It is anticipated that 85% of companies will use live chat support by 2023. Two major driving forces behind this trend are digitalization and ever-changing customer needs. 

Retail businesses, for example, are now automating their service response to increase efficiency while providing real-time digital assistance to their customers. They do this simultaneously by launching live chat as a strategic customer service strategy.

Big brands like Nikon and Shopify have long been utilizing this channel to give customers a frictionless way of resolving their queries. But before you jump into the live chat bandwagon, you should know the best practices for a successful live chat implementation. 

In this blog article, we unpacked the top 10 live chat best practices that major Ecommerce brands swear by. Apply these to your website and watch your store conversion rates skyrocket.

10 Live Chat Best Practices You Should Implement in Your Website

1. Display the chat button in an easy-to-spot space.

Since the live chat button initiates the conversation, strategically positioning it in an easy-to-spot space can help visitors get off to a good start. Customers should know where to go if they have a question that needs to be answered immediately.

It’s a rule of thumb to display a live chat button at the bottom right corner of your website. The best live chat practices include putting your live chat button on every page so your customers can readily reach it. Customers may not see your chat button if you only display it on one or two pages. They may even get frustrated and leave your website in a heartbeat when they can't find immediate support. 

2. Design your chat box for user experience.

The choice of colors in the chat section significantly improves the functionality of your chat button. Live chat best practices suggest using colors that help your live chat window blend in with your retail brand. In other words, use your brand's colors or model the colors of your live chat window after them. This will make your chat window appear cohesive and professional and reassure your customers that they are on the right page.

To prevent making your text difficult to read, avoid using a text color that is either too bright or too close to the window color. Making proactive chat requests in this design could make your window appear spammy, resulting in fewer customer engagements.

3. Reduce your live chat first response times

Did you know that while using online chat support, customers expect a first response time of 15 seconds or less? If you keep them waiting beyond that short window of time, you're losing a potential buyer ready to purchase from your store.

To reduce response times, one of the live chat customer service tips you can implement is to inform customers of your business hours. By doing so, you can avoid wasting their time and tell them when you're available. You may also display active agents or recently online to let customers know that somebody is available to assist them as quickly as possible.

If you find that some inquiries are becoming repetitive, you may update your Help Center to include some of your most current FAQ articles.

4. Integrate your live chat with a CRM software

When used with live chat, CRM software helps you manage the data of the customers you've been in contact with on your website. A CRM tool enables you to save all the customer data in one location. This offers you a better understanding of the problems that customers are experiencing, which you can use to develop targeted content that specifically addresses your customers’ pain points.

Along with helping you deliver the best customer support, it allows you to personalize your conversation and retain repeat buyers. By knowing more about your customers based on chat interactions, you can spot upselling and cross-selling opportunities that boost your revenue.

5. Show empathy and understanding with your customers

60% of human communication occurs nonverbally, which is the main reason why live chat services are commonly perceived to lack empathy. Because of this, any chat support agent would have a difficult time making customers feel heard. That’s why it’s essential to train your customer support team to internalize empathy statements and make customers feel heard. 

To help customers feel heard, use the following empathy statements in accordance with your best judgment:

"I'm truly sorry to hear about your experience."

"I would feel the same way if that happened to me."

"I realize how complicated we've made things for you."

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

“Thank you very much for alerting us about this…”

Keep in mind that you are speaking to a person. Spend some time listening to their concerns and empathize as if you’re talking to a friend. Don’t be in a hurry to offer them a solution; make them feel understood first before you arrive at the right solution.

6. Gather feedback from your customers

Some businesses offer a great live chat service but don’t ask for customer feedback. Hence, they miss out on the opportunity to improve their service. Little did they know that customers could help their business transform into a customer-centric company by asking the right questions.

You can conduct post-chat surveys using live chat software that has advanced customization. For example, after a chat session, you may ask your customers to rate their overall experience by sending them post-chat surveys. Your business can also record the customer’s input and use that data to enhance your customer service continuously.

Depending on the product and the data you're trying to collect, a chat survey can be straightforward or in-depth. You can request your customers to rate the chat conversation on a scale of 1 to 5, click the like/dislike button, or leave comments outlining their experience.

7. Incorporate other channels for an omnichannel experience

Live chat customer service best practices highly recommend businesses to offer omnichannel customer experience. An omnichannel strategy provides customers support over numerous channels and touchpoints. Here, customers can use any channel they prefer and switch to another channel without losing previous chat interactions. 

To provide an omnichannel experience, you may integrate other channels into your chat widgets, such as Facebook, email, phone, and SMS. For instance, when users click on Facebook, they are taken to the Messenger application, where they can immediately start a conversation. This chat will be available to your team in one overview, along with conversations from all other channels. 

If you run a retail store, integrating other channels with your live chat makes it easier for your team to respond to inquiries without tracking other channels separately. Imagine what that could do to improve your team's productivity.

8. Make the live chat experience more personal

Unfortunately, some retail brands still need to figure out how to make their live chat more personal. Chatbots are starting to emerge on this channel. But, knowing how customers hate chatbots, they risk losing a potential sale. 

Adding a personal touch to your live chat doesn't take much work. You can start by using your agents’ names and uploading their real photos in the chat. By doing this, it increases your company's credibility and makes it easier for customers to strike up a dialogue.

9. Track relevant metrics for better optimization

Live chat best practices also involve monitoring relevant metrics useful to improve your retail operations over time. These metrics can be used to assess the effectiveness of your company's customer service strategy, the caliber and efficiency of your customer support, the performance of your agents, and many more.

Here are some metrics you should track right from the start:

  • Number of chats: how many chat sessions take place every day, every week, or every month.
  • Average first response time: the average amount of time it takes for a customer to receive a response from an agent after submitting a ticket.
  • Average handle time: the average and overall length of time it takes an agent to handle a chat.
  • Average wait time: the average time a ticket remains in the queue until an agent responds to it.
  • Chat to conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who converted after engaging in live chat with a chat agent.

10. Have a dedicated live chat support team

Even if your live chat software has the best automated virtual agents, some customer inquiries still require human assistance. That said, you may need a dedicated live chat agent to personalize your support channel and proactively engage with your customers. 

Your live chat tools are only as good as your customer support team. If your customer service can’t offer human-to-human communication that adds empathy to conversations, you won’t be able to retain even your most loyal customers. Hence, hire the best live chat agent who can help you build customer loyalty and increase your customer lifetime value.

Outsource the Best Live Chat Support Services to the Philippines

Humanize your retail store with the best live chat support without breaking the bank! Reach out to ManilaPros to get a full-service customer support for your retail needs. 

At ManilaPros, we provide a five-star customer care for retailers from all over the world. Powered by industry-leading tools and knowledge of live chat best practices, we’re ready to improve your customer shopping experience, increase your sales, and boost your customer retention. We’ve worked with dozens of online retailers in the past and made them successful on major marketplaces. Partner with us, and let’s set your business up for long-term success!

Click here to learn more about our customer support services!