Live chat has withstood the test of time and is a preferred communication channel for customers, particularly when making purchase decisions.
Regardless of the industry, most organizations have found live chat to be an important way to enhance customer service experiences. Live chat, like most technology, has continued to evolve and become more widely accepted and commonplace on most retailers’ websites. While there is no doubt that live chat is one of the more preferred communication channels for customers, it isn’t as simple as installing live chat on your website and calling it a day.
Some of the benefits of live chat are that it can enhance customer service and yield more conversions to sales, but which is better for customer service and customer service teams? Pop-up or embedded live chat screens? Or both?
If you’ve spent any time at all on any website, then you’ve likely encountered a pop-up screen that disrupts your browsing. Depending on what is popping up on the screen, this can be a welcome invitation or an annoying distraction. If your goal is to enhance the customer experience through live chat, then you’ll want to consider how your customers use your website before deciding on how to engage your customers with live chat.
Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of pop-ups and embedded live chat screens so you can determine what’s best for your customers.
The name says it all. Pop-up screens are designed to “pop up” when a customer is viewing your website. Pop-ups can take many forms, but in the case of live chat, they are often invitations to initiate a live chat conversation. As mentioned before, if not thought through and strategically timed, these pop-ups can be more annoying than helpful.
While some customers will find pop-up screens obnoxious no matter what, others will gladly accept the invitation to engage with live help. To get the most out of a pop-up screen, you’ll want to assess how customers spend time on your site. Some areas where pop-up invitations to live chat are useful are:
- Shopping carts: pay close attention to check-out pages and shopping cart abandonment statistics. Timing a pop-up to appear when customers are most likely to abandon their shopping cart, or bail on filling in the necessary details to finalize a sale is a prime time to proactively engage with the customer.
- Self-help and informational section: when customers spend time on your informational pages, they are likely to appreciate the invitation to get more help from a live-help agent.
Be mindful that if you are inundating your customer with pop-up invitations the moment, they land on one of your pages, or you send repeated requests to chat, you’ll likely end up with a perturbed customer!
Embedded Chat Window
With embedded chat, it is incumbent upon the customer to initiate a live-help conversation. This type of window is like Facebook chat, which most customers are familiar with. Embedded live help windows give the user the option to initiate a conversation from any page. Embedded chat windows are passive and one way to direct a customer’s attention to your live help button is through a photo of an agent or a highlighted box that stands out from the rest of the page content. Since most users are familiar with live help, they expect this service to be available on your website. Keep in mind that customers expect service 24/7 and if your live help isn’t available around the clock, you’ll want to communicate that up front.
When it comes to delivering exceptional customer experiences with great customer service through live help, strategically using both pop-up and embedded live chat windows can be the best bet. Having the chat feature embedded throughout your site so users can reach out when they need should be a given. But for added value, proactively engaging customers through pop-ups can lead to higher conversion rates. The bottom line is live chat is increasingly seen as essential to delivering customer service and with thoughtful use of embedded and pop-up windows, you can ensure your customers have easy access to your representatives at the right time.