In one of my previous articles I mentioned how important it is to use a live chat system for your e-commerce store, since it may exponentially increase both your sales and the average transaction value at your store.
The effectiveness of this system is based on how deeply customers trust you and feel like they can rely on your services.
In this article I’m going to list six tips, based on personal and customers experience, about how to use a live chat system properly.
1) Use your name
Whenever I visit other e-commerce stores, I often notice they offer a live chat system called “Call Customer Service”.
Despite the fact this sounds direct and effective, it belittles any kind of human touch we are trying to provide by offering a live chat system, which keeps customers distant.
That’s why my first piece of advice is to use your real name instead of any preset formula.
It’s a psychological fact: the first thing we want to know when talking to someone it’s their name, that’s why we begin conversations by introducing each other. As an extension of this concept, it’s easy to understand why reading a proper name rather than a cold “Customer Service” helps customer feel welcome at your store.
Keep this in mind: if a customer doesn’t make questions or ask for any solution to their problems, they are hardly going to buy your products.
2) Use your face.
This could be considered a consequence of my first point: it is indeed important to know the name of the person you are talking to, but we also would not start a conversation with somebody who is wearing a paper bag over their head.
Being able to see the face of the person you are talking to is of basic importance to gain a customer’s trust since, in the cold internet world, it is indeed reassuring to feel like a “real person” is helping you out.
This is the reason why a lot of Customer Service systems display the operator’s picture, in order to make the customer feel welcome, but try to avoid one very common mistake.
Use a real picture, not one taken from some kind of stock service. Your customers are not stupid and after years on the internet, they can probably tell a generic picture from a real, personal one.
To preserve and improve the effectiveness of this system we should use a plausible picture of the Customer Service operators: a live chat is hardly ever operated by a fashion model.
And don’t worry about possible imperfections: that’s what makes us human and what makes human touch real.
3) Answer all messages
It’s hardly possible to be able to offer a 24 hours live chat system, most live chat services are only active for a few hours every day.
How should we assist those customers who need help while we are not around?
If customers are having second thoughts about one item, they are not going to buy it and if the live chat is not active at that time, they are going to leave your store.
So have we lost them for good? Not really, there is always a way to try and win them back.
When customers send you a message and find out the live chat system is momentarily unavailable, we are given the chance to contact them back as soon as we are back online.
Remember to reply to all messages you receive while you are offline, even just with a simple “Hello” or “ejhnfoaefj”, this way you are sending a feedback to your customer which will increase the chance of them coming back to your store.
About 70% of potential customers leave your store without completing their transaction, so you understand there is big amount of customers you can win back, it would be a shame to just let them go.
4) Don’t let customers wait for your replies for too long
Whether some customer is trying to contact you for assistance or complaints, there will be times in which you will not be able to provide an immediate answer.
I’ve seen a few live chats end abruptly with a: “Sorry, we were unable to help you. Have a good day.”
Now this is the most effective way to lose customers and let your store acquire a bad reputation.
Don’t ever appear confused or unprepared, if customers make question you cannot answer to, don’t keep them waiting: start a dialogue with them.
The best way to act is to ask them specific details about the issue they are experiencing, so that you will:
- Obtain information that will help you look for an answer
- Gain time while looking for an answer.
- Make customers feel involved and important since you are focusing on their case and not on a generic issue.
5) Save a few deals and offers for customers who are willing to buy multiple products
Offering a discount voucher or a specific deal to live chat users that are willing to make multiple purchases also proves to be a wise move.
This system, besides from increasing sales oriented to this part of your customer base, brings two interesting consequences:
- Customers will feel “pampered” and rewarded for spending time at your store, which is only a good thing.
- You will obtain a powerful tool useful to calculate the effectiveness of your live chat service.
Indeed if you create a specific deal available only for live chat users and then compare the amount of people who used that offer and the amount of people using your live chat, then you can see how effectively persuasive this system is.
6) See you soon!
Finally, let’s talk about how to end a conversation.
Customers might feel a little lost by an operator ending a conversation abruptly.
Back to our real life example, it would be just like the person you are talking to would disappear just after finishing talking to you… that wouldn’t be nice, right?
That’s why it’s a good thing to send a direct email to customers once the chat ends, thanking them for their time and inviting him to contact you again for any other possible issue or doubt.
This, besides providing a warmer human touch, allows you to send messages directly to your customers reminding them to come back to your store.
And you are set!
As you can see these tips are focused on keeping and improving the quality of your relationship with your customers since, at the same conditions, customers will shop at the store with the best customer service and where they felt more welcome.
Now, if you’re wondering “how can I implement this function into my WooCommerce based store?” the answer lies in a simple plugin: Live Chat