Imagine this scenario: you're browsing a website, trying to find a specific product or service, and just when you're about to leave in frustration, a friendly message pops up on your screen, offering help and guidance. How do you feel at that moment? Chances are, you feel relieved, appreciated, and likelier to make a purchase.
This is the power of proactive live chat. It transforms a lonely and confusing customer journey into a personalized, guided one. With its ability to connect with customers in real-time, answer customer queries, provide support, and ultimately drive conversions, proactive live chat is a game-changer for businesses.
So, why is it so important? Proactive communication in customer service allows you to connect with customers before they know they need help. You can provide a seamless and enjoyable customer experience by offering assistance and guidance, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In this article:
- What is proactive live chat?
- Proactive chat vs. reactive chat
- Top proactive live chat benefits
- Common proactive live chat use cases
- Determining the best live chat trigger to use
- Measuring the success of proactive chat communication
- Do’s and don’ts of proactive chat
- How to select the best proactive live chat software
What is proactive live chat?
Proactive live chat is a customer service strategy where companies take the initiative to engage with potential customers in real time. It involves anticipating customer needs and providing personalized and proactive customer support. With the help of automated triggers, businesses can invite website visitors to chat based on specific actions taken on their website, such as navigating to a particular page or filling out a form.
Proactive live chat enables companies to provide quick and efficient customer service, helping resolve any issues they may face. This can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty and increase sales and conversions. Additionally, proactive chat can help organizations collect valuable customer data, allowing them to gain insights into their target audience and improve their overall marketing strategy.
Proactive chat vs. reactive chat
Proactive live chat involves agents reaching out to customers browsing a website for a more personal, effective customer experience and increased conversions. With proactive chat, you can initiate a conversation with customers, greet them, and ask if you can help with anything. This makes customers feel valued and cared for, which is why it’s much more effective than reactive chat.
With proactive chat, you can increase the number of conversations and, in turn, the number of sales conversions. It’s a win-win situation where both the customer and the company benefit.
Reactive live chat lets customers initiate the conversation, providing a hands-off experience. This approach is ideal for supporting customers and reducing inquiries via other channels during their buying process. However, this approach may not be as effective at building customer trust, as customers may have to wait for an agent to become available.
Tip: If you're looking for a more personal approach and to identify issues directly from the customer, reactive chat may be the way to go. Or if you're looking to offer immediate solutions before problems arise, go with proactive chat. It's essential to strike a balance between both approaches to create the best customer experience.
Top proactive live chat benefits
- Boosts customer satisfaction: Proactive chat lets businesses offer real-time support, leading to happier customers. Customers feel valued when they get immediate help with their queries, and their overall experience with the brand improves.
- Get improved customer insights: Proactive chat software collects valuable data about your customers, such as their behavior and preferences. This data personalizes chat triggers and enhances the customer experience. Understanding your customers creates a more effective chat strategy, increasing engagement and sales conversion.
- Lowers cart abandonment rate: High cart abandonment rates often result from a poor website experience and a complicated checkout process. Proactive chat helps you reach out to customers and engage them in conversation. With guidance throughout the purchasing journey, you can effectively lower the number of abandoned carts.
- Boosts productivity: Proactive chat lets customer support teams handle multiple conversations simultaneously, reducing the time and effort to respond. This leads to better team productivity and faster response time to customers.
- Lowers support costs: Live chat provides a cost-effective way to handle customer support compared to phone and email. Proactive live chat can significantly lower support costs by managing multiple conversations and giving quick solutions.
- Enhances lead generation: Proactive chat can help capture potential leads at the right moment. By sending targeted chat triggers, businesses can engage with visitors and gather data about their needs and preferences. This data generates leads and improves the sales pipeline.
Common proactive live chat use cases
It's important to note that excessive use of proactive chats can be detrimental. However, with careful consideration, a well-crafted and unobtrusive message can be highly effective. Here are some use cases for utilizing proactive live chats.
Reduce cart abandonment and checkout issues
17% of online shoppers will abandon their carts if the checkout process is too complicated, costing eCommerce brands $18 billion in sales annually. To avoid this, offering support on the checkout page is crucial.
There are various reasons why shopping carts get abandoned, such as high extra costs, a complicated checkout process, an unsatisfactory returns policy, limited payment options, or mandatory account creation.
To reduce cart abandonment, implement proactive chat triggers. These triggers offer immediate assistance when a shopper has items in their cart. You can activate them when a shopper's been on the checkout page for a specific time or if they linger on the page.
