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Live Chats: Changing How People Shop

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Imagine you’re a customer trying to buy something online- a pair of jeans, for example:

One browse through the collection the site has to offer. the user check the available sizes. You check the colors. But no matter how well-designed and how informative a website is, as a customer, you still want to make sure if it is “the jeans”- the perfect one. This is because you’re spending money on it. You want answers before buying it- you want to make sure everything is right, every concern is heard, no matter how silly. Live chats can make it easier for you. 

What is the material? Will it fit me? What’s the size guide? How quickly does the site deliver? What’s the texture? How dark is “dark blue”? Will the jeans lose elasticity over time? Is it heavy? What are its wash instructions? Is there something similar to this?

Most of these pieces of information are random, differing from one customer to customer, and therefore, aren’t typically displayed on the website.

So many specific questions and reservations, and no one to answer you.

Would you want to send an email about something so trivial to a customer service or Live chats agent and wait two to four days to get the answer? What about making a phone call and having to navigate your way through countless automated messages? You get annoyed to the point that you immediately make a mental note to never shop there again.

A live chat can, in this case, make a difference in your decision to buy it or leave it.

Despite being very troubled and irritated by the presence of pesky salesmen trying to coax you into buying something you’d rather not, admit it – you need them sometimes. You need a reassuring voice, telling you, “Buy it!” You need an expert- who knows the product, who knows what’s available, and who can answer every query you might have, and you need all of these fast.

A live chat is exactly that voice a customer needs, convincing you to buy a product, and, hence, maximizing the sales.

What Kinds of Businesses Can Use Live Chat?

Any business that requires customers having to choose from a range of diverse products may use live chat. If you have to talk to customers a lot, then it is best to install a live chat to help provide better service and satisfaction.

To name a few:

Hotels and lodgings:

Real-time advice can help customers pick the right room, provide a tour via video feature, etc.

Travel agencies:

Customers can be guided on the availability of flights, schedules, cancellation, best deals – all of these require a lot of real-time communication as things change quickly.

Restaurants: Customers often face difficulty in deciding what to order. Their queries can be dealt with in real-time, and photos or video messages can also be sent to improve the experience and help them choose instantly.

Live Chats: Changing How People Shop - ecommerce website

Benefits of Live Chat

Convenience:

More people will be switching to online purchases by the day due to the convenience of buying all they want with just a click. To make their shopping experience easier, Live Chat comes into the picture. It is like an online assistant that makes it easier for you to shop online. It is always there when you have a query.

Simplicity: Since it is a messaging platform similar to the social media platforms commonly used by customers and service representatives alike, no training is needed. It is easy for people to file their queries while they are looking at the product instead of being diverted to another page. The staff need no extra training to be able to use it either.

Saving time: A customer complaint lodged via an email or a phone call usually takes a long time and needless waiting to be addressed. Often, when the support reaches the customer, s/he is no longer interested in buying the product. With Live chats, time will be saved, and customers can get prompt responses.

Greater customer satisfaction:

Live Chat gives the message that you care about in accordance with the needs of your customer – provided, you are responsive and prompt. It helps build rapport with your customers. It conveys the thought that you are here to help them should they need it.

Offer tailored experience: Some live chat software may allow agents to view the customers’ browsing history on the site, their carts, their past shopping choices, time spent on the pages, etc. and provide them a solution customized to their needs. With the help of online web designing services, Live chats may also be designed to allow agents to provide recommendations to customers or links to specific products.

Giving a human touch to the business:

As shops move online, people are going to experience a much more automated shopping process. Live chat can add a human touch to the entire process. The customer service representatives working behind the scene can offer advice, provide guidance and recommendation, and help make shopping fun and not just one more thing we do on the internet.

Reducing cart abandonment: A majority of the customers still abandon their carts. Most of these incidents occur because customers aren’t yet sure if they want the product. They compare different sites and pricings to understand the best deal. But some of the visitors are potential buyers. The reasons behind their cart abandonment could be technical difficulties that arose while shopping or the inability to find a particular product or information.

This could be prevented by the proactive approach of some live chats – intervene as soon as you see a customer leaving. The live chat can engage with the customer to address their problems, if any, and help them through the purchase.

Providing mobile chats: Customers can directly reach customer service representatives whenever they need, even when the employee is on a lunch break, at home, at night, etc. They don’t need to come to the office to access the sophisticated system; they can do it from their homes using their PC or cellphones.

