Click-to-chat technology has proven to be an effective tool for marketers to engage customers and generate sales. In fact, according to an Internet Retailer report, 10 percent to 15 percent of e-commerce browsers end up purchasing products if they engage in online chatting, while only 2 percent convert to buyers without chatting.
In a recent white paper, eStara Click to Chat: Best Practices to Drive More Sales and Better Customer Service With Proactive Chat, Cambridge, Mass.-based e-commerce solutions provider ATG offers several best practices for implementing click to chat in your online marketing channel. Here are a few:
1. Match your presentation rules to your business goals. First, determine your major implementation goals, such as increasing sales, reducing Web site abandonment and offering enhanced customer service, the white paper says. Then for each goal, identify the key areas to engage customers in order to achieve those goals. For instance: number of items in a shopping cart, total shopping cart value and time spent on a high-value page (such as a product page of a certain monetary value) are good places to add click-to-chat features to increase sales. Also, the amount of time on a page, attempts to back out of an online form and pages where drop-off is high are areas to look at for reduced abandonment.
2. Use click to chat judiciously. The areas mentioned above are good places to implement click to chat to answer consumers’ questions and urge response, but be cautious not to inundate Web site visitors with too many chat pop-ups, warns the white paper. Web site visitors become annoyed with constant “Can I help?” pop-ups, so target visitors who show active interest in your site. Also, make sure to give consumers the option to accept or decline chat invitations.
3. Help your contact center be successful. If your contact center agents aren't ready to handle chat technologies, customers will become frustrated with the chat process and the entire concept will prove worthless. ATG suggests keeping the following in mind:
- Response time: On average, consumers should not wait more than a minute for an available agent after accepting a chat invitation, the white paper says. Streamline delivery to agents, and set up routing rules based on parameters such as line of business, customer value, language and level of escalation.
- Chat availability: Review center workloads and do not deploy click to chat when agents typically experience peak workloads. Also, plan for agents to handle no more than three simultaneous sessions to ensure quality and efficiency, ATG suggests.
- Agent skills and proficiency: Not all agents are suited for click-to-chat interactions, warns the white paper. Train agents, especially those used to handling customer queries by phone, to work in the chat environment. Agents need to be able to respond to customers succinctly and accurately, which requires specific communication skills.