.

By posting an unobtrusive invitation to see if the customer has any questions, sales agents are able to provide answers and close sales.

It’s worth noting that adding the live chat to the Sam’s furniture website has accounted for about $50,000 in sales consistently from month-to-month.

In addition, customer support tracks the effectiveness of the live chat system by manually matching chat logs to each customer’s order.

Increasing Average Order Value

Virgin Airlines doesn’t use live chat to sell tickets, but rather uses it to upsell customers.

Users who buy tickets online are already in the decision-making phase, so they don’t need to be convinced.  But by upselling them with live chat as they complete their order, Virgin has created some enviable conversion rates.

Additional order value from users who use the live chat function is around 15% higher than those who don’t.

london

Beyond that, users who participate in live chat tend to convert 3.5 times as often as those who don’t. Virgin also says live chat is cheaper than emails and phone calls as one live chat agent can typically do the work of about 15 customer specialists who are handling emails and calls.

The takeaway lesson here is that live chat doesn’t just have to be about providing support and answering questions.  If used strategically, it can also be used to upsell a likely conversion, or, if the customer is hesitant to move ahead, down-sell with a “lite” option.

Smarter Page Tracking

Blue Soda Promo differentiates itself from more than 24,000 competitors who are also selling promotional items by using Bold Chat live chat software. With an average order value of $700, their customers want to be sure that all questions are answered before they place an order.

bluesoda

Depending on which pages the user has visited and how long they’ve been on a page, Blue Soda’s customer support agents initiate a chat to determine if the user has a question. As a result, nearly 60% of their chats lead to sales.

Live Chat Is Growing

According to recent trends, live chat’s popularity shows no signs of slowing.

Last holiday season around Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, LivePerson hosted more than 860,000 chats for its  8,500+ retail and business clients.

What’s one of the reasons for the stunning growth in recent years?  More ways to chat—such as through mobile.  When surveyed, 40% of customers said they’d be likely to use live chat on their mobile phone if such an option were offered, making it more important than ever to get up to speed on responsive design.

The bottom line

When it comes to using live chat, it shouldn’t be looked at as a marketing cure-all, but rather yet another link in the customer service chain that connects you to your prospect in a way that goes beyond just answering questions or directing inquiries.

When used strategically, live chat can become an integral promotional channel that builds loyalty, gets fans talking, and convinces users to take action.

So what are you waiting for? Get chatting.

About 

Sherice Jacob helps website owners improve conversion rates with custom design, copywriting and website reviews.  Get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up by visiting iElectrify.com.

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27 COMMENTS

Terra Mrkulic

Great article, thanks!

July 24, 2013 Reply

Joshua Unseth

It goes without saying, but bouncerate is also hugely reduced if you use chat software well. At Alarm Grid, we’ve been using Olark.com as a chat widget. We’ve been perfecting our filters so that when a person is on the site, it pops up after a certain amount of time and invites them to begin a chant with an operator. When we have operators on, our bounce rate falls to something like 42%, which is 7-8% lower than it generally is. The difference is statistically significant, and it contributes hugely to our company’s user experience.

July 24, 2013 Reply

Jeniffer

Great insight of live chat benefits. No doubt if live chat service is helping entrepreneurs to enhance customer support and sales volume. I personally saw a magical improvement of our sales when started using Live2Support live chat software into our E-commerce website.

July 25, 2013 Reply

Drupal Agency

We have also implemented live chat on our drupal site, but we receive a lot of non-relevant contacts and many visitors ask questions related to Drupal programming not to our web development services. The smart tracking way may be a solution in our case. Will suggest to our tech…Great tips, thanks!

July 25, 2013 Reply

thibault

I’m using Heybubble, it is very easy to use, I advise to try Heybubble.

July 25, 2013 Reply

Hyder

Very nice article, you can also check out Banckle Chat, an innovative live chat app.

Signup for free here: https://apps.banckle.com/action/signup

July 29, 2013 Reply

Rahul

Nice article Sherice. Live chat is really increasing day by day due to the demand of instant help among customers. Live chat gives an oppurtunity to the website owner with this. But in my view live chat alone is not that much effective. If it is used with some other essential customer engagement tools i.e. HelpDesk, Voice Chat etc , its effectiveness increase as the customer gets more options to interact with operators/agents.
ClickDesk http://clickdesk.com is the provider of live chat which fits in this cateory very easily.

August 12, 2013 Reply

Sandie

I am using http://www.heybubble.com and we are very satisfied : our sales activity have increased by 30 %, we have now a great costumer service. This live chat is very simple to use and you will be amazed ! it is a very nice work tool for me and my company.

August 19, 2013 Reply

Live Chat Software

Hello,
I agree, Live chat software is a great tool for any business website looking to get that edge over their competition.
Not only does it offer the obvious functionality of chatting to your users, It also adds extra value by enabling detailed visitor reporting, even realtime visitor reporting.
Once such provider is http://www.IMsupporting.com with no risk free trial you cant go wrong.

September 11, 2013 Reply

peter

Good article! We know that websites with larger number of visitors generally benefit from the power of live chat software. You can try 123 Flash Chat. The chat software can be seamlessly added to almost all the CMSes, like Joomla, phpBB, vBulletin, Skadate, etc. This is the latest v9.9 trial edition: 123flashchat.com/download.

October 17, 2013 Reply

frank

Live chat can definatly increase the conversion rate for online retailer website but you need to staff available on the website to operate live chat 24/7 and to hire staff visit livechatoperators.org

November 10, 2013 Reply

Zoey Richardson

I accidentally came across inside , and after looking through their site http://www.inside.tm/magento-chat, it morphs a business website into a virtual storefront so business personnel can see and help their site visitors in real-time using chat.

November 27, 2013 Reply

Craig

We offer our clients outsourced managed live chat facility and it has helped them to grow their business by realising better conversion rates while presenting a much better customer experience online. chatconverters.co.uk

January 16, 2014 Reply

Jamie

I agree with this post , live chat really palys big role to convert visitor in to cilent and enhance business. Because clients or website visitors like the better and instant customer support service. So, I’m using eAssistance Pro live chat on my website which enable me to get instantly connect with online customer and website visitors.

January 30, 2014 Reply

Marie

Thank you for this tips ! With live chat solutions, e-commerce owners quickly and efficiently answer to their customers’ issues and win their satisfaction… and increase their conversion rate! Managing the online customer relationship has become a priority for most of the companies! I currently use Watcheezy on my website. Watcheezy identify my high potential visitors and enable me to answer their issues in real time.

February 28, 2014 Reply

tonya

Great stuff ,I’m in the process right know in putting a live chat on my site now to convert more visitor in to cilent and enhance business.

March 19, 2014 Reply

Rupal

I really like the live chat feature. It’s definitely saved sales that would otherwise have been lost. Live Guide allows you to reach out to customers and invite them to chat based on where they are in their shopping experience.

April 3, 2014 Reply

Kathryn Aragon

Thanks for sharing, Elena.

April 22, 2014 Reply


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