For example, you can offer a full refund or free shipping to overcome any objections the shopper may have. This can be triggered by setting chat triggers based on the current page URL and the time spent on the checkout page.
A proactive chat message could say: "Did you know we have a no-questions-asked return policy, even for sales? I'm here if you want to know more." Or, "Need help with delivery, payment, returns, or anything else? I'm available for a chat."
Greet and message new and returning website visitors
Personalizing your chat interactions with visitors can go a long way in building strong customer relationships. To achieve this, you can use proactive chat triggers to send automated greetings and welcome messages to new and returning visitors.
For first-time visitors, creating a positive and helpful impression is essential. Your welcome message should be supportive and empathetic without sounding too pushy about sales. A few examples of welcome messages for first-time visitors include:
- Hi there! How can I help today?
- Good to see you! Need anything?
Repeat visitors are even more valuable, as they show a higher level of interest in your business. To acknowledge their loyalty, you can send personalized welcome-back messages. These messages have a higher chance of converting visitors into customers, so make sure to make them feel special. A few examples of welcome-back messages include:
- Welcome back, [customer name]! We're here to help.
- Hi [customer name], great to see you again! How can I assist you today?
You can use various triggers, such as the number of visits, time on a page, time on the website, or order history, to determine the best message to send to your visitors. By proactively engaging returning visitors, you can expect an increase in their replies and conversion rates.
Upsell and cross-sell products or services
Product recommendations are the essence of a proactive customer approach. They allow customers to quickly find what they are looking for and ultimately enhance their shopping experience.
Proactive live chat has the potential to boost sales through targeted upselling and cross-selling. To achieve this, use a sales chatbot and various metrics such as the customer's current page URL, items in their shopping cart, and the amount of time they spend on a specific page, such as the pricing page, to provide a truly customized experience.
For example, suppose a customer is interested in purchasing a cell phone. In that case, you can suggest upgrading to a larger display size smartphone or offering complementary items, like headphones and cases.
Once a customer has added items to their cart, reach out to them and suggest complementary products or inform them of your current promotions. This encourages customers to make additional purchases while still in a buying mood. A live chat agent can also assist with reinforcing product recommendations if needed.
Some examples of proactive chat triggers include:
- The current page URL matches that of your checkout page
- The shopping cart item is [Product A]
- The shopping cart value is less than [X dollars]
A few examples of such proactive chat messages include:
- "Hi! Customers who bought [Product A] often buy [Product B]. Want to learn more?"
- "Hi! Get [X %] off orders over [purchase value] today. Interested?"
Tip: Integrating a knowledge base with a customer support chatbot can provide a more efficient, effective, and proactive chat experience. This integration empowers your chatbot to proactively help your customers by providing them with relevant information and answers to their queries without waiting for a rep to be available.
Maximize sales potential by analyzing regional traffic
Knowing which customers hold the most potential value is critical to your business's success. Analyzing regional traffic allows you to determine which customers have the highest buying intent. If you find that a particular area has a high buying potential, it's wise to initiate a proactive chat invitation to these customers.
You can also incentivize website visitors from areas with lower buying potential with special offers. Set your chat triggers based on the visitor's location, current page URL, time on the current page, and time spent on the website.
Here are a few examples of proactive chat invitations
- "We have an exclusive offer for customers from [country/region/city] today. Would you like to chat for details?"
- "Hello, I'm [agent name], the regional representative for [country/region/city]. How may I help you today?"
- "We noticed you're from [country/region/city], have you checked out our latest deals for your area?”
Track pages with high exit rates
Maximize your website's potential by using Google Analytics to monitor high bounce rates. Utilize a rule-based proactive chat to reach out to visitors who spend at least 10-15 seconds on a high bounce rate page. You can set up a conversation invitation to automatically pop up and offer assistance to those who may need it.
Consider these proactive chat scripts to get started:
- "Thanks for visiting! Need help with [topic of the page]?"
- "Hi! Can I assist with the [sign-up/download/free trial/purchase] process?"
Engage with struggling website visitors with proactive support
When customers spend extended time on a particular product page, it's a sign that they have doubts or inquiries. Take advantage of this opportunity by sending a proactive message after a set amount of time, for example after 30 seconds on a specific page or section. Ask if there's anything you can assist with to help close the sale more quickly.
