38% of sales through online chat. How to achieve such results?
Online consultants on websites have been working everywhere for more than 10 years, but only recently their positive effect on website conversion rates has been revealed. Studies say that chat rooms directly provide an average of 38% of online sales. 62% of users who chatted with the operator said they would buy more if stores used online consultants on their sites.
The reason why chats make a big difference in sales is very simple. An online consultant is the only inexpensive opportunity for personal (human) contact when making an online purchase.
Tim Young and John Holland in their book Rethinking the Sales Cycle"They say that a sense of risk is the most frequent emotion when a person is already in the final stages of the purchase cycle. The problem is that users at this moment do not see anything except the screen, so it is difficult for them to somehow help.
At these stages, the human factor takes effect. Chat operators can mitigate the risk and create confidence in the purchase.
The following describes 21 tips, each of which is illustrated by the example of our Carrot Quest service (in which online chat is combined with eCRM, which collects all the data about the actions of each user on your site).
1. Keep a chat history for users
When customers communicate with operators, they will want to save a lot of information and resort to it in the future. The problem is that most online consultants for the site (chats) do not keep a history of correspondence.
Action: In Carrot Quest, we offer the visitor to leave an email and all correspondence in a convenient form is duplicated to his mail. But that is not all. We always store the history of correspondence in the chat itself, so that the client and the site can always view all correspondence with the operators.
2. Use auto messages or templates
It is believed that for the productive work of chat support, operators must respond within 30 seconds and promptly help visitors. But for most companies, this is a meaningless burden. We wrote a detailed article about this, “ Global problems of online chats and a new model of communication on the Internet ”.
Speed is important if you have already started a conversation with a client. Do not forget about courtesy and professionalism. In this case, pre-prepared messages (templates) are of great help.
We can use templates to automate part of the conversation, but do not forget that too much formal communication and templates can kill a live conversation and push the user away.
Act:Create a set of well-designed messages and train operators in what situations and how to use templates correctly. Before sending, you can always adjust the template based on the characteristics of the interlocutor.
3. Use active messages
Not often, users themselves start a conversation with the operator in a chat, so you need to identify those who need help, and then write to them. They may not respond to your chat message, but this is not bad, such a message is already enough to create a good relationship with the company. It is important that such messages are not sent out to everyone under any circumstances, because they should not annoy users (send them at the right time at the right time).
Do not write active messages of the type “How can we help you?”, This only repels. Let visitors first walk around your site, and then engage them in the conversation. Send the user not a standard message, but based on the context of his actions.
Act:Determine in advance after which actions you should write an active message. And after 20-30 seconds write. Such a message can be done either manually or automatically.
For this task, we have created a whole section. Section Live. In it, operators can monitor in real time what each user on the site does. Knowing this, operators can start a dialogue with the user on time and always “in the subject” and gradually bring it to sale.
4. Operators must know ALL about the product.
Your operators should be considered as sales and support specialists, so they should know all the features of the product and the company. This provides a more thorough work with clients, whether it is a sales manager or a support employee.
Action: Provide operators with the same training as sellers.
5. Operators should see what the user is typing.
Operators should see what users are typing before they send a message. This gives operators not only an understanding of what customers think, but also allows them to respond more quickly to questions (start writing an answer until the user has submitted their question).
Operators need to know when a customer sends a message. There should be alerts and visual notifications of new messages. Plus, this will help one operator to work on several conversations at once.
Action: Make sure that the chat you are using is able to show what users print before sending and displays notifications about new messages.
6. Operators can translate the dialogue
Chat operators are not required to know everything. Each of them can have its own competencies. If the operator does not know how to answer the question, then he must transfer the conversation to another operator. The client should see that different people are writing to him in the chat.
Action: Train operators to transfer chat conversations as needed. Each operator must have a list of other operators and their competencies. Operators must have names and personal avatars.
Also, operators can communicate with each other in a dialogue window, and their “notes” will not be visible to users.
