Everything You Need to Know About Proactive Chat
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
Healthy communication with customers is undeniably pivotal to every business and its success. Although its importance hasn’t dwindled as we stepped into the digital age, it has evolved into something that harbors enormous potential – digital communication. Online communication has enabled businesses to engage with customers on multiple levels and platforms. You no longer have to wait for the customers to enter your brick-and-mortar establishment to dazzle them with your exceptional sales skills. Now, you can reach out to them online, making offers, solving issues, making sales, i.e., providing the kind of support that will keep them coming back for more.
The tools that enable this kind of engagement are abundant – and still developing. Virtual assistants now chat with customers without much supervision, using both written and voice messages to lead enjoyable, meaningful conversations. However, what we have to do is make sure to translate that welcoming smile and commitment into the digital language!
After all, customer loyalty is built through a strategic, human approach and dedication to customers’ needs. Implementing live chat has done wonders for 87% of companies that have integrated it into their operations thus far – and for good reason, too.
By integrating live chat to your website you can improve conversions by 12% because most customers prefer immediate response on their query. In the same statistical compilation by techjury, you’ll find that live chat has the highest consumer satisfaction rate of a whopping 82 percent. Moreover, 41% of consumers prefer the immediate responses of support teams. But why stop there?
Picture 1. Customer satisfaction
Enter Proactive Chat
Chatbots are able to engage customers in reactive chat, offer support, and even throw in a joke or two to ensure a pleasant customer experience. But in order to be truly effective, they have to do more than wait for someone to come to them. With proactive chat and a structured scenario, chatbots are now able to initiate conversations and ask questions. They can spark interest and even awaken dormant prospects with a personalized experience.
According to a Forrester report, reactive chat provides a ROI of 15%. Proactive chat, on the other hand, will produce an amazing 105% ROI. And here are some of the whys and the hows:
- It prevents frustration – with the help of behavioral targeting, we can engage struggling customers and make their experience as comfortable as possible.
- Keeps your customers’ company – A mere hello goes a long way when it comes to customer satisfaction.
- Enables perfect targeting – Recognize returning customers at just the right time.
- It helps ease logistical tensions – engages customers requesting tracking information and offer an update on their status.
- Makes irresistible offers – Customers browsing your site will learn about current or forthcoming promotions, discount codes, or coupons.
Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment
One of the major challenges for online stores on ecommerce platforms continuing into 2021 is shopping cart abandonment. Over three-quarters of shoppers choose to leave a site before completing the sales funnel with a purchase. To tackle this issue, businesses will need a fresh approach.
Several innovative methods have surfaced to reduce the stress of entrepreneurs over abandoned carts. Prompting reminders through Facebook messenger, for instance, is one of them. Proactive chat is another effective strategy for minimizing cart abandonment.
This type of live chat engages users directly based on the behavior they demonstrate while browsing a website. Customers who linger on your website are struggling to find what they need. They’re looking for certain information or having trouble navigating your site. Providing help at the right moment is essential if you want to keep them around long enough to make a purchase. Hold their hand with an automated message and secure the final click that results in a sale.
Picture 2: Abandoned cart reminder
Different Customers Need Different Approaches
The approach may differ, but the end goal remains the same – clear all obstacles on your customer’s way with friendly and natural assistance. Besides recognizing the visitor’s behavior, timing plays a vital role here. Let’s take a look at some of the scenarios in which visitors are likely to respond well to proactive chat invitations:
The returning customer
Building a connection is easier with repeat visitors, as they are already acquainted with your brand. Given their satisfaction while making purchases the first time, they are more likely to respond to a proactive chat invitation. Use metrics such as visit times, order history, and time on the website to customize the perfect message.
The reluctant shopper
There will be potential customers who you’ll notice spending time on checkout pages without completing a purchase. As valuable leads, they are worth targeting, thus preventing cart abandonment. Useful metrics prove to be the shopping cart item count and value and time spent on the page.
Visitors from certain geographic locations
If your statistics show that visitors from a certain area have the most buying potential, they are a worthy target for a proactive initiative. Besides monitoring the current page URL and time spent there, country/region or city are metrics that will provide the necessary information.
Always inform your visitors about upselling or cross-selling campaigns. Add to their desired item and offer a discount or remind them of price reductions or free shipping deals. In this case, you’ll want to track what types of items they’re buying, how much they’re spending, and how much time they spend on a product page.
Picture 3: Cross-selling vs. Upselling
Your pages with a high bounce rate
Timely assistance can make all the difference. If you do your homework and check customer behavior metrics on your website in detail, you will notice which pages have a high bounce rate. Let’s say that your page containing a sign-up form registers abandonment typically within 30 seconds. If you set up an automatic pop-up at 15 seconds and offer a guide through the sign-up process, you can keep visitors from leaving, thus improving website conversion and sign-up rates.
The FAQ lurkers
If you notice potential customers spending a lot of time on your FAQ page, they are probably very interested in your products or services but need some questions answered first. Initiating conversation via proactive chat will provide much-needed assistance. This is a good time to mention that you can always shift from automated and rule-based responses to a real-life sales representative in order to ensure the best possible customer service. In this scenario, you’ll need to observe the time spent on each specific FAQ page.
You Found the Customers. Now What?
Finding the visitors that are most likely to convert is important, but it will not seal the deal. The message will.
Related: How to Turn Visitors into Buyers?
The second part of a proactive chat strategy is how you craft the conversation. Keep it simple and in question form. This is effective simply because interested prospects who arrive at your website are not usually aware of how proactive messaging works. This is why they are most likely to believe that a real agent is reaching out directly (and if so, you’re doing a great job!).
Combined with visitor type recognition we’ve talked about and timely triggers, the questions in your proactive chat initiative will be relevant to the customer’s queries, which will hopefully result in a conversion. Always remember that a real person is on the other end of the line, and manage your approach accordingly. Here are a few helpful tips besides good timing:
- Don’t spam. Keep your chat minimal and don’t overwhelm your visitors with messages.
- Keep a healthy distance. If you notice your potential customer is not keen to engage in conversation, don’t force it. You’ll achieve more by stepping back.
- Set up bot flows. Although not entirely restricted to chatbots, proactive chat does much more this way. Assistance is available even when your live agents are not around (or are otherwise engaged), and the conversation can move at a much faster pace, reducing wait time and delays.
- When needed, hand over to live agents. A bot flow setup is helpful, but not always enough. A live chat agent may take over the conversation or even manage it from the start, depending on the nature of your business. Either way, you should never make the customer wait too long for a response since it will annul all the effort you put into setting up chat triggers.
Picture 4: Live chat conversation
Proactive chat allows you to see your website through your customers’ insights. There’s an immense value in customers’ input which you can further use to update your website and CX practices. By making the necessary amendments to your overall chat strategy, you’ll be able to provide the best customer experience and yield better business results.
In the merciless ecommerce landscape, having the upper hand means doing everything in your power to make your customers happy. With proactive chat, you will be able to rise above the competition since you’ll be the one reaching out instead of waiting for the customers to come to you.
It’s time to be proactive and level up for more profit.
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