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By Kalin Kassabov, a founder and CEO of ProTexting.com, a fast-growing enterprise-level text message suite of services.

Live chat is a feature that makes your website more informative and engaging to visitors. It helps you differentiate yourself from the competition, giving prospects and customers a more interactive experience. Offering chat is especially effective on e-commerce sites where visitors have a wide selection of products and often need guidance. Let’s look at how live chat can help you increase revenue along with some tips on how to make the most of this compelling feature.

The Advantages Of Live Chat

E-commerce is growing fast as more people shop online every year. The pandemic of 2020 helped accelerate online shopping, but even before that, people appreciated the convenience of shopping from home. At the same time, an e-commerce site has more competition than ever before. You need features and services that set you apart. Live chat accomplishes this in several ways.

Speed And Convenience

People want to find what they’re looking for quickly. Forrester reports that 53% of customers will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find quick answers to their questions. With live chat, they can talk to someone right away without having to send an email or pick up the phone. Visitors save time as chat service reps guide them to the right products and answer questions about product features, shipping and other policies.

Learn More About Your Customers

The questions people ask on live chat provide you with valuable insights into their needs and preferences. For example, if many people ask if you offer gift wrap, this is a feature you should think about offering. If you get lots of questions about a Product X that you’re not yet selling, this is a clue that you should start offering it.

Meet Customers’ Expectations

As technology advances and shopping online gets more mainstream, customers’ expectations are quickly rising. Today, many shoppers expect an e-commerce site to offer live chat. They also prefer this interaction over other options such as email, phone and social media. Live chat has the highest customer satisfaction rate of 73% compared to other channels. Millennials, in particular, prefer live chat for customer service because of its speed and convenience.

Helps You Increase Revenue

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Research indicates that live chat does help businesses make more sales.

Kayako reports that 79% of customers gained higher sales, retention rates and revenue with live chat.

• Using information from LiveChat, it was found that the average return for a single chat is $249.

• According to WebsiteBuilder.com, live chat increases conversions by 20%.

Invesp reveals that customers who utilize live chat spend 60% more per purchase than non-chatters.

Getting The Most Out Of Live Chat

If you want to get optimal results from live chat, you have to follow certain guidelines.

• Stay on brand. Make sure your chat agents are trained to communicate with your customers in a way that’s consistent with the tone and style of your brand. For example, some companies have a hip and casual style, while others are more formal and businesslike.

• Use chat scripts, but keep them flexible. Scripts provide team members with guidelines to stay on track and deliver accurate information. However, if conversations sound too scripted, it can be a turnoff for customers. A script can be used as a blueprint, especially for newer agents. However, encourage team members to personalize them and improvise as they gain experience.

• Use chat to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Initiating a chat with a customer who has been on a checkout page for more than a few minutes can help prevent shopping cart abandonment. Such a conversation can be initiated with an automated message and followed up with a live discussion if the visitor responds.

• Use chatbots to supplement live chat. While chatbots can’t offer the same level of assistance as live chat, they are a useful backup tool when live agents aren’t available. A chatbot can answer FAQs and provide visitors with guidance on when they can talk to someone live.

Live chat is one of the most effective ways to provide quality, real-time support to website visitors. It’s a feature that works across many industries. When done right, live chat is a tool to build your brand, engage better with your customers and increase your profits.

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