7. History of user actions and correspondence with him
Operators will work more productively if they have the opportunity to see all the actions and properties of the user for the entire time they visit the site and the entire history of communication with him. This will allow operators to be more specific and useful when communicating. Customers will appreciate this, because they do not have to repeat all their requests and problems.
Action: The online chat should save the entire history of correspondence with the user. Operators should see which segment the user belongs to and what actions he previously performed on the site.
8. Collection of chat email addresses
Those users who have not left an email should be able to leave it in the chat. The chat should have a form that is automatically sent if the user does not have an email address in the card (it should be voluntary, not forced). The main benefit of the user is that the entire message history will be duplicated by mail, he will not need to wait for an answer while sitting in the chat. As it turned out, the number of those who are comfortable with this format is only growing every day.
Action: Collect user emails in the online consultant. Convince them that the answers will be duplicated by mail, from which you can also correspond.
Nowadays, few people are “sitting” and waiting for an operator’s response on the site, the model of communication on the Internet has changed dramatically. Users are more likely to get used to write something and get distracted, and only later receive a response with a notification.
9. Integration of chat with third-party CRM
Your operators should have access to records for users from CRM (what they bought, when they bought, how much money they paid, etc.) This will allow a personalized approach to communication with the client, which will increase the number of repeat purchases. All tools should be integrated with each other and work in synergy (CRM, chat, pop-ups, email newsletters, analytics).
Action: Operators should have access to the maximum amount of user information. Actively use the ability to integrate online chat on a site with various services.
10. User knowledge is the key to selling
Provide operators with behavioral analytics about users. They should know the entire history of the actions and purchases of each visitor in order to understand their features and needs. Operators should know what pages customers visited, what actions they performed on them, what products they bought, from which channel they came from, whether they visited the site before, etc.
For example, the operator sees that on the card of the same product (or service) for the 4th time the same person visits, but does not buy it. It is clear that the user is at the stage of pondering a purchase, he has doubts. The operator can help with the choice and convince you to make a purchase.
Action: Before helping the visitor in the chat, look at the history of his actions and to which segment of users he belongs. Chat operators inCarrot Quest always looks at the user's card before answering, which is why communication is complete.
11. Personal invitations to online chat on the site
This is similar to paragraph 3, but differs in the personality of the approach. Personal chat invitations are much more attractive than general ones. they are sent with an appeal by name from an individual operator with a name and photo.
Some companies found a feature that 1 out of 3 people is ready to communicate on the condition of a personal invitation. This is impressive!
Action: Encourage your operators to take the initiative in personalized invitations whenever possible. Personal contact will increase chat activity. Remember to track how this affects your conversion.
12. Up-sell and cross-sell
Your operators should know the up-sell and cross-sell sales techniques.
In principle, up-sell sales are an increase ("raising") in the amount of sale. When a client is convinced to buy a more advanced version of the product (for example, with an additional option) than the one he originally considered.
For example, a user selects an iron in an online store, he stops at some model and begins to ask the operator about this. The operator tells him about this model and at the same time offers the model with the best functionality and more expensive.
Cross-sell occurs when the user wants to buy additional products to the main product. For example, during the purchase of a digital camera, you offer the customer to buy a separate memory card, in case the memory in the camera runs out at the wrong time.
Action: Train your operators in the basics of sales so they can take advantage of these opportunities.
13. Place online chat buttons on the site
All pages of the site should have an online chat button. Visitors should know where they can go if they need help.
Action: Talk with your designer about where to place the chat button.
14. Use operator activity reports
Online chat tools should include analytics in which you will monitor the performance of your operators. You should see how the communication of each operator affects sales and repeat sales, as well as the outflow of customers. This indicator should be reviewed periodically to determine changes.
Keep in mind that there may be other factors affecting the performance of operators. This can be monitored using other KPIs, such as the number of visitors to the site during communication, the number of calls, etc.
Action: Track the indicators and link them to each support employee.