You can also initiate a live chatbot conversation by promoting relevant offers or deals when a customer arrives on your product pages. It's an excellent opportunity to provide helpful and informative product-related answers to potential customers.
Here are some proactive chat examples to get you started:
- "Hey! Today, anyone who buys [Product A] gets a [X%] discount.”
- "We have a limited time offer on [Product B]. Want to know more?"
Determining the best live chat trigger to use
Selecting the right proactive chat trigger can make a huge difference for your customers. Here's how to choose triggers for your business use case.
- Know your goal. What do you want to achieve with your proactive chat? Is it to help increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, or offer support? This'll help you determine what type of trigger to use.
- Observe your customers. Watch how they interact with your website. Do they leave quickly, or do they spend time browsing specific pages? Analyzing customer behavior can help you decide on triggers to grab their attention.
- Test different triggers. Try using other types of triggers to see what works best for you. For example, use a timer trigger that pops up after a certain time on your website or an exit-intent trigger for when a customer is about to leave your website.
- Analyze the results. Keep track of which triggers work and adjust accordingly. You can use analytics tools or a customer engagement platform to see the most effective triggers and use that data to make changes.
Here are some common proactive chat triggers to choose from:
- Hesitation trigger: This trigger is activated when a visitor spends a certain amount of time on a specific page or hovers over a particular item. It indicates that the visitor is hesitant or confused and may need assistance. The chat agent can then help the visitor, making their browsing experience smoother and potentially leading to a successful conversion.
- FAQ trigger: This is activated when a visitor clicks on a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page. Proactive chat can then offer help with the specific question or suggest related information that may be helpful. This can save visitors time in finding the information they need during self-service and also allows them to quickly reach a customer service representative for further assistance.
- Location triggers: This trigger is activated based on the visitor's location, such as a country or region. The chat option can offer relevant information and support specific to that location, such as currency, shipping options, and local regulations.
- Returning visitors: This trigger is activated when a visitor returns to the website after a previous visit. The chat option can offer a personalized welcome message and retrieve previous chat history to continue the conversation.
- Referral trigger: This is activated when a visitor arrives at the website from a specific referral source, such as a search engine, social media, or referral link. The live chat can then offer information and support specific to the referral source and how it relates to the visitor's needs.
- Seasonal and other triggers: This trigger is activated based on specific events or holidays, such as Christmas or Black Friday. The chat agent can offer information and support related to the event, such as promotions, sales, and shipping deadlines.
- Trigger buttons: This trigger is activated when a visitor clicks on a specific button, such as a "Help" or "Support" button. The live chat can then offer immediate assistance to the visitor without the need for them to navigate through the website.
- Imminent exit: This trigger is activated when a visitor shows signs of leaving the website, such as moving the mouse toward the close button or navigating away from the page. The live chat can then offer a last-chance message, such as a special offer or a survey, to keep the visitor on the website and potentially convert them.
Measuring the success of proactive chat communication
When it comes to measuring the success of proactive chat, it’s essential to look at various metrics to understand how well the chat function is performing.
Customer satisfaction surveys are an excellent way to measure the success of proactive chat. Sending surveys shortly after the chat session ensures accurate results. The surveys should ask questions about the conversation and how the issue was resolved.
Additionally, it's essential to ask if the customer would have preferred another communication method. This data will help you understand the level of increases of customer satisfaction with the chat experience and make any necessary changes.
Other key chat metrics to track are the first contact resolution rate and time-to-resolve. The first contact resolution rate measures how often the issue is resolved during the first interaction with the customer.
This metric is critical as it shows how efficient and effective the proactive chat is at resolving issues. The time-to-resolve metric measures the amount of time it takes to resolve the issue. A low time-to-resolve rate means the chat agent is working efficiently and effectively.
Finally, tracking the acceptance rate of proactive chat invitations from customers is essential to evaluate the success of trigger words and the reception of proactive chat invites. If the acceptance rate is low, it indicates a need for reviewing and improving the trigger messages or rules.
Do’s and don’ts of proactive chat
In the realm of proactive chat, it's crucial to grasp which actions boost the customer experience and which actions may detract from it. The following list outlines the dos and don'ts to keep in mind when utilizing proactive chat:
Do's of proactive chat:
1. Offer helpful and relevant information: In proactive chat, it's essential to give customers valuable information pertinent to their needs and solve any problems they face. For instance, if they're looking for a product, offer info on its features and benefits to help them decide.
