When your customers have a question – whether it’s about your offerings, a small detail of a product or the sales process itself – giving them a prompt answer might be the difference between a sale and a lost prospect.
Unfortunately, many online retailers find that the final step in the sales process – making the actual purchase – is a hurdle consumers simply walk away from. The Shopping Cart Abandonment Index, compiled by Listrak, has reported daily abandonment rates rarely falling below 75 percent.
There’s one useful tool that has proven to be helpful in bringing the sales cycle to completion on sites across a wide range of industries: live chat software, according to Hubspot. The average consumer who uses this helpful device is nearing the end of the sales funnel, meaning they’ve likely already decided they need to buy something, but perhaps isn’t sure exactly which thing that is, or is choosing between two or more potential options.
Often, getting customized, expert answers to their final questions is what convinces a consumer to follow through with a purchase. But while installing live chat software on your website is a step in the right direction, there are some methods you can take to truly optimize it for best performance and sales growth.
Send a message at the right time
Some of your customers might be able to navigate your website perfectly. They know exactly what they want, where to find it and how to successfully make a purchase. This consumer doesn’t need your help, and probably doesn’t want it.
Other customers might have trouble finding a certain page or get stumped on the checkout process. Using an automated initiative chat that’s triggered based on consumer behavior could prove beneficial in aiding the customer with whatever obstacle is getting in the way.
For example, some websites offer a chat box when a customer has had items in his or her shopping cart for longer than the average period of time. Others do so when it appears that someone is trying and struggling to find the FAQ or self-service help page. Jumping in at what may be a frustrating point in the buyer journey can turn an almost-lost sale around.
Chat like a human to improve small business sales
When your customers have a specific question, chances are, they want to know that a real human being is listening and answering them. While it may be true that a live person is on the other side of that chat screen, it can be easy to fall into a robotic pattern of conversation.
With no vocal cues or body language to help communicate your humanity, chat users are left with digital devices like conversational language and emojis. And these are exactly what Alexis Sells, an inbound sales consultant at Hubspot, recommends.
“When a prospect cracked a joke, I’d write ‘LOL’ or ‘haha,'” she noted. “Basically, I tried to be myself.”
Though your customer service personnel should still sound professional, sending one or two emojis, giving them a 🙂 or using very human questions and statements like “How was your weekend?” or “Nice to meet you, I’m Alexis,” can go a long way.
Be available when customers are shopping
Just because you close up shop at 5:00 doesn’t mean it’s wise for your live chat center to go offline. Your company headquarters and your primary customer base might be in two very different locations and time zones. Knowing what time of day the bulk of your customers visit your website can make a huge difference.
Your website should be tracking data like this constantly (and if it’s not, it’s time to set it up to do so). Review analytics that show you which region of the world or country most of your sales are from, and what times of day sales are being made. Then, be sure you have someone online during that time.