15. Keep chatting to use in the FAQ or knowledge base
Your support generates a lot of information that you can use in the future for a telephone support service or employee training. You can use these entries to fill out your FAQ. Telephone support operators can quickly find a description of such problems in the database and use this to solve current problems.
Action: Ensure that the support department has access to the chat knowledge base. Train your employees to use this base.
Using chat operators' correspondence, you can build up a knowledge base much faster and improve sales. We did just that.
16. Train and motivate chat operators
Well-trained operators are highly motivated. People do not like to be in situations where they do not understand what is required of them. Operators who work in a support service should not only be trained in a product or service, but also should be fully confident in their ability to manage chat conversations.
In order to become a good chat operator, you need to learn :) Usually, chat support employees conduct 4 to 6 conversations at the same time, but practice is needed to achieve this.
Action: Create a training mode for all support staff. They will quickly lose motivation if they feel overwhelmed and do not understand what is required of them. And vice versa, employees who fully understand their work and are confident in it will be motivated for the result.
17.24x7 is not the most important
If earlier it was believed that support should be within 24 hours 7 days a week, now the market is gradually moving away from this . There are only a few areas where the instant answer is so important. For small companies, such support is a big burden. Yes, you must try to answer immediately and have a chat conversation, but in most cases this is not possible.
In the first paragraphs we already wrote that the answer should be duplicated by mail. The user will always see a notification of a new message in the mail, this is really convenient. The main thing is to warn him about this in advance.
Action: Warn users that you can’t always reply instantly, but they can leave an email and receive a reply to the mail from which they will continue to communicate.
18. Be sincere
Each chat conversation (dialogue) is an opportunity to strengthen the opinion of you as an honest and sincere company. Do not miss this opportunity, as you have only 1 chance to make a first impression. Operators should communicate honestly with customers and let them know the limits of your capabilities.
If the operator wants to transfer the dialogue to another more competent employee, he should do it without shame. Many clients have a 6th sense and know when the truth is hidden from them. If your employee is lying, in the end, it can come up with even more problems than solutions.
Act: Track how your operators handle pressure on them. One good technique is to ask the operator very difficult questions until you reach the limit of his personal knowledge. Then you will see how he emerges from this situation.
19. Be helpful
Even if your employee cannot directly help with the problem, it can still be helpful. He can transfer the conversation to a competent person or find the answer to a question on the Internet himself. If this takes too much time, he should offer the client to leave an email and send a response later.
In any case, help is a key feature when communicating with a client. After all, if the client does not need help, then most likely he will not write to the chat himself.
Action: Make sure your operators understand that helping the user is important. If the issue cannot be resolved now, the operator must transfer it to the support service with a high priority. The situation is relevant, because this is a potential sale.
20. Be focused on the conversation.
Good employees can process 4-6 dialogs at the same time and inspire each client that all attention is focused only on him. This requires training and experience, so you need to carefully analyze the level of performance of each operator.
Clients should feel their value through conversation. Therefore, fully understand the conversation and try to help the client. If the operator has started a dialogue, then he should not be distracted, it is necessary to respond promptly, otherwise the client will leave.
Action: If you have already started a dialogue, then try to respond quickly, and if this is not possible, then warn the user that you will send an answer to his mail, from which he can calmly continue communication. For speed, use the message templates described above.
The person who has mastered the art of conversation is always attracted. Some gifted people are born with this talent, others have to learn and practice this. Most likely, most of your operators fall into the second category. There are some simple rules to follow when dealing with clients. These rules should always be in the head of your employees.
- Listen carefully and ask leading questions;
- Know the product and understand the main problems of customers;
- Focus on the tasks of the client, not your company;
- Do not try to impress the client with the help of your level of knowledge;
- Using the right grammar when communicating with text is the key.
Action: Ask your operators to read a variety of literature, let them start with the classics - Dale Carnegie, he perfectly described the key factors in communication ...
Chats are an important element of the entire online system. The model of communication on the Internet is changing, new technologies provide many opportunities. Change also you.
With pleasure, the Carrot Quest team .