Features to Think about When Designing a Live Chat

We, as customers, have very little patience, and there is always an alternative company offering what we seek. If you want to stay afloat in a thriving society where entrepreneurs are blooming every day, you have to deliver what the customers want and how they want it. These are some factors that you can look into in order to do so:

Location

You don’t want your live chat button to be too hard to locate. If the customer can’t locate it instantly, s/he will assume it’s not there and leave the site without leaving a query.  You don’t want it to cover the important aspects of your website, you don’t want it to hide the products from the customer’s view.

It can be placed at the bottom of the page or at the corners. The logo should be similar to what customers are familiar with when they think of the word “chat”: a speech bubble, or a chat head – not a flower or a fish that looks out of place and randomly positioned. You also don’t want them near click baits, as customers accidentally clicking near it may be redirected and will, thus, try to avoid that region in the future.

Subtlety

You want the live chat to be a subtle presence, not a pesky salesman annoying the customer and driving him/her away. Don’t use a pop-up style Live chats box that actively and aggressively tries to intervene in a customer’s shopping privacy by popping up all the time. It should be within reach, without being annoying. The customer must be able to open and close the window as desired. It also helps if the chat box doesn’t consume all the space of the page.

Live Chats Changing How People Shop -welcome

Features

The interface of the live chat should mimic the instant messaging apps or live chats box of social media platforms. This way the customer will already be familiar with it and doesn’t have to learn how to use it; they’d rather leave the site than learn how to use it. They should be able to send messages instantly, with no delay. The messages should reach a customer service officer instantly and elicit an immediate response.

If they have to wait in a Live Chat Box, then what’s the point of it being there? You might just rely on emails and calls – the primitive method of communication. You may want to add a call button to make things easier too. This way, customers who are not comfortable messaging can directly call customer service.

The ability to send images is also a necessity- it helps the customers to interact better and saves time on both ends. However, beware of some customers harassing officers by sending them unwanted or unnecessary photos.

Staff

A live chat is an inanimate icon on your e-commerce platform. What makes a live chat personable are the humans working behind the scene. Having a live-chat is useless if your staff are not efficient, helpful, and polite. They must treat customers patiently and respectfully. They must have a thorough knowledge of the website.

A lot of customers may need help with something as basic as adding a product to the cart. They must be responsive and genuinely possess the desire to help a customer out. Most importantly, they must be active. Ideally, a live chat should work on a real-time basis. Some customer service officers should be there to respond to customers’ queries no matter what time it is.

Adaptation

All of your users will not be using the same device. Some may be using a tablet, some might be viewing it from their PC while a few of them might be on their smartphones. The live chat shouldn’t malfunction due to a change of device; it must be compatible with all devices and function smoothly.

Testing

Don’t just install a live chats software into your website and be done with it. Your job doesn’t end here; you have to test it repeatedly. You may add variations to the design, color, location, features, templates, etc. At

Try to get feedback from real customers. Use data to back you up on this – does incorporating a live chat boost up sales? It may not do so immediately, but you should see a change over the course of time. How often are visitors using the feature? Does a change in the live chat design change the frequency of usage?

Smart chat methods

Some companies now offer intuitive design for the live chat option of your website with the help of online stores that provide web designing seevives, such as E-commerce Website. This means it takes a proactive approach- the live chat will pop up when they think the customer needs help.

Suppose a customer has been viewing the same product for a long time without making a purchase or clicking and browsing multiple places on the same page – s/he probably needs immediate attention. A customer representative could simply say “Do you need help?”, so the visitor turns into a buyer, and their queries are answered as soon as they arise.

Using real identities of customer representatives

Customers like to know who they are talking to, if they can trust the person on the other end, and if they will be guided through the purchase by someone knowledgeable enough to handle it. Including the identity of the representative via the chatbox, as a displayed message or picture might make the experience more human and less automated. It will help build trust and comfort, and lead to greater customer satisfaction.

Bottom Line

The world is changing fast, and shopping options are unlimited. If you’re an entrepreneur, you may lose customers if you keep up the primitive methods. Modern businesses require reaching out to customers and tailoring their shopping experiences to secure sales and to have a long-term customer service reputation. A Live Chat is something all businesses should consider if they want to deliver the best in the shortest time possible.