Adding live chat to your funnel is not only a great way to support your customers; it can also prove to be super fruitful in igniting sales and optimising leads.
That said, communicating over live chat is an entirely different experience from other support channels. You want to be personable but not overly familiar, engaged without being too pushy, knowledgeable without leaving your leads hanging. Sounds exhausting, but the steps to live chat success aren’t rocket science – as long as you have the right tools.
The key is identifying your company’s live chat etiquette. This will not only make it easier for your team to guide leads from prospects to converters in flash; it will also give you a scalable, trainable resource. Win-win.
After spending the better part of a year refining our live chat experience, here are our top six tactics.
1. Be punctual, but not pushy
The truth is, customers won’t always make the first move – you need to be proactive and actively identify users who may need some extra assistance.
Don’t be disheartened if clients don’t take you up on the extra level of support. The fact that you offered is more than enough to show you are actively available.
Allow customers to get familiar with your site before popping in for a chat; this will give them a moment to get their bearings with no interruptions.
Tactic: Auto-program your chat system to pose a question on relevant pages. Make sure you give users enough time to review the page, before popping up to say hello.
2. Get specific
This takes cues from being proactive (above) but etches that one step further towards personalization. Rather than simply automating your chats, keep them focused on the task at hand.
Johnathan Dane of PPC agency KlientBoost suggests using unique phrases to compliment the source of traffic within your chat systems. “Make your automated messages specific to the URL visitors are on or from the ad they clicked through on.”
He goes on to articulate,
“Doing so has helped our clients at KlientBoost increase conversion rates while also helping us improve their messaging.”
Personal chat invitations are far more compelling than the blanket outreach option. so be sure to cultivate yours appropriately.
Tactic: Craft automated and unique chats to match your product pages or the promotion being offered.
3. Keep it short and goal orientated
Much like emails, live chat messages need to grab attention quickly – and hold it. The difference is the digital real estate these two channels work within. When reviewing live-chat messaging, the unwritten rule is:
The moment your leads need to scroll, you probably should have sent an email.
To keep messages concise and to the point, focus on the goal of reaching out, what you want the user to do as a result, and why. Once you have those aspects nailed, pulling your copy together should be a breeze.
The great thing about messaging and why we stress “keep it simple” – it’s an open conversation, so if a user has a question or the line of communication piques their interest, all they have to do is ask!
Tactic: Form your messages using a simple template structure, for example:
[Greeting] + [What you want them to do/ How you can help them] + [Next step]
4. Be Friendly
Friendliness is next to godliness – right? Well, not quite, but in the climate of lead curation, it is definitely your best foot forward.
While it’s important to make sure you are qualifying your leads and directing them to the correct funnel, you also want them to know that you’re real people, too.
The easiest way to achieve this is through open and friendly conversations. There is no one-size-fits-all for communication, but we recommend feeling out the type of conversation your lead is looking for. Whether free-flowing and fun-loving or all laced up – they’ll guide you :-)
Tactic: Avoid overtly business-styled, emotionless communication. People come to live chat to discuss or resolve things quickly and easily with a real person; not a robot.
5. Lean on your help section
While step-by-step instructions are super informative, there is a time and place. Having to deal with that level of detail within chat (or even email!) can be tedious – not to mention utterly boring. Our rule of thumb for reducing customer effort and increasing satisfaction is to avoid the boring and annoying.
This is where having an FAQ section or knowledge base comes into play. Not only are these a great resource for your team; they’ll also save your customers the headache of having to navigate long chat messages.
Tactic: As a general rule, if your directions are made up of more than one image or several steps – link your customers to them.
6. Personalize your front line
The last (but often most overlooked) step is putting a human to the name.
With the rise of automation, personalising your support reps can be one of your most powerful tools for converting leads.
The last thing you want is for a prospective client to be turned away because they assumed they were talking to a robot when it was actually a real-life human. The easiest solution? Add a name and upload a friendly, personable, non stock-feeling photo to accompany your personable messages.
Tactic: First up: a photo is a must. Then, if possible, add a bio or short intro for your team. That way, leads will know who they’re working with and how you’ll be helping them :-)