How to Use Live Chat To Sell More Product in 2021
Live chat used to primarily mean harried, impersonal responses to customer complaints. But today’s chat offers a unique way to replicate online the strong connections that come so naturally when consumers shop in store.
We’ve seen chat usage spike in recent months, primarily because so many stores were forced to move their in-store experiences online. But is upgrading your retail store’s live chat experience really worth the extra time, money and effort? Read on to find out.
Why use live chat to drive sales?
The idea that live chat can only be used for supporting customers who had something go wrong is a narrow one. Instead, think of live chat as a way to support customers through all stages of the buying cycle. That means pre-purchase and during, not just after.
What’s powerful about live chat is its ability to act against the inertia that shoppers might face before a purchase. A helpful rep on the other side of the screen can answer questions specific to the shopper like, “Will my active dog like this Frisbee?”
These specifically personalized recommendations can speak to a shopper’s actual needs, lifestyle, and shopping preferences, which helps remove that invisible barrier of trust and decision fatigue that online shopping can create. It’s why 41% of customers feel live chat is the best way to communicate with a business.
Catch prospective customers as they’re contemplating a purchase
When you send marketing emails, pay for ads, or post social media offers, you’re often interrupting people during moments where they’re not thinking about shopping or in the mood to make a purchase. A well-placed ad is great for grabbing attention until the person remembers to look you up again hours later but has forgotten the name of your business.
Live chat is unique in that it’s a contextual marketing method. That means prospective customers have shown the intent to purchase something on your site: they’re already present and browsing.
Catch them in the midst of their decision-making process: send a proactive message letting them know you’re available to chat immediately. Now, instead of closing the tab or minimizing it until they have time to consider their options, they can ask you any outstanding questions.
Increase conversion: let shoppers talk with you in real time
Research has shown that businesses who respond to a customer’s chat within five minutes are 69% more likely to get a sale from the shopper. This means that most prospective customers want your undivided attention when they’re considering making a purchase from you. Just like they would have in a brick and mortar store.
This gets back to the idea of trust. Shoppers feel more confident in brands that are easy to get a hold of. And if they know they can live chat with you quickly and easily, they’ll know they can get in contact should anything go wrong too.
Get better customer engagement
Engaged customers are people who feel a connection to a business, whether it’s because they love the products, the branding, or the mission and values of the company. Having a productive and positive conversation with someone at your company will help shoppers feel more connected to you.
Allowing shoppers to chat with you or your staff can make the entire exchange feel way more similar to the fun and immersive in-store experiences of old. That means you can build relationships with businesses just like you would get to know the baristas of your favorite coffee place or that lady in the corner store.
How To Offer Live Chat Effectively
Once you have gone through the basics of choosing a live chat solution, and choosing how, and by whom, it will be monitored, it will still primarily be up to you to deliver an effective live chat experience customers will love. Here are some quick tips for doing just that.
Know your stock better than anyone else
If it’s you or one of your trusty employees, the team member who manages live chat needs to know enough about each product you sell so that they can recommend the one that would be ideal for even a customer’s cousin’s girlfriend’s baby shower or to furnish their new living room. It also calls for recognizing what your best-selling goods are in every niche so that you can use that data to upsell or cross-sell.
Offer insightful product suggestions
Take the time to ask a few follow-up questions to ensure that you have good awareness about what the customer is searching for, so that you can recommend a few items that they would enjoy. This is your chance to get to know a customer so be sure you start a conversation to take advantage of this golden opportunity.
Be personable and honest
Unless using a bot to triage live chat requests is part of your strategy, customers expect to get a human on the other end of the ‘line’. Your chat should feel like a great in-store experience, similar to a conversation with your favorite coffee shop barista. Don’t be afraid to share your personal favorite products and why you love them. Your shoppers will appreciate that you’ve tried (and love) all of your products yourself.