2. Use a conversational tone: Keep the chat casual and friendly to make it enjoyable for both parties. Use an informal tone, ask questions, and listen to the customer's responses.
3. Provide live support: By offering live chat support, companies can provide a valuable human connection to their customers, offering quick and personalized solutions to their queries. By integrating chatbots with live chat, businesses can offer the best of both worlds – immediate response and efficiency from the chatbots and personalized attention from customer support reps. The ability to transfer to a human agent at any time further enhances the customer experience, ensuring that all their needs are met with speed and care.
4. Keep it short and focused: Proactive chat should be brief and focused on the customer's needs. Customers don't want lengthy chat sessions, so keep it short.
5. Timing is key: Timing is crucial in proactive chat. Offer a chat when the customer is most engaged and has time to respond, like when browsing your website or at a specific time.
Don'ts of proactive chat:
1. Be too aggressive: Avoid being too forceful with your customers in proactive chat. They may not respond well and may not engage in the conversation. Be respectful and polite, and steer clear of pushy sales tactics.
2. Jargon overload: Customers can quickly get confused with technical terms. Use simple language so they can understand your message right away.
3. Ignore customer requests: Listening to what customers want when using proactive chat is crucial. Address their questions or concerns promptly and provide a solution. Ignoring them can negatively impact their experience.
4. Using identical chat scripts: Using the same script for every customer can turn them off. Customize the chat to each customer's needs to show that you're listening and willing to meet their needs.
How to select the best proactive live chat software
Choosing the perfect proactive live chat tool for your business requires careful consideration of key elements. This comprehensive guide will help you select the ideal tool to meet your requirements.
A great proactive live chat software should have trigger conditions that enable the chat agent to initiate a conversation with the customer based on specific criteria. For example, if a customer has been on the website for a while, the chatbot can ask if they need assistance. If they've clicked on a specific page, the chatbot can suggest a related product or service, providing personalized support at the appropriate time.
Proactive support requires customized messages. The ability to adjust language, tone and content to match your brand is essential. Choose a solution that allows you to create various messages based on different trigger conditions, ensuring customers receive relevant and useful messages.
A great proactive live chat tool should have real-time monitoring. This allows you to supervise your chatbot's, proactive messages and invitations performance and make changes instantly to improve the customer experience and provide the best support.
For a global customer base, use a live chat tool that offers multilingual support. This ensures your customers receive help in their native language, enhancing their overall experience with your business.
Consider personalization capabilities when choosing a proactive chat tool. Opt for a platform that allows customization using the customer's name, location, and past interactions with your business for a more engaging experience.
Integration with customer data
Additionally, choosing a proactive chat system that integrates with your customer data platform such as a CRM solution, is essential. This means your chat agent can access information about your customers, such as their order history, preferences, previous chats, and contact information. This can provide a more personalized and relevant experience for your customers.
Analytics and reporting capabilities
Lastly, one of the most critical factors to consider when selecting a proactive live chat software is its reporting and analytics capabilities. The software should be able to provide various reports such as chat transcripts, customer behavior analysis, customer satisfaction, chat volume analysis, etc. The reports should be easy to understand, customizable, and exportable.
A chat tool with good analytics capabilities can help you evaluate chat performance, what messages resonate with customers, and where improvements can be made. With the right features, you can continuously refine your proactive chat strategy and provide the best experience for customers.
Unlock the power of seamless customer engagement with Velaro. Integrate all your customer data tools with chat software for maximum productivity. Schedule a discovery call today!
Say hello to happy customers with proactive chat
In a world where technology is increasingly dominant, offering a human touch through proactive chat can set your business apart from the competition and make it easier for customers to reach out and engage with you.
In today's competitive market, it is more relevant than ever, as customers expect businesses to be easily accessible and provide excellent support. Proactive live chat helps you fulfill those expectations and stand out from the crowd.
Anticipating customer actions and needs through proactive chat can help avoid problems and create opportunities to enhance the customer experience. It also provides a platform for your business to showcase its exceptional customer service, build trust and loyalty, and foster long-term relationships. Investing in a proactive chat tool is a wise choice for companies looking to differentiate themselves and stand out in a crowded and highly competitive market.
Transform how you interact with your customers with Velaro’s proactive live chat. Start delighting your visitors today with lightning-fast response times and personalized attention. Sign up for a free trial and take your customer experience to the next level with proactive chat.